My Planner Dilemma

I have had a love affair with planners and planning since middle school. I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t have a planner or some type of agenda. Now that I am a wife and mother having a planner means so much more to me now. I have appointments and keeping a steady schedule are staples of my every day life. I have to keep my plans together and my schedule is very tight.

Back in 2014 I came across MAMBI (me and my big ideas) and the Happy Planner. I enjoyed this planner for years. It was fun an functional and I loved all the colors and designs. I went sticker and washi crazy. I collected so many planner stickers and accessories that I overwhelmed myself. “Comparison is the thief of joy” I don’t know who said it but it’s the truth. Instagram photos of other layouts and YouTube videos of other people’s planner left me very un-inspired because my planner didn’t look like theirs.

Needless to say, I eventually stopped using the planner and moved to a more minimal style to try and get my life together. I tried a lot of different minimal styles and companies until finally I decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own planner from scratch.

First, I decided on a size. A5 was a favorite of mine. I had enough room to write while still being portable. The classic Happy Planner was not travel friendly. Second, I decided on a style. I love how The Happy Planner was easily customizable but the pages would fall out and not sit right so, six rings became my favorite. Finally, I went on a hunt for inserts that were functional, minimal and straight to the point. I found a company called Cloth & Paper. Their inserts were beautifully simple and minimal. I fell in love.

After finding the inserts and size I enjoyed I went on a hunt for a beautiful binder. I found a small company, Notiq, that was also geared at a more minimal aesthetic. Most of all it was PINK! I know that seems like a vain reason to pick a binder but the beautiful, soft, pink blush really attracted me. I loved the weekly inserts so much that a bought a half-letter plan book, on gold discs, no less. I now have two planners of two different styles and size. Half-letter and A5 aren’t much of a size difference other than the way these two are bound.

Notiq Saffiano Planner cover
Notiq Blush pink quilted

Both of these planners are my absolute favorites and they are vital to me keeping it all together as well as the key to my sanity. I’ve been doing double duty by keeping both of these updated simultaneously. Now that we have reached the end of the year I have set up both of these planners for 2021 with different jobs. The one on the left will be my social media planner and the one on the right will be my personal, catch all planner that will be with me everyday.

I will have more in depth explanation and setup of each. For the most part, my social media planner has weekly lined inserts and my catch all has daily inserts. Both of which you can get at CLOTH & PAPER – LUXE PLANNERS, DIVIDERS, & INSERTS (clothandpaper.com). They sell multiple size inserts for multiple size planners. Use code CPFAM for 10% off. (not an affiliate link)

I used to switch out planners every other month. I was in search of the mythical creature called “planner peace”, which I have quickly found out does not exist. Your planner should bring you peace and not you being at peace with your planner. If your planner gives you the least bit of anxiety, not related to an event or task inside, it is not the planner for you. Your planner should be a welcome site that brings you joy and fills you with passion to seize the day. If your planner does not inspire you to get more done and be great, get rid of it and start again. If it takes you more time to plan than to act, or planning takes you away from being productive, you should seek some planner advise. There are thousands of planner guru’s on Youtube that will help you get your planning together.

I had a big problem with procrastination and keeping a planner helped me to get through that. I hope that this post and your planner help you as much as mine has helped me to be a better planner and in some ways, person. Organization is important but not at the expense of living life and enjoying your time here. Make your life and your planner as simple as possible and you will be successful in everything you set your mind to.

Do I finally have planner of peace?

So recently I took a trip to Michael’s craft store. I was looking for a classic size happy planner and what I found was that the happy planner section was sparse. There wasn’t much to choose from and the little bit with that was there was really picked through. So, what I decided to do was go ahead and get the student planner box kit which was classic size. The box kit came with a few accessories and some paper. So, after getting the student box kit, I started to look around the section. I’ve really wanted a hard cover for a long time and they just happen to have one black classic size hardcover there. So, I went ahead and grabbed it along with the classic size hardcover. I got 2 more packs of accessories that came with a folder and some happy planner papers and I got a few more sticker books which happened to be 50% off. 
So, after getting home and looking at all my planner goodies, I was wondering to myself did I really want what I had because I was looking for something specific, but I didn’t know that what I really needed was in my hands. So, after opening everything and looking at everything all spread out on my desk, I just went to town hooking up my new Classic size Happy planner.
There are few reasons why I was so excited about it. The classic size student planner has a vertical layout, but it has 7 different sections that are color coded. This week’s color is blue, but the opposite of the sections is you white. That excited me because I’ve never seen it like that. There were no lines on the weekly pages to give me a certain domain of where I could start and stop planning and that’s what I love. I just want my days separated I don’t want the individual day separated. So, that’s what drew me to the student planner as well as the very clean fresh layout that it had. 
Right off the back I fell in love with this hard cover.
It’s a plain black hard cover and it’s a cover that I had been looking for, for a while. I just wanted something sleek and I didn’t want a chubby happy planner this time. That is what overwhelmed me with every other happy planner I had. I had been trying to live up to the expectation of social media with a thick, chubby happy planner that was too overwhelming for me. That’s what made me put down the happy planner so much.
As I opened my happy planner, I’m started off with a folder which is what I like I like a folder and by the way the cover that came on the happy planner it is removed I’m just only using the plain black hard cover for my happy planner. I’ve laid it out in a way that is convenient for me. So, I started off with a folder and of course there is 2018-2019 full calendar on 2 pages in the front, which is fine for me. Then, there’s a course contacts page and there was a classes page. I took out the page where you write down your classes because I’m not in school I don’t have any classes, so I didn’t have any need for that page.  
What I did do, on the opposite side of the 2019 calendar, was I printed the calendar for my son school. So, I could have his calendar right in the front of my planner.  I have it printed out on Happy planner paper. I’ve got so many accessory packs. I had so much paper that I was like “I have to utilize this paper” so, I printed out his schedule on a paper and I put it on the back of 2019 with the paper clip.
 Also, I have my daily personal care routine which, since looking at it on A5 paper, it’s a little bit sparse so I might go in and edit it a little and add a few things. The next page in my planner is my daily cleaning master task list. The planner starts in August, but it is September and I’m glad I got this planner because I can start it off right now in September. It goes from August to July of the following year, but this is perfect for me right now.
 I have 4 months in this planner. I didn’t want this to be a chubby planner. Chubby planners are overwhelming. So, I just made it nice and slim, down to the meat of what I need.
 I have my monthly section where I have a few things planned out on the month. I also have found a way to use my mini planner accessories in this classic size. I do use my mini papers and my mini accessories in here I have a mini dashboard that separates my month and it’s perfect because it’s not bulky. 
After my month tab I have my week which I have already planned out and I can already tell you they are too many darn stickers on here. But I have my week planned out.
 I have a half sheet of notes and of a little small square of sticky notes that came with this set and it’s convenient for me. I have things planned out and written out in my planner and I think it’s cute.
 Next week I won’t be using so many stickers.  I like how it looks, cute. This planner inspired me from the way that is laid out with the colorful sections. This week’s color is purple, so on each section, there are 7 sections for 7 classes, its layout is this pretty lavender and then white and lavender.
The sidebar is my favorite because the side bar has the month at a glance at the top of left hand corner and the week is dated so I didn’t have to date it, thank God. It has a don’t forget list and it has an upcoming test list which I use a sticker to put over that for my own convenience. It also had a little Box at the bottom of the side board that says I’m feeling and this week I’m feeling excited because this planner has me excited and it came with a bookmark that says let your dreams lead the way. 
I’ve already put in a notes half page for each week of this month because I will start using the notes to do my meal planning but as of this week I just had a note paper, so I could take notes. I have four months in this planner, September, October, November and December. That keeps my planner slim. Behind the last month, which is December, I have a pocket folder with a few sticker sheets. Next, I have another mini tab divider separating the folder from of the section where I have all my notes paper. This will be my journaling section. I love to have space to write so, having a small journaling section in my classic happy planner makes me happy.

Have I found planner peace?





So here I am, two years into my official planning journey and I end up with multiple planners. I was the girl calling other girls crazy for having multiple planners. I didn’t see the point in planning in multiple planners. I had no idea why certain information needed its own planner. Now I am one of those crazy people and surprisingly I feel more sane now than I have ever felt in my life. I am finally at the point where I feel like I don’t have to buy another binder or another accessory. I am really fine with what I have.
I also have a confession to make, I didn’t spend over $20 for each of the planners that you see in the picture. I got the two Happy Planners from Michael’s and I got the Webster’s Pages from Jo Ann’s. I used reward coupons and got each of my planners for pennies on the dollar. I also got stickers and accessories for 60% off at Michael’s. So far my planner journey hasn’t broke the bank and I’m proud of that. That makes my husband happy too.
So now it’s time for me to tell you what I use each planner for.
This little guy is my purse-onal planner. It is my planner on the go. I have sections for tracking and journaling. This is my personal planner dedicated just to me and what takes most importance in my life. It includes my routines, medication lists, mood tracker, workout log and Dr. appointment log. I keep a few sheets of grid paper to track what I have to do with my 2 kids. Each child has a small section in this planner. That’s it. I’m only using this planner for me. This is my personal domain.
Webster’s Pages A5 Color Crush 

This gorgeous beauty is my social media planner. I have multiple social media accounts and I want to keep better track of what I’m doing and where. I recently purchased a domain for my blog and I suddenly needed somewhere special to track my blog and my YouTube channel. I was torn because I wanted this one to be my purse-onal planner, but it was too much to carry in my bag. I have a section for each of my social media profiles including my Instagram dedicated to planning. @creatively_dee288 You can find more pictures and layouts there of all of my planners and accessories.

 

Everyday Essentials Classic size Happy Planner
This big guy is my home and family planner it has the gold expansion rings and it is packed with everyone’s schedules, appointments, paydays etc. I also have the Happy Planner Home Planner extension in here. I use this planner for meal planning and household management. I love how customization the Happy Planner is. I can print and punch a million and one inserts or just go to Michael’s and Hobby Lobby and purchase more. This is the planner that also gets the most abuse. It is out on my desk all the time and sometimes my son uses it as a coloring book lol. I also spend a lot of time in this planner because everything else revolves around this planner.
I feel at peace with my planner system as it is right now. Each planner has a purpose. It took me a 30 minutes to set them all up to fit my life and fulfill their purpose. I often felt unhappy with my planning systems in the past because I felt like I wasn’t getting anything accomplished. Now that I have had my current system in place for 2 weeks, I feel like I have gotten more done in these two weeks then in all of 2017 combined. It’s amazing how just a small thing can really change your life. I never would have thought that I would be a planner girl let alone a 3 planner girl. I’m impressed with myself, my system and my productivity because of it.
Let me know how your productivity has changed recently and what planner system you use. Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog for more lifestyle and productivity tips, tricks and most of all results.