Most of us received them in grade school, middle school, and high school. Some of us maybe in college. And I know that the majority of those planners probably ended up shoved in the bottom of your locker, or taking up space in your backpack. I know mine did.
I thought they were pointless.
“Why on Earth are we being taught how to use a planner? This won’t ever keep me organized. Plus, I can remember everything I need to!” I would think to myself. Oh, the years where I never had any real responsibilities. Ha!
And just like that, after that first day of school I’d toss it in my locker, only to retrieve it on the last day of school to toss in the trash. Pointless. Unappealing. A waste of paper and space.
And then came the day that I had a family of five and a business to manage.
It gets crazy hectic.
So hectic that there are times I cannot keep up with it. With three children with three different schedules, a fiancé who is working odd hours, and a business of my own that I run single-handedly, I felt as if I was drowning without a set schedule and trying to keep up with our activities. And with my anxiety disorders, I thrive on a set schedule, and anything out of place in my day can send me into a severe bout of panic. I have to be able to plan. I had tried organization apps, the calendar apps on my phone, and reminders, but nothing really helped get me organized.
Then came the day I discovered “Planner Nerds.” I had heard of these women (and some men!) that used paper planners religiously. They swear by them and even get crafty with them to make them more exciting and aesthetically pleasing. They dedicate a set amount of time each week to get organized. To write out everything they need to accomplish during the week, meal plan, set fitness goals, even hydration goals. And they carry their planner (or at least check it) constantly throughout the day. Some even use theirs as a journal.
Naturally, I thought these people were lunatics. We have technology to help us plan things now, correct? We had moved past the paper planning days! And who uses stickers anymore?!
But the more photos of their planners that I happened to see, the more lists I saw, the more I realized the ugly truth: They are far more organized than I am and they are successfully managing their lives with pieces of paper and colorful washi tape.
So I broke down and began the search for the perfect planner so I could desperately get the organization I needed.
What Planners Do I Use?
I’ve received this question a few times now. I jump back and forth between three different planners, and I’ll describe the three I use below.
1. Lilly Pulitzer Agenda
The Lill Pulitzer agenda was my first recommended planner. I really admire it! Every page is accented with beautiful artwork and vibrant patterns, and it honestly has a fantastic, simple set up. Each month begins with a full monthly spread, and then it goes into horizontal weekly spreads. (Pictured below) The planner comes in several different designs, and is available in Large and Jumbo sizes!
I recommend this planner to anyone who just needs a basic planner, but would like some nice color and personality as well. Interested in one? Check out the different patterns and sizes here!
2. Day Designer
I purchased the Day Designer on a whim one day when I discovered it to be a favorite among regular planners. I originally purchased it to be a business planner, but ended up using it for both family and business planning. It has a very plain interior (perfect for decorating!) but has enough room to write out everything you need to. Like the Lilly Pulitzer planner, it has both monthly spreads, and horizontal weekly spreads. (pictured below) If you’re interested in the Day Designer, check out their website here!
3. The Erin Condren Life Planner
This is my baby. I use this planner 95% of the time, and its just perfect. I have so many wonderful things to say about Erin Condren and her products! I purchased this planner on a whim as well when I saw that this was the main planner used by the planner community. I wasn’t sure at first, especially since its on the pricier side running from $50-$75. But I went with it and purchased one. Best. Decision. Ever.
It has so much included. It has both monthly and weekly spreads, though the weekly spreads are in a vertical layout as shown below. Each vertical row is one day of the week.
Upon purchasing an EC Life Planner, you receive four sheets of labels in the back (for appointments, days off of work, concerts, birthdays, etc.), several note pages including a note page at the end of each month, a storage pouch in the back filled with coupon codes, stickers, compliment cards, and a coupon for a free personalized cover set. (Yes, it has removable covers so you can personalize it!)
I use mine for everything. Business, family, meal planning, budgeting, shopping, you name it! It has truly helped me get organized, and I recommend these planners to everyone. (Interested in the way I meal plan for my family? Check back here tomorrow for a blog specifically for organizing meal time!)
Aside from the awesome planning design, its also designed to be decorated. Besides the stickers that Erin Condren sells online, there are hundreds of Etsy sticker shops that create custom stickers, weekly sticker sets, custom washi tapes, and personalized covers so you can really make it yours, and customize each week to your liking. Its a nice creative outlet! Interested in the EC Life Planner? Check out the website here!
So there you have it!
The planners that I use, and the reasons why I use them!
I completely recommend a paper planner to anyone who has a hectic schedule, school, or family life. I honestly believe that if you stick to it, it will completely change your organization and time management!