Last year, I got caught up in the Instagram world of #plannerds. I had purchased an ARC planner in an attempt to get my life in 2015, and posted a quick pic.
Before I knew it, I had gotten sucked into #plannerlife. There were Facebook groups, giveaways, and YouTube videos. There were binders, and stickers, and special pens. I learned the difference between a Filofax and a Kikki K., an Erin Condren and a Kate Spade.
With all the planners out there, how do you know which one is right for you? And once you get a planner, how do you make sure that you actually use it?
Planners come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. There are customizable covers, monograms, and attachments. And while there are a plethora of pretty planners (say that three times fast) to choose from, there is no perfect planner.
What I mean by that is that no planner will magically solve all of your problems by giving you more time. Like the meme says, we’ve all got the same number of hours in a day as Beyoncé.
What a good planner will do is help you to organize your time. Meeting at 8am? Kids’ soccer practice at 4? A planner keeps you from showing up late and unprepared.
Pick your perfect planner with these tips:
Weekly, monthly, or daily?
Want to see all of your activities at a glance? Need to know when bills are due? Choose monthly. Need more detailed planning? Doctor’s appointment on Monday, nail appointment on Wednesday–see them at the same time with a weekly planner. Busy with meetings? Take notes from your conference call at 11 and remember to pick up your dry cleaning at 2 with a daily planner. I use a monthly/daily combination.
Spiral bound, disc bound, or ring?
This is a matter of personal preference. If you don’t want to add pages and want everything in one place, spiral bound may be for you. If you need more than just dates and want to include folders and important papers, you may perefer a disc or ring bound planner. My ARC is disc bound, and allows me to add notes and section dividers–with a special hole punch.
Size and weight?
Will you carry your planner with you? Pick one that fits into your purse without weighing you down. Full 8×10 pages or half size? It’s up to you. If you’re only keeping your planner at your desk, you can go heavier.
Now that you’ve picked your planner, make it a part of your life.
Check it monthly, weekly, daily.
You’ve got a meeting with your vendors first thing Monday morning. Make sure you’re prepared by checking your planner! Reviewing your planner early and often keeps you aware of future appointments and projects. Write down your weekly goals, upcoming events, the return of Scandal…anything you need to remember goes in your planner.
Those pens come in handy.
Instagram showed me that #plannerds everywhere were using different colored pens. By color coordinating activities, you’ll know exactly where you’re supposed to be. My planner lists blogging duties in fuchsia, work projects in lime green, kid stuff in red and blue, and my husband’s reminders in orange. If it involves the whole family? It’s written in purple. To make it easy to remember, I keep a color key in the front of my ARC.
Make it cute.
You’re going to be looking at this thing for a whole year, right? Personalize it with a monogram, stickers, and accessories. Pretty your pages with scrapbooking decals or washi tape. Clip a tassel to the cover. Make it yours!
Start your 2016 off right! Get a great planner and organize your year.