PLANNER PEACE? MY CURRENT PLANNER SITUATION & HOW I GOT HERE
Currently, I'm using the Filofax Ebony Classic Croc personal size planner as my everyday planner. Phewf what a name. As I type that sentence, I can't help but remember the process that got me to where I am today with my planner situation. I know there are people out there who wouldn't care which planner I used when and in what order, but if you're reading this then I assume it's because you're as obsessed with planners as I am.
I began my planner journey many years ago. So far back, in fact, that I can't really remember a time I never had an agenda of some kind. On the first day of school, every year, students would receive an agenda to track homework, assignments, and important dates. Did anyone else have to get their parents to sign their agenda every single day? That sucked. And side note - those planners sucked too. Most of the time, they were hideous. Once I reached University I went digital and tracked everything I could on iCal. To be honest, it worked well! I always had my laptop with me wherever I went - to class, the library, or to friend's dorm rooms. It worked. Truthfully, I'm surprised I stayed digital for so long. Almost all 7 years of my undergrad and graduate program were digital. But something was missing.
In my last year of my Masters I discovered Bullet Journaling and I gave it a shot. With a moleskin leather grid journal in hand, I spent my evenings doodling pages and tracking habits. I loved that I could control what went into my planner and started with a crisp blank page everyday. On a busy Friday I could plan every minute, then on a lazy weekend I could illustrate, create lists, and draft out goals and the steps it would take to achieve them. I absolutely loved the creativity it allowed but quickly found life took over, and my carefully drawn pages took a backseat and became purely functional. I lost steam once the novelty wore off. No matter how many images of beautiful bullet journal pages I pinned on Pinterest, I couldn't keep up with the amount of dedication it took to draw out my pages ahead of time.
After Bullet Journalling, I discovered The Happy Planner disc bound system. Loaded up with tons of sticker sets and a disc hole punch, I was able to plan each day in detail by morning, afternoon, and evening. I was embellishing wherever I could and added pages as I needed. However, as a design consultant who was constantly on the go between my home, the store, and client's homes, I quickly discovered that the disc binding was just not strong enough to hold up to the wear and tear of my day to day life. The discs were breaking, page corners were getting creased or even just ripping out. Not to mention, it was a bit big and chunky. Back to the drawing board.
Bullet Journal #2! I gave it another shot, this time really dedicating myself to the system and preplanning each month ahead of time. This worked so much better and I really enjoyed how small the Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks were. I could easily fit it into my workbag and take it with me everywhere. It allowed me to be creative, embellish, and totally curate how I organized my day. So what was still lacking? And why did I still feel like I wasn't at peace with my planner system?
After so many years of trial and error I was able to see that my perfect planner needed to tick the following boxes:
- Small Size
- Easy to use
- Allow for embellishments
- Sophisticated & minimal
I wasn't necessarily looking for a change when I was using the Leuchtturm 1917, but I stumbled across a photo on Pinterest of a planner style binder with rings. I was instantly inspired and couldn't get that image out of my head. It was beautiful and had a finesse and style that the hand drawn quality of the bullet journal just lacked - at least with my drawing skills. Off to Michael's I went and I picked up a beautiful rose gold A5 Recollections Creative Year planner. It's at that moment where my love for the planner community sparked. For a little while I used the inserts that came with the planner, but it didn't take me long before I was using my knowledge in layout design and created my own inserts. So in love, I also bought the same planner in a pearly off-white shade. I could tell, I was so close to being happy. The only thing that the A5 planner didn't satisfy? The size was wrong. It was a little too large to take with me every single day. But I was nervous to go any smaller as I thought I wouldn't be able to fit all the information I needed into a personal size. The only way I would know is if I tired, so that brings me to the planner that started my EO Edits journey: a personal recollections planner in black.
I have found that a ring bound system works best for me. I can easily print my own inserts and make my own dashboards and dividers. I love that I'm able to be creative and I can constantly add, take away, or move things around inside my planner. Ring bound, for me, is the easiest way to customize my layouts and keep information handy.
Like a lot of other planner addicts, my system involves a few other notebooks and planners to go alongside my main planner. Basic coil bound notebooks are where I plan out and write ideas for EO Edits. I also have a few other notebooks, one being an olive green Leuchtturm 1917 that I use as an art journal. A clear personal planner beautifully shows off my vision boards and serves as my "Lifestyle Designer." More to come on that later ;) When I hit a milestone on instagram I decided to treat myself with the first planner I truly lusted over - the personal Filofax Classic Croc in Ebony and it has been love at first sight ever since. That didn't necessarily stop me from getting a few other planners to round out my collection, like a nude Webster Page's for instance, but "variety is the spice of life" they say.
So am I at planner peace? In short, yes. That doesn't mean I don't lust after other planners like a Louis Vuitton Monogram planner. But that's what happens when you're a planner addict, right?
What planner are you currently using, or what's your tried and true planner that you always find yourself going back to?