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 pl