The great planner obsession – Part 1

Grab your coffee.. This post is a doozy! {Ipromiseithaslotsofpictures}

Yesterday I was talking about all of the things I wanted to keep track of by posting on the blog. One of those was “Get more organized in 2014”. I think I want to revise that to be “Get more organized NOW”.

With the holidays already upon us (seriously, when the HECK did that happen??) I wanted to make sure I was ready to send holiday cards, keep gift lists organized, remember parties or events, and in general keep my head on straight!

Enter, stage left: My obsession with paper planners.

I need to write things down with a pen, on a piece of paper. Being someone who thinks so quickly (seriously, thoughts are FLYING around up there!) I think it’s funny that I prefer pen and paper, but sometimes writing something down in a planner is faster than opening an app, clicking on the date, highlighting the time, typing in the appointment, setting the alarm (or not), unchecking the “repeat every week” box, and then closing the app to allow it to sync to my google calendar.

I also use my planner to write down things I need to remember later, since odds are pretty good that I will forget it in about 5 seconds. I have grocery lists, gift ideas, phone numbers, and to-do lists all over my planner.


So what do I look for in a planner?

My number one question when looking for a planner is simple.


This past year I used a Martha Stewart planner that I put together at Staples. I picked the size and type, and bought tabs and paper for inserts.


What I liked:

-The set up of the weekly calendar. It was a week on two pages, and each day was set up  with space for morning, afternoon, and evening. Since I’m not someone who ever has meetings, conferences or phone calls back to back to back, I didn’t need every hour listed out for me.




-Space for “Tasks” on each weekly layout. It’s how I manage my marathon training. I allow myself to be flexible with training, by writing what I need to complete in the task bar, and then just check it off as I get it done. This allows me the freedom to move workouts around as needed.


-The Monthly calendar. I like to be able to see birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays in advance.


-It was 3 ring. I could take out the paper and write on a flat surface without the rings or a spiral getting in the way.

-There were 2 spaces at the bottom of each day for me to use as I wanted. Some weeks it was meal plans, some weeks it was my workout, some weeks it was just reminders of things to do.

-The ability to have separate sections. I definitely did not use this to it’s full extent, and am planning on making much more use of it in my new planner!


-Pockets in the front and back. I like to put small things like business cards, receipts, or note cards from people in there.


What I didn’t like:

  • The size. It was just way too big! I always felt like it was taking up my whole bag. The insert pages were 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ and the binder was even bigger. It was just too much.
  • It doesn’t have a closure mechanism. Seems like an easy enough fix (use a big rubber band) but in my mind thats a hassle. I was always losing things in my bag because they would actually get lost in my planner. A simple snap closure would be amazing.
  • Lack of customization. I wanted some different types of inserts, and they just weren’t available in Maratha Stewart’s line. I’m just learning how to create my own {barebones} inserts – look for that post coming soon!

So what is my new plan?

A Franklin Covey. I had originally wanted a Filofax after stumbling on a pinterest board of them. Now I have to warn you, if you haven’t yet gone on pinterest and searched “Filofax love” prepare yourself. It’s a whole other crazy world! People have GIANT collections of Filofaxes with a million sections and tabs and spend as much time decorating them as some people do scrapbooks. They are amazing works of art and heart.

My only problem with them? The A5 size was too big, and the personal size was too small. Enter, my Franklin Covey. WIth insert pages at 4.25″ x 6.75″ I have enough space to write, but without too much added bulk from the binder itself. I ordered the binder last week and it is due to arrive today – I’m stalking the FedEx man!

My plan is to break my new planner down into a few different sections:

-Calendar: for work, appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, workouts, you name it. Preferably still in the morning, afternoon, evening set-up I have now.

-Journal: This is part of my plan to find me. I’m really bad at keeping things up every single day, so my goal is to get a different calendar layout, still 2 pages for a week, but without the day broken up at all, and then every day jot a few things down that happened in the space. I’m hoping it will create a habit which will eventually turn into longer journal entries, but I’m going to start small.

-Address Book: Since moving to California from Boston, I LOVE to send letters to people (more on that another time). I’ve found that having a physical address book is completely underrated. I refer to that thing at least 3 times a week, if not more often. The one I have now I put together quickly just to get all the information in, and I want to take time to make sure it’s updated and in alphabetical order.

-Perpetual Calendar: So that I always know who’s birthday and anniversary is when.

-Project Life: I’m still not 100% sure how I’m going to work this section. I was thinking grid paper maybe? Stay tuned.. we’ll work on that part!

-And last but certainly not least: Space for my beloved lists! It HAS to have an index section so I can find things, but again, stay tuned!

Whew!! That was SUPER long winded and VERY photo heavy.  Thanks for hanging in there! Hopefully soon I will have a new planner put together and will be able to show it off!

See you soon!


7 thoughts on “The great planner obsession – Part 1

  1. Pingback: New Planner Reveal! (Paper addict alert!) | She Writes On Paper

  2. Pingback: Are paper planners making a comeback? | My Life. One Story at a Time.

    • Hi Donna,
      Thanks so much for stopping by to check out my little blog! I have a feeling I’m going to be joining you with a collection of planners in different sizes soon.. I already have my eye on a few!

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