How I Use My 3 Planners
Today, I’m sharing with you how I effectively use my three planners. This blog is called “I Heart Planners” for a reason! I love all things organizing and planning, and although I love to create my own planners, I also love all sorts of other planners out there. I enjoy trying out new planners and new methods, and that works well for me. Therefore, what I’m showing you today is the system I’ve been using for the the past several weeks with great success, but it’s likely to change some as I find new things and enter a new stage of life.
We’ll start with a video where I take you along on my weekly planning session:
First, I use the planner that I created myself using the discbound system from Staples. I really love the discbound systems, and here’s a post and video where I explain all about how they work. I use this planner to coral all the loose notes and sheets that would otherwise be floating around cluttering up my office. It’s so nice to have everything in one place and to be able to move things around within the planner easily. The main part of this planner is my list system where I keep master lists of all the tasks I’d like to complete. I can easily refer to it as I’m planning out my week. This is one of the reasons I like having it in a separate planner rather than having to flip back and forth in the same planner. Here’s a post with a detailed explanation of what my lists system looks like:
This inside of this planner is exactly the same as it has been, but I changed out the cover from the bright pink Arc to the aqua Martha Stewart with the silver discs, because I wanted to use the silver monogram decal:
Next, I use the very popular Erin Condren Life Planner:
I’m using last year’s version (2013), because I was able to get it very affordably when it was on sale recently. It only has April through December of this year, so it’s fairly thin and light. If you’re interested in this planner, you can get $10 off by using this link. (And I’ll also receive a referral credit.) I’ve been pretty happy with this planner. It’s bright, colorful, and fairly lightweight, although in general these planners aren’t cheap.
I wouldn’t be able to use it as my only planner, because there just isn’t enough space in it to write a daily plan or keep track of my master lists. The columns are fairly narrow so it’s tough to write too much in each.
I like the space at the bottom where I keep track of my blog posts, social media for them, and my newsletters. I created my own removable stickers to track this, and I hope to create more stickers soon. I’m not a huge fan of the stickers that come with the planner. First, they’re not removable (although I was happy to hear that they’ve changed that for the current version), which is awful if you need to move things around. Also, the pre made ones don’t fit too well with my lifestyle. I need more of some and would never use others. She does offer the option to purchase additional customized stickers, but they only print on one line (even though there is plenty of space on the sticker to have two lines), so you are limited to 15 characters. That just doesn’t cut it! I’ve been really happy with the stickers I made myself. I use a different color of each type of post, I have space to write the post title, and then boxes to check off when I’ve shared each post on social media.
This is where I make a rough plan for each week. The top section (that says morning, but I don’t use it like that), is for anything scheduled like an appt or meeting so I can easily see it. The bottom two sections are for to do’s I’d like to accomplish that day. I also use the goals and notes section to the left to write the things I’d like to accomplish that week. I can refer to the weekly plan when I make my daily plan.
Next, I usually make a more detailed plan at the beginning of each day. This really helps me to stay on track and motivated. I generally use my Day Designer planner for this, but occasionally I use just a loose piece of paper or another daily printable just to mix things up or have even more room for an even more detailed plan. If any planner were to go, it would be this one, just because I could easily use something else to plan for each day and throw it away when I’m done. However, it is nice to have it all bound together in a nice planner. I usually put a lot of details into each daily plan (housework, e-mail, etc). The more detailed the plan, the easier it is to accomplish.
I rarely check everything off my list each day, but that’s okay. I’ll just move the things I didn’t get done to the next day.
How do you plan? What planners do you use? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Christi Wilson Says
Currently, I am only using the EC planner. I don’t have a lot to track each day, so for me, this works. What size label do you use to make the ones at the bottom of your EC planner?
I use 2 planners at work and 2 at home w/ a notebook on the side, since I think on paper.
Daytime: At work I have an inexpensive monthly calendar that I list important meetings, classes, events that are work-related and any other day-time appointments like the dentist. (This helps determine how formal I need to dress for the day.)
I use the Outlook file on the computer like a tickler system to remember to do things and to schedule the big meetings. A monthly view can be printed too.
I always carry a Notebook too and Write Everything Down in it–dreams, ideas, goals, research, to-dos, to schedule, etc.–Everything. When through with a list, trash it. Keep the notebook clean.
Nighttime: The planner is all about home and personal. I love a big (8 1/2 x 11″) planner with the big calendar and weekly pages. This planner is kept visible and used daily. I use the weekly pages to schedule the list of things that must be done from the Notebook. I also use this planner to monitor exercise goals and communications.
Oh – and the one that always stays at home that I review weekly is the Tools4Wisdom Planner. I got it just to do some serious goal planning and really like it.
It may sound like a lot, but I can separate the work life (day) from the home life (night) and the notebook keeps me from forgetting anything.
I love planners too. Took a long time to get here and can get a huge amount of work done this way.
LauraJane SaysPost author
Sounds like a great system!
Thanks for this! I’ve been using The Happy Planner (very similar in layout to EC) for a couple months now, and I think I need to start using a daily page again too. Don’t get me wrong, I love THP, but I don’t feel like there’s the kind of space I need to really structure a day in detail. I use it to plan out the overview of each week, what major things are happening and need to get done each day, but there’s something about taking a few minutes each morning to lay out a game-plan that helps me get stuff done.
Girly Dose-Oana Says
Hey, can you suggest me a pretty simple,neat yet colourful planner? I’m starting to use them but I can’t find something nice in my country,sadly haha.
I’m thinking to buy something online.
I’m currently using my own agenda which I personally customized to look like a pretty planner but is almost full.
Jo Garlacz Says
If you have multiple planners, does that cause multiple entries… Like vacations, trips, commitments… All the same info on 2-3 planners???
LauraJane SaysPost author
In some cases it does. I will write everything on my daily plan, for example.