The following is a guest post about how to choose the best paper planner most right for you from regular contributor, Kristin at The Gold Project.
It is that time of year again. The time of year where you see new planners everywhere. I know planners start at different times of the year, depending on the brand and option you choose. But, since I am a school teacher, I consider this time of year, “planner time.” My year begins in August because that is when school starts back for me.
Which Paper Planner is Right for You?
I have been a planner girl since I was in middle school. I can remember my very first paper planner. It was actually a small Five Star notebook that I turned into a planner because I had no idea those things existed back in the 90s. From that moment on, I wrote down everything and lived by a planner.
So, I thought it would be fun to do a few blog posts about planners. And, what better way to start out this series of posts than by sharing some tips on picking out a paper planner.
There are so many brands out there to choose from, so how do you know what paper planner is right for you?
I will say that my planner needs changed from middle school to college to post-college and running a blog/YouTube channel. Each phase of my life, I had a different planner. So, the paper planner that is right for you now may not be the planner that works for you in ten years.
Over the years, I have learned how to determine what planner is right for me and I wanted to share some tips with y’all today.
Know Your Budget
First and foremost, know how much money you can spend on a planner. They come in almost every price range. You can purchase them from places like Wal-Mart and Target or online through Etsy and specialty stores. If you know a Louis Vuitton agenda is way out of your price range, I wouldn’t suggest checking it out. Knowing your budget will save you time and heartache.
Determine How You Will Use Your Planner
Everyone uses their planners for different things. You might follow someone on Instagram who has the most amazing planner spreads. But, that person may be using their planner in a way that doesn’t fit you and your lifestyle.
You have to determine how you will use your planner before deciding on the one that is right for you.
I am a one planner girl. Everything goes into that one planner. After a lot of trial and error, I have found planner peace with an Erin Condren horizontal planner. I tried out many brands and styles until I found this planner. Now, this planner would not have worked for me 10 years ago because it does contain many parts and it is a detailed planner. So, you may find planner peace one year and end up searching for something new the next. That is because our lifestyles change, sometimes daily.
So, you might wonder what I use my planner for.
I use mine to write down appointments, cheer practices, swim lessons, and football games. In addition to that, I make daily to do lists that I live by, which include things for work, my blog and YouTube channel, errands, and personal things.
I also write down the Christmas gifts that I will purchase with each paycheck. My husband and I have a holiday budget each pay period. We start super early because we have many birthdays right around Christmas time and it keeps us from having to use the credit card.
Then, this last year, I started using my planner as a memory keeper as well. I purchased a Polaroid Zip printer that I use to print out daily memories. Now, my planner is not only a place to document events and tasks, but a place to hold memories as well.
Determine What Style You Want
Planners come in so many different styles. You can get them in a coiled version. Some stores even offer the coil in different colors, like rose gold, gold, and silver.
There are also hardbound planners where they resemble a book. The binding is glued to the spine of the cover. This option would work if you are not into planner decorating with stickers and washi tape. I would not recommend it for people that like to decorate their planner unless the bulkiness does not bother you.
Then, there are the traveler’s notebooks. This seems to be the most customizable version. You purchase the traveler’s notebook, which is usually made of leather or faux leather. Then, you can add inserts that fit you and your planning style. You can purchase calendars, notebooks, dashboards, folders, extra bands, charms, and the list goes on. You can add extra bands if you need more inserts or remove inserts as needed.
The last type I am going to talk about are agendas. These are very similar to traveler’s notebooks, but they have a ring style metal binding. Many brands like Filofax and Kate Spade sell this style of planner. They can also be purchased at many other places including office retailers and specialty stores. You purchase the agenda, which may or may not include inserts. Most of the inserts are yearly ones that can removed and refreshed with the newest year’s pages. Most of the agendas I have seen either have a snap or zippered closure.
And, I am sure these are just a few of the choices that are available.
Research all Brands
There are many brands to choose from when picking out a planner. They all offer different styles, color options, and accessories. You can get a customizable planner like an Erin Condren or a non-customizable one like a Day Designer that you can pick up at Target.
I wanted to provide y’all with a list to get you started. Remember, these are only a few of the brands available.
I am a huge fan of reading reviews before making any type of purchase. It doesn’t matter if I am purchasing shampoo or a planner, I always read the reviews. It gives me a good idea of the quality of the planner and if it is the right one for me.
For example, if someone states the paper wasn’t thick enough, then that would definitely affect my decision because I write pretty bold and dark. And, sometimes a negative review would be a positive one for me. If someone didn’t like the lines on each date, then that would work great for me. I have a tendency to write slanted, so lines are a huge plus for me in a paper planner.
I hope these tips help you pick out the perfect planner that is right for you.
My name is Kristin and I am a middle school career education teacher by day and a mommy/wife/blogger by night. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have two loving children. We recently made a life-changing move to Arkansas, so our new house is always under construction. I get excitement out of finding new creative, functional, and cute ways to organize things! I also enjoy writing and documenting life as it happens. So, I put these loves together and created The Gold Project. With the help of my husband, I am attempting to turn our house into a home. So, check out this special place of mine and take this journey with me!