I joined the planner community in June of 2016 and boy has it been a ride so far! I’ve changed my planning systems more than once and finally found what works for me. I’d love to share my process.
I dove headfirst into the planning scene with a Happy Planner.
My time with the bright disc-bound system was fun, but short. I loved the vibrant covers, great paper quality and encouraging quotes on the inside. Still, too big. Almost too much paper for me to use. I couldn’t get into the discs and sometimes the pre-printed designs clashed with the layouts I wanted to do.
Spending a little too much time on Youtube and Instagram led me to the functional and customizable A5 binder. Can you say obsession? Perfect paper size, snap closure, and so many ways to customize the inside. I loved them so much that I bought three! The only problem – I wanted to take my A5 everywhere but my purse and shoulders said otherwise. I also had the misfortune of permanently marking one with a pen while on a store run. I tried alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, meditation, and nothing worked. Welp. I’ll call it a battle scar. Gives her character.
Top: Carpe Diem in Coral; Left: Webster’s Pages (cover is in mint/white horizontal stripes); Right: Reset Girl (cover is in Persimmon).
Enter the Traveler’s Notebook (TN). I’ll admit that I first didn’t quite see the appeal in these. They reminded me of men’s wallets and just weren’t my style.
In October, I went to a planner meetup and met a wonderful lady who introduced me to her collection of TNs. Pocket size to A5. Rich, thick leather in tons of different colors. They were like classy diaries for grown-ups. For some reason, they just looked so much nicer in person and filled with notebooks. I took the leap and bought my first TN, a passport size that I used for just for journaling.
Speckled Fawns Passport in Snickerdoodle
Still hooked a month later, I bought an A6 as a life planner. I had to have one of these puppies with me ALL THE TIME.Speckled Fawns in Milk Chocolate Huggable
Right now I’ve got a groove. The A6 fits nice and cozy into any tote bag or purse that I carry. Found some vertical inserts on Etsy and that have enough space for my writing and decoration (making folders and dashboards is relatively easy, too). Neither of them have pen loops, but the elastics keep my pens secure. Yup, I think I’ve found planner peace! At least for now.
What happened to my previous planners? They’re still getting love. My Happy Planner is coiled and used for work. My A5s will be used for finances and storing fun things like check stubs and receipts. Most importantly, they stay at home with no risk of getting scuffed up.
Your needs may change over time and it’s ok to switch systems once, twice or three times to find what works for you! I hope this is able to help someone in their search for a functional planner system. Thanks for reading and happy planning!