I  am so excited to bring you a special guest post from Dancer of productivepixie.blogspot.com. She has some great tips for helping you choose your planner system for your life! There’s also a quiz at the bottom of the post to help you decide! Keep reading to learn more!


Does your planner never seem to work for you?

When you bought it, you were so excited to open up that shiny cover with the quote that was going to motivate you for the entire year… The blank pages that you were going to fill with memories.

Why then, two months later, is that same planner lying on your desk getting covered with dust?

Why doesn’t your planner work? Why are the pages still blank?

Why is this not working for you?

I understand what you are feeling! It is so frustrating to have wasted your money on something that still is unused, and still has those blank pages.

You are in the right place if you feel that any of these questions apply to you.

Today, I have a bunch of ways in which you can find the perfect planner or organization system for your lifestyle because if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, then it is not going to work for you.

Let’s jump right in!

System

This is probably the biggest one we are going to talk about today! If you are using the wrong organization system, then it isn’t going to work for your lifestyle.

First, you need to know about the different types of systems you can use.

  • Planner (This is probably the most familiar one.)
    • Disc Bound
    • Book Bound
    • Coil Bound
    • Wire Bound
    • 6 Ring Binder
  • Bullet Journal (Super popular for those who don’t like planners.)
  • Desktop Calendar (If you want it to all be on the same page then this is the one for you!)
  • Notebook (If you just want to take it day by day. It is almost the same as a Bullet Journal.)

So how do you figure out which one is right for you?

The first method is the easiest but takes the longest to implement.

Simply try each one and then decide if you like it or not. Just a couple of problems with this system, it takes a few years to try all of them, and some of us don’t want to devote that much time or money.

A simplified way to do this is to find some free pages with an example of each system. A few planner pages, a desktop calendar page, dot-grid pages, and about the notebook, umm. What about some lined paper?

That is the more convenient way to do it but to make it even simpler, you might decide on a few which won’t work for you, even before you try it by reading through the pros and the cons of each.

Hmmm. I’ll just tell you the faster way. 🙂

Just read through the pros and the cons with each system and then you can cut out a few of the systems which you don’t like. Then try the few that you think might work for you and see which one you like best.Another thing, you will want to think about is your budget. That is why I use a binder planner because I can use it over and over again.

Planner $ – $$$

The planner is the most well-known organization system in my opinion. A planner can be bound in multiple different ways and they come in multiple sizes.

I love walking down the planner aisle in a store because of all of the different quotes, styles, and colors. Plus I love washi tape and the adorable stickers! 🙂

Bullet Journal $ – $$$

The Bullet Journal was created by Ryder Carroll and is a literally a hand-drawn planner. Some people like the Bullet Journal better than a planner because it is so flexible and you can be super creative.

Bullet Journals can get expensive if you buy a really nice one, but you can also just use any notebook.

The great thing about the Bullet Journal, though, is that it doesn’t have to be super creative, it can be as plain or minimalist as you desire it to be.

Desktop Calendar $ – $$

If you want it all in one place, on one page, then you might just need a desktop calendar. A desktop calendar comes in multiple sizes and has a writing space for each day.

A desktop calendar is ideal for appointments and not necessarily for to-dos and tasks. If you have a good memory and like to keep to-dos in your head, or you don’t like to write, then you might want to look into this system.

Notebook $

If you don’t like any of the above systems, then maybe all you need is a notebook with a date at the top of each page.

So, now you should have a general idea of what systems might work for you. Grab a piece of lined paper and jot down those systems.

If you don’t know yet, that is totally okay. 🙂 You can still experiment with some free printables as I suggested above.

Next, we are going to discuss size.

Size

Do you need a personal-sized planner or a pocket-sized planner?

When I bought my first planner, I got a pocket-sized one, and after using it for a few months, I gave up because I didn’t have enough room to write down everything I wanted to.

Another reason why it didn’t work for me is that I couldn’t customize it the way I wanted to, but we will talk more about that later.

Okay, no more tangents. 🙂

Back to talking about size. Some questions you might want to ask yourself are… Do I need this to fit in a purse or a bag?

Do I need more room to write?

Do I have a bunch of blank space in my planner or old planner?

Do I not carry mine around with me because It is too big or bulky to comfortably carry?

Am I even going to carry it around with me?

These are some great questions you can ask yourself and you can write down on your piece of paper what size you think might work for you.

Style

Maybe your system isn’t working for you because of the style of it. Are you forcing yourself to add stickers and washi tape because everyone else’s planner is cuter or because you see those planners or Bullet Journal pages, which look like they should be in an art museum?

Or do you not decorate yours at all because someone at the office might see you sticking stickers into it?

If you like plain, then keep it plain. If you like fancy, but don’t have time to add stickers and little embellishments, then buy a planner or system that already has colorful pages.

Maybe you need a little bit more motivation. If you don’t like the style of your system, then I don’t think you will use it.

Imagine this. You are getting a new planner for the year. You love bright colorful florals, but this year you have been reading about how popular black minimalist planners are.

You decide to buy a black one, and then don’t decorate it at all because a minimalist planner is trendy.

How motivated are you going to be to use that planner?

At this point, decide what embellishments you are going to use in your system. Below is a list of possible decoration ideas.

  • Stickers (Of course! 🙂 )
  • Watercolors
  • Markers/Gel Pens
  • Stamping and Ink
  • Stencils

Set up

Last, of all, we will talk about the set up of your system, which is really important.

If you like bullet journaling, but wish that you could remove the pages with mistakes on them, then put into a binder instead of the traditional book-bound design.

If you like a planner, but feel like you wish you could have just a little bit more freedom to be creative, without having to draw out the whole page, then draw some doodles on it. 🙂 This works for me!

Some flowers in the corner might be just the thing you need to brighten your day.

Some things you might want to keep in mind for the setup of your system are listed below. So add these to your paper, so you can write these down.

  • Do you like weekly pages or monthly pages (or both)?
  • Do you want to be able to add or remove pages in your system? (A disc bound or a binder planner would be your two choices.)
  • Do you want your system to have tabs so you will be able to find pages quickly? (A planner with tabs or a bullet journal with washi tape tabs.)
  • Do you want to draw your pages or already have them printed in?
  • Do you want more room or less room in your system? (This relates back to the size of your planner.)
  • Do you want it to have a softcover or a hardcover? (Depends on if you are going to be carrying it around with you or not.)
  • Do you want your planner to be set up by Academic Year or Calendar Year? (If you are in school or if you are a teacher, then maybe you will want a system with an academic year set up.)

Summary

Just a quick summary of this post, so you don’t forget it for when you are trying to find a new organizational system.

  1. Think about the system.
  2. Plan for your budget.
  3. Decide on the size.
  4. Pick a style.
  5. Decide on the setup.
  6. Don’t give up!

This might be a ton to think about, so take things slowly when trying out a new system.

I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

TAKE THE QUIZ


MORE ABOUT THE GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

I serve girls, like you, looking to be fit, fashionable, and happy, while organizing your life with a little bit of creativity. I focus on providing value to help you be your best self. I am here to help you reach for your dreams. I provide printables and courses to help you organize your life, get fit, and design your dream wardrobe. Let’s plan our lives as we really want them!

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