The Perfect Planner is Like The Perfect Bra

It’s got to fit!

Oprah once said that 85% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. That number is crazy high! But I get it, we’ve all been there. You walk into a place like Victoria’s Secret and have no idea what you really need but you know what you like. The pop of color, the sassy style, that’s what draws you in, not as much how it functions in your day-to-day. It’s just got to be close enough and then it’s in the bag walking out the door with you.

perfect planner

Then, about a week or two in, you start to notice how you’ve stopped using it as much. There is a gap here, a pinch there, it doesn’t work with your clothes the way you envisioned it would. In short, it just doesn’t fit your life.  Have you been there? Cause I sure have!

I think we do the exact same thing with our planners. Or at least I do!

I get caught up in the gorgeous golden spine, the plethora of adorable stickers and adornments, the beautiful layout, and the stunning cover design. Yup, I’m a total sucker for good design, and you should be too! But it’s got to work for your life. The life you actually live, not the ideal one you would like to have.

What does your planner need to do for you

It seems that each new planner that comes out (and don’t get me wrong I’m obsessed with all of them) offers a new and better way to track your life. This one has a simpler design, that one has a meal planner, this one helps you with goal setting, that one walks your dog for you.  That last one is still in pre-production somewhere. The point is we have so many choices but most are not made for you!

Ask yourself, what tools do I actually use in a planner?  How do I actually use these tools in my every day? Can I easily keep up with these tools on a weekly or daily basis?

I want to help you sort through what you actually need in a planner.  This list may not be exhaustive because unlike the Kardashians I cannot keep up. BUT it should help you to begin prioritizing and thinking through how you uniquely operate and use a planner.

  • monthly calendar view
  • weekly calendar view
  • daily calendar view
  • 15 min – 1 hr time slots
  • days with time blocks for the morning, evening, night
  • spot to manage multiple people’s schedules
  • meal planning blanks
  • a spot for fitness tracking or water tracking
  • daily top 3 priority space
  • a spot for a to-do-list
  • goal setting guide
  • a way to help you be happier
  • space for vacation planning
  • address book page (does anyone actually use this anymore?)
  • extra pages for emergency contacts
  • large desktop planner
  • a planner to fit in your purse
  • pocket size planner
  • lay flat design
  • spiral binding
  • one that has stickers, ribbons, and adornments to decorate
  • complete customization

just to name a few…..

perfect planner person

What Kind of Planner Person Are You?

Now that you have a better idea of what you need in a planner. Let’s talk about how you actually use your planner. What kind of planner person are you?

The Perfect Planner

Your planner is your happy place, an oasis. Clean, organized, perfect.  Unlike your life, which is at times well–chaotic. While your life is full of running from this-to-that your planner remains pristine.  A place for everything and everything in its place. Every entry laid with perfect handwriting and no extra frills to distract you from the simplicity. Question for you.  Does the thought of having to scratch out an item give you heart palpitations? Is keeping your planner “insta ready” your main game?  Do you go through 4-5 planners a year because you cannot stand any planner “blemishes?” Then you, my friend, are a perfect planner. (I’m guilty of this one!)

The Memory Maker

Your planner is your yearbook. It’s a way for you to remember and highlight all of the moments that have made the days long but the years short. Your planner is adorned with tons of stickers, pictures, ribbons and even has a custom cover! While your planner is full of scratch outs and re-writes it’s not about making things pretty, it’s about making memories. Do you have planners from years past hidden away in a drawer like a time capsule? Do you spend more money on stickers and embellishments than you did on the actual planner? Then you are a memory maker.

The Goal Setter

Life is short, and you are a pro at getting the most out of every moment. Your planner has a fitness tracker, a meal planner, a goal setter, and a happiness tracker.  And you tackle it all! Your Sunday afternoons are spent making your plan of attack for the next week, reflecting on what you accomplished in the previous, and making adjustments to make sure you hit every checkbox for the next. There is nothing you cannot do if you set your mind to it. Did you watch hours of video tutorials on how to use your planner to meet your goals? Do you check-in daily to make sure you are setting a good pace for reaching your goals? Congrats! You are a goal setter.

The Scheduler

You are a professional. Highly motivated, competent, and successful. Everybody wants a piece of you. That’s why you schedule out every minute of your day. You’ve got 45 minutes to work out, 15 for breakfast and 30 minutes drive time before you hit the office for meetings, conference calls, and a 15-minute break room chat with the office gossip. You are busy, but you’ve got this all under control. Do you feel Superwoman strength and empowerment coursing through your veins each time you check off an item on your to-do list? Does maintaining your schedule keep you operating with S.W.A.T. team like efficiency? Then you are a scheduler!

There are so many different types of “planner people” I could go on and on. But I think you get it. It’s important to see that what’s right for one person isn’t right for another. How one person uses their planner would drive another crazy!

Choosing the perfect planner

Time to Choose

A new season of planning is almost upon us. A new academic year is starting soon and it’s time to take the plunge and pick the perfect planner. I know what you’re thinking…. “That’s a lot of pressure, thanks for that, Anna! Geeze” Well, to make it a little simpler, I’ve listed some of my favorites.

Keep in mind most of these will not work for you! In fact, none of them may work for you and you may still be on the hunt. But that’s okay. Look for what works for you so that you don’t make the mistake that 85% of women make and pick the wrong bra… I mean planner.  Most places have already started to release theirs for the 17-18 academic year. You can pre-order a lot of these in June and the calendar begins in July.

15 Perfect Planners to Try

  1. The Day Designer (This is what I am trying this year! Thanks, Target!)
  2. Simplified Planner by Emily Ley (Haven’t tried this one yet, the price tag keeps me away, but one day)
  3. Mom Agenda ( I really enjoyed using the mom agenda, just wish it didn’t say, mom)
  4. Erin Condren (Tried it, got overwhelmed, never used it)
  5. The Passion Planner ( Goal setting, nice!)
  6. The Happiness Planner ( I wanna be happy)
  7. The BIG planner (Toyed with the idea of trying this on account of I’m blind and love the monthly view)
  8. Bullet Journal  (I do not have time for this, but other creatives, have at it!)
  9. At-A-Glance (While they are super cheap and somewhat ugly, they work so well for me!)
  10. Kate Spade Agenda (I want to feel fancy!)
  11. Sugar Paper Planner (My friend swears by this one!)
  12. The Happy Planner by Create 365 (For the memory maker in you)
  13. Living Well Planner ( Putting life balance and goal setting in one place)
  14. Rifle Paper Company Planner ( For the vintage flower child)
  15. Lily Pulitzer (color lovers rejoice!)

Other places to look

Paper Source— They have a gorgeous selection of planners and calendars. Every time I walk in I start talking myself into buying a new agenda. However, I have found the quality to be poor. I bought a small planner to go in my purse and within a few weeks the pen holder had snapped off and the binding started coming loose.  Just be aware that you are picking a planner of good quality.

Swoozies — I love this store. I want #allthethings. They have all of your high-end planners like the Simplified Planner from Emily Ley, Lily Pulitzer, and a collection of Kate Spade Agendas. This is a great spot to grab one as a gift, or for yourself!

Target — Yes, I know.  But hear me out. Target has an awesome list of designers and vendors to choose from. You can find planners like the Day Designer and Sugar Paper planners here that have designer look but real people price tag.

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