There are hundreds of different planners out on the market today. Paper planning is quickly taking over the digitized world. From Erin Condren, to Kikki K, to Plum Paper and many more, paper planning offers several things that a simple calendar on your phone cannot. While the digital system works for some, it does not provide the customization or creativity that a paper planner can.
With the growing interest in this new method and a new type of planner coming out every week, it can easily become overwhelming to choose a system that works for you. The thought of investing in a planner that will only end up sitting on the shelf is all the more reason to make sure you do some dedicated and thorough research. The following questions will help you determine the best planner for your needs.
WHAT IS THE MAIN FOCUS FOR THIS PLANNER?
Will this planner be used for work or personal use? Will it be only your planner or a planner for your whole family? Do you want it to include fitness or meal planning? What about journaling? Once you’ve decided what you’ll be using your planner for, the decision making process becomes a little bit easier.
WHICH SIZE AND LAYOUT IS BEST FOR ME?
Choosing a size is dependent upon whether you would like to carry it with you throughout the day or if you would prefer to keep it at home or at work. If you’re the type of person who wants to take it with you on the go, then a smaller, more personal sized planner would be best. Likewise, a larger planner is best kept at home or at work so you don’t have to lug it around all day.
Once you’ve chosen your preferred size, you can decide which layout to go with. A daily, weekly, and monthly planner are the most common layouts you can choose from. If you’re extremely busy and have a lot to plan, perhaps a daily planner would work best for you. If you’re a bit less busy and enjoy seeing your plans by a week at a glance, then a weekly planner should be your top choice. Lastly, if you prefer to see what you have going on for an entire month, then a monthly planner is your best option. Keep in mind that there are also “vertical” and “horizontal” layouts that you can choose from, as well, and this is how the weekly layout sits on a page. The one you choose should be the one that works best for your needs.
WHAT SUITS MY STYLE?
Some people prefer minimalism in their planners, while others want to go all out and decorate their planners with stickers, washi tape, paper clips, and the list goes on. You’ll be looking at your planner many times throughout the year, so you want to make sure it is pleasing to your eyes. It is possible for your style to change throughout the year, so don’t be afraid to like both styles!
HOW CUSTOMIZABLE DO I WANT MY PLANNER TO BE?
Do you want to be able to insert and remove pages in your planner? Or do you prefer to have everything you need in it altogether? There are several planners that allow you to fully customize your planner to your specific needs, while others do not. This falls into choosing which binding system you’d like to have, as well. Coiled planners do not allow you to take out or insert pages, but discs, ring bound planners, and traveler’s notebooks do. It is all dependent on what will fit your lifestyle at this time.
WHAT IS MY OVERALL BUDGET?
You can get a $1 planner from the dollar store, or you can spend upwards of $70 if you want a planner that is more customizable. Bear in mind that lower cost planners will not offer the same quality or customization as higher-end planners will. Any accessories such as covers, stickers, washi tape, bags, etc. will add on to the overall cost. Once you’ve decided on your budget, try not to look at planners that are over your budget or you’ll get a serious case of the “fear of missing out!”
Planning has changed my life by eliminating clutter, helping me stay organized, and allowing me to be more creative in my everyday walk through life. Choosing a planner can be a daunting task, but as long as you keep these questions in mind it shouldn’t be too confusing or difficult to choose the right one. Finding the planner that works for you, your goals, and your current stage in life will ensure a happy and purposeful life.