Over the last few years, I have used a variety of planners and I am sure that I am not alone in this endeavor! We all hear the phrase ‘planner peace’ and debate about whether or not it really exists- right? I would like to not think so. I know that last statement sounds crazy but I love to try different systems and planners to help keep me organized. Also, I want there to be many options to match the different seasons of my life. So, this year, I am using a DIY planner.
In 2018, I used a combination of 2 different Erin Condren planners. First, I used the LifePlanner and then I tried out the hardbound LifePlanner. The issue I ran into with both of these is that they do not fit into my everyday bag. The coiled planner is short and squat while the hardbound is large and rigid. Additionally, I write a lot of lists and there just isn’t enough room in either planner to do this. Subsequently, I would also carry a small notebook.
What ‘DIY’ Planner am I using?
What I decided to try this year, is to use my favorite notebook and turn that into a DIY planner. My favorite notebook is the Markings Leatherette by C.R. Gibson. It is not too big, not too small. Its creamy pages are a joy to write on and it has a good ‘hand feel’ (if that makes any sense).
My ‘DIY’ Planner Set Up
I started by adding an index at the front of the leatherette followed by a 2019 year overview. I then added a tracker page and a key page to note the various meanings behind the colors I plan to use throughout the planner. Once that was in place, I added a monthly view on 2 pages for each of the 12 months. I wanted to group all of the months together because sometimes I need a lot of note pages and sometimes I don’t need any. It all depends on the season of my life I am in at the moment. Having the notes follow the calendars, allow me this flexibility.
My notes will be very free form. This is how I want it. I may include meal plans or shopping lists. I may have a list of ‘must haves’ or house projects I am working on. Each month may have 1 page of notes, 20 pages of notes or none at all. The point of this is that I want to be able to have it with me at all times without needing to upsize my bag or struggle to carry a second bag.
At the end of the notebook, I also started a few long term lists. These I will start at the last page and work backwards. I consider these more of year long lists. Here, I want to include quotes to remember, books I have read or want to read, and also places I want to go.
Why not Bullet Journaling?
You may be thinking this sounds an awful lot like bullet journaling. Yes, in a way. However, even that seems too structured. I tried it before and the series of symbols confuses me. I cannot draw or letter to save my life. As a matter of fact, my handwriting looks like that of a 3 year old! I end up feeling highly inadequate because I cannot draw cutsie tacos on Taco Tuesday! Also, the way a BUJO repeats the same format month after month, defeats the purpose of my flexible set up. I am trying to go for extreme flexibility and I do not want to deal with all the pomp and circumstance of a BUJO. Please don’t hate on me but I seriously do not need to track my mood every waking minute or track my location every time I pick up a penny!
So far, this set up is working for me. Albeit, it has only been eight days but it is functioning in just the capacity I need it to. What planner are you using for 2019? I would love to hear below!
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