My 2019 Planner Stack
Choosing a word of the year has been a ritual of mine for three years now. For two years in a row, I committed myself to the word “discipline” and over time I established a respectable level of discipline in certain areas of my life. But with my commitment to discipline coupled with my commitment to constantly growing and reaching new goals, I found myself feeling pretty burned out by the last quarter of 2018. Therefore, I decided “simplify” would be my word in 2019.
With those feelings in mind, I gave serious thought to my planner system and whether or not it was helping me in the way I intended when I chose it. At the time, I was in a personal wide rings sized traveler’s notebook with printable inserts and while they were absolutely adorable and allowed me to be creative I found they were causing me more work, expense, and subsequent anxiety than they should. Around that same time, I saw Julie Garza of @julies_plans and Shirley Lewis of @shirleyinsquares on Instagram posting about their Simplified Planners.
The simplicity in the design and layout appealed to me. I had become so busy in 2018 that daily inserts—instead of a weekly view that I originally began my planning journey with—had become more functional and useful for me. I researched the Daily Simplified Planner and decided to take a different approach in the hopes it would suit my current lifestyle and needs.
Having a substantial collection of Krissyanne Designs functional stickers already in my possession as well, I thought that using the Simplified Planner could also help me cut back on my planner-related spending. I wouldn’t need weekly sticker kits, coordinating washi, or scrapbook papers and acetate for new traveler’s notebook setups. So in the fall, I found myself purchasing a Simplified Planner. It would become my first step toward “simplifying” in 2019.
Now, being a planner girl means that I can’t just have one planner. And being a planner girl also means that sometimes the best laid plans don’t always unfold the way you intend. So when Erin Condren had a seriously good sale on their LifePlanners during Black Friday, I decided to purchase an hourly planner. I already had plenty of kits in my possession and my rationale for purchasing my EC Hourly was that when I felt like being creative and planning with a kit that the very affordable EC planner I purchased would be the outlet for these impulses—and I wouldn’t need to spend any additional money. Since purchasing the planner, I have found yet another use for it. I’ve begun using the monthly views in the hourly planner to memory keep in the same style as Mandy Huey of @mandyplans on Instagram. If you’ve never watched one of her YouTube videos on this style, I highly recommend watching them. Memory keeping in the monthly view has also encouraged me to make better use of the other decorative stickers I have in my collection, which means I’m actually using my stash.
So what happened to my traveler’s notebook you might be wondering? Or maybe you’re not, but I’ll tell you anyway.
I decided to hold onto my traveler’s notebook for two reasons. The first being how much I love my Foxy Fix leather covers (both my Himalayan Salt and Salt varieties were ones I waited patiently for so they have some sentimental value to me). Another reason being that my original love for a ring-style traveler’s notebook was that I could move and keep all sorts of inserts to track things that you don’t normally get to track in the average coil-bound planner.
I am really loving the simplicity of my Simplified Planner (Ha!), but with no notes pages and a rigid structure it’s necessary to have another place to track things such as my monthly bills, debt snowball, book log, recurring monthly tasks, Life in Pixels, and more. So I keep my traveler’s notebook at home and check on it about once a week to update and check in on my different trackers.
Remember earlier how I mentioned the best-laid plans not always unfolding?
Shortly after the new year the Hobonichi Techo Weeks spread across Instagram like wildfire. I ignored post after post and then Amy Collins of @islandgalplans on Instagram posted about how she was using her Hobo Weeks and #enabled happened. I purchased a Hobonichi and committed myself to using this as my functional, on-the-go planner. Because while I love (and I do mean love) my Simplified Planner, carrying it back and forth to work every day is a bit much for my shoulder. So now—with an adorable jelly cover from Salty Katie Co. protecting it—I can toss my Hobo Weeks Mega in my purse and carry it from home to work and from doctor’s appointment to Target. By choosing the Mega, I can also use it as a brain dumping ground while away from home thanks to the generous amount of notes pages included. I can write down grocery lists, blog post ideas, mental notes, and reminders about expenses to account for in my budget.
Lastly, for those curious, at work I use an Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly notebook for note-taking and writing down all of my upcoming meetings, off-site appointments, and webinars. And I use a Rifle Paper Co. planner to journal all of my accomplished tasks each day. Typically, the Rifle Paper Co. planner is a free one I gladly inherit from our Events & Programs staff on behalf of the company when they donate their unsold planners from the year prior to my job to be used in programming.
If you have questions about any of the planners mentioned or would like to see how I’m using any particular planner, please let me know. Without revealing personal information or work information that is sensitive, I’d be happy to share the contents.