Make Lists, Get Organized and Journal Your Way Through the Year With These Great Planners

4 years ago

I am a list lover. (Those of you who remember the old BlogHer List Lovers group will not be surprised.) I make lists every day. Sometimes multiple times a day. I make them on paper. I make them in Evernote. I make them in my head. I am all lists, all of the time.

I'm an art journaler. Or I would be if I didn't have three dogs who eat all of the things and cause all of the things to become piled on my art desk. Oh who am I kidding -- I stopped art journaling before the dogs came into my life. BlogHer Conference season began and then my grandson, JMP, arrived and the biggest issue was that I had decided that I wanted to combine my list making with my art journaling and once I realized that's what I wanted to do, that was all I wanted to do. Which would have been great except that I couldn't find a method of combining the two that made sense for me. I decided what I needed was a Filofax.

I blame Lauren Graham for this. Right about the time I had the revelation about list+art journal = perfect world I was listening to Someday, Someday Maybe on audio and the Filofax played a prominent role in that story. A Filofax or some other type of planner was what I needed.

I asked for a Filofax for my birthday -- and got a puppy who eats everything, instead.

I asked for a Filofax for Christmas and got one. In fact, I got two -- and then ended up with a third! I've very much enjoyed my Filofaxes, this year and am sticking with them for next year, (though I've moved to a modified bullet journaling style for one of them.)

I made the decision to stick with my Filofaxes after doing a whole year worth of research and watching the #planneraddicts in the social media world very closely. Here are some great planners for you to consider as you think about organizing, planning, and journaling in the new year.

Image Credit: Jenna Hatfield

I considered the Erin Condren planner. It's so pretty! And Jenna, from Stop, Drop and Blog, is a huge fan. If Jenna loves something, it's always worth looking into. And she's right. It's a great planner. You can add your own photos to the cover and end page. It has nice big blocks to write in with lots of room to add notes, too. The pockets, pouches, ruler and stickers are super. This is just a great all-around-planner -- the best of its type that I've ever seen.

I didn't choose this one for myself because I wanted more customization options than this planner allows. I wanted to be able to add pages and remove them. I wanted the ability to switch to a day per page or use a combination of day per page or week on two pages. I wanted to be able to insert separate to do lists or notes pages within the same time period and not at the end. There's just not enough flexibility for me. You, on the other hand, might find that this is exactly the planner for you. It wouldn't surprise me one little bit -- check out all of the YouTube videos about the Erin Condren planner. (And, I bought one for my oldest daughter!)

The next idea I considered was the Project Life kit. There are tons of people doing Project Life and it looks super interesting and fun.

But, Project Life isn't as much about organization and getting things done as it is about documenting your life. That's something I'm interested in (which is why I wanted to combine my to do lists with art journaling) but it wasn't quite right for my needs. There are some great videos about Project Life and you should watch a few of those if you're interested in doing this kind of project.

The Whitney English Day Designer is the planner that started me thinking about this blog post last year. It's the planner I saw Jenny on the Spot talking about on Instagram. It's the one that first caused me to re-think my decision to go with a Filofax.

There aren't many videos showing how people use the Whitney English Day Designer but there are a lot of blog posts. Do a search for Whitney English Day Designer and surf some blogs. Here's Whitney, on the floor in her bedroom, showing us how she uses her Day Designer.

This is an amazing planner. The page layout is brilliant. The worksheets in the front to help you build your personal brand -- brilliant idea for bloggers. I've seen some Filofaxers talking about how smart the layout is and how much they like it. I'm in full agreement with them. But, I'm not going to use it because because, again, it's not customizable in the ways that I need it to be.

If you're considering the Erin Condren, take a look at this one before you make your final decision. This might be an even better choice for you. If you're considering or have been using an Emily Ley Simplified Planner, check out this comparison of the Simplified Planner vs the Day Designer. It's a good post and might help you make your decision.

There are dozens of stuffable and customizable planners, Filofax, Franklin Covey, Day Runner, etc., available for those who want the flexibility to add/remove pages, use a variety of layout types, and customize pages. Any multi-ring binder will work in much the same way and you should choose the one that fits your organizational needs and your wallet. There are thousands of blogs, groups, pinterest pages, instagram photos and videos of people using Filofax (and other types of planners) so you can easily find ideas and inspiration when you're setting up your planner. Here's one that I like -- Nadine makes me laugh. A lot. You can skip to about the 10 minute mark if you just want to get to how she's set up her Filofax.

Because you can remove/add pages and change the styles and layouts, you aren't locked into a system that you find isn't quite right for you. That's the beauty of the Filofax type organizer and that's why I'm still sold on this type of planner. I've convinced my partner, her mother, my mother and one of our teens that they all need Filofaxes, too.

If I was going to completely change my planner style, I'd go with a Midori Traveler or a Fauxdori Traveler. I absolutely love these. Completely customizable. Gorgeous covers. I just love them, did I mention that? Someday I will have one. I'm not kidding. I'm just not quite to that someday, yet. (I'm hoping my son will make one for me!)

Here's a video of my friend Sharon unboxing her Fauxdori. It's the perfect journal for her, I'm so glad she took my advice and bought one.

Are you going to use a planner? What are you hoping to achieve by using a planner? Still need help deciding? Check out Thien-Kim's planner post for more inspiration.

BlogHer Community Manager
Flamingo House Happenings

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