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My MVPs (Most Valuable Planners)



I am very serious about my planners.

Yes, it is very dorky and I used to be very embarrassed by it.


But then, one day a few years ago, when I decided to see if I could or should buy a planner online, I stumbled across some uncharted territory.


The world of internet opened up and lead me to things I could never imagine.

I felt like Alice in Wonderland. I had no idea that these communities of planner addicts existed but I was oh so happy to meet them.


After being stuck in a planner vortex for hours, I emerged feeling inspired and intrigued.

But I was also overwhelmed and paralyzed; who knew of all the options, and all the brands, and a million ways to personalize them?


Though I always loved planning and organizing, I didn't know what I didn't know!

And now I could not unsee or unknow what I discovered...



This began my true journey with planning. I have always kept a very strict budget on it because I knew that if given the opportunity, I would spend all of my money on new planners and stickers that I didn't actually need.


But still, about twice a year, I change up my planners and test out something new.


Here are the reviews of the last 3 planners I have used and why they worked for me for a time and why they no longer serve me well in this season. At the end, I am going to share what I am using now and why it is so perfect for me right now!


Planner Option 1: Month Focus


These are the planners where the months are really thought out and there is enough room for everything you need to do. You can set goals for the month, make note of all important appointments or birthdays, and enjoy a two page, large month layout


Who is this planner perfect for?


- Someone who plans a month in advance and refers to that through the weeks.

- Someone who has similar day to day routines and wouldn't need to write a detailed daily to-do

- Someone who refers to their calendar at home or uses their phone on-the-go (as these planners are usually bulky and heavy)

- Someone who benefits from short to-do lists and notes

- Someone who is not overwhelmed by meetings and appointments they need to keep track of daily


Why did I stop using this planner?


When my baby was little, my day-to-day looked very similar and I only had a couple appointments a week. I was not managing projects, a new business, and a lot of everyday tasks, but I did still want to work on my monthly goals and keep track of important dates. Also, since I wasn't leaving home much, I didn't need a very portable planner that was small enough for my purse. This planner was perfect for me in that time!


**Pro Tip**


Review your monthly goals weekly. You will be surprised how quickly you forget about the things you wanted to get done or get discouraged when a goal is hard to accomplish. By reviewing your goals often and breaking them down by week or day, you are so much more likely to stay on track.



Planner Option 2: Week Focused


These are the planners where the weeks are really thought out and there is enough room for everything you need to do.


Who is this planner perfect for?


- Someone who likes to write out their top 3 for the week to focus on instead of having a million smaller tasks

- Someone who needs a smaller to-do list so they can be realistic about what they can get done in a day

- Someone who wants to take their planner on the go

- Someone who does not need a detailed monthly layout

- Someone who works at a "normal" job where monthly/weekly goals and daily tasks are set for them


Why did I stop using this planner?


This planner was a good fit for me for a time, but I soon realized I needed more room to write out my goals and tasks. The calendar layout was just too small for everything I wanted to plan for and the daily lists became difficult to manage. I did want to be able to use a planner on-the-go but ended up deciding that this was not more important than the visual simplicity provided by other planners.


**Pro - Tip**


If you have different jobs or projects you are doing, use different highlighters to visually categorize the tasks in your weeks. Example; all errand related tasks are highlighted blue so you know you will be out of the house and all of your side-hustle tasks are highlighted purple so you can keep track of what you are working on this week.


Planner Option 3: Bullet Journal


The bullet journals (also known as "Bujos") were all the rage a year or so ago and they still are! The idea is simple; get a notebook and do whatever you want! Here are some simple rules to follow if you want to understand the original intent behind bullet journals, but there are no concrete rules! Just do you.


Who is this planner for?


- Someone who wants total customization! The sky is your limit with what you can do with a bullet journal, what you keep track of in it and how it serves you.

- Someone who wants everything in one place (lists, memories, calendars, appointments, notes, etc.)

- Someone who is looking for a creative outlet; not just a boring ol' planner!

- Someone who has a lot of time on their hands to plan out their own layouts and keep an up-to-date index.

- Someone who is not a perfectionist and can ride it out when a mistake is inevitably made or the layouts are not perfect.


Why did I stop using this planner?


I absolutely loved my bullet journals and I used them for years! They are such a fun way to be creative and organized. I stopped using my last bullet journal only because it became too time consuming. But I will definitely do this kind of planner again!


**Pro Tip**


Not super creative but still want to have fun with a bullet journal? Instagram and Pinterest are full of awesome Bujo inspirations. It is totally okay to use other people's ideas for layouts and make them work for you!


Planner Option 4: Project Manager


This is my current planner. I am not sponsored or anything, but I have just been loving this planner! It is serving me exactly how I need in this season.



Who is this planner for?


- Someone who juggles many projects or types of jobs

- Someone who needs a lot of room for every single day

- Someone who wants to categorize their tasks into themes, places, job, topics, etc.

- Someone who enjoys detailed planning

- Someone who is not overwhelmed, but comforted by a detailed to-do list


Why do I love this planner?


Currently, it seems like I am wearing at least 5 different hats a day. Between a "part time" job, a blog, an organizing business and all of the appointments and errands, I was afraid that something was going to slip through the cracks. This planner allows me to see all of my commitments at a glance, but still subdivided by projects. Also, because Saturday and Sunday have so much less space in comparison to the rest of the week, it forces me to rest on weekends and to hustle extra hard to weekdays.


**Pro Tip**

In my specific planner, each day is broken up into 6 sections which you can label yourself. Here are some of the ways you could divide up your tasks into separate sections;

- by kid or family member

- by project currently working on

- by jobs/side hustles

- by classes if you're a student

- by life area like health, meal plan, errands, cleaning, etc.

- by time sections like morning, first nap, afternoon, second nap, evening, night, etc.

- by time blocks (created by Jordan Page, this is her video on how to set them up and use them)

I hope you have enjoyed geeking out with me over these planners!


Bonus!


You get $10 off if you purchase the LimeLife planner that I mentioned at the end! I am not sponsored by them, but I do get a discount on my next purchase if my code is used. And I think I will definitely be making more purchases from them. They are a quality small business, based in the US, and their customer service is outstanding.


If you would like the discount, email me at hello@organizethrive.com

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