Happy Mondays everyone! I can tell y'all that my Monday has been extremely happy, in part because of a new hairdo (I'll show ya later), but mostly because of this amazing new planner that came in the mail for me on Friday.
As some of you already know, about two weeks ago I spent an hour and a half researching all of my different planner options. As a tactile learner, I find it essential to keep myself organized with a paper planner rather than an electronic option. Also, I don't have a smart phone or a tablet, so a portable electronic option doesn't really exist for me.
I researched multiple options, and I eventually came up with three finalists. Disclaimer: I have not been compensated for any of these reviews. I'm just sharing with you what I love!
Finalist #1: Erin Condren Life Planner
The Erin Condren Life Planner has been bouncing around in my mind for a few years now. It's a weekly planner, so it's got a monthly calendar and places to write out your plans for each day. I really like that it gives you places for morning, day, and night; it also provides spaces for notes on each day. It's also full of inspirational quotes and pretty graphics.
I ended up saying no to this planner because, while those graphics were pretty, they took up so much space there wasn't enough space dedicated to planning. And since I wanted one planner to work as a blog planner and a daily life planner, this didn't bode well.
Finalist #2: Mon Cahier Planner
The Mon Cahier Planner, found at Poketo.com, was a new discovery while I was researching, and what a discovery! The beautiful golden spiral binding, the simple and spare print inside, the daily sections . . . Can I just tell you about the daily sections? Each day (which you write in) you are given an appointment schedule from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and a large, blank section for notes. Each month, you are given a section to plan your goals for each week. It's simple and elegant.
I thought this guy had it in the bag, but then I discovered it only has enough room for 2/3 of the year. Sadly, I had to move on.
Finalist (AND WINNER!) #3: Planner Pad
The Planner Pad initially seemed like a pretty dorky planner. It used a blocky font, and it only came in black and a "green," which is more like a very silvery sage green. It was very clearly the kind of planner purchased by businesses in bulk for their employees. Not only did the planner come with a mandatory gold foil stamp on the cover, it also came with a How-To disc, informing the new owner how best to use the planner. Being someone who craves planners like some people crave ice cream, I can't imagine how anyone wouldn't know how to use this planner. I checked it out anyway, and when I looked at what was contained within that silvery green cover . . . I was sold.
Let's start at the very beginning--a very good place to start.
The cover of the planner is actually quite beautiful. When I saw the planner in person I realized that the green truly does shimmer with a tiny sheen of gold underneath the light, sage green. I have some really pretty gold tape, so I placed some of that along the bottom for a bit of bling.
I also splurged and bought myself these huge, gold paperclips. One of them clips extra items to the inside of my cover, and the other one clips the month I'm currently in, which makes turning to the correct week super easy.
I bought some pockets to add to the front and back covers, so now I can store all of my various stickers and sticky notes. These are essential for proper planner usage.
The next pages contain personal information, like your home address, medical information, and important phone numbers. For privacy's sake, I won't be showing you those pages.
After those pages, you'll find something pretty cool. The Planner Pad gives you the current year and the next two years, divided up into each, tiny day, for extra planning and for setting long-term goals. It's a great way to quickly visualize each year and also have a place to jot down a quick note about that vacation you promise yourself you're going to take next year (*cough* North Woods *cough*)
After these pages you'll find the standard pages that tell you the dates of the holidays for the year and the different time zones in the U.S. If you're like me and have friends in different areas of the country and an incredibly poor grasp of geography, this is quite helpful.
After this come the pages for notes. There are so many pages for notes. I also have extra space for notes because I purchased inserts to divide the months, all of with come with space for notes on the front and the back.
As you can see, my other paperclip is being used here in January. This allows me to flip straight to my current week. I do end up bypassing the monthly calendar, which comes next, but, as you'll soon realize, this calendar is only really necessary when you're planning your next week. I've also decided to show you my absolute favorite colorful pens from LePen. They come in 18 different colors (all of which I own), and they also have incredibly fine points, making it easy to write in small, neat letters.
After this page comes the true beauty of the Planner Pad.
How gorgeous is that amazingness?
Let's break it down:
Top Section: Weekly Tasks
In this section, you're provided with seven different areas of your choice. In each area you can write down your major goals, you can brainstorm ideas, you can make lists (such as grocery items or household items), etc. There are so many possibilities for this section, and I've decided to break my life down into seven different areas: Groceries, Home/Errands, Meet/Connect, Church, Blog, Food Blog, and Meals.
Middle Section: Daily Tasks/Goals
In this middle section, you're given each day of the week. Here, you can write down the tasks and goals you have for each day. These are tasks and goals that aren't time-sensitive, but which you would prefer to accomplish sometime during the day.
Bottom Section: Daily Appointments/Schedule
This section is always a must-have in any planner of mine, and I love that the schedule in the Planner Pad runs from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. This section might be a bit sparse if you keep a heavy appointment schedule, but since my days are pretty flexible, this is the perfect amount of space for what I need.
After December, the Planner Pad has yet another neat, little section. This next section is a goal tracker. This cool spot provides you with a weekly tracker (broken into each day of the week as well) for every week of the year. You can use it to track whatever you want! I've already designated mine as a diet and exercise tracker. I'm showing you a blank page, however, because it looks pretty sad already. Oops.
After that comes some more pages for notes (wow!) and then the back cover. Inside my back cover pocket I've placed some note cards and envelopes because I often find myself forgetting to write thank you notes for various things. It's handy to have a few on me so that I can jot a quick note in the car (but only when Levi's driving!) or in the corner and then hand it to someone.
And that's it!
I know not everyone is as fond of planners as me (i.e. most people on earth), but I hope this gave you some insight into this particular brand of planner. Or helped you understand my sickness a bit better. Either way, I hope your Monday was wonderful!
Tomorrow, I'll give y'all a peek at my new haircut! Hint: LOB.
Keep it real,