So you may remember that about six months ago I posted about getting a paper planner. I've discovered over the years that electronic apps for to-do lists and scheduling don't work for me. I'm a visual person, and once it's typed into the phone, it's too out of sight, out of mind. Paper is my jam. When I write things down, I remember them better. And I can leave a paper planner open in front of me on my desk all day.
So six months ago, I got the Happy Planner. Now, this was a beautiful planner. Very colorful and creative. Plus, it had fun accessories like motivational stickers and such. I got into the process of not just planning, but decorating the planner like it was a scrapbook. I also discovered during that time that there's this whole culture of planner nerds. (Yay, my people!) I was all in. Here's a pic of one of my weeks in the Happy Planner.
But one of the things about a planner is that it takes a while to figure out what style and type work best for you. I realized recently, when I was getting more intentional with goals and planning in 2016, that the weekly layout in my planner (one week on two pages) was just not working for me. I needed more space for a detailed to-do list, and I needed time slots to schedule things. Also, as much as I loved the creative aspect of the decorating, my brain didn't like the visual "clutter" and found it distracting. I'm a minimalist in a lot of ways. That's how I've decorated my house. That's what soothes me. Clean lines, lack of visual clutter, only pops of color on an otherwise gray/white palette. So I should've known that my planner needed to be that way, too. I think the Happy Planner is fantastic and is perfect for those wanting a weekly layout and a lot of color and scrapbooking aspects. (It's very similar to the Erin Condren planners if you're familiar with those.) But it wasn't right for me.
So I decided to go on the hunt for something different for the new year. After much more research than I probably should've spent time doing, I discovered exactly what I was looking for. A planner with clean lines, elegant design, and a page per day--the Day Designer by Whitney English.
This was THE ONE. Not only does it have a page per day, but a page that was split down the middle of the page--half into a schedule and half into a to-do list. On top of that, there is space for the top three priorities for the day, a space for Dinner, Don't Forget, Due, and Dollars. I don't need a Dollars space, but it's going to be the perfect spot for me to record my daily word count--something I'd wanted in my old planner.
It also has the year on two pages, which is perfect for me to mark off conferences. Simple but super helpful to be able to see the year overview.
I'm officially in planner love now. Isn't it pretty? And the only decorative elements I'm using are colored pens, a little washi tape on occasion, and different variations of these stickers, which are tiny, functional, and are meant for the Day Designer. The stickers haven't come in yet, but the planner is beautiful. *pets* And yes, it's more than I've ever spent on a planner, but it's something I'm going to use all year and is a key to my day, so I think it's worth it.
Btw, if you think you'd like to try out this kind of planner, the Day Designer website has free downloads where you can download the format of the day page and try it out (just click on printable at the top menu). I did that before buying to make sure it was going to function the way I needed it.
Also, if you're on the productivity bandwagon for the year, I came across this great article yesterday from Time--5 Secrets to Managing Your Time, Backed by Research. This is my goal for my schedule--scheduling in the "deep work", which for me is uninterrupted, internet-free writing time. I've felt way too distracted over the last few months. So afternoons are going to be reserved for that. We'll see how it goes!
So any other planner nerds out there? What planner do you have? Or do you prefer the electronic calendars?
Note: Day Designer link is an affiliate link (but I haven't been asked to feature it. My love for it is genuine, lol.)