Your Best Year Yet - All Thanks to Your Planner

If you haven’t caught onto the planner craze that’s been sweeping the nation, you’ve pretty much been living under a rock. Whether you partake in it or not, using physical planners has once again captured the nation’s attention. This comes in stark contrast to the technology-obsessed society we live in today.

While not everyone likes to overload their planner with stickers, colors, and washi tape (decorative tape used to spice up a page - beware, this can quickly become an obsession), a majority of planner people agree on the benefit of consistently using a physical one. 

I’ve had many people see what I’m doing with my planner and ask why I don’t just use a digital calendar. I must say, if you have to ask that question, I’m not sure we can be friends. If you really need an explanation on why so many people have taken up this planner craze, just google Planner Craze. I am including an article from BuzzFeed, mostly because I scrolled through it and every single time I saw a new picture my response was ‘yes!’ 

Types of Planners

So you’re probably intrigued by now. If you didn’t use a planner before, you’re probably curious to see what it’s all about. You’re probably also wondering how exactly you’re supposed to have your best year ever with what is essentially your notebook. I’ll get to that. Have some patience. I’ll get to it.

First I want to talk about the type of planner you’re using. No system is better than the other. No planner is better than the other. It’s all about your personal preference and how your brain works. If you have no idea how your brain works, brace yourself. Your wallet is in for a strapping time.

I wanted to give you an overview of some of the more popular planner brands and why everyone seems to love them so much. Keep in mind, none of these planners is better than the other. It’s all up to the way your mind works. Here are a couple brands:

Erin Condren

It seems like this is one of the bigger planner brands out there. The reason this planner is so popular is the sturdy spiral coil, the interchangeable covers, the customizable layout, the ability to add your personal photos to the front and back covers, and the adorable colors throughout the planner. 

$30.00
$45.00
$45.00

Plum Paper Planner

This planner has been called a cheaper Erin Condren. While I’m not sure either brand is exactly happy with that, I understand where it’s coming from. The cover is a thicker cardstock with the option to add additional types of layouts into the book. It’s spiral bound and able to add your name, business name, or label to the front cover. It has some amazing paper and is the same size as the Erin Condren planners.

Inkwell Press

This planner is wire-bound, with some amazing graphics. It is gorgeously designed with thicker paper and additional inserts available to be added, but the binding bends easily, especially if you are planning on traveling with it everywhere. If you’re planning on keeping it on your desk or counter most of the time, it will work perfectly. 

Bullet Journal

This is more of a planning system than a planner. The basic concept of it is to start with a notebook and create a planner which works for you and the way you think. It can be whatever you want it to be, in whatever notebook you want it to be, looking like whatever you want it to look like. The popular notebook brands used for this system are the Leuchtturm 1917, Moleskine, and Rhodia. 

$19.95
$14.98
$7.14

Kikki.K

This a six ring binder, allowing you to take sections out, add them in, and rearrange everything in any order at any time. The flexibility of this system is what calls most to this type of planner. The ability to add charms, dashboards, paper clips, and more is what excites so many planner people. This system offers a few storage areas to take stickers and more on the move. 

Happy Planner

This planner is yet another flexible planning system. The rings allow you to punch any paper you have and add it into your planner. The punch is a bit expensive and if you end up getting the large rings, they move around a bit too much, especially while traveling. The covers are adorable and able to be switched around at any time. The paper is smooth, but not as thick as the Erin Condren’s paper. 

$10.63
$17.99
$26.49
$18.63

Setting Up Your Planner

The first thing you should do when you get your planner is to make sure it has a monthly overview. Getting this setup and ready to go will allow you to track everything you’re doing and need to do throughout the month. Use it to track bills, events, birthdays, one thing you’re grateful for a day, and more!

The next thing you need to do in the bulk of your planner is to add any important dates you have coming up. Things like weddings, vacations, holidays, birthdays, or trips you have coming up can be marked off in your calendar or written out in a future important dates list. 

Make sure there’s a section you have just for notes and any trackers you want to keep. Trackers can be set up for weight, sleep habits, the moon phases, your mood throughout the month or year, or the numbers of steps you take each day.

There are tons of ideas on what to track and how often. It all depends on you and what information is important for you to gather. I do want to suggest something for those of you who suffer from headaches or migraines, track the pain times, dates, if you took any medication if you believe there were any triggers to the headache/migraine, and the intensity. This will help give your doctor a clearer picture of what is going on with you. 

Creating Your Best Year Yet

We finally made it to the end! It’s time to reveal my secret to creating the best year ever with the help of your planner. Your best year ever will be achieved if you use your planner every day, create an editorial calendar and an annual strategy, and include your goals as an active part, you will be more successful and productive than you ever could have imagined.

Don’t just write out your goals in your planner. Include the next steps you need to take and assign them a due date. Schedule time to work on reaching those goals in your weekly or daily layouts and add a hard due date they need to be done by. 

Do a review each month. Include your goals for the month and what your progress is, what worked well for this month, your favorite moments, ways you’ve actually lived your word, ways to continue living your word, what your focus is going to be for the next month, a review of your annual goals and your progress there, and the projects you want to accomplish the next month.

Set up a page in your monthly section where you write out all of your frog tasks to accomplish that month. Take the time to use your planner as your lifeline. Then start getting everything done! Your planner can only do so much for you. You need to get to work. Well? What are you waiting on? Go get to work! 


Kaylee White

Hi There! I'm Kaylee White, the content strategist, and creator for photographers and creative business owners, behind KayleeWrites.com. I've pursued event planning, marketing strategy, blogging, and social media management in the past. I only seriously considered writing and helping entrepreneurs with their content strategies after my mom pointed out I was always writing! 

I'm nuts about productivity and being organized! I use my hobby of planning to help small biz owners plan out their content, figure out what they are going to produce in a year, and then help them get it written!! If you have any questions or are interested in working with me, please shoot me an email at hello@kayleewrites.com.

Guest PostNora Conrad