After testing & trialling different types of planners in 2015, I now understand which ones work and don’t work for me.
To recap my planner journey in 2015, I started by using Large planners, a Day Designer planner and pocket planner. Then I decided that the large one is too big and the pocket one is too small. The Day Designer is all right for a desktop planner, but for someone whose activity and routines are pretty much the same everyday, I didn’t get many usage from the daily pages. So I moved into a personal sized planner because I like the idea of bringing my planner everywhere I go. I also tried using a dori-style planner for my trip to Europe.
I have decided that the pocket planner is definitely a no-go for me, because I basically cannot write anything in it. Dori-style planner will be good for travels, but not as a day-to-day planner. I used my favourite medium size Kikki K dark mint planner for a while and loved it (still do!), until I got pregnant.
Being pregnant means that I have to simplify my planning system. I don’t want to carry heavy bags around while I’m pregnant, and with the baby coming in April, I am in no capacity to be bringing a planner everywhere I go, no matter how small. So I decided to go back to the A5 planner with my own inserts as a desk-top planner. I also put up a 2016 wall planner from Australian illustrator & stationery maker, In the Daylight, so that I can see through my plans over the year. For my pregnancy-related activities and appointments, I bought this cute Baby Notes book from Kikki.K.
Most of the inserts that I am using inside my A5 planner is from the Design is Yay planner inserts range. At the end of every year, I make a habit of writing down my goals for the next year. I find that my goal planning inserts are really useful for myself to imagine how I envision my 2016 as well as the far future. My favourite part of these inserts is the tracking page. My passion other than design & stationery is entrepreneurship. So naturally, I’ve created my planner inserts with life of an entrepreneur in mind. The tracking page includes things like social media numbers, mailing list subscribers, website visitors and unique visitors for each month. It makes me happy to see mine increase every year. For example, in December 2014, I had just a shy over 2000 instagram followers. By the end of 2015 I had over 7000. I also left a lot of blank boxes as well as one full page without any particular tracking for you to track your own goals. If you’re trying to be healthier this year, you might want to track your weight, cholesterol level or sugar level by the end of each month. If you’re an etsy seller, you might use the tracker to track how many of each product are you selling and your income.
I am also using my daily, weekly and monthly Design is Yay Monochrome planner that you can download from my etsy shop as individual pages or in a life planner bundle Colourful design is also available. With life of an entrepreneur in mind, I include things like ideas, networking & top 3 goals on the monthly insert, weekly priorities and good habit/things to highlight each day, and list of who to email or call and to-do list on the daily insert. The good thing about having a printable daily insert is that you don’t have to write everyday. As I said before, my routines are pretty much the same everyday, and I usually take hours to do one task, such as writing a blog post or taking photos of printables. I do not need hour-by-hour schedule for those. However, there are special days when I have to go out for meetings or fly somewhere for an event, and that daily insert could be useful. Which is why I only use them when the right occasion arise.
Other than those, I include a stack of Kikki.K’s lined note pages and meeting notes pages to jot down notes and brainstorming ideas.
The planners I am using in 2016 is all about simplifying my life. The good thing about the Monochrome planners is that I’ll still be able to decorate them with stickers or washi tapes when I wish to, but they also look great without any additions. These days, I prefer to use planners for their functionality rather than decorative purposes, which is why I prefer to use inserts that are already well designed.
I am listing up new planner inserts this year including pregnancy journal, baby journal as well as bloggers’ planner.
Let me know in the comments if there are other inserts that you might need!
For more planner inspiration, visit this post: Planners I am using in 2015