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Start Planning: Choosing the Right Planner

There are so many different kinds of planners on the market that it can be easy to become overwhelmed when you start planning and choosing the right planner can be a daunting task.  Which planner is the right one?  The answer to that question depends on a few key things, and before you drop some major bank on a trendy planner, ask yourself these questions to make sure you pick the right one for your needs.

1. What will you use the planner for?

To me, this is the most important question that you have to ask yourself because the type of planner that will work best depends on your answers.  I have 4 planners: my everyday (scrapbook style) planner, my work planner, my business planner (for my Easy shop) and a bullet journal.  Excessive?  Not really, because they all function in different ways.

  • Everyday Planner (fun, decorative, think scrapbook) – Keep track of personal appointments, things to do, events, activities, etc.
  • Work or Business Planner (Functional, Simple, Professional) – If you’re an entrepreneur you may want to add some flourish to your business planner so it can be fun and decorative as well, but for the most part you want to be able to keep track of daily tasks by month, week or day.
  • Journaling (simple: lined, dotted or blank) – Think of this as a free space for thoughts, ideas, doodles, sketches; wherever your mind takes you.  You do NOT have to be artistic to enjoy this form of planning because you don’t have to show it to anyone.  I know that I’ll never show my bullet journal to anyone which gives me the freedom to doodle without worrying about how awful I am!

2. How much do you want to spend?

You can find an amazing planner whatever your budget.  The pricier the planner, the more bells and whistles they tend to have.  An Erin Condren Life Planner, for example, has colorful tabs, a nice high gauge spiral binding, inspirational thoughts throughout the planner and lots of extra grid sheets and note sheets at the end.  It can cost anywhere from $50 to $75 or more depending on the add-ons you pick up when purchasing.  There are also dozens of inexpensive planners on Amazon that offer all the basics if you’re just getting started.  PLUS, don’t forget to look for coupons for your local craft shop to get major savings!  Michael’s runs 40-60% off coupons on their planner options all the time.

3.  How will you plan?

Some people like to draw boxes and checklists into their planner and others (myself included) like to let stickers do the job.  And then there are those that just want to keep it simple and just write tasks and lists without any frills.  You have to decide if you want to have to freedom to draw out your day as needed or if you prefer the structure of a traditional planner with date boxes for each day/week/month.  Also important, do you need your day further broken down by time?  This is especially important for a business planner.

If you like to draw and jot thoughts as they come to you without any structure then a bullet journal or blank journal would appeal to you.

Here are my planner recommendations:

Note: This post contains affiliate links which means if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission which helps keep this blog running.  😊

Personal Daily Use:

Erin Condren Life Planner: Fun, Functional, great for scrapbook style planning with stickers – available in Colorful or neutral; vertical or horizontal layout

The Happy Planner: Fun, Functional, Affordable Options – Available in all different sizes and colors


Business/Work Use:

Recollections Zippered Planner: Functional; Small, Zipper closure keeps notes, business cards and receipts safe

Tools4Wisdom Planner Calendar: Functional, Professional, Sleek


Northbooks Dot Grid Notebook: Simple, Inexpensive; Dots, Lined, or Blank

Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook: Simple, High Quality, Hard Cover – Dots, Lined or Blank

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