Hello. My name is Brigette, and I'm addicted to office supplies. That includes planners. I would buy one every month if I could. Self-control is my word for 2020.
As much as I love planners, I'm tired of keeping up with one. I like how they look when they're brand new and shiny. They look like opportunity and creativity. And then a few weeks later they look like I canceled half my plans, got too lazy to finish my to-do list and ended up giving up somewhere between every Wednesday and every Friday.
So one of the things I'm learning to do is to actually keep up with and look at my planner daily. If you're in the same boat, or maybe you're just looking for the right planner, here's my two favorite planners and how to make them work for you.
The Bullet Journal
What is it? It's just a journal, any journal, that you use bullet points in to keep track of everything from appointments to honey-do lists. You take everything a day at a time, and use the space at the beginning of the journal to keep an index and write down future appointments.
Here's a video from the Bullet Journal website that explains how it works:
So let's talk about the pros and cons of the Bullet Journal:
This planner can literally do or be anything, and all you have to do is set it up to do what you want it to. There's no additional pages or kits you have to buy; you just make it yours. And, the Bullet Journal has a great online presence, so if you need inspiration or guidance, Pinterest has you covered.
This system is easy on the eyes and it doesn't take long to add reminders, to-do items, etc. You just open to where you stopped writing, pop in a bullet and write it down.
3. You Can Use Any Journal
You don't have to buy this specific journal. You can use any journal you want (although most bullet journal-ers would STRONGLY suggest getting a dotted notebook). This makes your planner a lot more personal because it feels like yours. You choose an empty notebook and turned it into something new and efficient.
Ah, Pinterest. Simultaneously delighting our eyes and creating massive discontent in our souls. There's a lot of bullet journal stuff on Pinterest. Too much. You may find yourself creating a page in your bullet journal for lists of every movie you want to watch, book you want to read, language you want to learn, and pretty soon your bullet journal isn't a planner...its a bucket list.
2. Time Intensive
You have to use this planner EVERY DAY. In the morning AND at night. Basically, everything that you didn't do that was on your to-do list, every event that got rescheduled, etc. you have to move immediately to a different part of the journal so that you don't forget about it. If you wait a day or two to look over your journal, it can get pretty frustrating.
3. It Takes Some Time To See What Works For You
The bullet journaling system is just different. It's hard to adjust to, and as you start to adjust to it sometimes you find the way you've set up your yearly calendar, your weekly or daily journaling or even your index simply doesn't work for you.
The bullet journal is great if you want a simple planner that will get you from point A to point B. But if you're into the crafty side of it, you might want to stick to the next planner I'm going to mention since it will feed your creative side without you getting overwhelmed.
The Happy Planner
I'm currently using a Happy Planner and I love it. I love the company's positivity and the beautiful quotes inside of the planners. Basically, it's a planner (that can come with or without the dates written in) that's on rings so you can remove or add pages. There's a lot to this one so I'll try to make it simple.
Happy Planner makes a LOT of stickers, and basically most Happy Planners look like a scrapbook full of stickers. They also make other pages to supplement their normal planner. I've used the housework pack, the fitness pack, the expansion pack, and more. There are different sizes of planners and different ring sizes too.
They have regular notebook paper and you can even just buy a Happy Planner notebook! They also have recipe books and other things but today we're talking about planners ;)
Check out this video if you're unfamiliar with Happy Planner and how it works.
So let's look at the pros and cons.
1. It's Fun!
It's happy, creative, and fun! Stickers are tons of fun, the quotes are amazing and the planner itself is just really pretty. It's very aesthetically pleasing.
2. It's Forgiving
Like a typical planner, you can stop using it for a week and the world doesn't fall apart. You just pick up where you left off.
3. It's Customizable
Besides all of the customization you have with the stickers and extra packs, they're a well developed company and they have a ton of stuff. They have pre-dated planners and undated planners. They have different layouts for their planners so you can choose which layout you like the best. They have wellness based, faith based, and female-boss-lady planners. It's pretty customizable.
1. It Can Be Expensive
For someone who is addicted to buying office supplies, this is one area where I really have struggled. There's so many add-ons you can buy, and you want your planner to be pretty, so you convince yourself you NEED those household stickers or you might forget to do your chores. I swear this has never happened to me.
2. It Might Be TOO Many Options
If you don't do well with options, you might struggle with the Happy Planner. I can sit in front of mine forever debating exactly how I'm going to use it without actually giving myself the chance to use it. Between all of the additional stickers and kits, you can spend hours on your planner every week. That's just not time well spent.
3. It's a Bit Girly
I'm just going to say it: the Happy Planner was designed by women, for women, so it's very female empowering and...pink. Or not necessarily pink, but rose gold foil and all that jazz. Basically, most men wouldn't want to use this planner.
The Happy Planner is great for creatives if they're able to tell themselves no or set boundaries on how they use the planner.
Whatever planner you decide you use, make sure it's making your life easier, not harder. Every time we introduce things into our lives that make life more complicated, the other areas of our life suffer. Remember, planners are there to help you plan life, not distract you from it.
What planner do you like to use? Comment below!