Who knew there was such a huge community of planner lovers? I first found out about them when I joined A Bowl Full of Lemons Planner Facebook group. Wow! So many options, it was actually overwhelming! But I got so excited there were other like-minded people who appreciated the perfect planning system. So I stalked the group daily posting occasionally and taking part in her monthly photo challenges. I quickly began re-evaluating my planner and my needs. So off I went to experiment. I’m the type that needs to touch, feel and play with in order to determine whether I like it or not. So experimenting I did until I finally found the perfect planner and system for me. I will stick with it for the year before making any changes.
During this trial period I discovered a lot about myself. About who I am as an individual and as a mother and wife and what my duties are and how to organize them. It’s almost like finding out my personality all over again since leaving my corporate job. Don’t get me wrong, I still have some exploring to do but going through this 6+ month long process has brought new discoveries.
Enough of my babbling…time to show you my planners and what worked and didn’t. Ready?
I’ve had planners for awhile that varied a lot but I’ll start with what I used last year. I just love Erin Condren’s life planners. They were colorful, had lots of room to write and just plain ol’ fun. However, since the planner is spiral bound there is no option to move sections around or add to it. I’ve seen lots of people who took the spiral out, trimmed and punched the inserts and fit them inside a binder planner style but I didn’t want to do that. So off I went to into the world of Filofax.
Filofax is a UK brand of binder-style planners that range from mini to a large A5. They have amazing leather and most coveted in the planner community. I went with the A5 as it was the same size as the Erin Condren planner which appealed to me. I just loved the ability to make it my own. I added a health/fitness section, calendars, finances, etc…the possibilities are endless! Which causes me to go into a decision paralysis. Too many choices and I don’t get anything done. That’s the only downfall to a “make it your own” system, you have the freedom to choose and if you don’t know exactly what you need then you’re in trouble. I started duplicating systems and that didn’t work for me. And the size was starting to be a bit bulky to carry around in my already stuffed diaper bag.
So I decided to downsize to the personal. It’s the most popular size in the Filofax line and offers the most options for inserts. It’s small enough to be portable yet adequate in size to keep track of my life. This is the Original in pink. I originally purchased the yellow but when I brought it home, I noticed gap in the rings. For the money you spend gap in rings are unacceptable. So I took it back and got this one. I fell in love with it’s flirty style and compact size. This is what I mean about personality, the Erin Condren was fun and colorful, the Malden was a bit more serious and classic. The Original was the extreme of flirty and spontaneous. Quickly it didn’t work out for me. I wanted to love it but the lack of multiple pockets on the inside drove me crazy and the strap issue many people had wasn’t flying with me either.
Off to Australia I went. I wish! Seriously, if I ever go back I’m staying. I just love it over there! But that’s for another post.
I purchased the gorgeous mint and gold polka dot Kikki.K medium size planner. I loved the pockets on the inside, my coleto pen fit nicely in the pen loop and we had a great time. But the one thing that drove me crazy was the elastic band. That’s the biggest difference between the Kikki.K and the Filofax, this one had an elastic band versus a snap closure. I didn’t like taking it off and my planner wouldn’t lie flat with the band in the way. A small insignificant detail but enough to make me think about changing…yet again. The final straw was this planner’s personality. It was, well, a little too sweet for me. I loved the colors but I like colors more along the lines of deeper richer tones. So after a short life I found “The One.”
The ever so coveted personal Malden in purple. This baby is a beauty. The color, the pockets, the snap closure, everything is perfect. At first I thought I’d want a more structured planner but I like the flexibility with the Malden as I can add more paper to them. Especially now that I’m using DIY Fish inserts, more room is a must. I just love opening it up and using it all of the time, which is exactly the point of having a planner, right? So this will be my planner. For an entire year. There I said it. No more exploring, I’m done. I will use this one and my A5 Malden above as my home management binder. The other two will find new homes.
So there’s the evolution of my planner and for good measure, one more close up of my current planner. Can you tell I love it?