I’m back today with a post I’ve been wanting to do for a really, really long time! I’m going to show you what planners and notebooks I’m using for the 2018 year.
In this first part, I’ll show you my main planners – these are the ones I need to use and write in on a weekly/daily basis. It’s only part one because, well, I have a lot of planners and notebooks LOL. But most of the other ones aren’t life-essential, so they fall into a second tier of importance and frequency of use. This is something I think doesn’t occur to many people who are surprised when someone says they have more than one planner. If you say you have 25 planners, people tend to assume you are writing in them all every day. Nooooo! Haha, there are levels to this! (Not to mention that some people just like to collect – and there is nothing wrong with that!)
Anyway, let’s get into it!
If you haven’t noticed already, I’ve become a discbound-book lover! Four of my main books are discbound, and of those four three are Happy Planners! I still remember a couple years back when I thought Happy Planners were weird and not made for stability at all. Fast-forward and, ironically, I’ve had nary an issue with pages falling out or covers splitting or any thing of the sort; and the majority of supplies I reach for are all Happy Planner!
These are not even all of my Happy Planners or discbound books, jus’ sayin’ 😆
So first, I’ll show you the brains of the operation: meet my GTD book. GTD stands for Getting Things Done, which is a methodology created by David Allen, designed to help you get information out of your brain and onto paper, so that you can process it and uh, GET THINGS DONE. This area of my life is one where I struggle insanely much. Without getting too deep, it takes a lot for me to actually get focused and motivated for long enough to remember what it is I’m supposed to be doing, let alone actually doing the damn thing. It has been a life-long issue for me, but one that I refuse to let defeat me. Let’s take a quick look!
(By the way, I’m not really going to go super in-depth on any of my setups. If you want more details and it’s requested enough, I can totally do a more in-depth post on a specific set up or answer whatever questions you may have!)
For this purpose I use a TUL notebook in the junior size. You can find TUL products at your local Office Depot/Max! You won’t find one with the discs I have on mine, though. Those are rose gold aluminum discs I ordered from Dokibook a while back, because the original discs that come on all TUL notebooks are pretty small. Picture the mini discs from the mini Happy Planners and that’s what they are, just about. Not quite enough room for extras. 😛
Inside, I keep a mini Happy Planner dashboard for holding sticky notes, my GTD process page, and then all the sections that I personally deem useful in my information storing and processing endeavors. I first saw this process page in The Meticulous Mommy’s own GTD setup video, but there surely various iterations of those floating around on other blogs and Youtube videos. Of course I had to make mine super cute! At the back I just keep the matching TUL pen case that snaps right in to the notebook, and a medium point, black ink TUL pen in the pen loop. This notebook also has a second companion pen pouch (the lovely pink zip case with eyelashes you’ll be seeing peeking in on most of the photos). I got it from Hobby Lobby. It just holds a red ink pen and highlighters I use when I’m processing.
Next up, I’ll show you my fitness planner! Trigger warning for anyone who needs it – the photos do show calorie information, as well as workout information.
My fitness planners have kinda been a bit all over the place. I started out with the binder planner system Michael’s debuted in uhhh, I wanna say 2015! 😆 Yes, a bulky three-ringed binder to which I added several of their book inserts. I thought those inserts were the best thing ever, and if I’m being honest…I still think that. But, the system needed to house them eventually got on my nerves and so I converted to a Happy Planner fitness planner. I used this off and on for a while, before I realized it just wasn’t satisfying me. The setup of the classic-sized pages is great, but I hated all the dividers (this was before when they only had pictures of skinny white ladies working out – that is literally the least motivating imagery ever for me). Some will holler function over form, but if the form isn’t appealing, issa no from me. I dunno what I did after I abandoned my HP fitness planner, but eventually (as in, about September of 2017), I started to accept the idea of using a Hobonichi Weeks as my new fitness planner. I had been toying around with the idea for about a year, after first laying eyes on the cute, slim book in about a million haul videos. Number one concern was the size – but after using the book for a couple months, I’ve managed to format the information I want to track in a way that maximizes the space. I can’t go overboard decorating (whine, whine, whine), but the pages and book itself are so beautiful, I don’t really care!
So the Weeks I picked is the coral pink cover, with the Circling Stars cover-on-cover. What a combination! ❤ What I track here, in short, is:
- Three Years At-A-Glance – Marking appointments just for quick reference
- Yearly Overview – My daily weights
- Monthly Calendars – Things I want to track daily (but not on the weekly view), daily ratings, goals, appointments related to health
- Weekly View – Every food I eat, complete with individual calorie counts and net calories for the day, and sodium intake for the day
- Weekly Notes – Hours of sleep, amount of water, steps, weight goals for the week, and workouts for the week. I also put a quick reference section for the week’s planned meals, and my personal notes about the week.
It’s a LOT of information to track so yeah, not a whole lot of stickers ’round these parts! In the notes pages at the back of the book, I put grocery lists, coupon lists (if I have any I want to use), and the detailed meal planning for the week. I also tend to go on spiels about how I did in the previous week, sort of an extended discussion…with myself. Oops! At the very back – in the pocket of my cover-on-cover – I keep date seals, sticky notes, coupons, and the original items that came with the weeks. I keep a pack of Kitta washi strips in the front pocket.
I know I didn’t show everything, but there’s a lot of personal information and I didn’t want to have a wall full of censored photos (there’s gonna be enough as it is), sooo yeah.
Now let’s get on to my Happy Planners! *squee*
I’ll start with the two that I use for planning related to my shop, site, and brand. One is a Trendsetter, which is a monthly layout with checklists and note pages galore. The second is Glam Girl, which is a vertical lined weekly planner. Both are from the Happy Planner Girl collection that was released in October of 2017. This line was definitely a hit and I personally know I’ll be crushed if another curated line of planner goodness doesn’t make its way to shelves for next year!
When Stephanie did the showing of all the new products that came out with this line, I was instantly drawn to the Trendsetter. I just knew that a monthly planner set up like this would be exactly what I needed! I hadn’t been committed to using anything for content or business planning after failed stints with weekly Franklin Covey inserts and a vertical weekly Erin Condren (talk about expensive experiments, yikes!) I, along with many others, saw the great potential the Trendsetter had to be a social media planner. I never really had a plan in place for producing or scheduling the posting of content, so I’ll say it’s definitely been a struggle with my TS. I mean, it’s kinda hard to plan for content you don’t have, you know? So I’ve been using the notes to build what it is I want to do. What I want on my blog, what I’m going to post to Instagram – all of that good stuff. My pages are pretty sparse now (as you’ll see), but when the ship is fully up and running, I know this will be exactly the tool needed to manage a schedule that calls for all kinds of postings.
I don’t keep a whole lot extra in here. I have sticky notes at the front and a pocket folder, which is my MO for all my Happy Planners now. In the back I keep note papers, and another folder.
For all planning related to running my shop and developing Milky Soda, I’m using Glam Girl! GG is that planner in the lineup that snuck up from behind and snatched my whole damn wig off. I mean, woo! She is GORGEOUS! My favorite thing about this planner is that it’s lined. I used to be anti-lines, because I thought they were ugly and detracted from the legibility of writing on the page. But after using my Papersource planner for a while (it was an 8×10 lined vertical and just almost perfection), I realized the lines were helping me fit the information I wanted in my planner better. I also felt more encouraged to just write. That sounds odd and makes no sense, but…I guess I just came to see the value in lines and ended up liking them more! A lot more.
Anyway, use is pretty straightforward. Week’s tasks on the weekly view, bigger-picture planning for releases, sales, and things of the like go on the monthly view. Again, I have two pocket folders inside and sticky notes at the front, with a notes section at the back. I also have the GG plastic envelopes, one of which I keep in the planner for any receipts or notes to be stored within (or on top…that sticky note has been there for weeks LOL). I used to split my business development and planning primarily between an A5 binder and a weekly planner, but this year I’m transitioning to doing more planning, brainstorming, etc directly in the planner. I still have an inordinate amount of outlying notebooks that also serve similar purposes, but as they’re just notebooks I can’t say I care too much how many there actually are. 😆
Rounding up this part of my lineup is my life planner! This is my Market Floral vertical planner. I bought it when it came out last year and used it for a little while before I fell out of love with it and ended up switching to the aforementioned Papersource planner. Those lines, y’all…they got me. The Papersource planner was working beautifully for me for several months, but with the arrival of the Happy Planner Girl line came the realization that I am very largely just an HP fanatic. And one thing that really bugged me with the PS planner was the Sunday start. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I’ll tolerate it on my monthly calendar, but it’s actually pretty aggravating for the week view. Add to that the longing I had for the ability to customize my planner more (I was hurting for more note pages, primarily!), and miss PS just ended up getting the boot. With my Market Floral’s only offense being the lack of lines, I decided to just make it work until HP releases another lined vertical planner. I did try to find another GG locally, but they were all sold out by the time I woke up and smelled the coffee LOL. And nah, I wasn’t about to pay full price plus shipping from online sellers. I love GG, but not that much.
My setup here is pretty much the same as the other two HPs. I have my sticky notes right at the front, a pocket folder, the planner itself, and then two more folders in the back along with the notes section. Since I write down all kinds of things in here, I like having a variety of accessories to help me organize it all! You’ll also notice I’m not using the original MF cover – it’s beautiful, but I really missed the black and white stripe cover that came with my first undated HP, so I grabbed the cover and disks off of it and made the switch. So purdy ❤
So that’s it for part one! For the next part I want to show all the other planners and notebooks I use for non-essential planning and journaling purposes. I haven’t figured out yet exactly how I’ll break that down – if done all together, it’s gonna make this post look like a baby! But it’ll be fun… *rubs hands together*
What planners are you using for 2018? Got a brand you tend to gravitate towards? I’d love to know!
Until next time,