Monday, December 30, 2013

Getting Ready for a New Year - Choosing a Planner

photo source: top - Plum Paper bottom - nikkisnacs

I am looking forward to starting a new year. One of the things that I have worked on this year is to bring more order to our life/home/day. It didn't take long for me to realize that I needed a really good planner to be able to do this well.

This year I used a cheap planner from Target, and tried out a bunch of free printables. (I have a pretty large collection of printable (free and to purchase) pinned on Pinterest if you are interested in checking them out.) The one from Target was okay, but I really needed more room to write, it wasn't pretty, and the size wasn't just right. There were a lot of really great free printables, but I do not like using a 3 ring binder as planner. It is just way too big and bulky for me. If you like using a 3 ring binder, I really like this free printable planner. I really wanted one that was a spiral notebook. I like to leave it on the kitchen counter throughout the day, and then stick in my purse when I head out the door to run errands. I did look into the arc system from Staples, but decided that by the time I bought the system and then used a bunch of ink to print everything out, I would have spent a pretty significant amount of money. Yes, I could reuse the punch and binder system, but I wasn't completely sold.

I spent of lot of time researching planners. I used Pinterest to look for reviews, and searched the hashtags #planner and #planneraddicts on instagram. I never knew there were so many options, but it didn't take long for me to narrow my search down to the Erin Condren Life Planner and The Plum Paper Planner found on etsy.

The Erin Condren Life Planner looks like a great planner. (I have seen it in person.) The things I liked are that you can customize the color of the cover, and that it had a zipper pouch for little things like receipts and such. I couldn't decide if I liked the way the way that the days were broken down into morning, day, and night, and the weekly pages didn't have lines. I could have worked around the morning, day, and night set up, but I wasn't sure I could get over not having lines to write on. The Erin Condren Life Planner is also $20 more than the one from Plum Paper. I do think it is worth the money if it fits your needs.

The Plum Paper Planner was very similar to the Erin Condren, but there are 4 different layouts you can choose from. There is also a Family Planner where you can choose 7 different categories. I knew that choosing 7 specific categories would feel too confining for me. I mean, what if I chose blog, exercise, or thirty-one as one of my categories and then suddenly stopped one of those? Not likely, but that wouldn't work for me. I also really liked that the inside of the planner was colorful, but didn't have a lot of pattern. You can't customize the colors on this planner, but that wasn't a big deal to me. There were several patterns and color combinations that I really liked. There were 3 that I was torn between. I wanted them all.

I chose the Plum Paper Planner with spread option #3. It is a list form that I felt would work the best for the way I like to write things. I also found a coupon code for 10% off, so I got a great deal.

My planner should be here in a few weeks, so I went to Target to get a few little things to go with it. They always have cute post-its and flags and stuff in their Dollar Spot.

I plan to do a full review when I get the planner and start using it.

What kind of planner do you use? Are you ready for the new year?

P.S. - As soon as I receive my planner and do a review, I will have a coupon code for you.


  1. I chose the new Emily Ley planner this year and I love it. I just sat down and got the dates in it yesterday. I actually moved away from a paper planner for the past few years because I had a work planner and then used my Google calendar for everything else. But now that I"m at home, I needed something more. I liked that the Emily Ley had a great monthly spread and plenty of rooms for notes.

  2. I am still a paper girl, for sure. I do use Cozi to keep up with dates that my husband needs to know about. I haven't heard of Emily Ley, but I'm about to go check it out.

    1. oh, I have heard of that one. The Simplified Planner! That looks like a good one too!

  3. Hiii, what coupon code did you use? I would like to see if it still works..

    1. I'm trying to wait for your code once you do the review, but i'm ready to start planning! Lol...

    2. Nakima, I don't blame you. I would be ready to get it ordered, too. I used the code THELIFE10
      Please let her know that nikkisnacs sent you! Enjoy your new planner.

    3. Awesome! Which one did you get?

    4. I just got the regular planner broken down into M-A-E. At first I was going to get the fitness planner but decided I could just write it in. I am sooo excited...


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