I’ve never been much of a list maker, nor have I ever really tried to structure the activities in my life. Oh, I’d make a to-do list, then ignore it.
The past couple of years, I’ve purchased planners (and looked at several) trying to find a planner system that would motivate me to actually use one. And while I would use it for a couple of months, eventually, they all ended up sitting on my shelf – unused.
The problem was I wanted too much out of my planner. If I’m going to add some much needed structure into my life, my planner needs to hold my life. A couple of planners came close, but in the end, the affirmations & quotes were fun – not functional. The goals section was too small, the end of the month wrap-up didn’t do anything for me, and there was no budget that fit my life.
Other drawbacks for me included the hourly ticks and the Sunday to Saturday layout. Yes, I know Sunday is the 1st day of the week, but I need my weekends together.
Then, I found the Happy Planner. It’s a disk system – which means it’s easy to add pages/sections to the planner (even if you don’t have an arc hole punch). There are no times in this planner. Like most writers, I have a day job, and from 6:45 am until 6:00 pm, my hours are dedicated to the day job. That’s a lot of wasted space in a planner. The Happy Planner has three sections which could represent morning, afternoon, and night. Or, as in my case, different aspects of my life. Personal/home, writing, and business. (I use a list insert for my to-dos at the day job.)
But, because of the disk system, its potential is pretty much limitless.
Let me show you:
The first thing in my planner is a folder & sticky notes.
The orange you see on the right is a folder (cut to size). It opens to reveal my vision board.
The first section is a BuJo (bullet journel). It has my affirmations and other notes.
The next section is for my 90 day goals.
Personal, writing, and business.
Again, printed, cut, and added what I needed.
(I have a stencil I used to draw the boxes & lines)
The next section is my habit tracker. I printed the graph paper, cut it to size, and added the habits I wanted to track.
The next section is my food & exercise tracker. Same deal: print, cut, add what I need.
The next section is my calendar. As you delve into the planner community, you’ll see all types of layouts for functional/pretty planning. I do both. I want my planner to be functional, and I want it to look good. The 1st week of January was pretty light as far as tasks. The weeks will fill up pretty fast soon.
Just showing my layout for the 2nd week of January.
The next section is my budget planner. I typed it up in a Word document, printed it, cut it to fit.
The next section is a notes section where I’m keeping track of unfinished writing projects. Making notes on the story lines that I’m not ready to write. Stuff that doesn’t go into the goals section, yet.
The final section is another notes section where I keep track of my writing sprints. These are the word counts for Crimson Nights I did last year.
This is why it’s called a Frankenplanner. The disk system has allowed me to use the basic planner and to add all the other stuff I need without loosing its function. BTW, I did take out 9 months of the calendar pages, because I didn’t want to carry around the bulk. As it is now, the planner fits in my purse & isn’t too heavy to carry.
Also, The Happy Planner has a bunch of extension packs for fitness, budgeting, etc. available. But again, I wanted what I wanted, not a bunch of extraneous stuff I’m not going to use. So, it was easier for me to create my own.
One exception is the recipe planner. I’ll be writing a post on that one soon.
Do you have a favorite planner/system? Let me know what works for you.