It isn’t just me, right? Always thinking the right planner will make it all work smoothly. We know that isn’t the case but if you want to give it a whirl here are 5 planners I have tried to keep all my squirrels corralled instead of at the rave.
Do you think I have found the perfect one? Read along and find out! Spoiler alert, I haven’t but maybe I can help you find one!
5 Planners I have tried
According to Michael Leip, the founder, the Panda Planner “is based on principles from scientific studies proven to increase productivity & happiness over time. Focus & organization, all in one place. Our unique planner system will help you prioritize your tasks and keep you accountable! It’s time to get organized!”
For me, not so much. I thoroughly enjoyed the pages that I could color. Conceptually, the spreads for the week and daily planning were well-thought-out. Furthermore, the weekly spread and daily tasks spread made it easy to set and track the immediate to-do-tasks that move you along to your weekly goals. The space to set daily intentions and end of the day reflections were great as a grounding activity. I tried out the 8.5″x11″ planner and didn’t care for the size, it was too large to easily carry around.
|Week-at-a-glance made it easy to see what the week’s goals and major tasks||There was bleed-through with some pens|
|The binding was easily broken|
|Not very portable|
52 Lists Planner
Last fall I started doing the 52 Lists for Happiness with a group of female micro-business owners and enjoyed it so much I opted to try out the 52 Lists Planner. As far as planners go, this is probably one of my favorites except for the physical design. I despise the metal spiral binder that breaks up the spread. It also does not allow you to see a snapshot of the whole week in one view, you have to flip back/forth to see the whole week.
I want to love this planner but its design makes it too challenging.
|52 Lists Planner|
|Portable and compact||The metal spiral binder is awkwardly placed|
|Goal setting for the month and week is very intentional||Monthly spread and weekly breakouts are “off” in alignment|
The 5 Second Journal: The Best Daily Journal and Fastest Way to Slow Down, Power Up, and Get Sh*t Done
After reading Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule I decided to give The 5 Second Journal a test-drive. This daily journal does do a pretty good job of getting you to get stuff done by looking at each day as a quick snapshot and encourages you to focus on what needs to be done right then. The goal is that you keep taking care of getting things done daily to move you along to the bigger goals.
There are areas to brain dump the BIG items of the day, layout what needs to be done when, and also includes a daily prompt to move you out of your comfort zone and push you further in a journey of self-discovery. It is compact and easy to drop in a medium or large carry-all daily bag. It would benefit from a place to do some longer-range planning.
|The 5 Second Journal|
|Pushes you outside your comfort zone||Very focused on the day-to-day, not long-term|
|Helps to clearly set the daily priorities and tasks to accomplish|
Start Today Journal
Sometimes you buy things you should not buy, such as a journal that you thought was also a planner. Oops! Learn from my less than brilliant move, please. 🙂 That being said, if you need a fancy place to list out your goals and dreams, it is a pretty little journal.
|Start Today Journal|
|Compact||Not really a planner|
|Reminds you daily of the long-term goals you are reaching for|
While in the middle of moving to some temporary housing I lost my 52 Lists Planner and needed a stop-gap solution. I ventured to one of my least favorite places on earth, Walmart, to find something. I have never been so happy with a purchase from that awful place (like legit, the Walmart in Newberry could be the poster child for “People of Walmart”).
This weekly planner has a monthly spread before each of the weekly spreads, an area to brain-dump or doodle, and is slim enough to toss into pretty much any bag. It is also hardbacked with well-stitched pages so it has some durability.
|Inexpensive||Only available at Walmart|
|Compact weekly spread with area for a “brain dump” or doodling|
Obviously, no planner is going to solve my organizational/motivational issues. That being said, I think I am going to give the Bullet Journal Method a try again, I think it’ll be my most “efficient” option to bring some order to the chaos. I am going to give it a solid 90-day effort and report back on the book, the method, and my success (or failure).
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!Benjamin Franklin
I will probably incorporate some elements from each of the 5 planners I have tried over the past 18 months in my bullet journal. Want to keep tabs on my bullet journal redo or any of our non-business adventures? Hop on over to Facebook to follow along or subscribe to our newsletter.