Before you buy your next planner, there are a few things that you should ask yourself to get the most out of the planner you choose. Believe it or not, just because you have a planner does not automatically make you productive! Allow yourself to do some self-exploration before you throw some cash at another planner you may not use because it’s not the right fit. Let’s dig in and figure out which planner best fits you and your lifestyle!
Which planner best fits you?
I am definitely one of those people who gets way too excited about buying a new planner. When it comes time to purchase a new one, I am very thoughtful and intentional about which planner I buy, and each one has had a different purpose in the past. Buying as many planners as I have over the years, it has made me realize that I definitely have a “type” that I am attracted to most 😉 Can anyone else relate?? I believe that each person has their own type of planner that works best for them and that will complement their lifestyle. Because there are so many to choose from, it can take a bit of trial and error; however, below are 4 questions that you should ask yourself before you commit to your next planner
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What’s your style?
You are going to stare at this thing all day, so might as well enjoy what you look at, right? And, size does matter here. Will you be keeping this planner in your bag or backpack? Or, will you be leaving it at your desk every day? Think about what you’d like to tote around every day and pick a planner that won’t get in your way. There are planners that are designed to fit in your pocket, or, give you enough space like an 8.5×11” size, and many sizes in between. My favorite is around 5.5×8 inches! Along with the size, decide if you would rather work with a spiral bound planner or something else. Then, decide if you are more into a minimalist design or you love all the patterns and colors! There is truly a design for everyone.
What’s your schedule like?
How busy are you, really? Does your schedule change from day to day, or do you usually follow a set routine? When you visualize your day in your head, do you think in terms of an hourly schedule, or just a list of appointments/events? This is important because some planners offer a more open layout where you are free to list any appointments or events that you may have. Then, there are others that have your day/week structured by an hourly timeline. Personally, I prefer the latter and love Passion Planner for this reason! I like to plan out my day right to the minute, so these planners really complement that preference.
How do you manage daily to-do’s?
What do your everyday tasks look like? Do you only have about 1-3 tasks to keep track of everyday, or, do you have an endless list of personal, work, and side business tasks that you need to somehow manage? When thinking about buying a planner, you may need to consider how that planner is organized and if there is truly enough capacity to manage all of your workstreams. Again, I love the Passion Planner for this reason, because both my work and personal life tasks can live in harmony with each other and I never lose track of what needs to get done. However, some people hate the thought of mixing all of their different priorities and actually have a couple of different planners for each. Totally up to you!
Do you value structure?
There are a lot of planners that offer a bit more structure around your day such as space to write down goals, habits, workouts, project planning, etc. Some people love having prompts to help them brainstorm and plan out their day/week/month/year. However, there are others that prefer less noise and more creative freedom around what they write in their planner. I am definitely a mix of both and will look for planners that not only have some prompts and reminders to set and plan goals, but also have a ton of blank pages for doodling and note taking.
I hope these questions allow you to think more clearly about which type of planner fits you and your lifestyle the best! Also, if you try one for a few months and it just doesn’t work with your flow, make sure you note why, then pick something different next time. You will quickly learn which planner becomes your go-to, and even purchase others just for fun, which always becomes way more than you need 😉