6 Month Planner Review
By Creative Planning Team Member - Tracy Macheta
Whenever I buy a new planner, I always wonder if it will turn out to be “the one”. You know, the single planner that will suit all my needs so I never need to buy another brand/type/size. Oh dear, I really should know better seeing as I’ve been part of the planner community since early 2018. One planner is never enough.
I’ve tried a variety of planners over the last 3 years: large ones, small ones, weekly views, daily pages, American and Japanese ones. They have all suited my needs at some time or other and I find the best way to keep on top of my planning life is to have regular reviews to check that that they are still doing what I need them to do.
I started 2021 using an A6 Hobonichi, a Hobonichi Weeks and an Archer and Olive bullet journal (phew!) plus an Erin Condren 7x9 Daily Duo for work. The good news is that I’m still using the first 3 and I’m still using a Daily Duo although I switched to the new A5 size on 1st July 2021 and I’m loving it.
An essential criteria for a planner for me is that I’m able to use stickers in it. This is where the 12 month A6 Hobonichi loses a few points. If I were to stickerate it every day and on each monthly spread, after 6-7 it would become too chunky for me. As much as I love my planners, I don’t like it when they bulge as I think it looks messy. To avoid “the chunk”, I just add stickers to the monthly pages and the page that precedes each month. My usual set up involves washi, appointment labels, half box ombre checklists and some decorative stickers.
I used a Hobonichi Weeks throughout 2020 and have continued with it this year. I regularly use the mini weeks and the mini monthly sheets in this. As it’s a weekly view planner, it doesn’t get as bulky over the year which is a plus point.
I use my Archer and Olive bullet journal for memory keeping – I try to make my days interesting but since the pandemic started I’m obviously not doing an awful lot! I use washi, deco stickers and the days and dates sheet for this to brighten up the pages.
Finally, the switch to a slightly smaller Daily Duo is working well. The 7x9 had a bit too much space for me which made me feel that I wasn’t using it efficiently. I’m waiting with great anticipation for an EllieBeth designs range of stickers designed especially for this planner.
Erin Condren Daily Duo:
So what did I learn from my review? Firstly, if I use an A6 Hobonichi in 2022 I’m pretty sure I’ll go for the Avec (2 planners Jan-June and Jul-Dec) as I can use stickers to my heart’s content and it won’t get too bulky.
Secondly, although I will have used a Hobonichi Weeks for 2 years, I’ll probably change to a similar sized planner with a different layout simply because I feel it’ll be time for a change. I have seen one I quite like so I’ll probably buy one to try it out for the last 4-5 months of this year before making a final decision.
Thirdly, I’m not sure I’ll do a memory keeping journal in 2022 as my life is quite ordinary and it doesn’t seem worthwhile to carry on. I may however return to one in 2023 as I have a “significant” birthday then and perhaps it will be a year to remember.
And last but not least, as previously stated, I’ll be carrying on with the Erin Condren A5 Daily Duo for the foreseeable future. It’s small enough to chuck in a bag and carry around and as I’m using it for work and home stuff, that’s really helpful.
Having carried out my planner review, the outcome clearly indicates that I could spend 2022 in just 2 planners – something I would never have thought possible. All I can say is “watch this space” ………
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