I use to have a planner, back in junior high and high school… before planners were cool. My friends actually used to make fun of me and my organized ways! I’d write down test days, study groups, cheer-leading practices, movie dates… everything. To me it just made sense.
Fast-forward 20 years and a lot of technological advances, and my planner is now on my iPhone. But oddly I’ve found myself carrying around random pieces of paper with list or ideas, and I have physical calendars both at home and work. I actually carry around a file folder in my purse! Is that weird? So, it recently hit me, why not just go back to a planner? And so I am…
I’ve done a bit of research, because that’s who I am. I don’t make purchases without researching things first. I finally decided the discbound planner system would be best for me. There were three discbound systems I looked at: The Happy Planner from Create356, M by Staples Arc Planner System and the Levenger Circa. I really like the Circa, but wasn’t quite ready to pay the Circa price, and I felt The Happy Planner was too big. Yes, this coming from the girl who carries a file folder and a legal pad in her purse. That being said, I was drawn to the Arc and thought it would work out perfectly for me. Since all of these planners are on the discbound system the pieces are pretty interchangeable. Which means I can easily change to the Circa in the future if I want.
What I like best about the discbound system is that I’m able to remove pages, decorate them, put them back, or move them and put them elsewhere. Plus I find the pages don’t tear and stay put better than the Fileofax style (the six hole punch planners). You can also make your own planner inserts, but you have to first purchase the discbound style punch… which is the only downside since they are pretty pricey. The Arc punch is about $40, the Circa punch is $50. There is version of the Circa punch that cost significantly less, but I haven’t decided to go that route yet. I can’t speak from experience, but some reviews I’ve read say they can’t tell a different between the punches from the two brands, and others say the papers using the Circa punch are a little tight in the Arc. If you’ve had experience with the Arc style planner please share your thoughts.
My favorite part of having a planner is decorating it! I like to take my time and see what does and does not works best for me. Right now I’m all about washi tape! I share custody of my son with my ex-husband. For the most part our parenting schedule is set, but there are times when it changes. I mark the weekends I’ll have my son, with washi tape, and if any changes arise, I just move the tape. I use the same concept for my work on-call schedule, social and school events, and the kids sports schedules, using different colors of washi tape. Then I add in fun little stickers for other things like PTA meetings, birthdays, or days I am scheduled to teach Sunday school. I also love to use stamps. I’m currently using the Kelly Purkey stamps from the December 2015 My Monthly Hero kit with plans to expand my collection soon.
Right now I have four sections in my planner separated by tab dividers: Calendar, Work, Budget, and Blog/Create. Each section has a folder for any random pieces of paper I may need a place for. I also purchased poly zip pockets to hold my various planning stickers and coupons, and sheet protectors. I plan to use the sheet protectors to create a dashboard with my WRMK Fuse tool… more on that another day.
I am really excited about getting my planner where I want it, but I’m sure in six months it will look different than it does today. So… in summation, I have one more way to stay organized. Why? Because my sanity depends on it!