Looking to 2018: Planners
If anyone out there loves planners as much as I do, you're already brainstorming what you're going to be doing for 2018 -- unless you're one of those people who uses an academic year, in which you're probably going to be stuck with picking between 1 or 2 designs, and maybe your fav planner is already sold out *cough* simplified planner *cough*.
Here are my top picks for the coming year; some of them I've tried and left my opinion, others I've considered and researched but haven't actually used. If you think spending $50-60 on a planner (that you use for literally an entire year to plan your life) is too much, just stop reading now. Or maybe, glance through for my 'budget-friendly' option. *I was not endorsed for anything in this post, I'm just really obsessed with planners*
Pros: Hardcover and spiral bound -- it'll lay (lie?) flat when you're planning and you can drip some water on the cover without panic (you did pay a lot of money for it). The planner is dated, so it's appropriate for future planning, and the colors aren't so overwhelming that it looks like a unicorn threw up. Easily flip from month-to-month, and store things in the small pocket attached to the cover.
Cons: When I had this planner, I used the daily -- I found that I got frustrated being unable to look at my week in it's entirety. While it's great to have excess space to plan your day, I sometimes open my planner to just stare at my week. Sure, you could use google calendar, but I would've preferred the weekly layout. The downside to that? It's a little too open and unstructured for me. When I had it there were quotes in the corner, and I have to say that's a downside to the newest edition that they removed them.
Overall: A very functional planner for creatives without too many gimmicks.
Pros: Absolutely beautiful design -- the colors are on point, and the yearly blueprint, and 90-day reflections really set you up for an intentional year (you'd be surprised how fast those 90 day reviews come up). The weekly check-in and weekly review are nice, except I found myself never looking back at them. Again, someone who wants a page-a-day planner would love this style, but I wanted to see my week without having to write everything three times (once on the month, once on the week overview, and once in the daily). Depending on the journal you pick, the inspiration is tailored to that subject (parenting, yoga, etc) as are the reflection questions (I found them getting a little repetitive in the yoga one).
Cons: Having the schedule in the middle near the spine made it really difficult to actually write anything on the scheduler for me (especially when I was first breaking it in). It's undated, which some people might find as a pro (start now! don't wait until the new year!) but I found it annoying to have to write all the dates in. I found myself just using bits and pieces from the day and not filling out all the boxes -- it also clashed with my desire to have more flexibility in what I wrote that day and my colored pens. Also, international shipping fee if you're in the U.S.
Overall: If you've ever been interested in journaling but can't seem to start the habit, and have some extra time to spend on reflection, this might be the journal for you.
Pros: Although Emily Ley dropped her quotes, Day Designer kept them. They also have goal setting pages, and a bit more to plan out each day than the simplified planner (today's top three, dinner, gratitude) If you find yourself wishing for this kind of planner but don't want to carry a bulky planner around, they also sell mini-editions.
Cons: Similar to Emily Ley planner minus the fun colors. The pages can end up looking a little busier (hence the simplified version as the simplified planner). I think this one is a little more boring and the pages can end up looking a bit busy with everything you are 'supposed' to fill out daily. I haven't personally tried this one.
Overall: If you're a busy college student, working mom, or someone who wants something a bit more no-nonsense, this could be your pick. Would go well if you like to color code your own stuff.
Pros: A top pick among planner addicts. This was perhaps one of the first planners of this kind to hit it big among bloggers and exploded in popularity. A lot of people really enjoy just how much you can customize -- picking your inserts, your layouts, your cover, etc. As a go-between from simplified planner and day designer, you can pick whether you want black and white or subtle colors (again, no unicorn puke here). Little pocket folder pouch also included for inside the cover.
Cons: A lot of the 'extras' are in the back of the planner instead of around each month. There's an extra page for note taking or doodling, but not much more. It's truly meant to be a planner, and extras fall a little short considering the cost.
Overall: If you want something that you can tailor to you and desire more flexibility (oh I wish THIS cover had THIS layout!) then this could be for you.
Ban.Do Planners (Budget-Friendly Option)
Pros: The price! You can get one of these babes for $28 and it's 17 months instead of 12 (unless you buy it and it's already past those months, meh). They are pretty easy to find in stores too, so save on shipping. A few fun sticker pages are included, and there are some fun ideas (Have a slumber party! Do a face mask! Sleep naked! Okay, I don't know about the last one..) that pop up during the week. It's a weekly agenda with monthly overviews, so you can plan ahead easily and see week-at-a-glance. Each new month has some cool artwork to welcome you in and a notes page at the end of the month. Hardcover means it can withstand a little wear and tear.
Cons: These are definitely aimed at a certain demographic -- while I loved mine and had fun with it, I would be a little shy to crack it open during a business meeting. If you're looking for more detail like the other planners, you're definitely not going to be able to fit all that info into the small boxes allotted to each day. Not a lot of fluff either, but it's more reasonably priced for what you get.
Overall: If you're looking for something fun with a splash of silly that's still functional (and doesn't make your wallet cry), this could be your option.
Inkwell Press (My Current Planner)
Pros: While I have the vertical weekly layout, I would've liked the horizontal (in fact, it's the one I 'bought' but when I arrived at the store, vertical was all they had). One of my favorite things about this planner is the 'mission board' that occurs at the front of each month. There are also three small boxes with hexagons in them so you can track 3 habits that month. This is actually how I started flossing! There are quarterly goals you can set-up at the beginning of the planner, and some fun trip planning sheets in the back (and a movie list, and books to read list). It reminds me of a bujo in that sense with lists and bill tracking and such. Again, a pocket in the cover.
Cons: Only academic year available, so if you buy one now you're looking at getting your money's worth, but if you wait until 2018, half your year is gone. You can only buy/order at office depot/max so you can't just purchase directly from the website. The price of this planner is a little less than some other options, but still pretty pricey for something from an office supply store.
Overall: I really enjoy this planner. It's got a great feel and a variety of options, in addition to space for goal setting. I would call this a more in-between planner, and a great option if you want something more than the simplified planner or day designer, but aren't quite ready for the daily greatness journal.
Tips to make a planner more affordable:
1. Sign up for the email newsletter to get 10%, maybe even 20%, off your planner purchase. You can always unsubscribe later. Look around for free shipping codes, or consider grabbing an accessory from the website too if they have a minimum purchase (don't go overboard though or you risk swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction).
2. Buy a weekly or monthly option if you're interested, less material and paper often means less cost.
3. Actually visit stores. My planner had a small scratch on the front, so they gave me an extra $5 off. You might even catch a store-wide sale and get a deal that way.
Planners to watch: Kate Spade, Mochi Things, and Passion Planner.