Before Buying a Planner Consider 3 Things

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Before you press “Proceed to Checkout” for your next planner consider these 3 things to determine if the planner will be right for you!

3 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Planner

ONE – How often do you ENJOY working in your planner?

If you truly enjoy working in your planner everyday, look for planners that have the following layout options

  • Daily, hourly, or even weekly layouts
  • Habit trackers
  • Weekly / Daily Goal setting
  • Lots of structure that provides a clear path (step-by-step) for working with your schedule or goals.

What if daily or weekly layouts feel rigid or confining? You might prefer working in your planner a few times a month. If this feels true, look for planners that have the following layout options:

  • Monthly view with extra pages for writing space
  • Monthly goal setting layouts
  • Quarterly goal setting layouts
  • Yearly goal setting layouts
  • Goal setting layouts that support goal setting and they allow flexibility or are customizable in how you reach them.
  • Journaling, space for notes, blank pages, impromptu layouts, etc
  • Avoid planners with daily, hourly or even weekly layouts.

TWO – Which is more of a concern for you? Follow-through or motivation? Or both?

If you need help with follow-through…

  • Structure leads to more follow-through because it eliminates the number of decisions that need to be made. Structure also provides specific path you can use to plan and track outcomes.
  • They provide a clear path for you to follow. These specific views, tools, layouts tell you exactly how to get from point a to point b.

Need to feel motivated to start…?

  • Flexibility leads to motivation to start something new but may lack in follow-through
  • Flexible planners (bullet journal, diy planners, blank pages, customizable planners) allow you to choose the tools, layouts, views that feel supportive to you to get yourself from point a to point b in your own way.

If you need help with BOTH follow-through and motivation…

  • Experiment and play with different levels of structure and flexibility
  • What is structure to you when it comes to a planner? What structure feels supportive? What structure feels too rigid or detailed?
  • What is flexibility to you when it comes to a planner? What flexible options feel supportive? What flexibility options feel too loosey goosey?

***If you are curious if more structure or more flexibility would be best for you, consider getting a Human Design reading to see what your bodygraph chart says about your relationship with these two aspects.

THREE – Do you prefer a pre-made planner? (Dated or Undated) Or do you want the option to customize?

If you are looking to buy a pre-made planner consider the following…

  • Be sure to check the description AND reviews for the planners you are considering and make sure the planner is set up the way you like with regard to being dated or undated. Consider which is more important to you?
    • Dated – The planner will be pre-dated in alignment with the calendar year (Jan – Dec) or the academic year (August – July or some variation)
      • Positive – The creator of the planner has done the work for you.
      • Negative – You are stuck with the dates and there is limited flexibility to skip a day, week or month if there is a need to do so.
    • Undated – The planner will NOT be dated. You will need to fill in the dates.
      • Positive – You have a lot of flexibility to use the planner for the dates and time spans that make sense for you.
        • For example, if you know you are having surgery and you know that month will basically be a “wash”, you can skip that month and extend your planner for a longer period of time.
      • Negative – You have to fill in the date yourself each month.

If you prefer customization options consider the following…

  • Customized planners – Look for planners that can be customized with different layouts and / or planners that have lots of blank pages you can use to create your own layouts.
    • Positive – You can customize your planner based on the options the company gives you.
    • Negative – Planners that are able to be customized are often more expensive that pre-made planners that you buy “as-is”.
  • Create your own planner – Buy a Moleskine notebook (paid link) and create your own customized planner that is perfectly organized and structured for your brain. If you are curious about this check out Bullet Journaling or my video on how I create my own planner with a Moleskine notebook.
    • Positives – You can make the planner to be EXACTLY how you want – you create the structure (or flexibility) that feels good to you. There is also an opportunity to decorate and tap into creativity to design the planner and make it visually appealing.
    • Negatives – Customized planners that can be purchased ten to be pricey and if you are designing your own planner with a blank notebook it does take a fair amount of work to set up.

Ideas for planners that fall on either side of the Structure vs. Flexibility spectrum…

Planners with more structure…

Planners with more flexibility…

Check out the Free Resource Library for planner related printable PDF’s and digital products.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some links on this blog post may be affiliate links that can result in small commissions & help support the site.

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