So, like many other people, I’m jumping on the planner bandwagon and happy to do it. I’ve always had planners or engagement calendars or diaries or whatever they are called. For a long time, my favorites were the spiral bound ones I found on Pomegranate. I especially liked the Edward Gorey and Charlie Harper ones. But the pages are glossy and I got tired of that.

When I was in Hong Kong, I tried a couple of different ones. One was from a Korean company, it had different boxes that you could customise. I was doing great with it but burned out in April 2012. Plus, all my pens bled through and that turned me off. In 2013, I used a planner by Katie Daisy. I wrote about it here. Again, I was super into it until April and then it was jot jot jot. This summer, since we were relocating, I just kept a Field Notes notebook and wrote everything down in there.

In September, I started working again. So I don’t have that many appointments to keep track of outside of work. I was winging it until October. This is a pretty busy month for me (2 kids’ birthdays, an anniversary and Halloween) so I needed a place to put everything down. But I wanted it simple and easy. Then I found this planner on Etsy.

The most simple design ever. Nice and clean and big enough to put things down easily. Personally, I prefer that the Sunday be on the left, at the start of the week, but that isn’t really a problem.

 

Then came the real test…do my pens go through the paper? I am happy to report that they do not! I LOVE that. So now, I have a perfect overview of the month and what is coming or going on. Plus I have a new home for my washi tape.
 

I’m really happy with this set up. It’ll carry me until 2015.

What then? I bought the gorgeous Pretty Documented planner. I actually got both versions (floral and minimalist) so I can mix and match them. I am really excited to try out this format because of the fact that I can customise and print out only the pages I really need. Now I needed to find a binder to house these fabulous pages in. I am taking Ashley Goldberg’s Paint Plan Play class which I hope will give me loads of tips so I don’t burn out in April like I have for my other ‘do it yourself’ planners.

I looked at different companies and their offerings for binder type planners. Two stand out : Filofax and Kikki.k. Both of these companies offer binder planner covers in different sizes. I like the half-letter size. It’s been quite a challenge to figure out what the terms ‘A4/A5’, ‘large’ and ‘personal’ mean in terms of size. I am really partial to Kikki.k’s gorgeous gold rings. For the Filofax offerings, I like this floral cover one and also the Holborn Zip one.

But, you guys, these are all priced at 50 US$ and up! Plus I wouldn’t even be using the inner pages that these come with. I think these are awesome for people who take these planners to meetings or to the office. Whereas mine will just be sitting, open, on my desk. I work in a Museum, in the physical anthropology laboratory, so I don’t have meetings to attend and work related events that would warrant me spending that amount of money on a cover that I would never see. It’s just not for me.

So even though I am really tempted by the planners above, I’m going to go for the Studio Calico Handbook planner that Ashley Goldberg designed. It’s 18 US$, I know it’ll lie flat and I love the size. Plus, I will actually use the page protectors included in it. I think the linen cover will be lovely with the Pretty Documented planner pages.

I’m just waiting for bundle shipping to start so I can include the planner with my Project Life kit. Have you found your ideal planner? Is there a better binder option I’m not aware of? Let me know!