Planner Update: April 2017

The term ‘planner peace’ is thrown around a little bit in the planning community, and although it sounds extremely cheesy I now feel like I completely understand what it means. This is because I have found planner peace. It has taken me around 5 planners to work this out, but I am there and I am happy about it. Planner peace for me is in the form of a 12 month Plum Paper planner, with a month-at-a-glance section with a handful of lined note pages behind. I use the month-at-a-glance section of the planner to organise my life and keep track of everything I have going on, and I use the note pages for various to do lists and other brain dumps that I need to get down on paper and out of my mind. I have come to understand that this is all I need to feel properly organised, without spending too much time faffing about in my planner. I’ve done the week-at-a-glance thing, I’ve done the stickers thing, but now I know what I need and what I like and I feel more organised than ever.

Erin Condren Haul (+ planner update)

I have developed a bad habit of getting sick of my personal planner about 5-6 months into using it, and then buying something new. I’m coming up to my 6th month of using my new Plum Paper Planner, so of course I went ahead and purchased myself something new. I’ve been really drawn to Erin Condren’s new cover designs, so that plus the fact that the planner now comes in a neutral colour scheme was enough to draw me in and convince me to take the plunge.

Here’s what I picked up:

I ordered the ‘Blossom’ Life Planner with black spiral, in the neutral horizontal layout. I also picked up a large classic lined ‘Watercolour Floral’ notebook with a rose gold spiral. I’m planning to use the planner as my general planner to track events and things I have to do, and the notebook is going to be my day-to-day list holder. I track a lot of things in my current planner (what TV show’s we’re watching, life to-do lists, house project lists, shopping lists, etc), and I’m trying to streamline the process in two different areas. I’ve shifted my daily to-do list writing to an app (shock horror!) and have been loving Wunderlist for this. By the way, if you’d like $10 off your own Erin Condren goodies, please feel free to use my referral code.

Planner Sticker Haul

Sticker haulin’ is expensive but oh so fun. I decided to place an order for some new planner sticker goodies, because my stash is starting to run a bit low. Ever since KrissyAnneDesigns moved her store to self-hosting, I’ve found it impossible buy anything because her stock is always sold out. Which is pretty disappointing, because a lot of her basic stickers are my all-time favourites. KarolinasKrafts is also a favourite store of mine, but she’s become so popular that I now have to wait well over a month for a stickers order to arrive. It felt like a good time to source some new planner sticker sellers on Etsy, so this time around I decided to try out Addie and Allie and CustomKeyCreations. Here’s what I ordered this time around –

Colourful Half Box Stickers
Appointment Reminder Stickers (in Cool + Warm)
Rescheduled/Cancelled Stickers (in Cool + Warm)
Scallopped Stickers (in Cool + Warm)

How I use my Plum Paper Planner (and initial thoughts)

I recently made the decision to purchase a Plum Paper planner, and to set my Erin Condren planner aside for a little while. I don’t remember exactly what made me decide to do this, I think I might have just been feeling a bit sick of my Erin Condren and wanted to try something new. I haven’t changed too much in the way that I plan, but I thought I’d do a bit of a refresher so I could talk about my initial feelings about the Plum Paper planner.

I opted for this cover for the planner, as it was my favourite design on offer. This is really beautiful in person, but I will say that although it comes with a clear frosted plastic cover you can easily see wear and tear damage along the bottom edge of the card cover. I think a fully laminated cover is the way to go, if you’re someone who uses your planner on a daily basis. I’ve only had this for a month now, and it’s already showing some damage. Oh, and I’m loving the organizational tools I’ve put in place for my planning sessions. Having all of my pens/pencils/highlighters etc. in this clear acrylic organizer has made life a lot easier. I’ve also started using this receipt organizer to store all of my stickers in.

I’m using the monthly layout the same, and am still highlighting items to reflect what they relate to. Green is for bills/money and things to do with the house, pink is for social events, yellow is for work, blue is for gym appointments, purple is for my mortgage, and orange is for other reminders (family doctor appointments, birthdays etc). The week-at-a-glance page comes with this tickable checklist, which I love and have been using to track all of my to-dos for the week.

My week-at-a-glance section is similar to the Erin Condren, but the columns are narrow and are not broken into morning/day/night. For the first week or so I struggled a bit with how I was going to use this section, but I’ve found my flow with it now. The Plum Paper planners come with additional pages that you can add at a cost, and my favourite is the bill tracker. This is especially handy for people who are trying to track their budget and work out how much they’re spending on utilities each month.

The design and aesthetic of the Plum Paper planner is superior to Erin Condren in a lot of ways. The colours are far more attractive and they flow better throughout the planner itself. I like that at the end/beginning of each month the previous month’s days are greyed out, rather than having the previous month’s colour scheme continuing on for a few days. It’s also far more attractive in general, there are less quotes and fussy patterns throughout the planner. If you prefer minimal design this will work better for you. Also, it’s cheaper. The Plum Planner with 3 additional monthly inserts (and stickers) and shipping came to $85 AUD. The Erin Condren planner plus stickers and shipping came to $142 AUD.

The paper is more glossy than the Erin Condren, which some people may not like. This actually works well with the pen I use (the Staedler pigment liner 0.5), so it’s not a huge con for me but might be for some. The stickers are also incredibly glossy, and every pen I’ve tried to use on them has slid off and smudged if I haven’t left it out to dry for a while. This is time consuming and kind of goes against all of the time-saving benefits planning offers us. The columns in the week-at-a-glance are more narrow than the Erin Condren one, so if you have any old stickers that you want to use they’re not going to fit perfectly. If you’re a bit of a perfectionist, this will be annoying. Oh, and as I mentioned earlier on in the post, the card cover is prone to wear and tear along the edges.

So that’s how I’ve been using my Plum Planner, and a few of my initial thoughts. If there is anything else you’d like to know about the Plum Planner or how I plan in general, or if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below.