Planner Season Is Here! Chat About Planners For 2017

What planners do you have on your radar for next year?  Chat with us about 2017 planners-updates, new features, & more!

It is that time of year… the time I like to call planner season. I have deemed this proclaimed season the time of year when many of the planner companies are releasing their planners for the upcoming year and announcing any changes that will be made.

I use a bullet journal, as I’m sure most of you know by now. I know that most of you that don’t bullet journal probably think all I have to do is pick out a simple notebook, but there is so much more to it than that.

I decided a while back that I want to use something other than a Leuchtturm to plan in for next year. There is nothing wrong with a Leuchtturm and it is arguably still the best notebook for the job. It is the staple of notebooks for bullet journaling.  But, I can be a bit ADD about my planners and it’s time for me to try something new.

I ordered the Hobonichi Cousin Avec in July and have been trying to find a way to bullet journal in it. I like it. That Tomoe River paper?  Oooooh, baby!  It makes my fountain pens sing! I also like the month-on-two pages format. However, I feel a bit boxed-in by the one-page-per-day format and the Type A in me is having a hard time ignoring those numbers on the tops of the pages.

2017 Hobonichi Techo Cousin

I have been waiting quite impatiently for the Hobonichi announcements about the changes to their planners for 2017. Much to my disappointment, the changes that I was anticipating were not made, and I don’t know if the Hobonichi is the right choice for me.

I’ve been eyeing the Stalogy 365 Days Notebook as an alternate option. It’s a nice, clean notebook that still has the Japanese feel to it, minus the Tomoe River paper. The paper is better than the Leuchtturm, though, in regards to fountain pen use (and I know all of you are using fountain pens after my last post, right?).

Image result for stalogy 365 days notebook
Stalogy 365 Days Notebook

There are a couple of other notebooks I am considering, but the aforementioned are the forerunners. My search for the perfect planner doesn’t end there-I still have to choose a notebook cover.

The notebook cover is big for someone that uses a bullet journal because the cover is a prelude to the planner inside. As a bullet journaler, we don’t get those pretty planner covers as easily as many of the other planner people.

I have a list of potential cover options. I am like the Louis Vuitton desk agenda. Mommy Lhey is rocking hers and I had to see one, so I visited a LV store. I particularly like this style of planner because you can fit more than one notebook inside and it’s a big fat sandwich that you just want to take a bite out of.

I am also looking at the Smythson notebook covers.  I LOVE Smythson. However, the covers are expensive and I can’t see one in person.  I would want it personalized and then it would be non-refundable.

Etsy has about a million leather planner covers at all price points. My head is spinning and I don’t know what I want.

I made a list, along with a note, about each planner cover I am considering and in no order of preference:

  • Louis Vuitton Desk Agenda
    • I like this cover, but I feel LV may be a bit too flashy for me. I love all the pockets on the inside and the ability to add my initials. My favorite part is the pockets on the inside. 
  • Burberry Ziparound Grainy Leather Diary
    • Simple, classic Burberry cover. I called several stores in both the US and the UK.  The ones that I want are not available at this time.burb
  • Smythson Grosvenor A5 Lippiatt Writing Folder
    • Whoa! $725?! It’s gorgeous, though, and matches the bag I just purchased from Smythson. I’m not crazy about the style of the pockets. Initials can be added. 
  • Smythson Dover A5 Writing Sleeve
    • Look at that gorgeous teal! Still a bit pricey and doesn’t have pockets on the inside. Able to add initials. 
  • Mulberry A5 Notebook Cover in Glossy Pink
    • This cover is from 2012 and sold out due to its popularity. I called Mulberry in the US and the UK and it is long gone. Of course, this is my number one choice for a planner cover. I have searched the internet and this item cannot be found. I have been advised to keep an eye out on eBay.
    • Mulberry items can be customized, but since I would have to purchase this item used, I don’t know if I would have that option. No pockets on the inside, but I love everything else about it so much that I don’t care.

Image result for Mulberry A5 Notebook Cover Pink Glossy Goat

For all of you out there looking for your 2017 planners, what hurdles have you encountered?  What helps you make your final decision each year?

How Planning Saved My Life

Let’s start by going back about three years: I was (and still am) a wife and mother who was working full-time in a demanding environment. I was contributing to education classes at work as well as being heavily involved in community outreach, which meant I was traveling and working extra hours.

My daughter would come home from school with birthday party invitations and letters about upcoming events, she had extra-curricular activities, and we all had doctor’s appointments and counseling that required time off work or away from school.

how planning saved my life

Losing Control

Despite using Outlook and iCal at work, I would forget about my classes and rush to be there at the last minute, unprepared for the presentation I was about to give. I would forget about doctor’s appointments and school functions, and would ask for the time off work at the last minute.

Eventually, I sensed that my boss was irritated with how scattered I was. I then started feeling stress and guilt about the situation, which didn’t help with my general anxiety over my busy life.

When my daughter would bring home information about parties or events, I would immediately feel stressed and inconvenienced about the time and the contribution it would require. I would also forget about those parties/events as quickly as I set down the paper or invitation telling me about them. When the time came for those events, I was filled with guilt because I could not bring myself to attend and my daughter was disappointed.

I was flaking out on my friends and rarely doing anything for me. I had a million things jumbled in my brain and trying to sort everything out seemed insurmountable and added to my level of stress.

In a nutshell, I was feeling anxious, stressed, and guilty. I felt like my life was out of control.

how planning saved my life

Small Steps, Big Changes

After identifying that I was tired of living my life the way that I was, I decided to take matters into my own hands; I thought the best way to do that would be to commit to a planner. Immediately, just the simple act of writing down all of the things that were in my brain was a relief. Those stresses were now out of my mind and could be accessed one at a time, at the appropriate time. When I would look at my month and everything I had going on, I could prioritize and prepare accordingly.

Fast forwarding to present day, I am still using a planner full-time and it has enabled me to have a less hectic life. Yes, I am still busy, but I am prepared and there are fewer surprises to send me into a downward spiral of stress and anxiety. Yes, using a planner requires dedication, but the benefits of my efforts are vast.

Sitting down with my planner every morning and mapping out my day has become a therapeutic activity that I look forward to. Plus, we all know how fun it is to buy and use our planner accessories!


Finding My Way

I am currently using a bullet journal, which is my favorite method so far due to the ability for 100% customization. I have previously used planners from Plum Paper, Erin Condren, and Filofax (with Filofax, Kikki K, and Inkwell Press inserts).

My bullet journal has helped me to expand my creativity, though I am still heavily influenced by the style and layouts of Kara Benz. Not only am I more organized, but I am working on making myself better by working through my Level 10 Life goals as well as practicing gratitude.



Sharing Myself

In the past year, I have become involved in the online planner community. Seeing that there are other people who have busy schedules and have fallen short has reminded me that we are all in this together.

It is not always easy to manage our lives and the online community enables us to see the methods that other people are using.

It is exciting to see the way that people modify their planners, how people plan, and how things work for them. All of these things enable us to find the method that works best for us, resulting in a more organized life.

Long story short, I feel like planning has saved my life. At the very least, it keeps me sane.


How To Use A Bullet Journal For Your Health

Learn how to use a bullet journal for your health.   Discover how to use this planning tool for improved health & more!

Our lovely guest post contributor, Thanita from Nosh To Knitting, shares how she uses her bullet journal for her family and their health.  

So, you’re interested in starting a Bullet Journal or at least you’re curious about it? Great! Join the fandom!

My journey with the bullet journal started in December of 2015. It has morphed into a valued system I use daily. I manage activities, appointments, and my family’s health. Having started late last year, I can provide a fresh perspective on what worked for me.

Staying organized is important to me and my family. Our schedules are pretty busy.  Sometimes, it feels as if our paths cross only briefly. So I have to find ways to keep on top of our needs.

What’s more, my youngest kiddo has IgE-mediated food allergies. This means she is allergic to several foods that have the potential to become life-threatening anaphylaxis. , in order to keep her safe and included, we closely scrutinize not only food products, but non-food products as well. I am happy to share how I incorporate my bullet journal with staying on top of our various health needs.

You can use a bullet journal for your health.

Background of The Bullet Journal

The Bullet Journal is an analog system of managing one’s time and schedule. Created by Ryder Carroll, the Bullet Journal was forged from a need to improve the way he managed his tasks. The result is a system that not only tracks daily tasks and events but also helps identify priorities.

Think of the bullet journal as a fluid “to do” list with specific symbols to identify each task or event, all in a convenient, portable journal or notebook. It allows an individual to both rapidly log information and recall this information quickly when needed. This is one of many reasons I find the bullet journal to be helpful.

Additionally, it can be anything an individual needs it to be, once the basics are understood. I use my bullet journal to track appointments, notes, symptoms of health concerns, and more.

Getting Started With Your Bullet Journal

The first thing I suggest is to watch Ryder Carroll’s How To Bullet Journal video (link below). I’m not ashamed to say that I will go back and reference the video in order to refresh my memory of the concept. Once you’re familiar with the concept, just dive in!

I use my Bullet Journal in a similar fashion as explained in the video. However, I have added features unique to managing my family’s health.

  1. Color Coding System
  2. Health-Related Signifiers

Example of Legend & how to use a bullet journal for health.


My Bullet Journal Color Code System

The concept of color coding is simple; assign and use a color to identify specific or unique events for quick referencing. I add my color code key in both the Key (or Legend) page and the Index page. I also keep a few colored pens/markers in my purse so that it’s readily available when needed. The following is a list of items used in my color code system:

  • Red: Medical related events.
  • Brown: Identifies the Future Planning pages as well the months.
  • Purple, Pink, Blue, Lime Green & Orange: Each person in my family is assigned a color.
  • Green: Identifies notes regarding food manufacturers. I added this to my system because I must contact food manufacturers to inquire about their manufacturing procedures in order to find safe options.
  • Yellow: Identifies an event relating to school.
  • Turquoise: Identifies collections and lists I keep track of. For example, if one of my kiddos has been frequently ill, I will add the page numbers where I recorded details about it. I also have a list of movies my family and I would like to watch, a list of school lunch ideas and so on.

How To Use Bullet Journal For Health with an example of exterior bujo.

Note that when unique events occur, I color only the edge of my journal page. I’m also not coloring all the pages in my journal. That would be excessive and time-consuming!

This information can then be quickly referenced. Therein lies the key for the color code system and why I enjoy using the bullet journal. It can be whatever you need it to be. For me, using this color code system allows me to refer back to information when needed, and to do it quickly.

Example of entries & how to use a bullet journal for your health.

Why Have a Color Code System AND an Index for Your Bullet Journal?

You may be wondering why I use a color coding system when I have an index (which is similar to a table of contents in a book). The simple answer is that, when I use both, it’s quicker and easier for me to visually reference information. It’s just the way my brain works!

The index allows me to find the page of general information that I journaled during a specific timeframe. The color code identifies the particular information I find important, without having to scan through the entire list in the index.

Signifiers for Your Bullet Journal

As explained in the video, signifiers help identify the meaning of a specific task and event. In my bullet journal, I have added signifiers unique to my needs. These signifiers can be quickly drawn next to the bullet. When I need to refer back to a specific event, I flip through my journal searching for the color. Then I scan the page to find the signifier.

For example, if one of my kiddos got sick, I look for the red-colored page that includes my kiddo’s color. Doing this, I can provide the doctor with information about when the symptoms began, which medications were administered, the time they were administered, and so on.

The signifiers I use are quick and easy for me to draw. You may either use these signifiers or create your own. Here’s an example of some of the signifiers I have added:

  • Email: An “e” with a circle around it.
  • Sick, Symptoms, Medical Emergency: A face with a frown (think emoji).
  • Watch/Stream Movie : A pause/play button icon.How To Use A Bullet Journal For Health-Planner Squad


Don’t Be Afraid of Making Mistakes in Your Bullet Journal!

When I first started, I did not want to write in my lovely inkWELL Press Sewn Journal. It was too beautiful!

Now I dive right in, eagerly jotting down tasks just so I can feel the satisfaction of checking each off when complete. It’s not weird 😉 Now that you have the tools, it’s time to get started on your own bullet journal and document your health journey. I hope you found this information helpful!


~Thanita  BioPic_TG4PS

Share Your Spread #5

Sorry this post is a little late this week! But even though it’s Tuesday instead of Monday, it’s time to Share Your Spread!

Every week we ask our viewers to come and share their spread on our weekly link up, so others can be inspired by their creativity. I love coming back to see how everyone’s planning out their week, no matter what planner they use!

I love taking the time every week to sit out and plan (literally), what my entire week will look like. If I don’t have my week perfectly laid out and decorated, then I feel like I’m off and everything seems to crumble.I seem to get more done since it’s so fun to look inside my planner and check off those little boxes!

That being said, what does your planner look like this week? Did you go with a special theme? Finally getting to use that new awesome washi you found? We want to see! Make sure you use #PlannerSquad and #ShareYourSpreadLinkup when you share your spreads on instagram!

It’s Time To Share Your Spreads!

Share Your Spread Weekly Link-Up Planner Squad

Jenn Roberts, Planner Squad, Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling