How to choose a planner that fits your needs

The planner community is bustling with a plethora of planners to choose from. Newbies can feel overwhelmed and lost in the variety, not knowing which one will work for them or if they’ll even use it at all!

Your whole life has been planned out since you were born – your career path, when you would marry and have children- but now that everything’s changed how do we plan our lives? Choosing a new planner can be difficult because there are so many options available on the market. We want something perfect for us, both aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. But what does ‘perfect’ look like?

So, in this article, I am going to share on how you could create the perfect planner for yourself.

How to Choose the Best Planner that will work for you

Type of Planner

First of all, you need to know whether you are a digital or a pen and paper person. Some individuals like to carry everything in their phone or an iPad. Meanwhile, there are some who loves the feeling of using a pen and paper. So, for those who loves being digital, digital planners are the best and for those who’s more traditional, paper planner is the best. What if you are a bit both?? Don’t worry, you can still combine paper and digital planner into your planning system.

Digital planners are easy because you just have to figure out about the planner inserts but for paper planners there are so many aspects that you need to consider before getting to the right planner. In this post, I’m going to talk about paper planners generally.

Paper Planners

Now, that you have decided your first planner is a paper planner, you need to figure out how the physical aspect of your planner should be. There are several things that you need to consider:

Ring bound vs string planner vs disc bound (coil bound)

This is a matter of preference. Personally, I prefer string planner because I don’t like to change my planner inserts all the time. Ring and discbound planners have the flexibility of changing the inserts from time to time but it can be cumbersome when the inserts keeps coming out or you can’t carry all your inserts all at once due to weight.

plum paper vertical priorities weekly spread green theme simple minimalist quick easy zebra mildliner habit tracker lined writing space
Plum Paper Planner – Photo Credit to

Ring and disc bound planner inserts is limited to certain number of pages as well because once the ring is full, you will be having problem turning the pages and occasional tear may occur if you are not careful. Following are some of the famous planners that you can take a look at:

String planners

  • Hobonichi Cousin
  • Jibun Techo
  • Travellers Notebook
  • Passion Planner

Disc Bound

Ring Bound

Size Planner – A5 vs Personal vs A6

Larger planners are great when you have loads to write on. I love A5 size the best because it has so much space for me to create my personal and work lists in one single planner, but they can be a bit large which makes them more difficult to carry around as your go-to solution at times of need. The smaller sizes like Personal Size or even an A6 size fit well into our handbags without being too heavy while still providing plenty of room where we want it most!

Hobonichi Cousin and Hobonichi A6

Thus, you need to consider weight, space and size option to decide on what size you want to pick as your main planner.

Bullet Journal or Printed Inserts

So, bullet journaling is pretty easy because it is a customizable planner as you will be designing your own layouts and free to get ideas from social media such as Pinterest, Instagram and websites on different layouts that will work for you. All you need to do is get the blank pages book in the planner size that you desire.

Some bullet journal books that you can consider are Leuchtturm, Moleskine, Stalogy and Rhodia. If you are using a fountain pen, then take Moleskine out of this selection because they are not fountain ink tolerant. You can also read Bullet Journal to get additional informaiton on bullet journaling.

choose best planner - bullet journal moleskine
Bullet journaling in Moleskine

For a printed inserts planner, you need to identify what kind of person you are, your lifestyle and other personal choice that you need to look at before making the final decisions. Things that you should consider is whether you need:

  • monthly calendar pages – full page / half page or small size monthly calendar to track of appointments or important dates and etc
  • weekly pages – choose from week in 1 page to hourly layouts which is available in vertical and horizontal layouts
  • daily planner pages – if you like to plan daily, then consider having daily inserts in your planner (your planner can get thick though)
  • to do list page / tasks lists – for those who love to do some brain dumps and create a master list of to dos or task lists
  • goal setting – your personal goals also can be tracked using goals inserts
  • any other specific needs – work planner to track projects or journaling to track good time or even sketching

There are so many options for printable pages that you can choose from. Etsy is a great place to find your preferred planner pages.

Combine Paper and Digital Planner

You can mix digital and paper planning to increase efficiency. For example, I set my appointment on Google Calendar and I will have reminder on my phone (our loyal companion in today’s world). Paper planner do not give reminders though but it is helpful to ensure that we are not distracted with all those notification from our phones (downside of digital world, unfortunately).

Final Say

It doesn’t matter whether it is for college students, employees or moms, each individual has different needs. Personal use,for school or as work planner, you should understand your need and choose the right planner for yourself. Remember to have the perfect planner, there is no obligation to spend a lot of money. Your current planner system may not work in a few years because your life and priority may have changed. This means, your next planner could be different that what you have now. So, start listing down your preferences and go ahead and discover what planner type of person you are.

What ever you do, make sure your choice in planners matches how YOU like to plan. If not … well … don’t say I didn’t warn ya 😉

Happy Discovering!!!

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