2019’s planner lineup was very ambitious and FULL of many goals and areas I wanted to work on compared to my 2020 planner lineup.
But in the end, I burned out completely and barely made it through the rest of the year just using my Budget planner.
I experimented a lot in 2019 with layouts, sizes and planning styles and I learned a lot about my planning personality in general.
And one of the main things that I realized is that for me,
…the less obligation the BETTER.
I feel I’m my most productive when I don’t feel like I have to be. Which probably has a lot to do with why my budgeting in 2018 was so fruitful!
I didn’t require myself to do so much daily checking in and to write down so much detailed information. At most, the only thing I was obligated to do was check in at the beginning of the month and tally the results at the end of the month.
Everything else I added on was out of curiosity, not because I was obligated to do it every single month.
So with that in mind, I was a bit more intentional about my 2020 planner lineup.
Overall, my goal for 2020 and all the years to come is to be more present and to live a more meaningful life.
I felt that my planner lineup from 2019 was full of SO much obligation and SO focused on PLANNING, that I left little to no time to actually create the meaning that I wanted to document.
Honestly, it’s a lot of fun to be had in maintaining multiple planners, but I definitely flew overboard with what I wanted to accomplish.
And this year, I’m pretty proud of the lineup that I have come up with! Compared to 2019, this initial lineup is way more streamlined and simplified.
This year, I want to find the balance between planning my best life, and actually living it.
How I Chose My 2020 Planner Lineup
There were a few things that went into play when deciding upon my planner system for the new year. For 2019, I spent more time rationalizing how to use all the pretty planners I had accumulated rather than analyzing what my TRUE needs were.
In reality, I could’ve cut my paper planner consumption in HALF had I just been honest about what I needed out of my planner instead of what I wanted.
And here were a few things that I noted:
I’m Fine With The Catch All Planner Catching Everything
Part of the reason why I branched out into so many planners in 2019 is because I wanted to have a dedicated planner for EVERYTHING!
I had a planner for budgeting, one for wellness, eventually a mini for fitness, one for side hustles, and the list just goes on and ON!
Apparently, I thought my life was sooooo involved that I needed THAT much organization for each area in my life.
But I just didn’t.
It kind of goes back to what I used to mention about loving to have a “filled” planner. And that seeing a planner used so heavily was satisfying.
The reality of having segregated so much of my life amidst several planners meant that each planner didn’t seem like it was being used to it’s fullest potential.
My budgeting planner is the only exception though.
I could’ve made the same progress just using my catch all planner. And that, eventually, IS what ended up happening towards the middle of the year. It became too many planners to check in with and overall just a bit too stressful.
And also… working
Obviously, I’m not hoarding all 12 of those planners around everyday. The only planner I kept with me was my catch all planner. So housing the more important information in planners that I always left at home made even less sense.
Ultimately, I love planner collecting as much as the next person. But my 2020 planner lineup is not about to allow that tragedy again.
I do not want to allow myself to hoard so many more planners for a new year. There are many beautiful ones out there, but the one I choose for my 2020 planner lineup NEEDS to be able to encompass everything! Or…you know, at least 95% of it.
I Need To Be Mindful Of Over-Extending Myself
This goes along with my previous point about buying up planners for every single area.
But I wanted to create a different section so that I could really emphasize how tiring checking IN with all of those planners IS.
It’s fun when you only have to check in with one, and maybe a couple more. But when you HAVE to check in with more than one planner on a daily basis?! Ugh!
For me, personally, it just got to be a little too much. And I felt like I was spending more time on planning what I wanted to do and losing energy to actually go and do those things.
Which in essence caused me to start back planning and, eventually, caused me to stop planning altogether.
Being without a planner did allow me a chance to breathe, but I did find myself not getting as much accomplished as I wanted to.
I have goals that I want to reach and things that I’m trying to work towards. So I don’t want to slack off completely and I KNOW a planner is necessary.
But having so many to check in with everyday, or even a few times a week is tedious. So for my 2020 planner lineup, being mindful of over extending myself is an absolute MUST.
This 2020 Planner Lineup CAN’T Demand All Of My Time
This planner system can not, I repeat, CAN NOT take up all of my time!
I have to tell myself this because if I start something, I subconsciously feel obligated to commit to it. And I don’t really give myself permission to just walk away from the things that are not working.
I currently had planners that I wanted to repurpose for the new year. But I stopped and thought about what I needed out of my new planner system and none of them seemed to match up completely. I want to create the system that WORKS this year. And not just create a system based off of what’s available to me.
And the things I need are Focus. Simplicity. And very few bells and whistles.
I need planners that help me dig deep and planners that help me stay on track. I need planners that don’t require so much of my time to set up. And planners that don’t make me feel obligated to spend so much time setting them up.
But at the same time, I love an aesthetically pleasing planner. It’s a really weird thing I’m finding about myself, but I AM most attracted to beautiful things. And yes, beautiful planners too.
Either way, the planners that I invest in can’t demand all of my time. But they should still look beautiful in my eyes
I Want The Freedom To Still Change Things Up A Bit
Since I consider myself a spontaneous planner, there’s a good chance that after 6 months, I might lose interest in planning altogether again. But this year, I’m going to give myself permission to be okay with that.
I did consider that trait in choosing my 2020 planner lineup system. But since I prefer coil bound and book bound planners much more to flexible discs and ring binders, I won’t say that stopping use of them isn’t inevitable.
What I DID consider, though, in choosing my planners are the layout options.
I feel like the layouts I’m incorporating this year will allow my planning style room to shift around as the year goes on.
I primarily seem to switch back and forth between loose planning and detailed planning.
Loose planning is where I just want to accomplish things in a week and not by a certain day. And detailed planning is when I’m creating more structure for everyday.
The planners that I chose will allow me room to shift back and forth while still keeping me on track and aware of the goals I want to achieve for years to come.
So now it’s time to see…
What DID I end up choosing for my 2020 planner lineup?
Well, let’s just see shall we?
My 2020 Planner Lineup
Catch All Planner
The Golden Coil Planner
Perhaps the biggest change in all of this is the addition of a completely new planner brand!!! Yaaay!
If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, I am a pretty avid Erin Condren fan and was borderline a Happy Planner fan too.
These two planner companies have made quite the name for decorative colorful planners everywhere! And I have absolutely enjoyed every product I’ve gotten from them!
Erin Condren planners (aside from bullet journals) have always been my first choice when it came to finding my catch all planner. But for 2020, I wasn’t interested in much of anything from the Erin Condren brand due to their newly reformatted layouts.
And I was about to repurpose my Happy Illustrations planner to use for 2020, but THEN.
I stumbled across a review video from Amanda’s Favorites, a very informative planner review youtuber who showed the ins and outs of the Golden Coil planner.
I was instantly sold the moment I landed on the site and saw ALL of the beautiful ways you could customize your own planner. You’d really just have to go on the website and see for yourself.
After spending an hour or so clicking through all of the customized add ons, I had it. I had created THEE planner I wanted to use for 2020!
After receiving it and looking over it a bit, I realize how much it looks like the Happy Planner dashboard layout. So, for a fraction of what I paid, I could’ve tested this layout out to see if I liked it.
But after playing around with it for a week or so, I’m beginning to see how much I adore this planner anyways. There is absolutely NO decorations added to it. It’s completely flexible to whatever I want to create in it.
And with the identical paper quality to Erin Condren, it’s definitely a nice planner to start use for 2020!
PLUS, I was able to create this planner for the year I envisioned ahead as opposed to trying to figure out how to work with features that were given to me (that I probably don’t really need). And for that, I can’t WAIT to dive into this planner! Stay tuned for a review!
The Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly
I consistently use the EC Deluxe Monthly planner for my budgeting needs. If not for nostalgic reasons (first planner I ever started using and also the first planner I ever bought from Erin Condren), then for it’s functionality.
But in 2019, budgeting was a REAL flop and I already know why it was.
I put so much pressure on myself to create the fanciest, most detailed budget that anyone had ever seen! And I only kept up with it for maybe the first quarter of the year. Up until I came back around in August and only started planning for the things I KNEW I was going to USE.
I was nowhere NEAR that detailed about my budget in 2018, nor 2017 when I started, and yet I managed to keep a consistent monthly budget. And THAT is the most important thing.
Another very personal problem I realized is that… for some reason, the months where I stayed consistent with checking into my budget were only the months where I hand drew into my budget planner. 😐
Call it whatever you like, but there is definitely some type of emotional connection I seem to have with a budget that is completely customized and decorated with my own art. It manages to hold my attention for a full thirty days (give or take) where I can stay on top of my budget.
It’s the most calming thing I do
Which is probably why I began to venture out into more decorative planning. But sticker kits just don’t hold the same emotional investment for me plus they take up more financial resources and time (if I make them myself).
And, essentially, I was over extending myself and putting too much obligation to keep a pretty planner.
I plan to do a full budget walk through of my setup once it’s completed. So stay tuned for that as well!
Intentional Goal Setting Planner
The Cultivate What Matters Powersheet Planner
My favorite goal planner EVER. This planner is like a personal paper therapist for me.
It helps me to dig deep and uncover the goals that I truly want to go after and to break through the barriers that hold me back. I wrote an entire gushing review on the new 2020 Powersheet Planner here. So please refer there if you want deeper insight on what they are and how I intend to use them.
Of course, 2019 was also the first year that I decided to USE this planner as well. So of course, there are areas where I can improve using it more to it’s fullest potential. Which is what I intend to do in 2020.
I am really excited to have the CWM Powersheets specifically in my 2020 planner lineup because 2019 really started to open my eyes to new opportunities I wanted to take. This year really allowed me to peel back layers that I had been avoiding for SO long. It renewed my interest in things that I had previously banished because I felt either too inadequate or too hurt to pursue it.
I really LOVE what the powersheets planners do when you really allow them to step inside and help you work through your fears. And there are quite a few adventurous things I want to do more of in 2020. I’m really looking forward to having the guidance of the powersheets to help keep me focused and continue to achieve more of my goals.
Again, I delve in REALLY deep with the post that I wrote on it. So please refer here if you want ALLLL the details!
Creative Wellness Planner
Happy Illustrations Happy Planner
I saw this idea from Mary Ellen’s planner lineup video with Planning With Bumble and I just knew I had to try this idea for 2020!
She uses a vertical happy planner to sort of “creatively journal” in her wellness planner where she uses stickers and journals short thoughts for every day.
I saw this and thought this was a perfect way to merge memory planning with wellness and wanted to give it a go for the new year!
This planner was initially supposed to be my Memory Planner anyway, but I just have not been any good with making sure to take photos every week, get them printed and create a whole spread for them.
But also, there’s a lot of memories I missed out on documenting and I want to stop doing that.
I figured with merging the idea of photo memory planning with creative journaling, it would be a great way to keep ALL of the memories contained whether it was just written down or documented with photos.
And it would also make it easier to stick to doing it every week, or even every day!
Besides my catch all planner, it’s the only other planner that would require me checking in with it daily or fairly frequently throughout the week. So I’ll just have to see how it fares out in the end.
But yes, I do intend to use a host of stickers, add photos where I want and even draw.
And besides my budget planner, it is going to be a place where I plan to be very creative.
And The Notable Mentions
As for my 2020-specific planners, those four planners above are what I intend to use. The next few following are planners that have no expiration date and can be used ongoing as long as they continue to work out for me. And those notable mentions include:
Outline Planner (ongoing)
Erin Condren Vertical Hardbound
A personal favorite is still my Outline planner which I am currently still using my expired EC hardbound planners for.
This is definitely an oldie but goodie. And has become thee most beneficial re-purposed dated planner I’ve ever had. I wrote a post entirely on how I use this planner to help me outline blog posts and other social media content and I still use it the same way to this day.
It’s GREAT to keep me from “winging” the content I write up and to try and put more thought and research into the topics I blog about.
It allows me time to brainstorm through everything I’d like to talk about and helps me trim down to the actual focal points of each post. It helps everything become so much more clearer when I take the time to sit down and “rough draft the rough draft” so to speak.
This outline planner was the best idea I’ve ever had in regards to using up unloved dated planners. And that is most likely how I’ll end up using all the other unused ones I’ve accumulated THIS year as well.
Plenty of ideas to go around, you know?
Recipe Planner (ongoing)
The Happy Planner Recipe Planner
I love this recipe planner. It’s just too cute!
I haven’t given up on trying to broaden my range in the culinary department. And for the year of 2020, I want to start learning how to cook different types of food and being more… adventurous in my meal planning.
Instead of cooking and eating the same ol’ same ol’ (if and when I ever cook since I still eat out so much).
I also want to write down more family recipes and some of my own that I’ve been coming up with lately. I just think it’d be fun to have this planner around.
Business Planner (ongoing)
The Trello App
Well, technically it’s not a paper planner, but it’s a planner nonetheless.
I have been using the Trello App for a few months now. Mainly to help me organize my thoughts and tasks for working on reconstructing my online digital shop. And, I have to say, this is probably the best thing I’ve come across for planning my business.
Trello is designed with a community of workers and team members in mind. But I find that using it as a solopreneur has it’s benefits as well.
I’ve found using this app better as opposed to paper planning for a couple of reasons:
- It’s Portable. As much as I’d LOVE to be, I’m not always home all day every day. And with that in mind, a lot of my better ideas and concepts happen when I’m out and about. It just hasn’t been feasible carrying around so many different planners at a time everyday. I can access it right from my phone. It easy to research topics, brainstorm new ideas and make sure the little things get done.
- It’s Flexible. THIS is something I value about digital planning. I constantly jump from idea to idea and it’s easy to change things around in a planner app than it is over a schedule written in colorful pens and stickers. Trello is easy to organize between different boards and the checklists can be archived as fast as they can be created. You can copy tasks from one board to another and it’s all around GREAT!
- It’s Just Easier. I love paper planning, but I’m going to leave the business planning to the phone. For me it has been working for a the past few months I’ve been using it. And honestly, I haven’t felt the need to get a paper planner to assist.
And for now, I just wanna say…
There is my 2020 planner lineup!
Find anything interesting?
I have tried to remain vigilant to not rack my brain trying to come up with awe-inspiring planner topics just so I could buy more planners. No, not this year.
This year, I feel that I can be as creative as I want, but with fewer planners. I don’t need so many separate systems for every part of my life.
At the end of the day, I just want to end the year with chunky, loved-to-the fullest planners. And hopefully by the end of 2020, I’ll be ending that year with these same planners.
What’s your 2020 planner lineup? How many will you start with and what are they for?