There are planners out there who can go a whole year filling just one planner with their entire life!
And then there are those like me… who don’t. :}
I love using multiple planners!
And since I’ve started planning, I don’t think I’ve ever started a year with just one planner in my lineup.
But by the end of the year, there is a very slim chance that every planner I started with I actually finish with.
Because there is ooooonnnnnnne teensy tiny little thing that gets in the way of me finishing all of those planners.
The fact that I need to actually DO all the things I plan for.
When I looked at it that way, it made me realize how easy it is to start over-planning and… under-living?
Which is why THIS year I wanted to be more intentional about the planners I chose. I analyzed my patterns in detail to try to be able to pinpoint the best starting lineup for me.
In a lot of ways, my self-evaluations allowed me to reap GREAT benefits from the planners I ended up choosing.
I had been keeping up so well with the planners I had… I then decided to incorporate more.
To try more, to rack my brain for ideas to use all these fancy shmancy new planners coming out.
And eventually, I collapsed in using many of my planners.
It was the best idea that a lot of my starting planners were monthly anyway, so what I skipped in weeks, I usually made up for before the month was over.
I want to continue to enjoy the creative aspect I’ve found in decorative planning. But it did make me wonder something.
Is there a such thing as a perfect planner number? And if so,
What was mine?
What IS A Perfect Planner Number?
In my opinion, the “perfect planner number” is that sweet spot number of planners that help you put everything into a smooth balance.
It’s the perfect number of planners that allow you to plan out your best life and still leave you the energy and drive to go out and LIVE it!
The perfect planner number allows for an atmosphere of peace and positivity. It allows enough room to discover your weaknesses, challenge yourself to grow and document your journey.
And simultaneously provide a creative space for those that enjoy that part of the process (like me).
With the end of the year getting closer, it is now about time to start contemplating what planners I will be entering the year of 2021 with.
Taking from what more I have noticed about my planning habits this year, I thought I’d list out a few things that helped me narrow down what my needs really are.
Needs vs Wants
Wanting Freedom VS NEEDING Limits
Flexible planners that allow me to customize it however I choose are a blessing! And equally a curse (IMO).
The freedom of flexible planners is great if you always have an idea of what you want to do with it. As well as the time and energy to devote to setting it up the way you want.
I have decided that having ultimate freedom within my planners is actually not that important to me. What IS important is being able to have enough flexibility to do my own thing without completely being on my own.
This year, I have been using my Golden Coil planner. And there’s one thing I’ve noticed about this planner:
I think it’s fair to say that right now, Golden Coil isn’t one of the biggest planner brands out there on the market.
I cannot easily go online and find lots of tips, tricks, and ways to add in things to my Golden Coil planner and make it perfect for me whatsoever.
Having a planner that didn’t have so much hype around it really allowed me to focus better on using my planner and not the potential of it. But that’s just my opinion.
I wanted so badly to stick with Erin Condren or Happy Planner (especially Happy Planner lol) because these brands had OPTIONS and LOTS of them!
Everywhere you turned, etsy shops, youtube tutorials, IG accounts up the wazoo!
The time invested into creating the “perfect planner” was unmatched for these brands!
But after spending over 6 months with my Golden Coil consistently, I’ve realized that I didn’t need a vast array of endless options. There was never an urgency to have the “perfect planner”.
I just needed a layout that worked.
Once the layout was decided based on what I NEEDED and not what I felt I could do with it, everything else just seemed to fall into place.
Wanting To Be Ready VS NEEDING To Be Ready
I have found that hands down, the main reason why I drift away from a planner is because of a suppressed fear.
A lot of times, I start out feeling like I am mentally ready to take on the challenge of whatever area that planner is chosen for. But in time, my insecurities start to reveal themselves.
If I am not in a TRUE place to start working those things out, I start to drift away from using that planner.
I suppose that subconsciously, I wasn’t as ready to work on that area like I thought I was. Or perhaps my fears have just fluctuated throughout the year because that can happen.
It wouldn’t matter how many brands, layouts, designs, or whatever else I tried to change up, nothing could make me stick to it. Because subconsciously I’m not interested in sticking with it.
So with all that in mind, how did I figure out my perfect planner number? Here are a few tips I’ve come up with when it comes to trying to figure out your perfect number of planners!
5 Ways To Help You Find Your
Perfect Planner Number!
As mentioned above, being mentally ready is a big factor in determining how consistent you will be with the planner(s) you choose. Though it is only a piece of the puzzle.
Whether it is health and wellness, business planning, keeping up with the family, or all that and more, your planner will dig deep into that.
And they’re supposed to. 🙂
Planners are going to reveal the good AND the bad of whatever area you are trying to improve. It won’t always be glittering rainbows and Simply Gilded Washi.
When your planners start showing you the ugly, your mental readiness will help you power through it even if it’s hard.
Keeping up with multiple planners takes a lot of time.
Time that is simultaneously taken away from you actually being productive and acting on those plans.
And not only does it take your time away, it can also drain you too.
The more planners you add, the less time and energy you have to actually make those plans a reality.
I don’t know about you, but when the year is up, I want my planners to showcase a year of my achievements and not just a year of my dreams.
Attention Span is different than time.
My attention span is actually pretty short when it comes to my planners.
While I have varying attention spans for the different things I do with my planners, I do not like to spend too much time in them.
Updating it, planning in it, even decorating it all have their limits when it comes to my focus. Decorating my planner may keep my attention the longest, but after decorating I usually don’t feel like doing much else.
And doing intense planning sessions like what the Powersheets Planner encourages leaves me no energy to work in any other planner.
If I keep trying to push myself above my limit, then I’m not being efficient. I start rushing everything which leads to me more times than not, forgetting to add important things.
Which in turn will cause a little chaos further down the line. And ultimately makes the use of that planner… well… useless.
I mention this since I love decorating my planners.
And herelately, I do a lot more in my planners than just drawing.
I love to use stickers, cardstock papers, washi and more! And those things can add up over time. (trust me)
Even though I’m working on not indulging as much as I HAVE been, I still do because I just love using those things in my planners. It serves as a little added luxury for me.
Now, if you intend to go heavy in the decorations for more than one planner, your costs might start to rise too. So it’s worth noting how much you might be willing to invest, or want to invest in decorating your planners.
Do you need to decorate all of them? Just one or two? Or none?
Stickers ain’t cheap. 😉
This goes along with time and attention span as well.
How much energy do you have?
Not JUST when it comes to planning, but in general?
I currently seem to have a low-medium energy level which I’m trying to work on.
But after working on a computer all day and then planning in my planners, it actually leaves me pretty drained and not wanting to do much else.
Obviously, if you’re keeping a planner, you are trying to work toward a goal of some sort. Whether that be just being more organized or something bigger.
If you already have low energy, you probably don’t want to use even more of it up just dreaming about what you want to do for the rest of the day. Only for it to not get done.
I HATE having to carry one-too many planners around!
And regardless of how helpful they are, if I find that I’m constantly carrying a handful of heavy books around the house just to stay productive, it gets aggravating fast.
To go along with it, I’m not very keen on mini planners either. So most of my planners are typically the standard 7×9 size or larger.
A big factor relies in the frequency of checking in with those planners and how often do I really have to lug them around. I find that usually, I’m only lugging around my catch all and my business planner. And those two are quite enough as it is!
So, What’s MY
Perfect Planner Number?
Well! We have reached the part in the post where I try to decipher what my actual perfect planner number is. So,
My perfect planner number is…
I Do WELL With: 4
I STRUGGLE With: 6
How Did I Get At Three?
Well, let’s go back to the 5 tips!
When I started 2020, I had SO much I wanted to work on for the year! I wanted to improve my health, incorporate more self care, build up my blog and shop, create memories and build up my personal community, travel (ahem!). There was SO. MUCH I wanted to fill 2020 with.
I based my lineup AROUND that ambition I have to live my best life! I had my catch all, my budget, my memory planner, and my goal planner.
For the most part… it worked out.
Pandemic aside, in my personal life, I’ve still achieved a LOT in my opinion even though my initial goals have completely CHANGED.
Now, outside of my catch all and goal planner, the planners in that starting lineup, I ended up not staying consistent with them. But we’re getting to that.
First thing to note here is that this year, I was READY to make a change in my life, regardless of what change it was. (unlimited planners)
Now, you would think with the whole pandemic that I should’ve had a LOT of time on my hands to be playing in my planners right?
Well, just because I had the extra time doesn’t necessarily mean I want to spend that time in planners. Shocking I know!
Time has always been important to me. But up until this year, I was very haphazard with the way I used it.
Spending too much time working jobs, stretching myself thin to care for others, hearing and doing for everyone except myself.
Then I got into planners and got so enthused with the idea of planning for a life that I was too nervous to actually live (which ties back into mental readiness).
I do this a lot where I tend to over-plan my time to “trick” myself into being productive where I’m really procrastinating.
Which is why I shortened my lineup for 2020 so drastically from the previous one in 2019. I realized that having so many planners was my way of proving to nobody but myself that I was living a great life.
I saw my planners the way I saw my life: as potential and not my reality.
And ultimately I was still… wasting time.
I think all of us can agree that none of us were expecting 2020 to turn out this way. But I think it should really encourage us to use our time much more wisely. And with the things and people that add a lot of value to our lives.
Planners truly do add a LOT of value to my life! They’ve helped me achieve and uncover things I don’t know I would’ve done without them!
But not 10+ of them. That’s clearly procrastinating and not a good use of my time, I feel.
So second thing to note is that I don’t want to spend so much time working in multiple planners. (less than 10 planners)
Along with wanting to use my time better, also comes my pesky pesky attention span.
Maybe it’s an age thing, but I find that I am a little less patient than I used to be lol. That’s something I’m working on.
I cannot sit down and work in multiple planners all day. Heck, setting up my powersheets for each month can sometimes become a week-long event lol.
If it isn’t a quick update, I probably won’t feel like doing it all in one go.
For me, I find that I usually cap out at 2 planners, if they require an average amount of updating and detail. You know, checking off tasks for the day, setting up the next day, doing a general overview of how the month is going, etc etc.
I have enough energy to do 2 at a time.
Decorating is something different.
And in my planners, even though I love to decorate, their is definitely not a lot of thought that goes into it lol. I literally just slap down whatever I feel looks good and that’s it. So honestly, even decorating my planner isn’t that involved.
Overall, I don’t think I’ve ever had enough attention to update 3+ planners on a daily basis.
And with the way I’m going, I don’t think I ever will lol.
So third thing, I don’t feel like updating a lot of planners everyday. (less than 3 planners DAILY)
I cannot give up the Simply Gilded! lol
What I have given up in sticker books and kits I have replaced with Simply Gilded Washi!
I went as far creating my OWN stickers and yet I STILL get sucked into the beautiful things listed on Etsy!
And I am not ashamed! 😐
But for others, that’s a pretty big deal to spend such a pretty coin on stationary supplies. I totally get it. But as stated before, decorative planning adds to my planner peace and I enjoy doing it.
Thankfully, Simply Gilded is my only TRUE rabbit hole. If I can get THAT under control, I’ll be in a better spot. But it certainly helps that I usually don’t feel like decorating more than a few planners.
And that I also don’t really care to use sticker kits much anymore. I like the free-flowing scrapbook style that I’ve adopted here lately.
So fourth thing? I like to decorate and it cost money so I should use more decorations in less planners. (less than 3 planners)
The deciding factor in whether I’m truly able to live the best life I’ve planned for is always going to come down to my energy level.
Don’t underestimate the mental toll a planner can take on you. And that is what makes the process of it draining at times.
Now imagine doing that 6+ times over a period of several hours, and possibly everyday or at least every WEEK. At the end of it all you have achieved well updated planners and absolutely no tasks checked off. 😐
I’m starting to like keeping it short and sweet and doing a minimal amount of updating every night before bed. Ooh, that’s another thing, WHEN I update it.
Most of the time, I like to update my planners the night before.
And that’s easy to do when there’s only 1 or 2 planners in question. Updating 4, 5 and 6 planners at night means having to use up my last energy reserves to fill out my planners. Which doesn’t happen more times than not.
And updating in the morning isn’t ideal either because I’m usually to groggy to think that clearly. I operate the best later in the day.
So fifth thing, again, I don’t want to spend a lot of time updating too many planners. (less than 3 planners)
I am not carrying around more than 3 planners everyday.
And that’s just at home.
And That’s 3 Planners!
I wrote down that I do well with 4 and struggle with 6.
That’s usually because those additional planners are not that involved and don’t require daily or even weekly consistent updates.
Going above 3 planners for me really depends on how involved I have to be with them and if I’m that committed to keeping up with them.
This is just to show how many planners I tend to use at a time.
It in no way means that some of those planners never change up.
I have just started using my Blog + Social Media planner in July of this year, and having been using it consistently since. So that seems to be the third one so far.
Everything else just seems to be in rotation.
I still use more than 3 planners and probably will continue too for now. It’s just now I realize that anything above the core 3 will probably not get my full, undivided attention….. not for long anyways.
So I’ll give myself permission to fluctuate in them instead of beating myself up that I can’t keep up with a hundred planners for an entire year.
Although that would be kinda nice… lol
So, what’s your perfect planner number? Do you enjoy keeping multiple planners?