Evolving Planner Layouts

Do you use a paper planner? If yes and you’re anything like me, you probably went through several planner layouts and formats before you found “The One”. Or in point of fact, you’re still on the journey to finding it. Over several years I went through different variations of planner, and I wanted to show you how it evolved into my current layout.

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Prior to planning in traveler’s notebooks, I used to dig the bound planners. For several years I alternated between Starbucks planners and BDJ planners, but I found that I really didn’t use them as much as I wanted to because it was bulky and heavy. Sometime late last year, I decided to splurge in a Moleskine pocket planner for the portability.

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Back when I was still planning with the Moleskine Weekly Planner in Pocket size, I used a week on one page with notes on the opposite page. This actually sufficed me for about three or so months.

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Around this time I got introduced to the idea of traveler’s notebooks. I was taken by the idea that it was very customizable, including whatever planner book I wanted to use. I got myself a Field Notes-sized traveler’s notebook from Alunsina, and I basically just used the same format as the Moleskine weekly. This carried on until I moved into my first Midori, the brown passport size.

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At some point I felt very constrained by planning in the small size of the Midori passport. When the opportunity presented itself, I got myself the Midori Blue (Pan Am Edition), which only comes in regular size. The big jump from a passport to a regular size unseated my somewhat standard format (horizontal weekly with notes). I first explored a day-on-two-page format.

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I felt like I couldn’t really plan properly with so much space, and there seemed to be a lot of wasted paper. I was planning on switching to a day-on-one-page such as this Hobonichi-inspired one.

Image Credits: Marsia Bramucci Etsy

For some reason I didn’t really get to try that, but instead went straight to a vertical weekly layout (Erin Condren style). I found that I really enjoyed planning on this format, and I felt a little bit back on solid ground since I am using a weekly again.

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Around this time I also started adding monthly views. This was ideally so I can do a passable future planning, but I ended up just using it to record memories instead of planning in it.

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The regular size was great, but I really couldn’t bring it around in my purse, which meant that I was leaving behind my planner somewhere else. Eventually I felt that I needed to have my planner with me at all times, so I explored the new personal size of traveler’s notebooks. I went back to the week-on-one-page-with-notes format since that was the only free printable available, and found out that it actually still works pretty well for me.

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This is where I’m at right now, a horizontal week on one page with a gridded notes page on the opposite side which holds my task list. To be honest I still don’t feel quite at peace with it yet, and might switch out to yet another format eventually.

3 thoughts on “Evolving Planner Layouts

  1. My current setup is one I’m truly enjoying. I’m using a Speckled Fawns extra-chunky pocket size for September. I have a Moleskine hardcover “le Petit Prince” weekly planner. It, too, has the week on one page and room for notes on the other. I keep my journal in a pocket size LT17 softcover lined notebook. I have two FNs: one blank for art and a grid for “Collections”. I have a Moleskine portfolio to carry tools and ephemera. I have two other inserts which I use as a wallet and to carry cards. This has been so enjoyable, helped by my rediscovery of my PoGo and Zip printers which print out 2″ X 3″ photos.

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