This week I want to talk about multiple planner systems. If you are part of the planning community, you may know there are people who use more that one planner to keep themselves organized, and there are people who use just one. I like to think I know a bit about both of these systems, because I came from one planner and now am actively using five. I know five may (depending on how many you use) sound like a lot of planners to use, and really I should say four, because the fifth is used more as a journal then a planner (I am going to do a separate post on the fifth one), but even four can sound a little crazy to some. I want to explain why I have chosen four planners, and why you might consider adding another planner into your planning system.
I am going to start with what propelled me out of my one planner system. The majority of the reason I started using a planner was for work. My work life is busy, and to keep me on track I need a planner. So even though I consider my new work planner a second planner, it really is my go-to, if I could only have one planner, planner. I was trying to keep work and personal all together, and I just didn’t have the space for both anymore.
Reason #1 you may want to add a planner- You have too many ‘plans’ to fit all into one planner or planning system. Whether it be for work or needing to separate out your plans for your family plans. If you find your planner is too full you may like me feel overwhelmed by it, and that is a good indication that you may need to add a planner. How you decide to separate your plans is personal, but for me it made sense to have one planner dedicated just to work.
The planner community is full of very creative people who do use their planner for both a space to plan and a creative outlet. After discovering the planner community, I became one of these people. I like to put stickers and fun stuff in my planner. I also like to have a functional planning system as well, but I do see it as part of a creative outlet for myself. My tag for my blog and Instagram is “Finding the Balance Between Practical & Pretty” and to me that means finding the balance between being creative but also being functional. So all that to say, I wanted to separate out my serious work planner and my personal creative planner.
Reason #2 you may want to add a planner- If you want to have a creative, fun planner but have a professional job (or any job) where you would rather have a ‘serious’ or professional planner. I love planner stickers but I don’t want to open my planner in a meeting and have an explosion of colour, washi tape, and stickers on display for all the management team at my job to see.
When I first jumped out of the one planner system, I really thought I would only use two planners, work and personal. However when I decided to try to get in better shape and get healthier, it really made more sense to keep a health & fitness planner separate from my other planners. This again came to space and creativity. I needed more space then what my personal creative planner had, once I write my meals, exercise, calories, steps, it takes up quite a bit of space. But then I also wanted a space where I could quickly write things in, and not worry about if it looks nice or pretty.
Reason #3 you may want to add a planner- if you have specific need or something specific you want to plan or track and it doesn’t fit in your other planner, or you find benefit to tracking it in its own planner. Fitness/Health is my example, but other examples of specific planners are ones such as pregnancy, wedding, budget, household, etc. I made my own wedding planner (notebook) system when I was getting married, but there are many out there.
Another planner I have added into my planning system is a goals planner. Although I could have probably made this planner just goals, I decided to put other sections ( I am using a personal size Recollections for this) in the planner because it keeps me focused on my goals. The reason I kept this planner separate from my daily planner (the creative one) is because I am using it to track goals that some are daily but also weekly, monthly, and yearly, and the set up of my Happy Planner isn’t great for that kind of goal tracking. Also I decide to use the personal sized planner because I wanted a planner that I could carry with me, and this size worked perfect.
Reason #4 you may want to add a planner- You want to have a planner you can carry with you and keep your accoutable to your goals, plans and lists, but your regular sized planner is too large. If it was practical I would carry my full sized Happy Planner with me, but it is just too big. So why don’t I move from a Happy Planner to a personal sized planner completely? I did think of this, but not only do I like the creative part of my HP, but I don’t think a personal sized planner has enough space for all my to do lists and plans. Plus my personal sized planner can be my quick write in plans and lists on the go planner, and I can keep my pretty planner separate 🙂
I need lists. If there were no planners to be used, I would use paper and pen and probably be able to live my life off of just lists. I love them. They make me ten times more productive and therefore my planners always have lists in them. I have found such benefits in having separate planners and separate to-do lists. When I was in just one planner my lists were full of both work and personal to-do lists, but also to buy lists, and to go lists, and lists for my husband. So one benefit for me having more than one planner is keeping those lists separate. I have my work in my work planner, and my daily to do lists in my personal planner, but then in my goals planner is my to buy list, because that is the planner that goes in my purse. I understand some people like to see all their lists in one place, but again for me it is working to have them separate.
Reason #5 you may want to add a planner- you have multiple lists of things you want to accomplish and you like to see them apart, and not combined. I found it extremely distracting to be looking at me personal to-do list while at work trying to complete my work to-do list.
So now that I have given you my five reasons I like having my planners separate, let me tell you how I keep my planners separate but how they all function together. So if you are a person who is struggling having everything in one planner, but worries about separating it out and being overwhelmed, I understand. That was me before the switch. I wondered how am I going to keep everything together, if it is all apart and in different planners. In comes the post-it note and other fun planner supplies. Since I now have a work planner, I no longer take my personal (personal as in me personal life, not personal size) planner to work with me. So instead I have a sticky note inside my planner, so if I think of something that needs to go in my personal planner, I can write it on there and move it into my planner. This was also the reason that I added the third planner (once you jump on the multiple planner system train, it becomes more and more easy to add more planners in) My personal sized planner comes with me in my bag, so if I am at work and I need to add something to personal to-do list I can add it in there. That personal sized planner really helps to bridge the gap between personal and work life for me.
The main reason I switched and believe you should consider trying a multiple planner system is- if you feel overwhelmed by your planner. If your planner isn’t working for you it may not be the planner, it may be that you have enough going on in your life that it is overwhelming or not productive to plan all parts of your life in one planner.
For me it made sense to have more than one planner. Will I always use four planners, maybe not? Will I find one planner that fits all my needs? I don’t think so, but you never know. Planning is personal, and what works for one person, doesn’t always work for another. It is all about finding what works for you. I hope that if you are using a one planner system and it isn’t working for you, that I may have given you some ideas above that will help you if you are considering a multiple planner system.
Watch for my post next week where I will explain how I plan my week in my multi planner system. Also if you want to see more details on the planners I am using in my planning system check out this post –>2017 Planner Line Up