If you remember reading my raving review about the Erin Condren Life Planner from last summer, then you know just how attached I become to paper planners. As the year was coming to an end and there were fewer pages remaining in that planner, I knew that, for as much as I enjoyed using it, I wouldn’t be getting another one. Instead, I purchased a Purposeful Planner and have been enjoying it much more than I expected. If you’re a busy bee and long for an organized, intuitive planner, you’ll want to keep reading to hear my complete thoughts on the Purposeful Planner (hint: If I were you, I would order one right now).
“What happened with your Erin Condren planner? You loved that thing!” Yes, yes I did and it served me well for the 6 months that I had it. My biggest drawback with the EC planner was that it was meant for list making and not scheduling. Don’t get me wrong, I live by Post Its and check lists, but I wanted to be able to plan with my planner. The planner I had (they now offer different layouts and hourly schedules) was a series of boxes, which worked great for making lists. I rarely felt like I would need extra space for these lists and was content in that aspect. However, maybe you can tell from the above picture, scheduling on an hourly basis was disorganized and visually unappealing.
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These reasons led me to crave a different style of planner for the New Year. I knew I wanted a planner that let me organize my day by the hour because I would be able to clearly see when classes began and ended. I had previously heard of the Day Designer which, similarly to the EC planners, has a cult following online. When I checked it out for myself, I didn’t like how few designs there were. While that may seem like a trivial reason to pass on a planner when it had almost all of the qualities I wanted, I knew that if I was going to spend $50 plus shipping on an organizational tool, I didn’t want to get sick of it or feel goofy pulling it out of my bag.
I somehow stumbled upon the Purposeful Planner and thought it was very similar to the Day Designer in terms of their layout. Both planners were broken down by the hour and had month-at-a-glance pages, but there were a few key differences that I appreciated. After the month-at-a-glance pages in the Purposeful Planner, there is a page for tracking expenses and a blank page for monthly goals. At first, I was skeptical that I would use these, but they have really been a saving grace this semester. I’m not a big online banker because I am always hyper aware of online security with financial transactions. But with having an emergency dental procedure comes expensive antibiotics and pain medication. I have gotten into habit of writing all of my income and purchases down under the categories above and have appreciated being able to gauge exactly how I am doing financially on paper rather than online.
This daily view was the final component that convinced me to order one of these planners. I love how every hour is further divided into half an hour segments because it has made planning my classes appear cleaner and more distinguishable from one another. I love the water tracker on the upper right hand side and this section serves as my reminder and motivation to drink enough water every day. The ‘brain dump’ section is where I put my daily to-do list as well as a list of assignments that are due that day. The ‘Today I Will” section is where I list things that absolutely must get done that day, which is usually submitting an assignment (or work timesheet) or making important phone calls.
Do I miss anything from my old EC planner? One thing – the stickers. As goofy as it may seem, I loved marking important days with the birthday, vacation, sale, appointment, etc. stickers. I still had about 1/3 of the stickers left over when it was time to switch over to this new planner, but they don’t fit as nicely in the boxes. Trivial, but a noticeable-to-me difference. All in all, I love my planner and see myself repurchasing one for 2017 (yikes!).
Do you use a paper planner? What made you select that particular planner?