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Most of my friends and family know me as the planner queen. Even in middle school, I was obsessed with my planner. I loved how easy it was to keep track of everything when I used such a simple tool to help me out.
Well, that love of planners hasn’t gone anywhere, and I have tried out a LOT of them. In fact, in 2018 alone, I used 6 different planners.
The Year of the Planner
In 2017, I started off the (school) year with a mini Day Designer, and a teacher lesson plan book from Plum Paper. Around October, I switched to using a bullet journal so that I could completely customize my planner in order to better keep track of things.
Read: so that I could make it more complicated.
I also tried going digital with Trello. While I love Trello, I prefer using it for long-term goals and projects versus a weekly/daily planner. Eventually, when I started the blog, I started using the Day Designer planner I already had to keep up with that. Around that same time, I grabbed myself a copy of Powersheets (which I highly recommend for goal-setting).
This year, I grabbed a full-sized copy of the Day Designer planner, and used it solely for the blog. I also had my lesson plan book, and was still chugging along with the bullet journal.
Around October of 2018, I realized that I just couldn’t keep up with the bullet journal any longer. It was too overly complicated for the simple life I was trying to live, so I went to Staples and picked up one of their tiny Day Designer planners.
So, for the last 7 months, I’ve been using a full-size Day Designer, my lesson plan book, Powersheets, and a small Day Designer for Staples planner.
Which sounds a lot more complicated than it actually has been, I promise.
Nevertheless, my word for the year is simplify, so I decided to simplify even this. I’ve very recently started using the full-size Day Designer for both business and personal to-dos. So far, it’s going really well. Also, once this school year is over, I’m taking the business full-time, so I won’t need a lesson plan book any longer! Which leaves me with just a full-size Day Designer, and Powersheets.
Why Day Designer?
After all of that (and many years of trying out other planners before that), what made me decide to go back to Day Designer and stick with it?
Ultimately, it all came down to the fact that the Day Designer planners are created with the intention to help women live intentionally.
How’s that for a mind-twister? Really though, this planner has been the best tool that I’ve found to help me stay intentional in my day to day life. I have a bad habit of getting wrapped up in my to-do list, and Day Designer helps to pull me out of that. I just love what it offers in terms of simple living.
Day Designer Helps Me Focus
At the very top of each day’s page, there’s a space for your daily top three. When you’re creating your to-do list for the day, it forces you to look at what’s on your list, and determine what is most important.
When you know what your priorities are, and you focus on those before anything else, you’re living an intentional life. It’s as simple as that.
Day Designer Gives You Space to Time Block
If you’ve been around for any length of time, you probably already know how much I love time blocking. If you’re new around here, you should definitely go check out my post on time blocking. It’ll explain exactly what it is, and how to use it.
Time blocking is my favorite way to create work-life “balance”, and another way for me to ensure that I’m making space each day for my priorities.
The Day Designer planner gives you a page at the beginning of the planner to create your ideal weekly time block, which I love because it gives you a firm foundation for what you’re hoping each day to look like, and allows you to intentionally set aside time for your priorities.
Then, each daily page has a space for you to time block the day out as well. That way, you can tailor every day to what your needs for the day are. This is especially helpful if you’re like me, and no two days look the same throughout the week.
*Just a note, the full-size planner allows you to time block 5:00 am to 9:00 pm. The mini-size planner allows you to time block from 7:00am to 7:00pm. This was the main reason I switched from the mini to the full-size, even though the mini is more convenient to carry around.
Day Designer Gives You Space for Notes
At the bottom of each daily page, there’s a big block for notes. Although I tend to use Trello for all of the random, “one day” ideas that pop up inside my head, this space comes in handy quite often.
I’ve used the space to write down important numbers that I’ll only need for a minute, I’ve left notes to myself, brainstormed, and so much more!
There’s also a full page for notes at the end of each month, as long as there’s space. Again, these get used for really random things. Like taking notes at a meeting, or breaking down big monthly goals. It can also be used for keeping track of something—how many books you’ve read that month, your seasonal meal plan, or a list of movies you want to watch. You’ve got the ability to make it whatever you need!
Snag my Weekly Workflow Template for Trello
This Trello board has it all laid out for you — my exact weekly workflow, including the tasks I do on a regular basis to keep my business organized and running smoothly.
Already set up for you, but incredibly easy to customize for your unique life and business. All for just $7!
Day Designer Includes 8 Important Daily Prompts
The prompts: Due, Dinner, Dollars, Don’t Forget, Notes, and Daily Gratitude.
I don’t use all of these, but I still appreciate that they’re all there because I think they’re key to living an intentional life. For example, I don’t write down my daily gratitude here, but I am a HUGE proponent for taking the time to be grateful each and every day. I just happen to have a gratitude journal that I use instead for that.
However, one prompt box that I use consistently is the Dinner box. This helps me to keep track of what I’ve meal planned for the week, and remember if I need to pull something out to thaw, or run by the store for a missing ingredient.
Day Designer is a Quality Planner
This is always important when you’re making an investment, and why I would recommend you buy directly from Day Designer instead of buying from their Staples line. The Staples line is beautiful, and just as intentionally designed. However, what you lose in cost, you lose in quality.
The spine, the paper, and the cover are all seriously better quality when you buy direct. There’s really no comparison. Because I am constantly on the go, my planners are abused all year long. However, you wouldn’t even know it by looking at my full-size planner. The quality is just so good.
The very front cover of each Day Designer planner is “The Strategic Planner and Daily Agenda for living a well-designed life”. If you’re looking for a tool to help you walk the walk instead of just talk the talk about intentional living, this planner is for you.
I snagged the “Coming Up Roses” pattern for 2019-2020 (yes, I still use the academic style calendar. It just makes more sense to me), and it’s even more beautiful in person than on the screen. However, there were so many beautiful covers this year. Which did you decide on? Let me know in the comments!