2018 Planning Part I: The Planners

2018 Planning Part I: The Planners

Already this morning I have:

  • Spent way too much time playing with the Facetune app (seriously, that thing is a rabbit hole).
  • Not eaten.
  • Gotten out all my planners I need to go through and books I’d like to read this month (book count: 14).


I’m what’s known as a procrastinating perfectionist. Lots of plans, but stunted by the whole “getting started” and “staying on course” thing. Every year, I buy at least 3 planners. This year, I have 5. And every year, I start out with good intentions of using them. Filling them with my appointments and due dates and to-dos and accomplishments, only to fizzle out within days or weeks of starting. Some I don’t even touch. They’re too pretty to mess up with my messy life.

But this year, once again, I have ALL SORTS OF PLANS. I want to get organized, get healthy, read more, stress less, etc. etc. But this year, I’m holding myself accountable to the internet, to the throws of other creatives, brides, and anyone else who reads this blog to write at least once a week about how things are going. And maybe in my efforts, it’ll help you too. We all need a kick in the pants in January, but let us not forget that we all need a little grace, too. So even if 3 planners end up sitting on my shelf all year, I’ll be happy that 2 were at least opened.

The idea of writing down my day and my lists is a long-running satisfaction that dates back to my middle school days of writing my homework on my hand. Being an artist, I’m always a bit messy, so having a place to put everything is a struggle but a necessity. The planners I have this year cater to specific parts of who I am, what I need, or where I’m going. Click the link below each photo to shop the planners, or those similar!

Rifle Paper Co. Lively Floral Planner

Rifle Paper Co. Lively Floral Planner – $34 (sold out in this design, but others are available)

The first planner I bought this year. BECAUSE IT’S JUST SO GOSH-DARN PRETTY. Rifle Paper Co. has my heart in everything that she does, so I’m always excited to see what designs come out for her yearly planners. Yes, I judge a book by it’s cover. And it’s insides. The design is simple and clean and straightforward. I love that each day has checkboxes and task lines, instead of just lines. Checking things off is so fun (and depressing when you don’t get it done, amiright? More on that soon.) This design is sold out, but there are others still available. You may also be able to find them still locally at Shindig Paperie in Fayetteville!

Lara Casey Powersheets

Powersheets – $55 (sold out, but 6 month planners are available)

Lara Casey is, in a word, amazing. She’s real, she’s inspiring, and she’s just lovely. I got my first set of powersheets two years ago via digital download (when that was the only way they offered them,) and still look back on them every now and then to see how far I’ve come. Now she offers them in a spiral-bound book, which helps make everything more real, don’t you think? I asked for it this Christmas, and my mom wrapped it up for me. (She also made a point to tell me she was going to forward all the emails Lara sends her 5 times a day. Ha! Sorry, Mom).

Powersheets aren’t really for daily planners. They are designed to “cultivate what matters.” This is a true, sit-down-and-figure-out-what’s-important monthly guide to your year. I’m really excited to get into it again, as last year proved I have some changes to make in my life (anyone else?) and true life goals to set for this year. I’ll be filling this out this week and reporting back next week, so you can get a more in-depth look at what they really are!

6 month planners are what I started with, and are available here!

Make Shit Happen Planner

Make Shit Happen Planner – $39

#sorrynotsorry for the language on this one. This planner is brand new to me. Most I’ve heard of before, but someone mentioned this one in a Facebook group and it got me curious. Not just because sometimes I swear a little, but also because it has 12 monthly themes to tie to your goals and keep you going throughout the year. I’m intrigued by this one, though it’s lowest on my list to actually fill out at this point. Why? I’ve bought others since then that I think I’ll like more, are better designed (told you I judge a book by it’s cover), and are more in-tune with what I need. But definitely check the website out on this one. I’ll be filling out the first few pages and see how the monthly challenges go. I like the size of it and the mantra. Because we all just need to buckle down sometimes and make shit happen.

Big Picture Planner by Design Aglow

Big Picture Planner by Design Aglow – $65

To be fair, I bought this planner last December, in the hopes of using it LAST YEAR for my business. I love the idea of it, because it really caters to a creative (see: photography) career, but for some reason, even after buying it, and having the download and print outs for two years prior, I can’t buckle down and use it. There is a LOT to it, which can either be helpful or, in my case, overwhelming. Sometimes a person needs every single aspect organized, and sometimes I don’t need to write out every blog post for 12 months. But I’m going to really try it this year. I failed blogging last year and want to get back into it. It’s just one of the 9 gazillion sections of this planner. Bonus: it’s really pretty, especially their new gray cover (I have the previous white version).

Productivity Planner

Productivity Planner – $24.95

This one is also brand-new to me this year, and when I found it, I about cried from happiness. This is my daily go-to. Better than a bullet journal or an Erin Condren or a Happiness Planner or anything else IF YOU ARE A PROCRASTINATOR like me.

Basically the planner is broken down daily into your top 3 tasks. And those tasks are completed through 20-25 min chunks with 5 minute breaks in-between. This is a proven method of productivity. Set a timer for 20 minutes. Get up and do something physical/walk away/eat for 5 minutes, then come back and work for another 20 minutes. You’d be amazed at how much I got done my first day of using this planner. Instead of sitting on my couch for 7 hours straight (with no food or bathroom breaks), I did yoga, two loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and danced. All in the little breaks in-between. And I got my work done and didn’t feel like I had just worked ALL DAY. It was pretty amazing.

Granted, I only stuck with it the first day. I haven’t taken a break yet writing this blog post.

I love the idea of this planner, and want to use it more. It has a great introduction on how to use it and it’s really simple. If you’re anything like me, this one is great to have with you at all times. Powersheets are a great reminder for every month as a check in on how you’re doing on your life goals, and I feel like The Big Picture Planner will be great for overall business.

Do I need 5 planners? We’ll see. Let me know if you’ve used any of these in the comments below, or what you need help with in the new year. We’re in this together!

All images courtesy of each planner’s website. 


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