Planning your planner set up and why you need to do it

I’m aware that might sound a little strange and planning obsessed

However, after years in being in planners I’ve really started the appreciate planning your planner set up. It’s very easy to get caught up in Pinterest and see all these pretty planner set ups that you immediately go out and replicate. Do other people’s set ups tend to work for you though? No. It’s your planner and you need to set it up for your needs. Your planner isn’t there just to look pretty and perfect in Instagram pictures (though it’s nice for them to turn out that way). It’s there to help you stay organised and it can only do that if you have things in there that will help you stay on track. This applies any kind of planner from a traditional ring bound to a bullet journal. There’s no point jumping on the habit tracker bujo bandwagon if habit trackers don’t actually work for you.

The process

I recently reevaluated my goals for the year and shifted my priorities slightly. In order to assist with that I decided to reshuffle my planners and how I use them. When I set up my planners at the start of the year I put a little thought into what I wanted and where. This time I did a similar process, but just refined it slightly using my bullet journal.

When planning a set up, there’s two things you need to know:

  1. What do I currently have in my planners
  2. What do I need in my planners

What do I currently have in my planners

This bit is really easy. It’s just a case of going through each of your planners and writing down what’s in them. You can use as little or as much detail as you like. I generally write down what’s in each section rather than the section itself.

Here I’ve even listed the planner that I’m not currently using as it’s being used for last year’s pages. Obviously the bigger collection of planners you have, the longer this list could be!

The reason I don’t just write the sections in each planner, and have a little more detail is because I have quite broad sections in my planner. 

So just writing ‘blog’ won’t help me refine what blog related content I have and need in my planners. But listing it out will. By going through the section of the planner I may find pages that I thought I needed and since forgotten about.

What do I need in my planners

From there, you may find it useful to then go through that list you’ve just made and highlight what you actually use. You may be surprised!

What I like to do instead though, is ignore everything I currently have and make a new list – of what I need. Here I really think about what I’m lacking currently, or something new I might need because of new goals. 

Here I like to break the list down into sections. I find doing this also helps if I’m planning more than one planner because sometimes a whole section can naturally fit into one planner.

From that list you then get an idea of how many planners you might need in total. I went for three (not including my bullet journal). Then you can start planning what goes into each planner. Sometimes I colour code the list so everything pink goes in planner one, orange is planner two etc etc. It was a little easier for me this time around because of how my planners were already set up. All I ended up doing was slightly reconfiguring two planners already in use, and set up a whole new one.

Planner one – daily planning

My beautiful Personal Burnt Orange Filofax Original remained fairly unchanged. All I did was move my budget planning and expense tracking out of it and into my second planner. I felt this fit better into the finance section that planner had.

This is a fairly simple set up, just broken down into months. Each section has a month on two pages and and my weeklies. After messing around last year moving pages out of my planner I wanted to keep a whole year of pages together this year.

Planner two – everything else home

This planner, a Personal Nude Filofax Original was only slightly reconfigured. I removed anything blog or shop related from it, and added in the finance pages that I took out of the Burnt Orange. 

Thankfully, the tab stickers from The Planner Society peel off fairly easily so you can change around your sections when you need to. Planner one and two have basically now become my two ‘home’ planners.

Planner three – blog and shop

I’ve ditched my A5 Kikki K in bubblegum pink as I didn’t need such a large planner really. Instead I’ve moved anything blog and shop related into my Personal Fuchsia Filofax Original (can you see a theme here with my planners?).

I don’t like having millions of sections so everything is bucketed up quite broadly. 

I knew saving these June Planner Society papers was a good choice!

Planner your planner set up is easy

Whether you’re in a bit of a planning funk, or you have a new hobby or venture you need to plan I highly recommend following the above steps. I’m now much more focused and organised when it comes to my shop and blog than I was before thanks to this little exercise. I’m actually utilising my planner to plan blog posts more, and design new stickers. This may have something to do with moving my planning from an A5 to a personal. A personal size fits on my desk, which means I look at it far more often.

I’m not a massive fan of re-setting up planners so I only do this twice a year. However, you may find value in reassessing your planners quarterly. Particularly if you’re new to planning and just finding you way.

I hope this is a helpful insight – if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below!

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