I’ve used various styles of planners over the years and can sort them into four distinct planner categories.

I’ve learned a lot over the last several years about what I need in terms of a planner and organizer, a general notebook, and how to work towards my goals. These are the quick links to their respective YouTube Playlists on my channel.

Franklin Covey, DayTimer, and Bullet Journaling are found in the Planner/Organizer YouTube Playlist.

Traveler’s Notebooks YouTube Playlist.

Flex Binders YouTube Playlist.

Passion Planner YouTube Playlist.

If you use a planner, what kind do you use and what’s your system? Please share in the comments!

Other Social Media:

Blog: http://talesfromapolkcountygirl.com

TFAPCG YT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwETw4Z0geZ52u9AErAZJwg

TFAPCG FB: https://www.facebook.com/talesfromapolkcountygirl/

Crafts by Cori FB: https://www.facebook.com/Crafts-by-Cori-163136173711522/

CBC Products ETSY shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CBCproducts

Knitting All the Blankets YT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbwh5oIhRXL83y___mL2gSQ

Knitting All the Blankets Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/groups/knitting-all-the-blankets-podcast

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This post was requested by one of my YouTube subscribers. She wanted to see a walk-through of my ringed planners/binders.

Day-Timer Personal Size Malibu in Rose Gold

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This one was pretty much my EDC (Every Day Carry) until recently. It contains pretty much everything. The dashboard is a paint card I picked up at Walmart. Post it’s for quick notes.

Quick breakdown of the guts: numbered dividers are #1: grocery/shopping lists; #2: workout/health tracker; #3: categorized To Do lists; #4: editorial calendar; #5: blog chart; #6: finance ledgers. Calendar top tab is my calendar: MO2P for future planning; WO1P for at a glance; and DO1P sheets for dailies. I only keep a month’s worth of dailies in here at a time. Project top tab has my Nutritional Anthropology class information in it. Information top tab is a catchall.

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The front cover pockets haven’t changed much. Blank deposit slips, mailing labels, receipts that need to be dealt with.

The back cover pockets have changed slightly. The big pocket still hold extra notepaper. But the two smaller pockets are now one big pocket. I used my seam ripper to cut through the double seam. This bigger pocket is more useful to me that those two smaller ones. And since I don’t plan on selling this binder, I don’t care how that would affect (effect?) resale value.

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Mini Flex (aka the Mead Shopping OrganizHer)

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My original pink on started coming apart on me, so I replaced it with one of the 50 that I bought. You can read about that here [insert link]. My Mini Flex has always been a sort of catchall for me. I use it mainly as a refillable notebook and brain dump book. I do keep a list of blog post topics in it, in case I’m somewhere and I can write for a few minutes. I’ve also started a story in here. There are two dividers. The first divider has my blog idea list and some personal information. The second divider is where I keep paper for writing and brain dumping. I do have post its on the dashboard in the front and I refill those as needed.

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A5 Filofax Finsbury

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This binder was a gift from my cousin-in-law, and has a more in-depth post about her history coming.

I honestly didn’t know what I was going to use this binder for. Then I started working on my Filofax and Mini Flex Hacks post, which you can read here [insert link], and my usage issue solved itself. My MIL got me a set of dividers, some paper, and the hole punch to go with it for Christmas. The dividers are labeled as such: Plain Paper, A to Z, Story Stuff, To Be Filed, and To Be Typed. All of these are fairly self-explanatory. Papers move from the Mini Flex to the A5.

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If you’d like to see more, please click on the YouTube link.

© Cori Large February 19, 2016

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CC Raika & RG (3)

This past December I decided to give my RG a break and use my Raika for awhile. I switched over to my Raika. I used it the week of Christmas. Here are some thoughts I jotted down while using the Raika for the first time:

  • The Raika doesn’t hold as many pens as my RG. Two pens vs. four.
  • The RG has more storage space and pockets, even when you take into account the half-sheet sleeve in the back of the Raika.
  • The Raika does have the half-sheet pocket that the RG doesn’t have.
  • The RG is mushier and nicer to feel than the all leather Raika.
  • Raika’s Bone color just doesn’t POP, compared to the Rose Gold color.
  • The rings are the same size.
  • Three days in (12-22-2015) and I really wish I had my RG back. Not enjoying this Containment Unit. And no it’s not because I’m still getting used to it. May sell it.
  • The evening we got back from our Christmas trip I switched back into my RG.

As of this post going live (2-8-2016), it is up for sale in several Planner Facebook groups.

YouTube video link: https://youtu.be/GRcCLtrfHho

© Cori Large 1-5-2016

CC Raika & RG (1) CC Raika & RG (2) CC Raika & RG (3) CC Raika & RG (4)

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This post is literally a month late, but oh well! I received two very nice binders for Christmas, and now I’m suffering from Binder Indecision.

My Every Day Carry is my Day-Timer portable Rose Gold planner. It goes everywhere with me.

Other notebooks in use: my Mini Flex and a 3-3 format notebook from my MIL.

Newcomers to the picture: Day-Timer desk size Malibu in Teal/Aqua and my cousin-in-law’s vintage (20 year old) A5 Filofax Finsbury. The Binders I received are A5/Classic/Desk size. So I can use the same size paper in both binders.

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Dilemma? Love the color of the Malibu, but the A5 Filo functions better.

  • Personal inserts fit the rings for the A5.
  • A5 and personal insert holes fit the rings of the Mini Flex.
  • A5 holes fit the holes of a standard 3-ring binder.

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Now that I have the A5 in my hand, I have a better idea of what I’m dealing with.

12/26/2015-morning: Philip has given me the okay to return the Malibu. I’m looking into an Electric Blue A5 Finsbury on Amazon.

12/26/2015-afternoon: After a trip to Hobby Lobby, I believe the universe wanted me to keep the Malibu. I found packs of 100 sheet, 7 hole punched paper, for $3.99 each. So the Malibu will be used for my Spring class.

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1/3/2016: During a trip to Walmart, I found more packs of 7-hole punched paper!!! Why have I know seen this before?

In conclusion, the A5 will be used for my writing notebook and the Malibu will be for class notes.

© Cori Large 12/25/2015-1/3/2016

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FC Sierra

It hit me the other day that one year ago, I was using a Franklin Covey Sierra Classic Size with 1.5 inch rings. Since then my planner journey has been all over the place. After discovering the Planner Addict World on YouTube and Facebook, I tried making my own inserts for the Sierra because I wasn’t happy with the Blooms WO2P inserts I had gotten for 2015. I then made some Folio size inserts (8.5” x 11”) and tried using one of my flex binders as a planner. You can read about that here and watch the YouTube video here. This one was actually pretty nice. If I ever decide to go back to a full size planner, I think I’ll use my own creation. These posts and several other early related blog posts can be read in the Planner Pieces Series here.

IMG_1264 Current Journal Next Journal

Then I found the Mini Flex (aka the Mead Shopping OrganizHer notebook). I tried using that as a planner and then as a bullet journal. Then I tried Bullet Journaling in bound notebooks on and off from April to July. I really liked the Bullet Journaling system over the summer, when I have less going on.

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When the school year gearing up in August, I switched back to a ringed planner. I purchased a Day-Timer portable size Rose Gold Malibu and have been using it ever since.

During the year, I have acquired and resold different types of planner containment units. All in the hope of finding that elusive Planner Peace. I won’t say I’ve achieved it and haven’t given up either, but I’m not in such a rush to trade out containment units as I was.

I would not have guessed this is where I would be planner-wise a year ago. If anyone’s interested, the YouTube video that started it all was My Purpley Life’s video. Jennifer started it all. My decent into madness!

If you’re a member of the planner addict world, how has your journey gone? Please share in the comments.

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Figuring Out Your Ideal Planner

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If you’ve ever looked up planner video on YouTube or are a member of any of the planner Facebook groups, you have no doubt felt overwhelmed by all the options out there—and I’m just talking about the containment unit itself; not stickers, pens, inserts, washi tape, etc. There are many blog posts and YouTube videos to help get you started.

There are brands from all over the world and at a variety of price ranges: Filofax, Kikki K, Erin Condrin, Kate Spade, Day-Timer, Day Runner, Franklin Covey, At a Glance, Bullet Journaling, Midori Traveler’s Notebook, Fauxdori’s, homemade & DIY, and many more.

In my opinion, the easiest place to start is deciding whether or not you want a planner that you can add and move stuff around in OR something that is bound together. A move stuff around planner would be a ring one, disc bound, and arguably traveler’s notebooks. A bound together planner would be a bound book or spiral/coil bound book.

Personally, I like being able to change the guts of my planner around as I please, so I use a ring bound planner.

The next thing to do is figure out what you want your planner to do for you. Calendar? To Do lists? Notes? Projects? Address book? What do you want from your planner? And how will you need it to function.

Your answer needs to be more than “I want to get organized.” Let’s start with a relatively simply example: calendars. Monthly, weekly, daily, or some combination of 2 or all 3? If you take each section and really think about what you want from it, eventually the planner you need, as well as the one you want, will come together.

Other examples:

To Do lists>>>brain dump/catch all’s or categorized? (You can have both! I do!)

Projects>>>work or personal. A page for each project with notes, timelines, etc. Alphabetical or by deadline?

A to Z file>>>also known as the Address book. There is a trend to store quick reference notes here, like clothing sizes or book titles or important notes you don’t know where to keep.

The thing to remember is that just because a planner comes with certain sections and inserts, doesn’t mean you are stuck with them.

If all of this information was overwhelming, I apologize. The planner world can, ironically, be overwhelming. How about something simpler? Get a cheap planner from the dollar store. Start using it. As you go along, if you find yourself wanting something different, like wanting to be able to move stuff, make a note of it in your planner. What do you like, what don’t you like? Write it all down.

There is no one right formula to figuring out what planning system works for you. A system that works for one person won’t work for someone else. It’s all about finding out what works for you.

This is a process that can take some time and it came be frustrating. But eventually, you’ll figure it out.

© Cori Large April-December 2015

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Day-Timer Portable Malibu set up w/ Video!

For September, it being Back to School time and all, I decided to move back into a more formal planner.

Through one of the Facebook planner groups, I bought a personal size Day-Timer Malibu in Rose Gold.

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The color sold it for me. I’m on a copper and bright blue kick right now. I took all the guts out of my Raika and put them into the RG. Both planners have the same 3-3, 6 ring format.

How it is set up:

Front:

A cash sleeve pocket, a zipper pouch, and card slots hold post its and coupons.

Rings:

<1> shopping and general to do lists

<2> categorized to do lists

<3> blog posting chart

<4> book notes

<5> knitting project notes

<6> CBC posting notes

Calendar: WO2P (week on 2 page) inserts; no monthlies’

Project: exercise tracker

Information: random stuff

Back:

1 large pocket, designed to hold a notepad. I store spare note paper back there. There are 2 smaller pockets that I don’t put anything in.

There are two black, plastic fly leafs (front and back), that protect my inserts.

2 pen loops

Closure system is a magnetic strap with a buckle accent.

Here’s the YouTube video link: http://youtu.be/u9XO8BX5jL4

© Cori Large September 2, 2015

Comparing Sizes: Franklin Covey vs. DayTimer

Franklin Covey and DayTimer are the two big planner brands in the United States. Lucky for those of us who use them, their sizes and ring format are pretty compatible.

However, each company uses its own terminology. This is led to confusion by not only myself but other members of the planner world when we’re trying to compare planners.

Here is a list of the size and insert measurements each company uses:

Franklin Covey Measurement DayTimer
Monarch 8.5 inches x 11 inches Folio
Classic 5.5 inches x 8.5 inches Desk
Compact 4.25 inches x 6.75 inches No comparable size
No comparable size 3.75 inches x 6.75 inches Portable
Pocket 3.5 inches x 6 inches No comparable size

What I can add from the information in the above chart is that if you have a Compact or Portfolio size planner, if the ring format matches you should still be able to use the insert from the FC Compact & Pocket and the DayTimer Portable.

Here are some links for more information:

Franklin Covey: http://franklinplanner.fcorgp.com/store/buy/Ring-bound/cat1640004/

DayTimer: http://www.daytimer.com.au/en/au/3206/guide-to-day-timer-sizes

Folio

DayTimer Avalon, Folio size

FC Day1One Classic (4)

Franklin Covey Day1One, Classic size

Portable

DayTimer Malibu, Portable size

FC compact

Franklin Covey, Compact size

Pocket

DayTimer PlannerAhead, Pocket size

Thrift Store Find: DayTimer Plan Ahead ® Pocket Planner

I found this adorable pocket size planner from Plan Ahead at my thrift store for $3.00!

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It has 6 rings, with credit card pockets and sleeves in the front and back.IMG_1498

 

It came with blank inserts, but I’m not going to use it as a planner. The pocket size is just too small for that.

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Here’s how it compares to the Mini Flex:

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I am considering making it into a notepad. It came with a pad of paper already and a small plastic bookmark. I went out a bought a small single hole punch so I could punch my own paper, but if anyone knows if there is a punch that fit this ring set up, please leave a comment with that information.

YouTube link: http://youtu.be/eK3Lw3S6sYY

© Cori Large June 2, 2015

Cori’s Planner Review

[part 4 of Cori’s Planner Pieces series]

My long-time planner was a DayTimer Avalon 7-ring simulated leather, 8 ½” x 5 ½” (compact size). When my life got really hectic, I upgraded to a Desk size Avalon, which took 8 ½” x 11” paper. I didn’t think this through very well because the Desk size also had the 7-ring set up. There wasn’t an extra hole punch around for me to permanently set up for 7 holes, and I couldn’t afford one buy one that did have that option.  Also, I would have had to do a custom order if I wanted paper with 7 holes—again, out of my price range.

When life slowed back down, I switched back to my compact Avalon, but found the rings were too small to hold everything I needed. A colleague had a planner the same size, but with bigger rings. She had a Franklin Covey.

The planner I currently use is a Franklin Covey Sierra simulated leather binder, measuring 5 ½” x 8 ½” in black. It came with a starter pack that I haven’t used because at the same time I had purchased my 2015 inserts, plus I still had my 2014 inserts.

My 2014 inserts are the DayTimer Coastlines, week on two page set up. I’ve been using this format for a few years, and it works pretty well for me. When I was still commuting to university twice a week, I actually bought an appointment book and used that to keep track of when I was driving, in class, working my part time job, and trying to have a life at the same time. I really liked the columnar set up and how much stuff I would write on it.

So when it came time to order my 2015 inserts, I searched to see if DayTimer, DayRunner, and Franklin Covey (FC) had a similar set up. I already knew I was switching to a FC planner. I needed the bigger rings. FC did offer the columnar format, so I bought a set of those in the Blooms ring-bound weekly.

I am soooo happy with my FC Sierra! It is very similar to the DayTimer Avalon, but with bigger rings! The bigger rings allow me so much more room for inserts!

Okay, so now that you have this background, here’s how mine is set up:

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  • Inside left from cover: the pockets are full of random pieces of paper that need to by organized.
  • My dashboard is a business card insert page that I attach sticky notes to.
  • After the Dashboard is a General Reference section. I may remove this section at some point.
  • Yellow Divider: my first section is by Budgeting section. I keep a ledger of how much money I have in the personal and business checking accounts. Since I always have my planner with me, it seemed like a logical place for it.
  • Purple Divider: This is labeled as my Projects Section. This is more of a General Notes area than projects. I have two main project categories, and they each have their own sections. Notes in here are about upcoming events and needed information, outlining ideas for Christmas 2015 (Yes, I’m already thinking about next Christmas.), other misc. stuff.
  • Orange Divider: This section is for my side business: Crafts by Cori (CBC). I jot down craft ideas, reminders, To Dos, and anything to do with the business, except blog posts.
  • Green Divider: This section for my Writing. Story ideas, blog post ideas, CBC blog ideas (writing topics about the business are separate in my mind). There are a few book ideas I’ve been toying with and they each have their own pages.
  • Between the projects section and the calendar section, I put one of those cardboard backings as a divider.
  • Now onto the calendar section!!!
  • I still have November and December 2014 in here, and I went ahead and put my 2015 inserts in as well. These calendar inserts have two different styles.
  • Here’s a look at how DayTimer and FC have formatted their inserts.
  • What I’m really looking forward to with the FC inserts is all the space each day to put To Dos. I’m an overachiever when I comes to how much I believe I can get done in a day. I’m not so ambitious that I’d get the 1-2 page per day inserts, though. (I would also need to buy a bigger planner AGAIN!)

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  • Behind the calendar is another cardboard backing I use to protect the calendar pages.
  • In the back, I don’t usually keep much back there because it’ll throw off how the calendar lays. Right now I’ve got some correspondence from a club I’m the secretary of and I need to file them. Also, something else that is always in my planner is the eulogy I wrote when my beloved grandfather died. Because we didn’t do a funeral, only a celebration of life, this was a way for me to grieve and work through things.

So that’s my planner! Like everyone else looking for planner peace, mine will probably change up when I need it to.

© Cori Large December 20-23, 2014