Keeping a Planner

Do you keep a planner? I do. I can’t live without one. I love having an open calendar where I can see all of my events and dates in one place. I use both a date book and a desk calendar. One I can bring with me on the go and the other is placed in a specific spot where I know I can look everyday. I also keep a small notebook and pencil case in my purse for whenever the mood strikes. I jot down daily notes, thoughts, and ideas. And guess what, I don’t use an app– I use good ole fashioned pen and paper.

Today in our digital world, the act of physically writing has become something nearly obsolete. Why use a piece of paper when I have an electronic notebook to store all of my to-dos? There are several benefits to writing things down instead of typing them. For one, when you pencil in an upcoming event or a to-do list item, you’re more likely to remember it. That means you’re less probable to miss an appointment.

Want to start a planner but don’t know where to begin? Here is a small list of planners and calendars I love:

Smythson — These planners are GORGEOUS. Simple and clean, the crocodile printed leather binding draws oohs and aahs from all of my friends. Great choice. — means fun! I love the illustrations in their agendas, and I’m always using their stickers to supplement my entries. Plus, their new 2018 line just came out in May! Check them out!

Moleskin — A classic. I love how Moleskin comes in all different sizes–  and I especially  love their mini pocket-style calendars that fit perfectly in any handbag. I also use their notebooks to jot down thoughts on-the-go.

Kate Spade — Talk about cute. These planners are on the larger size and their designs are adorable. Kate Spade knows style.

Minted — This site creates custom calendars, and they are so cool. We made a personalized calendar for Jared for Father’s Day. It’s customized with family photos and important dates (like our anniversary!) It’s a really special gift for anyone. Jared loves his.

Do you keep a planner? Do you write your calendar down or do you use an app? Which do you prefer? I’m always taking new suggestions, so drop a comment below or share this post! 


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May 6, 2017


  • Natalie Anne

    I’m am so excited to see this post! I’m so into stationary and love the refreshing feeling of my mind being organised. It’s funny how we’ve come in a circle with technology- I just bought myself a wax sealer and stamp for letters and crafting (not that anyone posts letters these days lol) Thank you for sharing your favourites!

  • Adrienne Rogerson

    I use 3 calendars….two written and 1 digital. Between family and work, my days fill up quickly. I’m a private contractor. Some days I book multiple appointments which immediately get scheduled digitally. I cross check my digital calendar with the two written calendars (one office & one kitchen) to make sure I’m not double booked. Oh the horror! Not only has my brain been affected by mommyhood, I suffer from CICI, chemotherapy induced cognitive impairment. So yah, 3 calendars.

  • Tosha

    For work, my Outlook calendar is my best friend. Without the reminders, I’m sure I would have missed a few meetings by now. For home, I’m definitely a planner kind of gal. There is just something about it that I find calming. I too keep a notebook for thoughts throughout the day. I’m also an avid list maker. 😊

  • Carly

    I ordered a new Erin Condern planner a couple days ago and it’s coming tomorrow, super excited!

    • Elena

      Love my Erin condren life planner

  • Victoria

    Have you heard of the bullet journal method? Is really fun and great for creativity.
    Love you Gen.

  • Tanisha

    I like medium size planners right now I’m using inkwell press love all the details inside. I’m looking for a good one for next year so always open to ideas. Love the post will check them all out.

  • Jenna

    I don’t have any planners per se (I try but it’s hard!). I have a whiteboard that I keep close to my bed to write things like doctors appointments and asthma reviews 🙂

  • JoAnne

    Last year I found a great planner/coloring book online. For we anxious people, it’s a great outlet to combat the constant overload of modern single parenting.

  • Victoria

    Hi Gen! Have you tried the bullet journal method? Is what I use and is really fun and allows you to be as creative as you want.

  • Alicia

    I feel like I can’t live without looking at my calendar so I don’t let anyone down. It seems like there is always so much to do, but if I have my calendar up to date, I know that I can stay on schedule and know what to mentally prepare for in the coming days. I also love writing physical letters (because I happen to agree that it seems obsolete these days) and mail them to family and friends. It is so much more personal than an email or text.

  • Ashley

    Keeping a planner is a requirement for my job. I work as a community case manager, working with adults with intellectual disabilities. I meet with clients at least once a month, facilitate meetings when needed, and have to keep up with documentation and deadlines; I have to be very organized with this or my client could lose their waiver funding 😨 Recently I was on the hunt for a planner that had an hourly vuew

  • Rebecca

    I use a Happy Planner. My one this year say Hooray for Today on the cover. It’s bright and the layout is great! And plus it is the medium size so you can put it in a tote to take with you or leave it as a desk accessory. I also color-code everything to make it even prettier. 🙂 btw, I definitely read your whole blog today and I am beyond obsessed with it. Thank you so much for giving us all a glimpse into your life and how you juggle everything that is thrown your way! You rock!

  • Rita

    I love to geek out with a planner! Thank you for the terrific list of resources. I’d like to add my current favorite the Hobonichi Techno. I love their compact design.

  • Ashley

    Keeping a planner is a requirement for my job. I work as a community case manager, working with adults with intellectual disabilities. I meet with clients at least once a month, facilitate meetings when needed, and have to keep up with documentation and deadlines; I have to be very organized with this or my client could lose their waiver funding 😨 Recently I was on the hunt for a planner that had an hourly view so I can plan my day. For some reason I had a hard time finding one, maybe because of the time of the year. I finally found one at Michael’s (an arts and crafts store) that is from a brand called Recollections. They have many different types of planners, including ones with hourly view. They also sell sticker books separately as a way to get decorative when keeping planner. They have also made planners specifically for fitness, nutrition, teaching, etc. Definitely check them out. I also really like planners that have inspirational/empowering quotes inside. 😊

  • Courtney Rose

    I love planning! I started out bullet journaling, but I made the switch to a Happy Planner earlier this year. Decorating my layouts is definitely one of the best parts of each week. It’s so calming! And I love that it’s discbound so I can add paper, folders, bookmarks, whatever! ❤

  • Sara

    I try to get into keeping a calendar but end up losing my way. I just got a new one from Michaels Im excited to try. It has a fitness one too and lots of cute stickers. I try to monthly write a hand note to an old friend. I feel like writing notes is a most art. This post made my day!!!

  • Melissa

    This post is amazing in so many ways because it speaks to my soul. I’m an English major/teacher and I do a lot of writing also. I have to have a desk calendar …or two or One at work, one at home, and one in my home office for budgeting and my photography business’ purposes. I too keep a small notebook and pen with me at all times for the same reasons. I recently stumbled upon Happy Planners. I keep a small one with me and I love that I can personalize it and change it at any time to fit my mood. I just don’t feel the same organization with my technology. Sure I use my Google calendar, but you can also find everything in my Google Calendar in my paper planner as well. Off to visit your recommendation now. Thanks!

  • Nicole

    We have 3 children (18, 15 & 11) and I keep a calendar that I can keep up with all of their busy schedules. My favorite pen to use is the Paper Mate Flair pens. I use different color inks for the five of us to help distinguish who has what and when. It has helped me with homeschooling, kung-fu, ballet, baseball, & band as well as hubby’s work schedule (he has his own businesses). I’m not an organizer by nature but I’ve learned that it makes my life easier.

  • Jennifer

    I love keeping a paper planner; there’s just something about putting ink to paper that makes me feel like I’m actually setting myself up for success, you know? Kind of like how you’re more likely to accomplish a goal if you write it down. I used to be an Erin Condren girl until I found and backed Passion Planner on Kickstarter. When it comes to lists, I jump between old-fashioned and modern; my to-do lists are always on paper (it feels SO good to cross things off!), but for my shopping lists, I love the app Wunderlist. It let’s you make lists/sublists and even lets you choose other people to add to them–it’s pretty neat!

  • NJ

    Yes! I still use and love stationary even though there’s Keep, Outlook, and much more. Thank you for sharing this – I’m excited to check them out 😀

  • Paulien

    I have been trying to do bulletjournal to find a way to plan things. But that is a bit more than just planning. It did however helped me to think of few things I can use. However I am still searching for the right planning/structure. My head get crowded very quickly. One day I will find the right planner.
    I do have a journal and I write everyday in it for half hour.
    Like you I rather us paper and pen.

  • Shelby

    I use both a digital calendar on my phone and a paper planner. (Currently moving into a traveler’s notebook.) I definitely love my paper planner more. I can keep track of more things and decorate it how I want.

  • Shaista

    Hey! I’ve been writing my dream debut novel for 6 years now… not looking for sympathy, but I suffer from Depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. I’ve tried to kill myself ten times and am now on therapy! I am getting better! I thank you and Jared wholeheartedly for all the work that you do, the efforts that you put in, because that’s what makes me believe, I still have hope! There is some humanity left after all! I’ve been bullied, sexually assaulted at a young age and now am androphobic.
    But all the support we sufferers get from inspirational people like you, Jared, Jensen and Misha is so strong, it helps us put a brace face and smile through the pain… I’ve just seen your speech about your experience with bullying and I want to thank you for opening up and helping to reduce the stigma!
    You guys don’t know much you matter to us, to the world, to humanity. You’re god sent angels! I write my books to get rid of the pain and the guilt so I would be beyond blessed if you checked out my book My Memories of the Future on Wattpad!
    Thanks a ton! Loads of love and wishes to you and your family! You inspire me to be a great woman! Thank you once again! I hope you see this! Loads of hugs! Bye! Have a great day/night!

  • Elena

    I am the very same way I have to have two calendars. One for travel and one I keep up at home where I see it daily. I love Erin condren life planners. Cute covers and accessories! I also use them at work too!

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