My email inbox and Instagram feed is filled with photos like THIS and THIS and this:

mambi day planner
*From the MAMBI blog

Pretty, pretty, PRETTY!!

I see all the gorgeous planner products that the scrapbooking companies come out with and am oh-so-tempted to buy things like this:

Color Crush Personal Planner Kit by Webster’s Pages

websters pages planner
Oh my gosh, so delicious!

And yet here is the exciting day planner I just got for 2016:

AT-A-GLANCE Weekly / Monthly Executive Planner

at a glance planner
at a glance planner

You’re so jellie, right? Yeah, not so much.

Believe it or not, this planner is actually stepping out on the wild side for me. I’ve used the smaller version of this At-a-Glance planner (about 7 x 9″ vs 8 1/2 x 11″) for literally 10 years. I save them every year and use them to look up stuff – medical info, dates and journaling for scrapbooking, etc. – or to win an argument with my husband (oops, did I say that in my “out loud” voice?).

I just pull the old refill out and put in the new one; they’re slim and file away very nicely. Changing to a different size?!? Gasp! It’s like those of you who MUST have a row of matching albums on your shelf. It causes a bit of anxiety to change it up, am I right?

I have reasons for going practical over pretty. As much as I’d love to dress up a cute day planner with stickers and washi and pretty handwriting, it’s just not happening. I keep track of too much stuff in my planner:

– Travel and holiday plans
– Hub’s work schedule
– Dates for school stuff, sports, and community events
– Medical, dental, and other appointments for all of us
– All of my clients’ events and due dates (yes, I calendar 5-6 other people, LOL)
– Bloggy stuff
– Free business and scrappy webinars (I’m a junkie)

Not only do I need all that space I have in my current 7 x 9″ boring planner, for 2016 I’ve decided to “go bigger” because I need even more room! See the longer horizontal space for each day? I draw 2 vertical lines to make 3 boxes so I can visually separate personal, business, and webinars/e-learning. It’s getting pretty cluttered and I run out of room on some days. On the month-at-a-glance pages, I track our bills and budget. On the blank lines on the top right, I usually journal about something from that week (to scrapbook later).

You can see why those pretty scrapbook planners with all the fun extras wouldn’t work for me, huh? I did look at a lot of options before choosing this (boring) planner. Even if you don’t go scrapbook-y, there are some pretty awesome, cute, helpful planners out there now. I looked at many, including Elise Blaha Cripe’s Get to Work Book, the Passion Planner (tried out their free printables), the popular Erin Condren planner {did you know they carry these now at Staples?!}, and a bunch of other nice options on Amazon. I even bought and tried the Uncalendar. None of them had enough writing space :(

Lest you think I’m TOO super boring, I am going to bust out in a big way with my day planning in 2016.

Wait for it . . .

I’m ditching my pencil and going for color!!

Pilot Frixion Retractable Gel Ink Pens

frixion retractable erable gell pen

Yeah, they’re erasable. So what? You got a problem with that? I’m a bit picky and just can’t do scratch-outs. Gotta’ be able to fully erase mistakes or changes and I hear these pens totally rock.

I don’t know if I’ll actually try to color code everything or just use, say, pink one week and blue the next. We shall see. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Tonight I had a 50% off 1 item coupon at Michaels; only thing I could find to buy were some clickable highlighters – pink, yellow, and orange. Hope to use those in my planner as well.

Thanks to Mr. Amazon Prime, my planner and pens got here in 3 days. I’m inordinately excited to play with them. Hmm, what shall I do first? Go through and add birthdays in lime OR bill due dates in turquoise?! Eeeee! (Goober).


I thought I was ordering a black planner but they sent me SILVER which I actually love! I may not use a cute scrappy planner but I’m proud of myself for stepping out of my box a teensy bit.

How about you? Do you use a fancy planner? A white board on the fridge? What’s up with you? I’d love to hear about it.

Happy Planning!

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  1. avatar
    Jill T says:

    Love hearing about your process! I’m all about the paper, no electronics (as a scrapbooker is that really a surprise??).

    I use a wall calendar. It “lives” in my office at work but I usually take it home with me over the weekends. For 2016 I’m also making a big change. Going with a book-style planner that’s 8.5 x 11 since it’s more portable. I fear change!!! Not sure how well this will work. I’ve used a wall calendar for probably 20 years. Actually the calendar I got (in August while back-to-school shopping) is a two year calendar 2015 & 2016…but I haven’t “moved in” yet as I planned on doing.

    My must-haves are big boxes and month-at-a-glance style. My brain seems to process better when I see the whole month at once. Tracking school activities, sports, and appointments for two pre-teen kids is my main objective. I use pen but I also use lots of white-out correction tape – ha! Also use post-it notes for any activity where a date range is known far in advance but specifics don’t shake out until later (ex. sports tournaments). Once I have specific dates/times, the post-it gets trashed and activity gets written in pen.

    Good luck to both of us as we embrace change in 2016!

  2. avatar

    yeah, I totally don’t get the planner craze… that’s mostly because I don’t do much planning in general, I guess– if I have important notes or appointments, they usually get written on a scratch piece of paper till I can enter them into our iPhone calendar, or till I do the task. (or stick it in my pocket until I do the laundry- not that I’ve ever done that, or anything… haha!) After I do the task, the post it note, envelope scrap, or whatever gets tossed into the garbage. Or, if I lose it, then I write another note and put it into my purse where it immediately sinks to the bottom and disappears… not that THAT’S ever happened, or anything, either! LOL! I’ve tried planners, date books, etc. and while I LOVE notebooks, for me, they’re a waste of money, because all those ‘systems’ are too complicated for me. I like to-do lists that I can cross items off of when I’m done, and don’t want to carry 10 different colored pens with me everywhere. I’d be interested to see some of how you use your planner!

  3. […] media focused on Planner Girls, i.e. all those cute planners I said I’m not able to use HERE, lol. {Though Cori is going to win me over eventually}. And she also runs the #ListersGonnaList […]

  4. avatar

    I love the silver planner. That’s a happy mistake!
    I’m not all about over-decorating my planner, but a little color helps make responsibility not so boring!

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