A journey to discover the perfect planner or journal or bujo

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I have loved journals, workbooks, self-discovery and journaling prompts, and notebooks of every kind since I was able to write, draw, or doodle. Remember the floral hard back lined journals? That is what I started with. I would use them to write quotes, keep a diary, and would have never thought to use it as a notebook for school. I'm not sure why - at the time, they were much prettier than the plain spiral bound notebooks I used. I also had Trapper Keepers and every other fad of the time.

Then, I graduated from college and I was SOOO busy that I felt I needed a real organizer, like this:

I thought I was so super duper fancy. 

I wrote all of my addresses in it and used it daily to track what I needed to do at my internship with an event planning company! Looking back, I'm not sure why I thought I had so much to do. This planner proved to be very bulky although it held everything. The one thing I hated was being bound by the page layout and I hated the green color.

So, I got a Coach leather mini-planner that held could function as a wallet too! I loved this thing and I could carry it everywhere. However, the pages were a bit cramped and it also had all of those appointment time slots that I just wrote through. Finally, I gave up on the true organizer concept. It was expensive to keep buying refills that I didn't care for and didn't use the way they were intended (which don't ask me why but it really bothered me).

Then, I went to grad school and kind of used my old big planner, kind of used the coach one, used my computer, used a variety of plain ole notebooks: spiral bound, 3 ring binders, composition books.  I always felt disorganized and had stuff everywhere.  

Nothing was pretty or organized.

After graduating, I moved to smaller, functional notebooks but I kept seeing these beautiful planners and notebooks/planners by Erin Condren and Bloom.  I mean how can you not love all of that color and life planning goodness.  I wanted to dive into them; somehow, I thought the constraint of days and appointment times wouldn't be an issue as it had been in my Franklin Covey.  Then, I started looking through Pinterest about planners.  I'm still unsure whether this was the biggest mistake or greatest find.  First, there are a MILLION pins on planning, organizing, journaling, art journaling, bullet journaling, bujo, planners, which planner is best and on and on and on.  There are also printables 

The more I read about bujo and started following Boho Berry, Tiny Ray of Sunshine, and the original bullet journaler, Ryder Carroll, the more I decided why did I need to buy some fancy planner that didn't really fit my needs.  At the time, I was working on projects which although they had deadlines and dates, my work didn't fit into a true week format.  Sometimes, I needed daily stuff; sometimes, I needed weekly stuff; sometimes, I needed monthly stuff.  Introduce the Ampad Versa Crossover.  
I wasn't totally sure about the Arc System or the Levenger Circa.  They looked fantastic, but what can I say I'm cheap.  The Ampad, however, was only $11!  Plus, it came with tabs, pockets, post its, dividers, everything.

I decorated it, I bujo'd in it, I doodled, I created Level 10 life wheels, I planned, I organized and I was ecstatic!  Plus, with printables, I could try new designs, different layouts, whatever struck my fancy.  Not to mention, Pinterest is loaded with different layouts, different ideas, different everything.

As you can see, however, the Ampad took a beating and got dirty and to be honest, I got bored.  It was everything I wanted and needed but the flimsy blue plastic cover just wasn't pretty.  I knew this time, however, that I loved being able to move pages about.  So, I bought a beautiful pink Arc notebook.

I love this notebook!

But I won't use it!  I used it to work through several intense life goal/life planning sessions from Sorted:  Freedom Through Structure and Living Forward.  I literally poured my dreams into it.  

See 10 Dreams for My Life!  I literally detail out everything I want in life from the type of house, the lifestyle, how much money we have, where we travel.  You name it; I have it outlined, written out in this notebook, but I have never used the notebook daily.  It's too pretty or something.  I'm scared I'm going to take the juju out of it or something equally irrational.  

This is my current planner which I got for free and love the dot grid thing but it's almost to the last page.  There is such a sense of accomplishment when you fill up a notebook or planner, I think.

So, it's off to the new notebook soon and no, it's not the pretty Arc one.  I bought yet another 3 ring hard binder to try because it had stickers of all things!  It's too big and bulky and I'm totally not sure about it.  I'll keep you posted.  The journey still continues I suppose, but what never changes is I love trying all sorts of different planners, bujos, and journals!

What about you and your journey to the perfect planner?


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