Ever since I was in college, I found it helpful to keep track of all the things I had to remember by writing down my schedule in a planner. With modern technology, I know that I could do this all digitally on my phone or computer. But the act of physically writing something helps me remember it better and there’s something so satisfying about checking off items in a to-do list that no app can imitate.
I’ve tried a lot of different types of planners over the years. When I was in college and needed to carry around my schedule with a ton of heavy books, I went for a small, sturdy type that couldn’t be crushed at the bottom of my backpack. My needs have evolved since then.
Four years ago, I started a Happy Planner, which had benefits: lots of space for monthly and weekly schedules, lies open on my desk, easy to add and remove pages, and it’s got cute stickers. But this year, I was looking for a change to support small businesses and I finally settled on this gorgeous A5 wide planner from Wonton in a Million.
As you can see, they’re pretty close in size, which means that all the same stickers fit inside and I didn’t have to change much about how I plan with all the extra decorations I use. And how beautiful is the gradient rainbow? It’s even more stunning in person!
Here’s what it looks like on the inside! The planner itself is a bound notebook and it comes in 6 months at a time, so I could start right in July. I added foil tabs to jump straight to each monthly view. Inside the front flap, there are pockets which hold stickers and other items (like the cute Pride pin and little panda is on a metal card used to cut washi, made by Sweet Kawaii Design).
There are four elastic bands inside to hold the notebooks in place. The front one is the planner (and there would be room for another if I wanted to put both halves of the year in together). Behind that, I have two notebooks for extra notetaking and a folder to hold even more stickers. The pen loop on the right also keeps a pen handy. (The rainbow pen is from Simply Gilded, but it looks like it was made for the planner because the colors match perfectly!)
This is what the monthly view looks like on the inside. I’ve decorated it with a kit from Wonton in a Million (from their ice cream collection), so you know that it’s meant to fit. I’ve had a hard time finding the right size stickers to fit in the monthly pages for my Happy Planner (and I suspect that either their format has changed, or the sizes might vary depending on the design, so it’s too hard for designers to know what will fit), so I’m happy to have something that fits right in.
But as I will show you, these planners are designed at a standard size (what some people call “vertical,” based on the Erin Condren Life Planner sizing), so I can use sticker kits from lots of different sources!
Here is this week in the planner! (Before the pen, before I marked it all up with the many things on my schedule this week!) These stickers are from Sweet Kawaii Design and you can see that they fit in this planner perfectly. I’m so happy with how this format looks. There is a faint dot grid pattern to help line things up, but it’s not obtrusive. I don’t like a lot of lines or other clutter that I have to cover up.
This planner has space for me to keep track of dinners, daily exercise and stretching, appointments, chores, my writing and blogging schedule, and all the other miscellaneous things that I need to keep track of for my family and myself.
I hope you enjoyed looking at my new planner. I share my before the pen layouts every Sunday on Instagram, but if you want to see more, I might be persuaded to show some pages after I’ve written on them. Let me know what else you’re curious about.
Do you use a paper planner or do you have a digital schedule?