How a planner helped me get my sh*t together

How a planner stopped me losing my s**tPaper Plum planners day to day view

Last October, I began to feel like my memory was turning into a sieve. With university, work, blogging, reading, and generally living, everything was becoming a bit too much and I kept forgetting things, so I decided I needed to get a planner.

I would try to write things down, but there would be bits in my phone, bits on emails to myself, bits in different notebooks, so I needed a way to pull that all together.

The ironic thing is that I went to a high school where they gave every student a planner, and it was compulsory to use it. You had to keep track of what homework you had been given, any projects, and even note down how much time you spent on your homework. And I hated it.

I didn’t like using it at all, and I think it’s because I’m one of those people who has to understand why you need to do something rather than just being told to do something. A few years down the line, I can definitely see the benefits of using a planner.

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With so many things to juggle, your average planner was not going to cut it. I began searching the interwebs and came across Paper Plum on Etsy. They sell a range of highly customisable planners for students, teachers, families, wedding planning, general planners, and fitness planners, and the way these planners looked and the whole feel was just so me.

The main thing I was drawn to was how customisable their planners are. I chose the student planner, which gives you:

  • Monthly goals
  • Weekly to do lists
  • Weekly lists of tests of quizzes you need to prepare for
  • Sections for each subject

You can start the planner on any month, and let it run to any month, so mine is November to October. In hindsight, I should have done November 2015 to December 2016, but you live and learn.

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They sell lots of add-ins too, including a blog section which has pages and prompts for planning posts, keeping track of statistics, information about sponsors, and things you want to get done on your blog each month – you can see a few of those above. I like that it encourages me to think about things like any little bits that need doing on my blog, rather than letting it stew in my brain and getting done whenever I happen to think about it while at my laptop.

There’s a whole load of other things you can add to make your planner suit your life, such as: to do lists, fitness planning, cleaning chart, a baby section, sticker sheets, and so on.


How has my planner helped me?

I guess that’s the key point here; has it been worth it? Was it worth the £34 price tag? Definitely.

  • I feel a lot less stressed and up in the air because I know when things are happening
  • I’m keeping on top of my to do lists – and actually making them, and getting things done
  • I feel a lot more prepared in general because I’m aware of what’s happening, when; which lets me split things up instead of leaving it all until the last minute
  • I’m on top of my reading and note taking for classes
  • I can plan my time better
  • I can identify monthly goals – I used to hate doing this at school and college, but I’m all about it now


Is there anything I don’t like?

The only thing I would like to be improved in some way (and I don’t know how, because there’s so much crammed in there already) is a slightly larger to do list space. It can get cramped and look a little messy quite easily, so a bit more space is the only improvement I can think of.


How has it held up?

You should know that I am not one of those people who inexplicably manages to keep stationery pristine despite using it every day; that is my best friend. I am the kid in school who ends up with pencil led over everything in their pencil case, despite trying not to.

In the past couple of months, this planned has been rammed in and out of my university, along with text books, notebooks, lab coats, and snacks, and it’s held up perfectly. The plastic front and back covers protect it and keep it looking neat and clean in general. The ring binders are sturdy and are still looking as good as the day it arrived, so there’s no bent or wonky wires to be seen.


In short: This planner has been so helpful to me and has stopped me losing my s**t. I’ve felt a little stressed a couple of times with deadlines, and I’m certain that I would have turned into a crying mess hiding under the duvet if I did not have this. If your plan is to get more organised in 2016, I cannot recommend Paper Plum’s planners enough.


Do you use any kind of planner?

This is not a sponsored post; I just love this planner so darn much.