Navigating planner layouts: How to find your perfect fit

June 01, 2023

Navigating planner layouts: How to find your perfect fit

Choosing the right planner layout is a little like finding the right tool for the job. A layout that aligns with your particular lifestyle and planning needs enables you to plan, prioritise and execute your tasks and activities with ease, effectively manage your time, and enhance the overall flow and organisation of day to day life. On the other hand, the wrong layout can be a daily source of frustration, hinder your progress and leave you feeling overwhelmed and unproductive.

So how can you determine which layout is the right choice for you?

The choice of a planner layout is a personal one, based on individual preferences and our unique approach to tasks and activities, as well as specific responsibilities and commitments. What proves effective for one person may not necessarily yield the same results for another.

Experienced planners will likely have experimented with different layouts and designs over the years, with varying degrees of success. You’ll have a good understanding as to what works well for you, and which layouts proved less effective. But if you’re new to planning, or just want to change things up, here are a few key considerations to bear in mind.

Format: Printed, printable or digital?

In addition to the traditional printed format, many planner designs are available in printable and/or digital options, each of which has pros and cons to contemplate. Consider which format best aligns with your lifestyle, your method of working, and how you’ll use your planner on a day-to-day basis.

Sizing: Choose a size that suits your lifestyle

That A4 planner might have looked great in the store, but if your average day involves dashing across town from one meeting to the next, it might not be the most practical choice. On the other hand, a pocket-sized planner might be a little too compact if you have a substantial amount to jot down, despite it’s convenience for carrying. Opting for a mid-range choice such as an A5 size planner can offer the ideal balance, providing portability without compromising on writing space.

Consider also your region, and the availability of refill pages for your chosen organiser or binder. If you find yourself having to order from overseas because your preferred size isn't available locally, the shipping (and any customs) charges can prove costly. Opting for a size available locally can make for a more budget-friendly experience. Similarly, if choosing a print at home option, be sure the size is compatible with your printer and paper stock.

Writing & Planning Style: Do you

Are you a note taker? Maybe you favour bullet points and lists?

Do you write neatly, or enjoy the freedom of jotting down scrappy notes in a hurry?

The size, style and way in which you write and plan are often overlooked when considering a planner layout. Though designs can look pretty on screen, tiny boxes or line spacing that doesn't support the average handwriting size can prove impractical.

Consider also whether you'll want to add embellishments such as stickers or washi tape. While some favour these purely for decorative purposes, designs featuring bullet point icons and similar can add functionality to your pages.

Design & Content: Match it to your intended use and needs

In today's abundant planner market, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. However, it's essential to find one that truly suits your needs. Think about how you’ll want to use your planner, and the specifics of what you’ll need or want to track. For example, those with a busy schedule brimming with appointments, meetings and deadline will benefit from a planner that incorporates monthly calendar grid views. Those balancing a busy family life with a career may favour a planner that allows them to track both work and home aspects within a single design.

View your daily or weekly layout as the core of the your planning routine, then personalise and customise your system with supplementary pages that work for your lifestyle. There are endless possibilities and options available, including meal planners, shopping checklists, gratitude pages, and more. Often the limit on what you can include will come down to the physical space available in your organiser, and many planning enthusiasts use multiple organisers simultaneously - one for general daily or weekly planning and another to accommodate supplementary pages such as lists, trackers and so on.

We’ll dive deeper into the details of each of our signature planner layouts in an upcoming journal post.

Give it Time: The adjustment period

When making any change, there’s always a period of adjustment. So when transitioning to a new planner layout, it’s essential to give yourself adequate time to adjust - particularly when you’re accustomed to a specific style. With time you’ll find what works with the new design and be able to adapt accordingly.

Final Thoughts:

The abundance of planner layout options available today ensures there’s a perfect fit for everyone's needs. Embrace the process of exploring the options and allow yourself to have fun along the way. Keep an open mind and be willing to experiment through trial and error. Eventually, you’ll find a layout that aligns with your planning style.


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