In the planner community, there two types of plannernerds: those that use one planner, and those that use multiple planners. It’s a friendly debate that strives to keep us focused on productivity without getting distracted by all the wonderful things we love: organizer covers, notebooks, papers, and pens! 🙂 With all the beautifully crafted products on the market, some may think plannernerds use multiple planners simply to find an excuse to use everything in their growing collections. However, I’ve come to learn over the last few years that there are circumstances that might warrant using an additional planner—or two, or three!–to help me plan more effectively. So what are some functional uses for multiple planners?
My planner journey began in the early 1990s with a single pocket-size Day-Timer organizer comprised of booklets containing a day-on-2-pages. This simple, functional system served me well for many years, with the occasional ‘pause’ when I abandoned it to experiment with the latest digital organizers (pre-smartphone)—read more about it here and here.
Back then, one planner binder was all you needed. In the last few years, all of that has changed. No longer did you have to choose between Day-Timer or Franklin Covey (aka Franklin Quest as it was known back then)—these were the two main choices available in the USA—have to choose between a black or brown binder cover, or whether you wanted a day-on-2-pages or week-on-2-pages (inserts were very similar between brands so not much of a choice there). Now planner covers are available in a variety of materials, colors, styles, and types like ring-bound, disc-bound, book bound, or with straps and there’s a vast selection of inserts, all of which many plannernerds find hard to resist—myself included!
So, yes, my collection has grown and at first I would swap out planner covers like I swapped out purses but then I realized I could also use them to separate and manage different life areas more effectively. My life has gotten significantly more complicated than my earlier planner days when I was a single college student. Now it involves keeping track of not only myself but also a family of 4 (or 8 if you count the pets!), a full-time highly technical job where I juggle multiple projects, a growing multi-faceted creative ‘side hustle’, and all the other mundane things that come with life (e.g. paying bills, managing health, taking care of a home, etc.).
The number of schedules and amount of notes, tasks, and information I now have to keep track of has become overwhelming. I just couldn’t find a planner layout or binder size that could contain it all. So, I decided to spread out my system across multiple planners so I could focus and manage each life areas more carefully and effectively. For more information, check out the video below.
While at first it felt excessive to me to use multiple planners, I realized it was the most effective solution to my overwhelming problem. My productivity has not suffered from this multi-part setup but rather improved immensely from my ability to effectively ‘divide and conquer’. Sure, I wish I could have a small pocket-size planner, with letter-size writing space, that can fit in my back pocket and carry every conceivable piece of information from every life area but we all know that’s a planner dream. Trust me, this is the next best thing! 😉
What about you? Do you use multiple planners? What is each planner setup to track? Does it work well for you or do you struggle with keeping track of everything on your plate? Do you have any other tips or hacks for using multiple planners effectively? I’d love to know, so please share in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe!
Until next time, 🙂
♥ LilD ♥