I finally found some downtime! I am actually on vacation — have been on vacation since the 23rd of December actually and I don’t need to be back until January 3rd.
Everyone who knows this thinks I’m very lucky. Well, I am, not everyone is given a full 11-day vacation by their employers. But the truth is I have only been able to rest for one day, Christmas day. The rest of my “vacation” was spent working on other projects + chores. I haven’t gone to a single reunion or outing… I couldn’t even catch up on blogging duties!
At least Christmas is over. I love Christmas with all my heart and I am very grateful for Jesus’ birth, but celebrating Christmas as a mother is plain exhausting. I still don’t know how I was able to manage to get gifts for everyone haha!
Now that it’s almost 2018 — woah, wasn’t it just 2015 yesterday??? — I am off to a new personal agendum: a new planner! The tangerine Kikki K ring binder that Job gave me last year (I bought it myself, he just gave me the budget lol) is still pretty as ever. I am amazed that it still looks beautiful when I used it every single day.
However, I am not someone who can use the same planner two years in a row. After two years of using ring binders (Webster’s Pages and Kikki K), I am itching to try a new planner system. So I’m keeping my Kikki K for future use and decided to just get a new planner to scratch the itch.
I already have my 2018 planner with me. A big thanks to my Secret Santa, Hazel, for fulfilling my wish! But before I reveal it, let me show you the planners that made it difficult for me to choose just one. Here were my initial choices for my 2018 planner!
(And no, I never planned on getting a coffee shop planner since I can’t tolerate coffee…)
Via Filed website
I have never had a planner from Filed despite it being popular among people I know. My bestfriend George, in particular, gets it every year and loves it. So I decided to try it and see for myself. I waited for them to officially release their 2018 planners, and when they came out, I decided I wanted the Keepsake planner.
Buuuut I never saw a single mention of trackers, which are very essential to me especially the finance trackers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I checked. It’s not in their website, not in their Facebook page, not even in reviews. The planners are relatively cheaper, but I cannot give up my non-negotiables. Maybe next time!
Via CNS Designs website
Design Your Life is another planner brand I’ve been wanting to try though I’m not a fan of their flagship planner. It’s too girly for me and the designs, too crazy. I need something reliable and organized. Good thing they have other designs, such as the Limitless. This year, I found out they’re releasing two Limitless planners, one in horizontal layout and another in vertical hourly. I never liked horizontal layouts — they just don’t work for me — so I was pretty excited to see the vertical hourly!
Well, I tried having a vertical hourly layout in my Kikki K for practice, and guess what. It didn’t work because I don’t have a fixed schedule every day. Also, I prefer bullet marks and ticking them one by one BuJo style. So back to square one!
Via CNS Designs website
I really, really covet the vertical layout of Back to Basics, still from Design Your Life! Unlike the Limitless planner, it’s not hourly so you’re not limited to designing your day by the hour, which doesn’t work for me. On the contrary, the layout is similar to the classic Happy Planner’s and Erin Condren’s. I love being able to divide my day into categories and listing away! Plus, it has all the trackers I need, which is great.
The only thing I didn’t like about this planner is the cover. Boo. It’s not that I hate it, it’s just not me. I really wanted the minimalist cover of Limitless. Hopefully they can come up with a planner that has the classic minimalism of Limitless and the layout of Back to Basics…
Via Ban.Do website
I love the covers of Ban.Do planners. They’re fun but don’t look disorganized and all over the place (unlike the DYL flagship planners…). I especially like their classic “I am very busy” covers, but their florals are very me, too! The covers look young and fresh but not immature.
I thought I could get past the horizontal layout because of the other features (cool cover, graphics, stickers), until I found out that it also lacks the essential features that I need. It has nice add-ons but none of the trackers that are important to me (as described in number 1). In other words, it’s all fluff. Not to mention it is cheap in the official website ($28) but is so much more expensive when bought locally.
Via I Love BDJ website
BDJ planners were my first real planners. I think I had them from 2012 to 2013? I didn’t know how to make the most out of planners then so for two years, I had planners that were barely used. I considered going back to BDJ this year especially as they came out with a discbound planner. The thing with discbound planners (like Happy Planners) is they are customizable! You can rearrange the sheets, add sheets, remove them… It’s a super idea.
One thing I can’t get past BDJ planners though is how the print looks, I don’t know, washed out? Perhaps it’s done on purpose for the boho vibe, but I don’t like it (I don’t like boho, too). I like my colors vivid and sharp! Also, I’m not a fan of the motto on the cover. What does that even mean?
6. A bullet journal
Via Bullet Journal website
It’s a very first world problem, but choosing a planner is always a dilemma for me. There are non-negotiables and pros and cons and we’re not even talking about the price points yet. For the first half of 2017, aside from my Kikki K, I did BuJo for my work-related stuff. I just used a cheap dotted notebook and it worked very well. Which reminds me, I haven’t even blogged about my bullet journal!
Anyway, yes, it worked for me for the first half of the year. Almost. I think I was able to do it until the first week of June? When the school year was about to start, bullet journalling started to become a lot more difficult than it was without school-mom responsibilities. And when classes did begin, it became impossible. I considered going back to bullet journalling to satisfy my OC-ness, but I remembered that it’s just going to remain impossible for me with all my responsibilities.
Which one do you think I chose?