Most new planners will assume it’s best to purchase one planner setup and keep all information and notes in the one spot. However, there’s a growing number of planner enthusiasts opting to spread their lives across more than one planner. We spoke to some of these experienced planners to see why they’ve chosen this path.
Deborah Jason's A5 and Travellers Notebook collection
Outgrowing the capacity of one planner
For so many of us, the capacity of one planner just isn’t enough. Shannan Philips notes that “I find it easier to have two planners simply because all of my inserts won't fit into one I use the A5 for my wedding planning, and the personal size for day-to-day and work.”
Ema Wari started off using a personal size planner, but found that this soon didn’t provide enough space for everything she needed to manage. “As day goes by”, she recalled, “the planner grew thicker and it got heavier to bring around in my bag. Although it’s easier to have all your plannings in one planner, I felt it’s more productive to have separate planners for different purposes.” Ema now uses a personal size planner for personal planning, mainly tracking appointments, important dates to remember, personal goals, fitness tracking etc. She has just purchased new A5 Chasing Planner Peace planner to manage her household and finance, including meal planning, groceries shopping lists, cleaning checklists and budget planning.
Karalee Mason knows the struggle of trying to fit all the required information into the one planner. “Honestly I just couldn't fit all that into one planner. They don't make rings big enough to have that many inserts in one planner, but separating it is easy. If I need to study, I grab my study planner out, if I'm paying bills or it's pay day I have our budget planner out etc. I don't necessarily use them all every day, only when they're needed for their purpose.”
Opportunity to plan in much greater detail
According to Karalee, using more than one planner provides the space to plan to a much higher degree. “I use different planners because in some areas I like to have a specific focus and go into detail. For example in budgeting, studying and household details. I have separate planners for each of those focus areas, plus anther planner that's my everyday planner which I use for everything. I also have a reading planner too because I love to read so much I'm tracking all the books I've read his year, setting goals and tracking series I've read.”
Allowing for planners for home and ‘on the go’
Some planners opt to have one planner which stays at home and one which can be taken out and about with them. Trisha Bleakley has one for each: “My A5 is used at home only … the B6 is basically the condensed version of the A5 on the go. It stays in my bag so I can update it through the day.”
Karalee has a separate planner available to grab when she goes shopping: “I also have a CPP personal size planner that I have cash envelopes set up in. It's the pink floral zip up one, so when I need to do the groceries I just grab it and throw it in my bag and I know our money is divided up into categories for groceries, fuel etc.”
Trisha Bleakley's A5 and B6 planner collection
Concentrating on specific goals
There are a few areas where having a separate planner makes sense, namely when studying or organising a wedding.
Karalee agrees. “Study is very important and I also study two courses, so to have it separated is perfect for me so that it's all only study related and I can clearly see when things are due, break down assignments into manageable tasks, I use the timetable to plan out my time as I study online, teacher contact details are easy to find in the planner too as well as assignment details like what the grade is worth to the overall mark.”
Jenna Cox also sees the advantages in separating her study from her home life: “I find this easier so I can just grab the planner I need and look for what I want rather than having to dig through study stuff to find family stuff and vice versa.… And also if I take my study planner to uni to use and have it on my desk people aren’t able to just glance and see private family things.”
Shannan Philips is planning her wedding and finds that having a separate wedding planner helps to keep her precious plans away from little fingers! “I also keep [my planners] separate because my day-to-day is down and in reach of my toddler, but because the personal size zips up she doesn't get into it and destroy it, like she did when I was using the A5 as my day-to-day!”
Trisha keeps a separate B6 planner for tracking her health and weight loss efforts. “I am currently graphing my weight loss, writing recipes/meal ideas and tracking my reading and books … having a dedicated planner on a particular subject (the health/weight loss one) makes it easy to track and keep myself accountable.”
Shannon Philips personal size daily planner
The opportunity to be creative in more than one planner!
Having more than one planner also means more space to decorate. Deborah Jason is a scrapbooker from way back who loves owning gorgeous products and feels that planning and memory keeping allow her to be creative in her daily routine. She owns multiple Traveller’s Notebooks: “Using a TN allows me to flexible and take with me the books I want to use or decorate.” Her next step will be moving into her new A5 planner – with a whole new scope for decoration!
The overall aim of using more than one planner?
This is no different to using a single planner. “I hope to be more efficient and productive in my planning,” says Ema. “Being a SAHM to 4 kids, it is important for me to be organised, not to miss any important dates or appointments and stay on track with each individual tasks that I need to complete.”
Are there any disadvantages to having more than one planner?
There is a risk of inconsistency when having more than one planner. As Trisha notes “a negative is that you sometimes double up (so not being effective with your time) and can miss a few weeks if you are busy.” The need to purchase more planners, inserts and decorations might also be seen as a ‘con’ to some, but as an opportunity to others – as Jenna puts it, “the biggest [con] would be the need to buy more inserts (or is that a pro?)”
So, how many and what type of planners have people chosen to use?
Below are some examples of the planner setups for the people we spoke to:
What they’re using
Personal planner - personal size planner for tracking appointments, important dates to remember, personal goals, fitness tracking
Household and finance planner - A5 CPP planner, mainly for meal planning, groceries shopping lists, cleaning checklists, budget planning
Budgeting planner - A5 Kikki K planner with CPP budgeting inserts + CPP ‘no shoes’ bundle, savings goals, debt tracker, income and expense trackers
Cash planner – CPP personal size planner with envelopes
Household planner - CPP planner with CPP household inserts – insurance, cleaning routines, plus babysitting information