Best Planners for the New Year + Tips for Getting Organized



I know what you’re thinking.  Now that Halloween has passed, everything is Christmas.  Well lookout big box retailers, I’m jumping straight to New Year’s! Boo ya! My thinking is you have to order your planner well in advance to have it prepped and ready to go before the ball drops!

Along with the rejuvenation of that weight loss goal that is quickly squashed by Valentine’s Day (mmmm Godiva truffles) and watching that disco ball fall out of the sky, refreshing my organization system is one of my favorite things about the New Year! The smell of fresh pages reminds me that my goals aren’t quite as far away as I may imagine.  So get your washi tape, highlighters, and pens out! It’s time to organize!

1. Kate Spade Gold Dots – This is my current obsession.  This is a 17 month agenda (August ’14 – December ’15) has the ideal amount of space to jot notes with a daily and monthly view without too much room taken up for inspirational quotes and fun facts.  The medium agenda fits great in my totes for the day and is light weight.

2. Lily Pulitzer Trippin and Sippin – I used this planner in college.  Ah, the days of free time and naps.  I’d recommend this planner for more playful whimsicial people.  It has a similar amount of space in the weekly and monthly views to write, and it comes with stickers and an Astrological overlook section.  I haven’t read them all, but I’m assuming pretty much everyone can look foward to good fortune in the new year according to Lily.

3.  Jonathan Adler–  The 2015 agendas aren’t on the site yet, but I imagine they will be similar to the 2014 versions.  I would call this the hybrid of 1 + 2.  It has the functionality of Kate Spade with plenty of pockets for receipts and notes with the fun patterns and bright colors of Lily Pulitizer.  Who knew that if Kate Spade and Lily Pulitizer had a baby it would be Jonathan Adler?

4.  Design Love Planner – This year’s dark horse was found on Etsy, but she also has a great website that I linked to.  Clean lines, fun prints, checklists, and budgeting sections make this planner perfect for young professionals!  It is also a little bit smaller than my other picks so it should fit right into your purse!

5.  The Simplified Planner – Emily Ley has pretty much perfected organized living for the busy woman.  With her Home Base Binder and free printables, there is really no excuse for a messy mom station.  The Simplified Planner features inspirational quotes, sections for meal planning, and a side by side schedule and to-do list.  Since this was designed by a mother + entrepreneur, its perfect for the busy working woman who wants to maintain order on the homefront.

Now that you have the platform, you need the right tools to achieve complete organization.  Use my favorite tricks listed below and enjoy a year of efficiency.



1.  Use washi tape to block off days – Washi tape is not a trend – it can do pretty much everything except solve world hunger.  I love to color code my tapes with a theme like work, volunteering, or vacation and then write the exact details on top of the washi tape.  Without reading exactly what it is I need to do, I know I have something booked.  Plus, it adds a little color to a white page.

2. Keep making lists – I make lists of lists which as you can imagine can be confusing.  So I always have a highlighter to mark the top 5 things I need to get done ASAP.  Once I cross one item off, I highlight another and the vicious circle continues.

3.  Sticky notes for ongoing items – If I randomly think of something that needs to happen in the near-ish future, I write it on a sticky note to stick on my weekly view in my planner.  That way, if I complete my top highlighted daily tasks, I can glance over at my weekly task and tackle some of those.

4. Pencils are not just for middle school – I will always have a pencil with me.  I make lots of tentative plans so that if one engagement falls through, I have a back up.  If I think something has a 50% chance of changing, I write it in pencil.  What I’m getting at is either start carrying a pencil or white out.

5.  Two ways to use paper clips – Depending on the time of year ( i.e. how many pages I have gone through in my planner), I will either clip the day that I am currently working on OR all of the past days.  As I get farther into the year, it wastes too much time to flip through all the past months to get to my daily view, so I bundle them up and clip them – it makes getting to the tasks at hand quicker.  If you’re in the earlier months of the planner, just clip your day.  The clip is less likely to fall out with fewer pages in there.

What do you do to stay organized?  I love new tips and tricks so share them with me below!



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