Kirsten and I are both avid planners. Even though plans change frequently, having a place to write everything down keeps us organized and sane. Our choices of planners are as different as we are and as different as our choices in books. So we’ve rounded up the planners we use, which are the best 2021 planners as far as we are concerned. We cover The Simplfied Planner, The Happy Planner, The Cocoa Daisy Planner Kit, and the Content Planner all in one post.
The Best 2021 Planners for Jackie
I had been using a weekly planner for years and really liked it. However, I did not like the philosophy of the company and decided that I needed to find a new planning system. Since the pandemic started, I have been investigating different types of planners, and let me tell you, that is a rabbit hole that can suck you in and spit you out three months later. I found a company called Cocoa Daisy through Kirsten. They have a Planner kit that comes monthly and includes planner inserts, beautiful papers, die-cuts, stickers, a pen, and other goodies. I find it so therapeutic to make planner dashboards and add stickers into my A5 planner.
The inserts include 2 pages for each day, a week on two pages, a week on a page, and a monthly view. I find these so helpful to plan things that I had never planned for in the past like meal planning, for example. I never had to think twice about making multiple trips to the market in the past. Now, I like to make only one trip a week, and planning ahead for the whole week for lunches as well as dinners is a huge time saver.
I used the other pages to keep track of appointments, work, and school assignments for the kids. I recently started including some habit trackers as well to give me a better idea of how often I am doing certain things. This has been so helpful and I hope to continue to use trackers for 2021.
In addition to the daily planning, I decided to use a happy planner for memory keeping. I wanted to make sure that I was documenting all the wonderful moments that we can so easily take for granted. Stephanie Flemming, co-founder of Me And My Big Ideas (MAMBI) wrote a book called “Plan a happy life”. This really resonated with me. There are a lot of unexpected events that we cannot plan for but, there is a way to plan for happiness. By planning, you can make room for the things in life that make you happy and nurture your creativity.
I also love my A5 rings because I can put in whatever sections work for me. For example, I added in a reading log from Elsie at Tea and Ink Society. Her Book Lover’s Companion is the perfect way to track my thoughts on books. It has 8 sections to track everything you could ever want to track in your reading like. The sections included are the Personal Reading Log, Books Read to my Kids, TBR Lists, My Year in Books, Libraries, Checklists, My Notes, and Literary Miscellany, my personal favorite because I love tracking book-to-movie adaptations, reading habits, and words I’ve learned through reading. Because you own the document, you can customize it and print the sections you want! I can’t wait to fill my pages with bookish love!
I bought a classic vertical happy planner that is very neutral. The journal has simple prompts for daily reflection and gratitude. I want to use these together to appreciate all the wonderful, little moments that can pass us by.
I have been spending so much more time with my children in quarantine. It has been so wonderful and incredibly stressful at the same time. My kids look to me to see how I am feeling as part of the way they process their feelings. I know that the more positive I am, the happier they are as well. This has not been an easy year to maintain a positive attitude. When I started keeping track of all the fun things we have been able to carve out, it became easier to maintain an upbeat attitude. I am hoping that keeping track of these things will become a part of my daily planning for many years.
The Best 2021 Planners for Kirsten
I have been using the simplified planner for the last two years and it works for me. I had tried many other different types of planners but was unable to find planner peace until I tried the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley. Three years later, it’s still my planner of choice. My full review of this planner is here. But what I love most are the simple pages with a daily breakdown, to-do list, and space for notes.
I can brain dump, check off my progress and see my schedule laid out in one spread without the bells and whistles. I’ve come to learn that while the magpie in me wants to love stickers and embellishments, to stay organized I need a blank slate I’m not afraid to mess up.
This year, I purchased another planner to help me organize specifically for the blog. I purchased my Content Planner on a whim at the beginning of 2020, but it quickly became my life support line. I use it to layout each month of social media and blog posts.
In it, I can keep track of our growth, make sure we are on schedule, track goals, and plan out giveaways, photo lists, to-dos, and more. I literally would not be able to blog on a schedule if I didn’t have this amazing tool. My favorite part are the stickers! They let me customize each line to what I need for the day. I do love a good organizational sticker…..just maybe not as much as Jackie. 😉