Last year Jackie and I did a post on which planners we use to stay organized. Jackie swears by her Erin Condren Life Planner and at the time I was big into the Bullet Journal trend. However, a few months later I abandoned the bullet journal because it was a bit too labor-intensive for me. I tried to live on the edge for the remainder of the year and that was an epic fail. This year, I’ve decided to try out Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner. I’ve been using it for about a month now and wanted to share my thoughts so far.
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A Simplified Life
What originally drew me to this particular planner was Emily Ley and her book A Simplified Life. I loved the way she talked about being overwhelmed, about the way she recognized that over-committing was taking time away from her family. She talks about pairing down calendar commitments, clutter in your home, and more in her book and on her Instagram account. Her sincere message really spoke to me.
I got the academic year planner for my Simplified Planner this year because it starts August 1 and I was in desperate need of an organization tool. They make a Jan-Dec planner too which you can order starting in September. The planners are $58 for the daily edition but you can use this link to get 10% off your first order. I ordered a few other things too, but we’ll get to that in a second.
There are multiple cover options, but they sell out quickly. I originally wanted a striped cover but opted instead for a floral pick-me-up. I think in winter I’ll be happy to see flowers.
The Simplified Planner is basic in all the best ways. Seriously, it’s awesome. There are no bells or whistles. It’s a simple tool to make life easier. Period.
The first few pages are dedicated to evaluating your life, figuring out your routines, and setting some goals for yourself. You do this before you start planning so you can plan with intention. I loved the ideas behind this mini-workbook section.
Inside the Simplified Planner
From there it goes into the monthly and daily spreads. I use my monthly spread to help me keep track of our Blog and Instagram schedule. I’ve attempted to use the Erin Condren Monthly Planner for blogging in the past, but I ended up just using the calendar pages. This year, I think it makes sense to have everything for work and life in one place.
After the Monthly page, there are daily spreads and they are as simple as can be. There is a blank section on the right section of each page that I like to fill with major highlights and all-day events. Think birthdays, vacations, closed school days, etc. After that, there is an hourly schedule in the lefthand column, a to-do list in the right-hand column, and a notes section below.
Here are two finished spreads. You can see that I’ve used the notes spreads separately in each depending on what I needed that day. One time it was work heavy, another time I used it to hold my packing list. The versatility of this section makes it extremely functional.
I use the to-do section in the same way as I used it in my bullet planner. I use an (X) to mark completed tasks, a (>) to indicate a task that is being pushed to another day, and an empty (o) to mark tasks that still need action. So far it’s been a great little system.
The Saturday and Sunday spreads are both on the same day and there are a few pre-printed tasks on Sunday’s to-do section. These are tasks that Emily swears by to keep herself organized and I find them to be helpful.
Simplified Planner Accessories
As you can see from my finished pages, I use stickers to help draw my eye to key items on my schedule. Both the Icon Stickers ($10) and the fun doodle type stickers from the Simplified Planner Sticker Book ($14) are sold at simplified.com and you can use the 10% your first order link on them as well. The only other supplies I need are pens. I swear by the Pilot Frixion Erasable pens – I constantly use that eraser! I swear by the Navy ones since I only use one color, but they make different colored ones too if you are into color-coding your schedule.
So that’s it! So far, I adore this planner. It took me a few days to get use to the lack of “stuff” to do with it but, honestly, a planner is to plan. That’s it! So tell me – did I convince you to try it? What planners do you use?