Please give a great big Puddin’ Hello to my dear friend and blogging companion, Hannah! You can find Hannah’s other insightful and awesome blog posts over at Plan with Hannah.
Hannah is 32 years old, engaged, mother to 2 year old Arya and 10 week old Lilly, and step-mother to 7 year old Kyle. Hannah is a working mum with an addiction to planning in the attempt to be more organised. The reality is she’s developed a sticker obsession and loves making planners look pretty! Therefore, like me, she spends a small fortune on stickers each month; all of which she will happily blog or post on Instagram about. Hannah discovered many years ago that as much as she, like many others, have become more and more reliant on technology, she can’t tear herself away from paper planners. She had always loved filofaxes and writing things down and becoming a member of the UK Planner Addicts facebook group (UKPA) her obsession just got worse! Hannah is therefore the perfect gal to talk planners, purchases and narrowing down those choices…..
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So being a huge planner addict and after years of using ring bound planners, I find planner peace in a traveller’s notebook (TN) I thought I would do a comparison post for you newbies out there…
One of the biggest dilemmas for people who wish to use a planner is the size. Too big a planner and though you have plenty of writing space, finding a handbag to fit it in can be troublesome. But get one too small and fitting all those important bits of information or writing a busy to do list is near on impossible!
Ring bound planners tend to come in three basic sizes – A5, personal and pocket. Whereas TNs come in a much wider range of sizes as pictured below:
(image adapted from an original at Morgan Le Fae)
As you can see the flexibility which you get size wise with a TN is much better! But that’s not all when it comes to size…. The other element of size to consider is the width. Ring bound planners do tend to be a fixed size, though Filofax do offer a smaller ring version for their personal sizes. TNs on the other hand can be as thick or as thin as you want them to be, dependant on the number of notebooks you put inside. Most have the capacity for either 2,4 or 6. However there are ways of expanding them to add even more should you want to. For example, my TN holds 10 notebooks and sticker storage! It’s one big Mama!
Rings or not?
So, one thing I have come to realise is the main reason why I couldn’t quite find planner peace in a ring bound planner was because of the rings! They don’t get in the way when writing on the right, but when writing on the left side it was always a nightmare! My writing would go funny, or I would find myself taking the paper out to write which was annoying. Since moving into a TN this is no longer a problem. The notebooks obviously lie flat and there are no rings to get in the way so it’s perfect.
If you want something very basic then the type of insert is key. Many people don’t like Filofax as their paper is very thin and most pens tend to leak through on each page. Therefore, many people purchase inserts through various sellers on Etsy. My favourites for ring bound are:
And for TNs, my favourites are:
The other option is to get ready made or printable versions. Yes, the printable versions are cheaper, but you need patience and equipment to get them into your planners regardless of it being ring bound or TN. I have made both, and on this front making inserts for ring bound is much easier, with A5 being the easiest. Personally, I now prefer to purchase my notebooks rather than print my own. The range of inserts available is much wider than just diary pages too… You can get anything from finance trackers to blogging and YouTube trackers (for those who undertake these hobbies) to basic notes pages. And this goes for both rings and TNs.
As I have confessed I am a huge sticker addict now when it comes to my planning! I have no idea where the sticker craze started but many kits are designed for Erin Condren or Happy Planners (both American brands which I will not be discussing here). Therefore, finding decor kits initially was difficult. However, more and more companies are now doing personal kits too which are perfect for all the planners I have past and present.
Apart from the basic decor the other element of planning is the functional stickers. Being able to mark when I am cleaning or the bins are due using a pretty sticker is much nicer than writing it in! In fact, because of the stickers it means my writing is kept to a minimum which I like. There’s loads of UKPA approved and owned shops to choose from in the Stationery Directory but some of my all-time favourite sticker shops are:
I hope this has given you some insight into the wonderful world of planners, and for those of you just starting out, some advice on what to look for when purchasing. Planners aren’t cheap and this hasn’t even touched the surface in relation to the available planners of the market so don’t limit yourself.
Have a good look round before committing. I am always here to answer any questions you may have too. What is your favourite planner style? Tell us in the comments!