My 2017-2018 Planner

Without a doubt the most common request I get for any sort of blog post/feature is ...

My planner system.

I'm a long time advocate fo paper planners, and actually, my blog post "Erin Condren vs. The Day Designer" is the most popular post on my website. Ever.

Now, for those of you wanting to see that post ... I'm intentionally not linking to it. Why? It's pretty darn outdated! Erin Condren has changed quite a few things about their system since I wrote the post, so it's no longer relevant. 

Also, because ... I'm no longer using either system. Short version: much as I love the sexiness of one pretty, pre-made planner, it wasn't flexible enough for me. As I go into in the video below, I'm a full-time writer and entrepreneur, which means ...

No two days are the same. Not even close.

Some days I need a full three pages to write down my word count, my appointments, my book ideas, my website client, my Instagram to dos, my blog post tasks.

Other days I'm traveling, and I really only need a TINY amount of space to write down my flight number and departure time. Also, I was finding that with traditional planners, I'd have to carry around my planner for scheduling/tasks, as well as a separate notebook to jot down book ideas, keep track of character names, etc.

It just wasn't working. For me.

I mentioned a few months ago that I switched to the Bullet Journal system. It's been really, really a good fit for me, though admittedly it's taken me awhile to figure out how to make it work for my needs. Which is really the benefit of the BuJo thing ... you start with a completely blank template and use it however you need it.

When I started Bullet Journaling, I went the traditional and common path of keeping everything in Leuchtturm notebook. One sleek little notebook to track everything I need — monthly, daily, inspiration, annual, goals, etc.

It was almost perfect, with the tiny little caveat that I missed having a "monthly spread" for big picture planning, deadline tracking etc.

And, I'll be honest: the Bullet Journaling system is depend on an index, which is essentially a Table of Contents at the start of the notebook so you can find what page you put your book list, deadline calendar etc.

That only works if you keep your index updated. I was very bad at this.

So. I've evolved. Following in the footsteps of the lovely BoHo Berry, I moved my system to a "traveler's notebook." It's essentially a leather folio of sorts, where you can keep a bunch of mini notebooks (known as "inserts" in the Traveler Notebook world.)

Now, when I fist started looking into this, I was a little thrown off. There are a LOT of YouTube videos of women with their traveler notebook, and for the life of me, I can't figure out how they actually use them. A lot of people seem to use it more for a scrapbook/memory keeper/ They'd open up the planner, and all this stuff would be in there. Cut outs. Stickers. Tassles. Bows. Ribbon. Little clip things. 

I can totally see how it would be fun/addicting, but it's not what I needed. I needed a true planner. Something to write everything down.

I needed a Lauren Layne Bible, and there really wasn't much out there to use as examples, so ... I went on my own. 

I discovered May Designs notebooks (I use the classic size), and basically combined the Bullet Journal with the Traveler Notebook system. Fair warning: You'll find no stickers or tassels.

Guys, I'm in heaven. I have one notebook that's a traditional monthly view, just like a regular planner. I have another that's an adult coloring book (no joke). Another that I use for my lettering practice. Another for goals. Another to track my daily to-dos.

And if it sounds overwhelming and "what the heck," well ...

Watch. It's a long video, but if you're at all wondering how a Traveler notebook can work for you, I go through everything.

Happy Planning!



Tools & ProcessLauren Layne