2021 Planner Lineup: How to Get Ahead

It might seem slightly late to be posting my 2021 Planner Lineup, but, if you have been reading for any amount of time, you know that I am all for the slow start. My 2021 planner lineup actually started to take shape last July. That is because a lot of my life is run on an academic year schedule.

Now, you may be thinking, why do you have so many planners? Why won’t one do it for you? And honestly, I did try to have one planner at one point. But, because I have different areas of my life to manage, as well as my home, it was too overwhelming to have everything in one place. I would miss things, and there honestly wasn’t enough room. So multiple planners it is!

2021 Planner Lineup: Academic

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The first planner in my 2021 planner lineup is my Erin Condren Teacher Planner. This is the planner that I use for all of my homeschool planning. It is also the planner that I use for anything kid related. The reason is because when I am planning out our homeschool week it is good for me to know if there are appointments or other activities that the kids are doing throughout the week.

The other planner that I have that starts in July 2020 is my Erin Condren Life Planner. This planner holds my life in it. Everything goes in here, appointments, activities, bills that need to be paid, when certain home maintenance and car maintenance needs to be done. Pretty much anything I can think of gets dumped in this planner.

I use a vertical weekly planner. There are several weekly planner options from Erin Condren. I have also tried other planner companies. However, I always come back to the vertical weekly planner by EC. I get the 18-month version. My new planner starts in July, but I like to have the entire next year for future planning. I will still purchase a new planner to start in July of 2021, but it will have the entire 2022 calendar year as well.

A Daily Planner

The next planner in my 2021 planner lineup is my daily petite planner also from Erin Condren. You may see a theme here. I use an undated daily petite for all of my daily planning needs. Why? Because I don’t use a daily planner every single day. I don’t want to waste pages, so the undated works really well for me.

The other reason I use the undated version is because I can have weekend days have a full page. I don’t like how all daily planner push Saturday and Sunday to one page. Each day of the week has a full day of stuff to do, the weekends are no different.

I have considered moving to a daily planner, and did purchase the Emily Ley daily academic planner in spring of 2020. However, I just didn’t like the set up, and again, having the weekend on one page doesn’t work for me.

2021 Planner Lineup: Category Planners

What do I mean by category planners? Category planners are planners that are for specific categories of my life. The first one being the new A5 Budget Planner from Erin Condren. I have been working towards a paper planner for budgeting for a couple of years. However, I always get caught back up in my excel spreadsheets (math nerd here). Over the last year or so my excel spreadsheets haven’t been cutting it, and I need to move into something different. So I am trying out the Budget Planner from EC. It is undated, and is a full year of budgeting.

The next category planner that I have is my Wellness Journal. This is also the new A5 version from Erin Condren. I have been using the petite wellness journal since they released it a couple of years ago, and I really like it. However, I love a coiled planner more. I didn’t look too closely at it when I purchased it, so I didn’t realize it was still a 3-month planner. So, you will need 4 for a full year. But, I like the space and the layout and am excited to see the changes I make this year using it.

Next is my Prayer Journal. This is my third year using a prayer journal. My first year wasn’t great with using the journal. I did better in 2020. But, I am hoping to fully utilize it on a weekly basis this year. Prayer is an area of my life that I continue to work on, and this is a great tool for growth in that area.

Finally, I have one of my most important 2021 planners, and that is my PowerSheets Goal Planner. I love this goal planner so much! I have been using it for years at this point, and it has helped me really focus on what matters while working towards my goals. Highly recommend if you don’t have one!

Potential Category Planners

I have two other category planners that I am hoping to incorporate, but not entirely sure if I will stick with them or not. Which is ironic due to the first one being an A5 Checklist Journal – a habit tracker. I love a habit tracker, I have used them for many different things over the years, however I am not sure that this one will quite work for me. I would like to see an entire month or a week at a glance, rather than how it is currently set up.

There are 8 lines across the top, and 26 down the side. So, more than a week up at the top, and not quite a month down the side. I haven’t set this planner up yet because I am not sure how to see everything I want to see at one time. But, my hope is to use it to work more rhythms into my days and weeks. I want to work on my morning and evening routines, as well as some other habits. My thinking was a habit tracker would work well to build on these rhythms and habits.

The second is an A5 Gratitude Journal. I try to be good about writing down what I am thankful for, however, it is not a daily habit for me. This is something I want to work on for 2021.

Monthly Planners

I have one monthly planner in my 2021 planner lineup. This is specifically for my business. I have used a monthly planner for Townsend House for years. Before I knew about pretty planners, I made my own. It helps me keep a content calendar, keep track of accounting for my business. Pretty much all business stuff is in this monthly planner.

I did consider using a monthly planner for budgeting. However, I realized that it would take too much time for me to set up each month’s spreads. Maybe at some point I will want to use a monthly planner for that purpose, but not right now. This is also why I do not use a bullet journal even though I love the idea and organization of them. Setting up spreads weekly/monthly is not something I can devote time to right now. Perhaps it is something I will have time for in the future.

2021 Planner Lineup: Notebooks

I am using two Erin Condren Notebooks in 2021. The first is for my Bible notes. I am in the process of reading through the Bible chronologically again this year. In addition to that, I am going to be working in some deeper Bible study. That is where the notebook comes in. This is the larger size notebook, and I am using it to write out answers to questions, scripture verses, and other thoughts/questions I have while I work through my Bible study this year.

The other notebook I am using is a home management notebook. This is something that I purchased mid-2020, and never set up. We moved into our new home right before everything shut down last year, and I have a lot of projects and items to purchase. I wanted to use this notebook to have a perpetual calendar of home maintenance tasks as well as inventories, lists of what we need for specific rooms, and project ideas. This will be set up by room, and will most likely last longer than the one year.

How do Multiple Planners Cultivate Simplicity?

You may be thinking that my 2021 planner lineup is a little much. I completely understand. Each person is going to have a system that works best for them. This is what I have found works best for me. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I have tried in the past to have one planner. I even had a home management binder years ago which I really liked. However, I still had other notebooks and journals for specific things. And I realized that when I was trying to have different tabs for different categories it was stressing me out.

When I moved the different segments of my life into different planners, I wasn’t as stressed. Those areas of my life are homeschooling, personal, business, home management, budget. It wasn’t as overwhelming because when I looked at my day ahead, I wasn’t looking at every.single.thing. I had to do. Instead, I was looking at what I needed to do within a specific category.

I use block scheduling to manage my life. There are specific blocks for homeschooling, self-care, home management, business etc. So, when I am working within the specific category block, I use the planner that I have designated for that category. It is what works best for me at the moment. Every year is different. This year I am using different planners than last year. There are a few constants – my life planner, teacher planner, and goal planner. These I use every single day. But, there are always adjustments.

The Bottom Line

I wanted to share my 2021 planner lineup with you to help give you ideas of what you can use for your year ahead. If you think that one of these planners would be a good fit for you, give it a try. If you are looking for a new planning system, give one of these options a try.

Taking the time to write down what you need to do on paper helps you accomplish those tasks while also allowing you to not have to keep it in your head. That in and of itself helps remove overwhelm from your life.

What planner system are you using for 2021? Share in the comments below!

2021 Planner Stack

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