If, in my little world, Christmas cards come before Halloween, then the next year's planner comes shortly after that. One has to mark a reminder as to when to order next year's Christmas cards, after all.
I've had several people ask me why I don't just use the calendar app and/or reminders on my phone, since I have it with me all the time, but I think we've established I'm an old-fashioned girl. There's just something about physically writing things down, with pen on paper, that makes them stick in my head. Plus, it's more fun. So every year, I buy a planner.
I'm pretty fussy about my planners. I think it stems from the UNC Week by Week planner I always purchased for about $8 at Student Stores every August for four years. I liked the layout - it was spiral bound, and it had large, lined blocks for each weekday, and two smaller blocks for the weekend. There was none of the "hourly" stuff - for the most part, I never use that. If I have to do something at 3:00, I just write "Dentist - 3:00" on one of the lines in the larger block, and never once have I gotten confused.
But finding a planner I liked after I graduated was a little tougher. So many are organized by hour - I suppose for those people who have a lot of meetings or really busy social lives, neither of which could ever be applied to me. And I hate 16-month planners - I want a new 12-month one each January. Now that (sadly) I'm not in school anymore, I like to keep things confined to one calendar year. If you buy a 16-month planner, you wind up never using half the pages because your next year's planner overlaps. Also, I like my planner to be pretty. If I have to look at it every day, it needs to be colorful, well-designed and make me happy.
I swear I'm not crazy, although my husband might beg to differ.
Anyway. In my search for the perfect 2016 planner, I found several wonderful contenders, but in the end there was a clear winner for me. Here are my findings, and the one I finally wound up with. May my research help you in your quest to become more organized in 2016!
5 // Lilly Pulitzer large agenda - Tusk In Sun: I had a Lilly planner for 2015. I liked it pretty well, but it wasn't my absolute favorite, partly because it was a 16-month, and partly because it was a little too busy. There is too much separation between the months - you have to flip about 3 pages before getting from, say, the week of October 26th to November 2nd. However, it's a good size and it's spiral bound, and plus, it's really colorful and pretty, and lots of people love it. So give it a shot - maybe it'll work for you!
4 // Emily Ley Weekly Simplified Planner - Gold Pineapple: I had heard so many good things about Emily Ley planners, so I decided to check them out. This was one of my final contenders due to its simple design (hence the name) and its adorable pineapple print (which always makes me think of Charleston), but ultimately the $58 price tag swayed me in another direction. My life is not so complicated right now that I can justify a planner at that price. However, if you have a big budget and are really into planners, go crazy.
3 // Kate Spade Black Stripe Planner: I love Kate Spade. I loved the simple black and white stripes on this one and the layout was pretty decent, but it was a 2015 and 2016 planner. And ultimately I couldn't get over having the cover over the spiral binding. I like to be able to open it up all the way around, and this one would only lay flat. However, if that isn't a concern (or pet peeve) of yours, this would be a great planner. Very chic, very simple.
2 // PaperSource Peonies Custom Planner: This ultimately wound up being my second choice. I fell in love with the peonies on the cover, and the inside layout was just what I was looking for. However, like the Kate Spade one, it was a 2015-2016 calendar, and the $50 price tag wasn't great, either. Plus, I would rather have a monogram on the front rather than just my name (although that wouldn't be a deal-killer). I wound up passing on this to buy...
1 // Plum Paper Regular Planner: This was my winner. It had all my requirements: it was spiral bound, there are multiple layout options to choose from (hourly, daily, weekly), you can choose your planner start date, and there's a monogram on the front. The only way this could be more perfect is if it spit out money occasionally and dispensed wine.
For those of you who are so inclined, Plum Paper offers family planners, teacher planners, student planners, fitness planners, and monthly planners. Basically, this is the customizable one-stop shop for agendas of any kind. Plus, their designs are so gorgeous. It was hard to make a choice, but I landed on this one because of the pretty tan and turquoise pattern (imagine that). I have a feeling this will be my go-to planner shop from now on - y'all know I love me some customization, whether it's recipes or planners. See more pics below.
Disclaimer: None of these companies gave me anything to advertise them. Like the Christmas cards, I really am that obsessed with planners and just wanted to share my findings with you :)