My 2019 Planner and How I Use It


Omg. OMG.

ICYMI…2019 is here. Like when did that happen? I legitimately feel like we were just celebrating New Year’s Eve 2018 and BAM here we are again.

I love a new year. I like looking forward to a fresh blank(ish) slate. I like setting goals and making resolutions. I like the promise of things to come.

Most of all though, I love that a new year brings a new planner.

2019 planner

Last year, I used a Kate Spade planner that was great, but this year I am loving my Ban.do Gold Holographic 2019 Planner. I take a few things into consideration when I purchase a new planner. Because I use it for very specific things, I need the following:

  1. Must be an annual planner, not an academic. I plan by quarters, not semesters. This has obviously changed since I graduated because it used to be the opposite.
  2. It must lay open flat. OMG nothing sucks more than trying to hold open a planner when you are writing. I like spiral bound planners with hard covers so it can sit completely flat on my desk.
  3. Size matters. It must fit in a tote, back pack purse, etc. but it also can’t be small. It has to have enough room to write in, but because I drag it everywhere I go it has to be portable. Call my Goldilocks, but it has to be “just right.”
  4. It needs a weekly view. I get pretty detailed on which content is posted each day. Plus a monthly view is a smidge overwhelming. I use it for key events, but weekly is more important to me.
  5. It has to have extra note pages. I have a lot “ta-da” lists, random thoughts, and quick flashes of ideas that need to be flushed out later. I need so many notes pages.
  6. It shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. I used to spend a lot of money on a planner, but I was planning school, work, events, etc. Basically my entire life. Now that I’m using a planner for content

Obviously I’m extremely particular when it comes to planners, and this Ban.do Planner checked the boxes. It’s a spiral bound 2019 planner. The size is perfection– I have the medium version, but they have different sizes and patterns. I love the gold holographic cover–it’s very fun for a new year. This planner has TWO full pages of notes before each month and a lot of fun stickers. ALSO, it’s $28. So sold it’s insane.

Ok, let’s talk about how I use my planner.

I use different calendars for different things. For example, I use Google calendars to organize Stephen and I, and also in my full-time job. These calendars are shared so when people need to know where I am, they can find me. I color code our house one so that we know which events are Stephen only, which are me only, and which we both need to attend. My work calendar is pretty scheduled out with where I’m supposed to be when.

I also get a Barbie wall calendar from my sister every year for Christmas. I keep this in my office so I have actual events where I need to be present at a glance.

I use a physical planner for my blog, this is where and how I plan content. I take it with me everywhere. I plan out my content on the weekly layouts. I write down the topic I plan to post at least a week in advance so I can work on the meat and photos ahead of time. If it’s a seasonal post or a post around an event, I go ahead and plan those out throughout the year. I also *try* to plan out Instagram photos, and other social media posts.

I also use the days layout as an extra TA-DA lists. If I need to send an updated media kit or follow up an email, I put it on the day I need to do that. If I think of something I need to do that day, I go ahead and add it to my list for that day. I also plan when I take trainings, block off time for editing, etc.

Finally, I add notes with my content ideas (example: if I want to talk about 5 beauty products you need this spring, I make a list of the 5 products I’m going to feature.) If I have ideas of photos that will go with this post I go ahead and write those too. If I know which outfits I need for a specific event or post, I go ahead and plan these out too.

Like I mentioned previously, I put lists, ideas, and random things I think of on the go on the notes pages. If I have an idea, I write it down right then so I remember and can work on it later. This is why I take it everywhere, you never know when an idea is going to hit you. If you’re anything like me, you’ll forget 20 minutes later.

I also love to add a fun sticker here and there. Gives it a touch of whimsy, ya know?

Ok, this post was a little longer than I anticipated, so if you made it this far thanks for sticking with me. I’m clearly passionate about my planner.

What about you? What planner are you using in 2019?

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Hel On Heels is an Atlanta-based life and style blog by Helen Gaillet Bailey. Hel On Heels is intended to be a digital magazine written by your best friend.

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16 Comments

  1. 1.2.19
    Miss ALK said:

    I stopped using physical planners in 2017 (for a digital calendar) but I went back to it in 2018 because it is just so helpful to physically write stuff down! Thanks for sharing your best planner tips 🙂

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  2. 1.2.19

    I am using the Erin Condren again this year. I has worked for me for three years so I didn’t change it. I kinda want a separate planner for life and blogging, though!

  3. 1.2.19

    I have 2 planners I am using this year. One of them is to achieve my goals and the other is for my daily use. I love seeing how others use their planners.

  4. 1.2.19

    About a year and half ago, I signed up for a free planner course for bloggers. I learned a lot about organization and we did some pre-planning work, but never got to the part where we wrote in our planners. I still have that empty planner and apparently I’m quite intimidated by it.

  5. 1.2.19

    Love this. I’ve always used a paper planner, and it sounds like we use them in a lot of the same ways. I love adding stickers to pages, and definitely need a spiral bound one that lays flat too!

  6. 1.2.19

    I love a good planner and ban.do really does have the best, cutest, and most functional elements for me too!

    Denise | http://theelleaesthetic.com/

  7. 1.2.19

    I love shopping for my planner each year. This year I was much earlier than normal (October) and was waiting with much excitement to use it!! Glad I finally can. My criteria for my planner is very similar to yours – and I am all about the stickers 😉 Lynda H of insaitama.com

  8. 1.2.19

    You have such a pretty planner! I agree about the yearly as opposed to the academic. I’ve always felt off when my planner doesn’t start in January. 🙂

  9. 1.2.19
    Amanda K said:

    Cute planner! I can’t go without using a planner, otherwise I will lose my mind.

  10. 1.2.19

    I’m all about a good planner — total planner addict here. LOL!

  11. 1.3.19

    Yes, I agree with all your requirements 100% 🙌 I fell in love with planners last year and don’t know what I’d do without one now. I mostly just use it to track blog posts and doctor’s appointments, but it’s already taken SO much stress off my shoulders! My one this year has HEAPS of extra lined pages and sticky notes to write random lists on, which is one of my favourite things to do 🙊

  12. 1.3.19

    I feel the same way about everything when it comes to my planner!! I’m still trying to find the *perfect* one lol so I might have to try this one out! And, call me crazy, but stickers are a must. Haha

  13. 1.3.19

    ahh i loveee it!! I haven’t used a planner in forever! But am seriously rethinking it because #stickers!! haha love ban.do products!

  14. 1.3.19
    Christa Del Giorno said:

    I love planners. And pretty pens. And stickers. It’s such a fun way to stay organized. I totally agree that planners that don’t lay flat are the worst!

  15. 1.3.19

    It’s so pretty!! If I could find a use for every planning system I’d be a very happy (and broke!) girl! 🙂

  16. 1.3.19
    Linh Vo said:

    Such great tips! I definitely need extra space for jotting down those notes and having something that can fit in my bag.

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