“Why do you have more than one planner?”

"Why do you have more than one planner?" at www.martie.party

I’ve both seen and personally gotten questions like this: “Why do you have more than one planner?” “What do you put in them all?” “Why don’t you just use your phone?” and “How do you keep them all updated?” I know I’m not the only one! Today I thought I would write out a list of the planners I’m using, and what’s actually in them. I hope this post will answer most of these questions!

I had hoped to do this as part of my planner walk-through series, but I think this will be a bit more comprehensive! Be warned, it’s fairly dense!

"Desk" written atop a planner.





Desk Planner
This is an A4 with five tabs:

  • Day
  • Week
    • This is the page that I typically keep this planner open to on my desk – sometimes straying into Day or Month depending on how busy things are!
  • Month
  • To Do
    • Short term tasks that I’m not sure the order of, or whether I’ll be able to squeeze them into a given week.
  • My Tasks
    • Longer goals – typically projects to undertake around the house.

This planner stays open on my desk, and I glance in it constantly during the course of my day.

"Purse" written atop a planner.





Purse Planner
This is another A4 with six tabs:

  • Personal Information
    • This has contact information, and any info that I need when out. (Coupon codes, etc.)
  • Schedule
    • A schedule for busy days. I plan this ahead of time, and list any addresses or phone numbers that I’ll need at a glance when running errands.
    • I also move the week (or two) from my desk planner here to take with me.
  • To Buy
    • A simple shopping list, updated as things run out.
  • To Do
    • A list of errands that I need to run that aren’t urgent and can be done when I’m in a given area.
  • Notes
    • Who doesn’t need a notebook when they’re out?
  • Purchases
    • A multi-purpose section. I jot down purchases here to transfer into my budget software later if they don’t come with a receipt. I also have a pocket for receipts to file, coupons, and giftcards.

This is the planner that goes everywhere with me!

"Home" written atop a planner.





Home Planner
This is an A5 planner that lives in “neutral” territory in the kitchen – that way neither Mr. Martie nor I are digging in each others’ desks for it! It has six sections:

  • Monthly
    • Used to keep each other appraised of various family dinners/shopping trips, etc. We used to use a digital calendar for this, but found it frustrating trying to juggle various operating systems/environments, and our personal and shared appointments.
  • Weekly
    • This is where this planner usually lies open. One page features the days of the week, where we plan out groceries/trips to the gym/errands, and another page is lined sites. There we leave each other notes/suggestions which get copied into our personal planners as we take responsibility for them. We’ll also jot shopping list items there when it’s not convenient to grab our “outside” planners.
    • This section also has, on journaling cards, the chores that we do seasonally. We have four cards for each of the seasons, and they’re distributed throughout the year. These get moved from week to week as we work on the list during that specific season.
  • Chores
    • Our chore charts! The master list of the annual chores resides there, as well as our individual monthly/weekly/daily lists. These get copied into our own planners in whatever way works for us individually.
  • Lists
    • A very multi-purpose section, which includes single pages such as:
      • Answers to Common Household Questions! – “How many cups of water does the ice tea pitcher hold??” “What are the default settings on the rice cooker??” and other silly things that we found ourselves needing to figure out every few weeks.
      • Shared To Dos – things that aren’t exactly chores, but things that we want to do together at some point. Renewing our first aid classes is next on the list!
      • Logins – when we need to look something up and the other isn’t around. A bit of a warning here: this it not recommended for sensitive information! We do not have people walking through our kitchen, and this planner never leaves the house, so we’re fairly comfortable having this out. But if you don’t want your kids’ friends logging into your blog/email/netflix account, you probably don’t want to leave this kind of information in a busy place!
  • Meal Plan
    • Pretty self explanatory! So far this is just a weekly list, including a side list of things that we have that need to get eaten that week so recipe planning is easier, and so when we grab a spontaneous snack it isn’t something that expires in the distant future. I’d like to work on a better system some day!
  • Finances
    • For a bit there I was trying to manage our budget without the use of software, but it got to be a bit too much. Nevertheless, written out here is a list of our expense categories, and how much we expect to spend on each category monthly and annually. There’s also a section where we tuck receipts in as soon as we come home, and I add these every week to the budgeting software.
      I also use this section to keep track of planner box subscriptions and our Chef’s Plate deliveries. Fun!

"Creativity" written atop a planner.





Creativity Planner
Another A5, this is a work in progress and currently only has two sections:

  • Blog
    • Ideas for entries, a schedule that I (fail to) keep to, and a list of goals that I’d like to accomplish on martie.party!
  • Book Review
    • A section to manage book review lists and submission deadlines.

This is a planner I definitely want to expand upon, but it’s taken a back seat (in a very very long car) to some of the other more urgent planners. I want to add my gardening information here, eventually. Basically – this is where I manage my fun!

"Life" written atop a planner.





Life Planner
This A5 planner is a doozy, which now has six tabs. Originally I had tried to put everything related to my life in it – all my tasks and my creative plans and my household projects and my health information and my passwords and my gardening planner and and and it started to get really hard to close. Or even turn the pages.

The current tabs are:

  • Calendar
    • This is not a calendar of events or appointments, but rather it’s for all those things that I need to know such as “when did I last..?” or “when should I next..?” I primarily use it to manage my plants, my kombucha brewing, and my starter yeast feeding. This is on a weekly page layout.
  • Health
    • Summaries of visits to doctors, dentists, and optometrists. Any health information that I want to keep track of.
  • Activities
    • This is primarily lists, and includes things like “Events of the Year” and “Sick Days.” The latter so we know how much time has been taken off work, and the prior being a list of what date we did things such as change the batteries in the smoke detector, when we opened/closed any accounts, when we used a call at CAA, etc. A list of all the little things that don’t quite fit anywhere else, but need to be find-able.
  • Followup
    • This section, when I put it together, was such a wonderful life-changer. This is where I put all the scraps and bits and pieces that I want to follow up on. For example, where previously I had a pile of papers on my desk that included promotional coupons, alumni mailings, stacks of cards from an expo or festival, scrawled URLs, menus, not-yet-registered loyalty cards, now I have a checklist, and a pocket for things I can’t toss.
      Any relevant information gets written into the checklist, and the original paper is tossed. I no longer hold on to alumni newsletters for months because they have all the relevant information about a lecture series I want to attend at the end of the year, and I’m not there in my planner sheets yet. This is a catch-all that has replaced piles of junk and it’s made me so much happier.
  • Homework
    • A tongue in cheek section which holds information about more labour intensive tasks that I need to do, often related to learning goals.
  • Passwords
    • I know, I know. But I figure that having them in a binder on my desk in an office nobody visits is a lot safer than having them saved over a million browser password managers, right?

This exploding planner is, ultimately, why I seem to have wound up with so many planners; the physical limitations of binder rings that don’t magically expand, and the terror that Mr. Martie’s face showed any time I told him “Oh, that’s in my planner, help yourself!” when he asked a question I was too busy to look up.

I think that answers “Why do you have more than one planner?” pretty well! I find planners to be a very useful thing in many aspects of my life, and I’ve found that they decrease paper clutter enormously for me. I love the versatility that the ring bound system offers me especially, because I can move beyond what is typically found in a planner and really customize to suit my individual needs.

I hope reading about the planner sections I have has given you some ideas for your planner – or maybe given you the excuse you need to buy another one! As always, thanks for reading, and let me know what you think!







Dokibook by Love Doki Review

Dokibook review image.

While I’m happy with a smaller planner for my bag, I wanted an A5 that I can grab on meeting days, or when I have a lot of papers to carry. I am also very meticulous about my stationary, so I wanted something a little cheaper that I don’t need to agonize over beating up in my bag. A Dokibook seemed like a great solution – they’re adorable and inexpensive, and not too hard to track down. I was a little worried, so I thought I would provide a review for others who may be unsure.

I used this seller on SpreeNow to buy the planner. I hadn’t shopped through SpreeNow before – or, honestly, any other similar shopping service – but I found it pretty straight forward. I bought my item, they confirmed everything was fine with the seller, I paid, they got the item, I paid them for shipping, and I got my order. I had a small hiccup in that one of the items I had ordered was no longer available, but they got in touch and explained the situation to me. Overall painless, though I was a bit apprehensive since I didn’t know what the shipping would be up front. It all turned out fine, though, and I think they were a good option for me. Very clear communication, and lots of guides if you have any questions.

The package arrived from Singapore, with tracking, and was fairly nondescript. A plain cardboard box, that nevertheless is always really exciting when you’re a fan of buying things online.

A cardboard mail box.

The planner was simply bubble wrapped and taped inside.

A bubble wrap encased planner.

It came with five gold embossed dividers, a page marker, and a plastic pocket page that loads from the top.

Gold embossed dividers.

I love the dividers. The tabs are blank so you can fill your own sections in. I usually find any provided tabs useless, as I definitely don’t use both a day and a week view in my planner, nor do I want a birthday section, so this was a nice change.

Gold embossed dividers and transparent pocket.

The pocket page, seen above on the left, is nicely flexible and easy to load. Very nice for loose pieces of paper I need to put away quickly. Or, if you want something a bit more fun, pretty ephemera to paste into your spreads.

A page marker resting on a planner.

The page marker is huge. It’s 7.5 cm wide, and takes up about half the page, but I like the transparent dot design. Being able to see through the marker is pretty important to me, so I’m glad they didn’t load it up with a lot. The white also goes with a variety of colour schemes. It’s made of a great stiff material (does anyone else get really annoyed at floppy page markers??).

Now on to the more critical parts of my review. The Dokibook is very well made – the stitches are even, it’s wrapped with a ring protector, and the materials don’t feel cheap. Having said that, there are definitely some quality differences that you can tell as compared to a higher end brand. I’ll be comparing to my A5 Kikki K.

Inner pockets in a Dokibook planner.

The pockets don’t lie flat. I know that’s a silly thing, but I don’t tend to fill my pockets with a lot. I envy people that can attach clips to theirs, as it looks adorable – I just start to obsess over the indents this causes to the material! I slip things in, and maybe attach a decorative clip to the top of a journaling card, but that’s it. So, the fact that there is some rippling is something that I noticed. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a fault, but it’s there. (Maybe it’ll help me get over my phobia of clipping cute things into the pockets, though??)

A Dokibook planner atop a Kikki K planner.

The Dokibook is a bit narrower than the Kikki K.

A Dokibook planner atop a Kikki K planner.

As a result of this extra width on the Kikki K, we avoid something that becomes pretty apparent when the planners are closed:

A Dokibook planner atop a Kikki K planner.

The pen doesn’t “tuck in” in the Dokibook. Filling it up with more pages won’t change this, as the divider tabs run flush to the edge of the planner when it’s closed. There’s just no room for the pen, and so it sits outside.

The drama on two planners.

You can also see the thickness of the material when peeking into the elastic slit. The Dokibook feels soft, but it’s made of a thin material with stuffing underneath. The Kikki K does also have stuffing, but the material itself is much thicker.

(I think this is the most stationary geek thing I have ever posted.)

I know the rings are a huge deal to a lot of people, and there’s certainly nothing more annoying than losing pages as you’re turning them.

<img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-164" src="http://martie.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/image-32-1024×1024.jpeg" alt="The rings in a Kikki K planner." width="780" height="780" srcset="http://martie.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/image-32-1024×1024.jpeg 1024w, http://martie.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/image-32-150×150 click over here now.jpeg 150w, http://martie.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/image-32-500×500.jpeg 500w” sizes=”(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px” />

The rings in a Dokibook planner.

The picture above is my Kikki K, and the one below the the Dokibook. I would say, therefore, that they’re both pretty comparable. The Kikki K rings that are separate are a bit loose, and when I slip them into place, they stay there until they’re jostled out of alignment. Not a big deal, and my pages haven’t slipped out yet.

With the Dokibook rings, they were positioned like that, and tightly so. It wasn’t a matter of just slipping them into alignment. I followed SpreeNow’s Dokibook ring gap fixing video, and they’re perfectly tight now, with no gap. I’m not sure if all Dokibooks come with such a nice ring mechanism, or if I was lucky. Honestly, without seeing how they hold up long-term, I probably can’t tell you which ring mechanism is superior.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my experience with SpreeNow, and the Dokibook. It’s a nice planner on which I didn’t need to spend a fortune. It doesn’t quite feel as plush as the Kikki K, but it has all the features I’d want, with very few drawbacks.

A closed planner with a charm and journaling cards.

I hope this review is helpful for those of you considering a Dokibook! Let me know if there’s anything else you wish I’d covered, or how you’ve fared with the Dokibook ring mechanism!




Please note for the purposes of transparency that the SpreeNow link is an affiliate link. Meaning, if you use it and buy something, I get some points at SpreeNow at no cost to you. I haven’t received any recompense for this review, and my opinions are entirely my own.

Dressing up your planner with… Stamps!

Dressing up your planner with... Stamps!

I love decorating my planner! A pop of colour or a fun shape, something to brighten up the list of tasks. I figure if it’s fun to look at, I’ll be more likely to look at it more often!

There are lots of choices out there – journaling cards, stickers, stamps, decorative tapes, adorable paperclips and magnets..! It’s hard to narrow down what you want on your page. I like to keep it simple, otherwise I lose track of the main goal of my planner – the things I’m planning to do!

A decorated monthly planner page, and some ink pads.

This is an example of my monthly pages. I decorate each month differently, and use these pages for tracking my personal development goals. I have a small glossary, and put down a coloured whorl if I accomplish a goal, or an “x” if I don’t manage. With some goals, like keeping my daily journal, I allow myself to catch up a few days later. Others, like keeping a reasonable bedtime, sadly don’t allow for catching up!

<img class="aligncenter wp-image-110 size-large" src="http://martie.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/image-3-1024×683.jpeg" alt="A sheet of clear stamps on a monthly planner page." width="780" height="520" srcset="http://martie.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/image-3-1024×683.jpeg 1024w, http://martie purchase viagra online in usa.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/image-3-150×100.jpeg 150w, http://martie.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/image-3-500×333.jpeg 500w” sizes=”(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px” />
The stamp sets I’m using are a spring set that I found a bit ago at a Michael’s. They’re from Recollections, and I was drawn by the lovely rainbow print on the backing paper. Pictured is the first set I got – it’s versatile in the size of the stamps, and seemed like a great way to perk up my planner (or decorate note cards, since I don’t thank myself on a regular basis!)

A sheet of clear stamps on a monthly planner page.
I returned a few days later and, having enjoyed the first set so much, I snagged these two as well. I love the feathers on this one! The arrows are great for dividing pages and paragraphs.

A sheet of clear stamps next to a planner.

This set will probably be a bit more useful for notecards than planners, but the smaller pieces are great to use as shorthand for some repeating tasks. The little party banner fits perfectly under the date on my weekly pages to highlight special days!

Three stencils and some ink pads.
Each of the stamps came with a stencil that I haven’t used yet, though they’re giving me ideas!

A planner page titled "entertaining checklist," featuring colourful stamps and an "Easter" heading.
Paired with my ridiculously bright and colourful inks, these stamps made this Day Designer entertaining checklist that I used to help plan Easter dinner with my family a lot of fun to look at!

How do you decorate your planners? Are you a fan of cluttered and colourful, or more subdued?

Thanks for reading!

Planners! From “I’ll just remember!” to “I need three!”

Planners! from "I'll just remember!" to "I need three!"

Welcome to my blog! For my first entry, I wanted to talk a bit about my new (has it been five months already??) passion – planning! I hadn’t used a planner since I was in school, but Pinterest seemed to notice my love of journaling and suggested that I take a peek at the world of decorated planners.

A planner open to a colourful cover page.
FIlofax cover page

The combination of organizing and paper craft was too much. Around the end of 2015, when holiday sales ran rampant, I snagged my first Filofax from Chapters Indigo for $30 CAD (which, for those in the U.S.A., probably translates roughly to 50 cents…). It’s a Compact Patent Organizer in Lavender, and I fell absolutely in love with the colour. Since then, it has been joined by a Kikki K Time Planner Large in Teal* and Chapters Indigo Agenda.

A stack of three brightly coloured planners.
Planner stack

Since I graduated, I had fallen away from using a planner, and started to depend a lot more on my phone. It seemed a lot simpler to keep track of my appointments in an app, where I could share the events easily with Robert. Anything related to the house and chores we tried to juggle in our heads, and if a particularly turbulent day arrived, To Do lists scattered on sticky notes or scraps of paper littered our desks. I felt like without the flurry of reading assignments, lectures and tutorials, essays and research papers, I shouldn’t really need a planner.

I was very wrong.

A colourful page in a planner.
Kikki K cover page

Since that first splurge, I have used two of my planners daily – the third reserved for errands and outings. Even Robert has gotten himself two (one for his desk, and one for his bag), though his needs are radically different than mine.

A planner open to a colourful divider page.
Filofax divider page

It may depend on the individual, but we’ve both noticed that we’re getting a lot more done around the house, and finally feeling like we’re making headway in the ongoing fight against the Chore Monster. When we have a few minutes that we’re not sure what to do with, it’s so easy to glance into a planner (or the shared Home Agenda!), and check something simple off.

A closed planner surrounded by washi tape, pens, and a journal card.
Chapters Indigo planner

Personally, I no longer suffer from making unending To Do lists that I then lie in anguish in bed over because I only got a third of them done. Having things divided over the course of the week makes me feel like I am actually making some headway, instead of seeing the same unending list for days on end. It’s also so much easier to tackle big projects when I can break them down into manageable tasks that I approach one day at a time.

A closed planner surrounded by washi tape and a pen.
Kikki K Time Planner Large, Teal

Other than Robert, I’ve managed to convert my Mom to the joy of paper planning. Her enthusiastic questions about how I’m managing to organize myself made me think that for the next few entries, I’ll provide a breakdown of how I use my three planners, and what works for me. I hope you enjoy! I would love to hear what planners you fell in love with! Thanks for reading!

<img class="wp-image-79 size-large" src="http://martie.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/image-9-1024×768.jpeg" alt="A planner open to a colourful divider page." width="780" height="585" srcset="http://martie viagra sample pills.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/image-9-1024×768.jpeg 1024w, http://martie.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/image-9-300×225.jpeg 300w, http://martie.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/image-9-768×576.jpeg 768w” sizes=”(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px” />
Filofax divider page


* If you’re in Canada, bear in mind that Kikki K ships using DHL, who charge their own fees on top of Canada’s import taxes and any shipping fees that you pay. Meaning, I paid shipping, Canada’s taxes, and then on top of that a surprise DHL fee that amounted to 1/3 the cost of the planner!