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Newbie planner mistakes and how to choose the right planner

Spilling the tea on my planner journey 😳 so you can learn from my newbie mistakes

Hey Mama!

So here's the deal... I've made pretty much all the newbie planner mistakes there are and I'm here to spill the tea on my planner journey so you can learn from my failures and reach planner peace far quicker than I did!

Watch the episode on YouTube, then read on for the tips below...




But I'm too free spirited to be tied down to a plan!

I used to think I wasn't a goal getting, achiever type with a planner. I figured that was for other people - type A people.

I also thought I was unorganized and that a planner could never work for me. After all I had the evidence, a number of planners with tons of blank pages where I'd tried but failed.


Wait a minute, that's not quite true...

But then I remembered pre kids I did use a planner. It was a Filofax Domino pocket sized, in plain deep red leather look. I remembered that I would buy new inserts year after year for about 5 years straight!


And so the zero to hero journey began

That got me thinking if I could do it then, surely I could do it now. Even though I'd tried a few different planners in recent years and had failed, I was determined to figure out what was the 'right' planner for me.

Turns out it wasn't necessarily about just finding the 'right' planner, but also about building a habit. However, in this blog post I'm going to focus on a few tips that will help you narrow down your search for the 'right' planner.


If you're new to planning or returning to planning, read on!

If you're a planning newbie and are feeling overwhelmed by the choice available, or if you tried planning but failed to keep it up, or if you *think* you're just not an organised person so why bother trying - I'm here to help you pick the 'right' planner and start building the planner habit, as well as reminding you to not feel like a failure if things don't quite go to plan - excuse the pun 😜


 Watch Planning with Chloe on YouTube


How to choose a planner, dos and don'ts

First, let's get the don'ts outta the way...

  • Don't pick what someone else is using without researching if it's right for you. Just because it works for their lifestyle doesn't mean it's automatically going to be applicable to your lifestyle.

  • Don't grab the first bargain you see. If you buy a planner just because you spotted it in the bargain bin and it was super cheap you probably won't use it as much as a more expensive one that you put some research into and spent a bit of time comparing to other available planners.

  • Don't become overwhelmed by the choice available and end up choosing nothing. Sometimes when we are overloaded with choice it becomes easier to make no choice at all because we fear making the wrong choice. If this happens to you then draw up a shortlist by eliminating the ones that definitely won't suit your needs then pick one - any one - from your shortlist. You have to be willing to try something on for size and potentially get it wrong!

  • And finally, don't feel like a failure if you don't nail it first time.

And now for the dos...
  • Do take failure as feedback! See what didn't work, why it didn't work and then make tweaks to your shortlist or wish list based on eliminating any planners that are similar to one that didn't work for you. For example, if you could get down with a vertical week on one, then perhaps a horizontal week on one would be better, or vertical week on two.

  • Do think about why you need a planner and what you want to use it for, that will help you decide if you need a big or small planner, whether a weekly overview will do or whether you need to get granular with daily schedule.

  • Do consider the size that will work best for you - will you need a small compact planner that you can easily carry everywhere with you, or a big planner that will stay on your desk?

  • Do think about the layout, as I said before, do you need a weekly or monthly overview, or do you need an hourly schedule.

  • Do pick a cover that you find aesthetically pleasing because you'll want to see it and therefore use it. If it's kinda ugly to you then you'll hide it away making it outta sight, outta mind - meaning you'll ever use it!

  • Do start small by using your planner for one aspect of your life at first. If you try to plan out all things straight out of the gate you'll most likely struggle to keep up the pace - especially if you're new to planning. Instead, start with planning one aspect of your life (the one that causes you the most pain when you forget or miss things), once you've nailed consistently planning that, then add on the next thing such as habit tracking, budgeting, fitness or meal planning.


Let me know in the comments if found these tips helpful - or ask me question.

Best wishes
Chloe x

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