Old School Planners (GIVEAWAY!)

[title subtitle=”To help you get through 2016″]What You Need[/title] Author’s note: We originally published this article two weeks ago, but because you guys liked it so much, we’re republishing it with a Passion Planner giveaway! The rules are simple. Follow @thelodownblog and @passionplanner on Instagram AND tell us what your goal for 2016 is by commenting below! Then, click on the Rafflecopter link and enter your details for a chance to win.

We’re 21 days into 2016. I think it’s time I confess I’m absolute shit at keeping New Year’s resolutions.

Two years ago, for example, in the heat and huzzah of new beginnings, I had this ambitious idea of starting a personal blog. My dream, despite my grand intention, was short lived. Like the final days of a dying car engine, my voice sputtered, my commitment wavered, and my craft died. 2014, without doubt, was off to an amazing start.

2015 was not that much different. Let’s just call it the year of my NOT best body. Don’t get me wrong, I hauled my ass to the gym. While I did rather infrequently—plus or minus three times a week—there was no question that I did. Still, truffle fries and pastries galore were prioritized over six-pack abs. It’s no lie that I had difficulty curbing my snacking habits even when my skin broke out heavily in protest.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering, Paula, what the hell does your rant have to do with “old school” planners? And, how much salt should we take with your advice?

Don’t worry, darling readers, this commitment-fearing, stationary-loving Managing Editor of TheLoDown (I know, I just name-dropped so hard) has it all figured out. It really just comes down to two things: digestibility and accountability.

Towards the end of last year, I bought myself a pen and paper planner. A techno-gadget whiz at heart, I decided to forgo iCal and Google Calendar for a more “old school” approach. Of course, I heavily researched the agenda book market before I finally settled on the Passion Planner. Ever since I started using it, as early as late last June, I’ve done a much better job at combatting my commitment phobia. A goal-setting guide on top of a journal, on top of a weekly appointment calendar, my planner has helped me break down my goals (working out, cough cough) into more digestible pieces. It’s incredibly easy to give up when a goal seems too difficult to attain. As someone still working towards those abs, I would know. But, through trial and error, I’ve learned that old school planners, especially those with goal-setting attributes, are the perfect tools for creating the mini steps towards success.

Let me walk you through five of my favorites planners.


[title subtitle=””]Passion Planner[/title]


Famous for its “Passion Roadmaps”, the passion planner encourages users to write out goals that range anywhere from short term ideas to lifetime dreams. Through guided brainstorming exercises, the planner helps users breakdown big goals into digestible and achievable mini goals. A weekly calendar with time slots by the hour, the planner makes staying organized a priority. Aside from the personal and work to-do lists and weekly and daily focuses, the planner even has a “Monthly Reflection” section for users to check back in on their progress.

Honestly, for someone who still needs their hand held through life, the Passion Planner has been my savior. And, just in case I didn’t do a good job explaining all of its perks, YouTuber, Aja Dang, does a pretty stellar job detailing everything in her “How To Achieve Your Goals” video.


[title subtitle=””]Get To Work Book[/title]


If you don’t need an hour by hour timetable like I do, the Get To Work Book might just be the ideal planner for you. It’s beautiful, minimalistic, and easy to use. Like the Passion Planner, the Get To Work Book also has a goal-setting component. In fact, it has 16 “project breakdown” pages, 13 “reflect and goal-set” pages, not to mention, 12 motivational prints that can be easily removed and used for decoration. Best of all, it’s made from 100% recycled consumer product waste. Holler! Also, an extensive walkthrough video of the planner can be found here.


[title subtitle=””]Bullet Journal[/title]


The Bullet Journal is a little more complicated to explain. Think of it as an organization system—a new customizable way to combine your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary. My list-loving friends all swear by this bullet point approach. One or two have even sworn it to be “extremely therapeutic.”

If you’re a visual learner, this video will serve nicely as meditative Bullet Journal introduction. Otherwise, if you’re a kinesthetic learner like moi, this walk through is much more helpful.


[title subtitle=””]Girlboss Planner[/title]


While I’m usually one for the LBP (little black planner), Girlboss caught my eye. It has just the right amount of girly-girl bling. Like it’s goal-setting counterparts, Girlboss comes complete with a weekly schedule and a “goals and priority” section. Best of all, it’s ideal for the health conscious individual who could use a little help with budgeting and meal planning.


[title subtitle=””]Erin Condren LifePlanner[/title]

(Photo: Katrina Runs)

Erin Condren has a cult following. Have you seen the “Plan With Me” videos on YouTube? Um, depending on the week and on the YouTuber, those videos can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. I know. Insane. Trust me, you get sucked as soon as you start watching. Consider this your warning.

But, like all seemingly crazy things, there is a method to the LifePlanner madness. Users can pick between a horizontal or vertical layout and can customize their own planner covers if need be. While the LifePlanner doesn’t exactly help its user break down large goals, it comes with a mixture of lined pages, designer blank pages, graph pages, and motivational quotes to help maximize positivity and productivity. Basically, if stickers and aesthetically pleasing prints are your thing, this planner’s the one.

Featured Image via Bofink.

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