In 2016, I actually used three planners:

  • my work planner, which mostly contains meeting notes, but which should also contain and drive business planning and GTD
  • my Happy Planner, which includes habits and to-dos and appointments, and is the one that I keep handy for checking things off during the day
  • my Planner Love planner, which is for my examen, and which was just about the right size for the Erin Condren horizontal stickers

For 2017, I must still have my work planner and will use it better. I must also have my Happy Planner, which has really improved my life. I also ordered the Planner Love refill — and discovered that it has a completely different layout.


Instead of a two-page calendar grid, it has narrow boxes down one page for the entire week, and a lined page on the other side.

This is probably good for examen. I’m going to give myself time for that reflection at the end of each day. I’m also going to give myself business planning time on a regular basis.

I also like to have a New Year’s workbook every year, to spend some time in reflection and planning. It helps with direction and the process of writing and drawing help me focus. Usually I download a free or low-cost version. This year, with the uncertainty I’m feeling about my future, I splurged and bought a Dreambook from Dragontree.


It has an intensive guided reflection on your life and goals, but then also has goal breakdowns to action steps for lifetime goals, 10 year goals, 3 year goals, 1 year goals, then quarterly milestones and weekly action steps.


This kind of traditional time management/goal setting has been my mainstay through most of my life. In the past couple of years, I’ve been focusing more on habits, following the theory that daily habits make your goals happen.

I don’t think that’s literally true, at least not for goals that require direction and decisions. I want to include both kinds of planning this year. The Dragontree Dreambook takes the power of habit one step further, building rituals into the week. This might be just the thing for those habits I tend to slide on when I get super busy — which happens a lot.

In 2016, my planner was a craft project and habit tracker. I’ve settled into a regular decorative style now, so it’s less of a crafts project. Between now and New Year’s, I’ll identify the habits I still need to track, the kind of planning I need to include every day, and the as yet undetermined Better Way to use my business planner.