Most people have a side hustle these days, and are trying to juggle work and their personal life. With so many things to keep track of, you may be wondering if it’s easier to just combine everything into 1 planner, or separate work and your personal life using 2 planners. Here are some things to consider:
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USING 1 PLANNER FOR EVERYTHING
Pros of using the same planner for everything
- Everything in the one place – you’re not wasting time flicking between planners
- You don’t have to carry 2 planners
- Your life and work will likely overlap. So you may need to add a reminder to yourself that you need to leave work early on certain days to pick up your kids from school – using 1 planner means you don’t have to re-write the same plans multiple times
Cons of using the same planner for everything
- You may not have enough room to plan everything if you use 1 planner
- If you work in an office and want to decorate with planner stickers, you may be judged by non-planner addict people
- If you use digital planning tools and need to collaborate with others in your team at work so everyone’s calendars need to be available to everyone else, having 1 planner is not a good idea (you probably don’t want people seeing all the personal details of your life!)
USING SEPARATE PLANNERS FOR WORK AND PERSONAL LIFE
Pros of using separate planners
- If you like color coding, using 2 separate planners means you can use the same colors for different things so you don’t need to carry as many pens, highlighters or stickers. So you could keep work expenses in red in your work planner, and personal expenses also in red in your personal planner. If you use a lot of categories to break down things you need to get done in detail, you could keep 2 entirely separate color keys for each planner. Blue might be for meetings in your work planner, and cleaning tasks in your personal planner
- You can leave one planner at home as your family planner and just take your work planner to work (or just leave it at work and not have to lug it home)
- You can use 2 completely different styles of planner layouts such as an hourly vertical for work and a horizontal for your personal planner
- If you love planners and you can’t decide between 2 different brands (such as the Erin Condren and Plum Paper) – well now you don’t have to! You can use both ☺
- If your work stuff is sensitive (e.g. you work in law) you can leave the work planner at work – this also prevents you from working from home and helps maintain a work / life balance
Cons of using separate planners
- You have to carry 2 planners
- You have to purchase 2 planners – although you can save money by DIYing and making your own planner inserts. You don’t have to use well-known brand planners for both of your planners – you may have an expensive one that you take with you everywhere and a cheap store one that you use at home
- Because you have so much room to plan, you may end up over-scheduling yourself – I find when I have a lot of white space in my planner I feel like I have to fill it
- If you like planner decorating and want to decorate both planners, you’ll probably end up spending quite a bit of money on planner stickers, washi tape etc.
- It’ll likely take you longer to plan if you have to write the same thing in both planners (for example, a note to leave early on certain days to pick up the kids, and the same note in your personal planner)
- You’ll probably have to pull out both planners to check that your work and personal life plans don’t clash
HOW TO COMBINE WORK AND PERSONAL LIFE INTO THE 1 PLANNER
Maintaining more than 1 planner can be a lot of work. So if you want to combine everything into the 1 planner, here are some ideas:
- Use an appointment style book such as Daytimer which usually have a smaller line width and hence, more space to write
- Most vertical and horizontal planners can be split into 2 sections per day with a bit of washi tape or even just a line in pen
- Try bullet journaling – that way you can create planner layouts with as much or as little space as you need
- Add a sticky note for personal life reminders to your work planner and visa versa – especially for recurring tasks each week
- Use a larger size planner such as letter size (like the BIG Happy Planner)
Planners that are ideal for combining work and personal life
- Limelife Planner layouts A and C
- Me Planner from Plum Paper
- Passion planner – use the hourly schedule for work and the lists and brainstorm space at the bottom for your personal life (or visa versa).
Both the Limelife Planner and Passion Planner allow you to download their planner layouts for free if you want to trial them.
And if you have to keep 2 planners, here are some ideas to make it easier to manage:
- Print your own planner inserts and keep 6 months’ worth of planner pages in the same ring bound or discbound notebook. The front could be your planner for work and the back for your personal life. The 2 could have completely different layouts and you can add and remove pages as often as you like
- Use a digital planner (or even just the notes or reminders apps on your phone) and a paper planner
Do you use 1 or 2 planners? Have any additional tips you’d like to add? We’d love to hear them.
This is a guest post by Rachel at All About the House Printables.
Rachael is a 20-something Aussie addicted to all things planning. She sells printable planners on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/AllAboutTheHouse and blogs at www.allaboutthehouseprintablesblog.com
11 thoughts on “Should You Be Using Two Planners?”
Thank you for sharing the pros and cons. I should’ve done this myself, but you’ve mentioned a few things I had not thought of. I’ve decided to keep one planner for life+business and one for homeschooling. Thanks!
I debated this for weeks, I found Plum Paper and you can custom design your planner! Such a win. I really did not want two planners.
Glad you found a planner that works for everything! You’ve got to do what works for you. 🙂
I’m a two/three/four planner type. Mostly because I can’t stop buying them!
I ABSOLUTELY agree with the whole ‘getting judged by non-planner types’. Boo to them I say! Add more stickers to annoy them!
I think I’m going to go to two planners. I’ve been experimenting with different setups and I decided that I want my colorful Happy Planner for home (to track meals, cleaning schedule, overall week) and then use my traveler’s notebook for work dailies and to keep brainstorming notes for my side business. I LOVE stickers but definitely not professional when I’m meeting with higher ups 😉
I started using 2 planners at the beginning of the year and I’m still not sure if I like it. I think I might move to a mini planner for blog stuff and use my big Happy Planner for everything else.
This year I recently started using 2 planners and everybody thinks I’m crazy lol! Glad I’m not the only one!
I loved my planner! I color coordinate everything, each person has a different color pen. Made it so much easier. I use Trello now, but a physical planner was fun to use and pretty up.
I have a hard enough time with one planner! 🙂
I like to keep different categories separate. Sometimes there is some overlap and when that happens I just write it down twice and move on. I actually haven’t used a physical planner in years, I keep almost everything in the calendar, task lists, and note app on my phone with a few lists and records kept in physical bullet journals.
I’m definitely a 1 planner type of girl. I would lose the second planner before I could get any use out of it. And I also like seeing everything I have to do in one place so I can manage my time better.