My diary/ planner for 2017


So you all know I’m a big fan of the Shining Year planners.

I pre-ordered the diary this year too and it arrived just before Christmas. (if you’re ordering and you’re in South Africa, buy the digital version!)

It is gorgeous and colourful, and has nice, thick, non-bleedy paper for my Pentel gel pens. It also has some good goals pages before and after each month. As you know I do a Goals Night on the last night of each month and this will really help me to simplify my monthly goals review process.

There is only one thing “wrong” with it.

It’s huge. It’s more than double the thickness of last year’s diary and about 5 cm longer.

I can’t see myself carrying this diary to and from work daily, as I’m accustomed to doing with my yearly diaries.

I actually took it to church on New Year’s Day to test it out on a short trip and my shoulder was falling off.

So I know I won’t be able to carry it around on a daily basis.

I’m not going to buy another diary largely because everything is so big this year (Confession – I’ve looked). The 2017 version of the style I used in 2016 has awful covers and while I love the insides, I can’t bring myself to see those covers daily.

If you’ve read my post about choosing the perfect diary/ planner, you’ll remember I always say you’ve got to have something you want to use and that will inspire you to actually use it.

Do I just bullet journal on a daily basis while out and about, and keep my Shining Planner at home to update as and when?

What do all these people with the ginormous planners do? Do they leave them at home? Do they cart them around?

Also, if I had even the slightest bit of design skills, I’d just make my own darn planner. Because nobody makes exactly the one I want. Legami is the closest but I don’t think Exclusives got them in this year 🙁

What do you think I should do? What would you do?

How to choose your 2017 diary/ planner

I’m using a hybrid system next year and I can’t wait to show you how I’ll be using it. I’m currently waiting for my big box of goodness to arrive here in Johannesburg before I post some pretty pics… although I did print out some pages from my digital downloads so I wouldn’t feel like I was missing out 🙂

I said that as a disclaimer because as you all know (especially if you follow Organising Queen on Instagram), I do love stationery.

So I went looking to see what’s out and about this year in terms of planners.

There’s plenty…..big, small, colourful, boring :), but the one thing I haven’t seen this year is my absolute favourite – the 2017 softcover Legami weekly diary.


The interesting thing is that we are more connected to our phones than ever before and yet (or maybe because of it?) people seem to be more interested in paper planners than ever before. There are many, many beautiful planners to choose from on the internet, especially if you live in the US.

I remember years ago when I asked if you wore a watch – I still do 5 years later – there was a mixed bag of responses. Do you wear a watch?

Back to the topic.

There’s such a wide selection in the shops that the choice can get really overwhelming.

  • page a day daily planner?
  • vertical weekly or horizontal weekly?
  • notes pages or not?
  • filofax sized, A5, A4?

So how do you choose the best one?

Here are a couple of factors to consider:


1. Paper or electronic?
Do you prefer paper or electronic? Don’t feel pressured to use an electronic diary just to keep up with your friends if you’re actually a paper gal.

I love Outlook as much as the next person but I need a paper planner for 95% of my planning.

That said, if you are techno-savvy, use it happily. Please just remember to back up your data regularly.

2. Size
Your planner has to be portable if you’re going to use it most effectively.

Decide on a comfortable size and stick to that. If your planner is HUGE, no matter how cute it is, you’re not going to use it unless you’re strong!

However, don’t go for a small size especially if you have big handwriting. Ahem 😉


3. Space per day
Do you like a week-at-a-glance or a page-a-day format?

I like the weekly format because I do weekly planning. And there’s just enough space to jot down your 3 – 5 Eat the Frog tasks every day.

But more than that, I like space for notes, not just appointments.

My husband loves a page a day, even if some pages have nothing on it. He isn’t bothered by the empty page (waste of space to me :)) but tells me that he wants the space there when he needs it.

4. Monthly tools
Do you need a monthly event calendar and a budget form? What about a monthly goals form?

Do you need a pen flap, a ribbon to mark your place or a pocket for bits and pieces of paper?

I like a goals page between months or a page for notes that I use for goals. I also like a monthly view at the start of every month.


5. Other tools
Do you need lots of name and address pages? Or note paper at the back?

My advice to you is decide on your non-negotiables and make peace with the rest.

Make sure you love your diary so that you want to use it. If that means you need to get yourself a hot pink flexible cover, then get it.

A few more important notes:

If you don’t absolutely love the diary in the shops, don’t get it. Your enthusiasm level will drop further as you start using it.

Open the plastic covering (check with the sales assistants) so that you check everything out carefully. It’s beyond me how the retailers expect one to invest in a diary when you can’t even look through the pages. You’re not just going to look at the cover; you need to use it so make sure you’re happy.

Happy shopping!

PS If you want to buy the Shining Life diary (physical or digital download), you can print multiple pages of the sections you use most often

PPS Please tag me on Instagram so I can see your diary for next year

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