Rings or not?

Rings or not?

So being a huge planner addict and after years of using ring bound planners, I find planner peace in a travellers notebook (TN) I thought I would do a comparison post for you newbies out there…


One of the biggest dilemmas for people who wish to use a planner is the size. Too big a planner and though you have plenty of writing space, finding a handbag to fit it in can be troublesome. But get one too small and fitting all those important bits of information or writing a busy to do list is near on impossible!

Ring bound planners tend to come in three basic sizes – A5, personal and pocket. Whereas TNs come in a much wider range of sizes as pictured below.

(Image found on Pintrest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/479492691561298986/)

As you can see the flexibility which you get size wise with a TN is much better! But thats not all when it comes to size…. The other element of size to consider is the width.

Ring bound planners do tend to be a fixed size, though Filofax do offer a smaller ring version for their personal sizes. TNs on the other hand can be as thick or as thin as you want them to be, dependant on the number of notebooks you put inside. Most have the capacity for either 2,4 or 6. However there are ways of expanding them  add even more should you want to. For example my TN holds 10 notebooks and sticker storage! It’s one big Mama!


Rings or not?

So one thing I have come to realise is the main reason why I couldn’t quite find planner peace in a ring bound planner was because of the rings! They don’t get in the way when writing on the right, but when writing on the left side it was always a nightmare! My writing would go funny, or I would find myself taking the paper out to write which was annoying.

Since moving into a TN this is no longer a problem. The notebooks obviously lie flat and there are no rings to get in the way so it’s perfect.



So if you want something very basic then the type of insert is key. Many people don’t like Filofax as their paper is very thin and most pens tend to leak through on each page. Therefore many people purchase inserts through various sellers on Etsy.

My favourites for ring bound are:

And for TNs, my favourites are:

The other option is to get ready made or printable versions. Yes the printable versions are cheaper, but you need patience and equipment to get them into your planners regardless of it being ring bound or TN. I have made both, and on this front making inserts for ring bound is much easier, with A5 being the easiest. Personally I now prefer to purchase my notebooks rather than print my own.

The range of inserts is much wider than just diary pages too… You can get anything from finance trackers to blogging and YouTube trackers (for those who undertake these hobbies) to basic notes pages. And this goes for both rings and TNs.


As I have confessed I am a huge sticker addict now when it comes to my planning! I have no idea where the sticker craze started but many kits are designed for Erin Conference or Happy Planners (both American brands which I will not be discussing here). Therefore finding decor kits initially was difficult. However more and more companies are now doing personal kits too which are perfect for all the planners I have send, past and present.

Apart from the basic decor the other element of planning is the functional stickers. Being able to mark when I am cleaning or the bins are due using a pretty sticker is much nicer than writing it in! In fact because of the stickers it means my writing is kept to a minimum which I like.

My some of my favourite sticker shops are:

I hope this has given you some insight into the wonderful world of planners, and for those of you just starting out, some advice on what to look for when purchasing. Planners aren’t cheap and this hasn’t even touched the surface in relation to the available planners of the market so don’t limit yourself. Have a good look round before committing. I am always here to answer any questions you may have too 🙂

2017 Planner set up

2017 Planner set up

So as I mentioned in my reflective piece on 2016, my diary was a big thing that needed updating and refreshing!  I had completely lost touch with everything throughout December and it drove me insane!  I desperately need some more organisation in my life, especially with another baby on the way!  I hate being so ditsy and all over the place.  Organisation has to be key now for me moving forward.  I know I can do it with work, so now it is time to put it into place in the rest of my life.

So I decided to try a monthly, weekly and daily spread…  Why so many you may ask?  Well the monthly can be used for a nice simple overview of the month.  All key events, birthdays etc can be listed and I can answer questions regarding my availability without having to flick through my diary too much.  Below is how January is currently shaping up

Then I have a weekly spread which gives me a little bit more detail.  I’ve gone for a completely new lay out which is very similar to the happy planner or erin condren set up.  I have a task bar for the week and then have divided each day into three boxes – house, me and family.  I felt this would be the best way to make it clear what is going on and where.  I couldn’t be without my me box, but having the space for family and house stuff is definitely really helpful.

Then finally I have a daily spread.  I haven’t done daily spreads for ages but due to my every growing baby brain, I thought I would give it a go.  Plus I wanted to track my meals and fluid intake which these pages allow me to do.  I want to make sure that when I get my diary out I focus mainly on my daily spreads, ensuring that the tasks I map out weekly are put in the right place on my daily sheets.  I plan on reviewing my progress at the end of the month in another post and let you know the pros and cons of having so many spreads.

If you like the pages and want to order them, currently the weekly and daily spreads aren’t listed, but I do plan on having them up there soon!  So do keep an eye out.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any comments then please feel free to post

New planner set up

New planner set up

Apologies this part is out slightly later than expected, but was waiting on delivery of vital stickers to complete this post. So here you go…

After using (and loving) my personal size purple Saffiano (Filofax), I found myself struggling with the space available.  I really didn’t want to have weekly and daily sheets, which was slowly becoming the only way I could fit it all in!  And the ease of carrying around a personal size is so much easier than an A5……

However, having finally found a style of insert and diary planning that really worked for me, I didn’t want to change that.  I knew I needed more space so moving to an A5 was looking like the only option…  I couldn’t be without my planner and realised I was using a big enough bag to carry it around anyway, so decided to make the jump.

I managed to pick up this gorgeous pink Simple Stories (Carpe Diem) from a planner selling facebook group, and I am truly in love with it!  It came completely empty but that suited me fine, as I like to be creative and make everything myself anyway. In the picture you will also see my planner charm from the Ugly Bug October box.

So lets talk through my inside….. I don’t like a lot of clutter, so when I open my planner I have the fox paper clip from the Ugly Bug October box and a paperclip which was custom made by Cherry Blossom and says “I love you more than buttery crumpets”, which is what Gavin always tells me.  I also have a little note book which I got from Wilko’s and use for all my blog ideas.

The first thing I look at on opening is a wonderful picture of my family, which was taken only a few weeks ago on a family day out.  I am so in love with it and it just makes me smile every time I open my planner 🙂

All the dividers I have made myself too, and have 2 sets.  The first set of three come from a paper pack I bought from Tinkernco Digital and I absolutely love them!  There were 14 designs in the pack, and all digital allow use over and over which is awesome.  And to get the titles for the sections I put the paper pattern into publisher and added the headers.

The second set of 12 are the months of the year for my diary.  This paper was a free printable that I found through pintrest and felt matched the planner brilliantly.  I did the same with this picture as the previous ones in publisher to get the words on the headers. So now my inserts….  I have two different diaries, my work one and my personal one.  Working only three days a week I didn’t see the need for something full on, so went for a very simple spread which allows me space to keep my work schedule alongside a To Do section so I don’t forget anything.  I left these undated so I can date as appropriate.

My personal diary inserts start each month now starts with a scroll that has various little things on I would like to achieve that month.  I got fed up of just having a blank page so felt this would be a good way of using the space.

I then have a month on 2 page spread, which I decided to take the month header off of so my boxes could be bigger.  I have decorated using daily number stickers and decor bought from Bits of Stationery and mainly use this spread to mark birthdays or any important information to do with school.

Then my diary inserts have stayed in a similar format to before, with two days per page, but they are now a little be more detailed.  It has definitely made it easier to plan my life and I have much more space to jot things down!  Here’s my current four day spread….

All the inserts can be found in my shop and if there is enough interest I will start listing my dividers too, so please let me know in the comments if you would be interested in those.

I still need to get a few more bits, as would like 2 page markers, just can’t quite find what I’m after just yet…. but no doubt I’ll get there 🙂

Do you set up your planner in a similar way? Is there anything you think I would benefit from adding?

If you want any more information about what I’ve done please just ask 🙂