As the New Year rolls around, I’m prepping my 2024 planner. Things look a bit different this year, though.

First of all, I’ve been using My Brilliant Writing Planner for several years, but this year’s the first time I’ve set it up in full, 8 ½ x 11” size, with Happy Planner Big Expander discs. What I love about that?

  • Large space to write in (and add stickers).
  • Easy to add pages.
  • I can remove a month if I’m going to be traveling & take it with me.

I’m super excited that this year, I was able to get a Sunday-start layout and I selected the option without the inspiration/prayer pages because I use a separate notebook for my Bible study.

I used to feel like a failure if I didn’t fully plan every week or use a specific layout for time-blocking. Then, I took Becca Syme’s Write Better Faster course/coaching and…LIGHTBULB.

Kind of a “duh” moment—I can use my planner exactly how it works best for me.

PDF version of the Sunday-Start, pastel-color My Brilliant Writing Planner (no inspiration pages)

Happy Planner Big Expander discs (rose gold isn’t available, but these silver ones are just as sweet)

Happy Planner Big covers from EncourageHerSoul on  Etsy (These come in a pair—front and back sheets—I ordered rose quartz and it was exactly what I was looking for. They’re true-sized to Happy Planner Big covers, so they have the coverage to protect your page tabs, too.)

Plastic Tabbed Dividers (I bought three sets of these so I have my 12 months plus tabs for household, budgeting, and notes.)

Wellness stickers, Faith-based stickers, Scheduling stickers, and Bookish stickers

Cricut Explore 3 (I love being able to cut my own specialty tabs and stickers.)

Cricut files (I made these myself, to print then cut some of my own custom stickers)

Etsy SVG sticker files (My favorite bookish ones from BaileyandGingerCo! Worked great with my Cricut as print then cut stickers.)

Gel pens (These are great for color-coding my planner.)

Metallic pens

Erasable pens

Sticker paper (To use for print then cut inkjet Cricut stickers—but you can hand-cut stickers you print, too.)

I’ve been having so much fun with my planner this year. I used to get frustrated because I’d want to plan, but then, never actually use my planner. This year, my planner is a tool for me and there’s no right or wrong way to use it.

My tips for your best planner implementation?

  • You make the rules! It’s okay to cover lines with stickers, not use pages, or even have to (gasp!) cross out a mistake.
  • Use it as creative time. Use stickers profusely, sparingly, or not at all. For me, I love how I can add personality and uniqueness to my week with the collection of stickers I add.
  • You can be minimal or elaborate.
  • I give you permission to skip a week here and there—and you don’t have to take it on vacation. It’ll be okay if there are blank weeks at the end of the year.

Leave me a comment and let me know what tips and tricks do you use for your planner routine.

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