Planner Peace: I’m switching back to vertical.

The very first thing I need to say is that paper planners are SO personal. What works for one person might not work at all for another. The most important thing to remember when choosing a planner is that it MUST work the way your brain does, or it won’t be a helpful tool to keep you focused and organized. Does it organize your schedule in a way that makes sense? Can you keep track of your tasks in a way that keeps them from being lost on the page? It can’t be overwhelming to you or it won’t work. I use my planner in a function-first way, and as a naturally forgetful person, I rely on my planner every day to keep me on track. Many of you know this as “Planner Peace.”

Since 2011, I’ve used a vertical Erin Condren Life Planner, until this summer, when she released a horizontal layout for the first time. I really wanted to try something new and I LOVED the colors and layout. When I was given the opportunity to preview the planner, I chose the horizontal layout.

There are some things that I still love more about the horizontal; I love the room (I think there’s more writing room than the vertical), I love the colors (more muted and single-color-scheme per week), I love the lines (more grayscale and not overpowering), and I love the flexibility for people whose schedules or tasks vary from day to day, and I love that I don’t have to be bound by a morning/day/night set-up.

All that said, I’ve been feeling very lost and unfocused for the last month or two. I’m forgetting things, I’m not as motivated (in any area of my life), and I’m feeling overwhelmed. I have been writing more in notebooks and on pads of paper instead of using my planner. I write things in my planner but don’t really reference them or go there first when I need to organize my day. I was losing my groove because my system just wasn’t working. When you’re a compulsive planner, you NEED to feel comfortable with your system.

After reflecting on why things have been this way lately, I have just realized that my brain thinks vertically. I need the morning/day/night structure. I instinctively plan my day that way, even when I have a more flexible schedule. I have decided to switch back into my vertical planner. Around launch time, I ordered a 12-Month Rose Gold Vertical ECLP that I will move into in January, but until then, I’m going to switch back into my old planner next week. I already feel a million times better knowing that I’ll be “home” again. With school coming up for the kids, I NEED to have a reliable system to keep things organized. As much as I still love the horizontal for so many reasons, it’s just not for me.

To transition back into my vertical ECLP, I snipped the weeks I’ve used out of my horizontal and put them into my old vertical so that I don’t lose those weeks. I might also add a notes page from my notebooks before each of the remaining months because I REALLY love having those back and would be sad to not have them for the remainder of the year.

It was very easy to remove the pages. I just grabbed the ones I wanted to remove, took a small pair of scissors and snipped right under the coil on each hole, like this:
Snipping old planner pages out

I carefully pulled them out from the coil and made sure I had everything I wanted:
Pages removed from old planner

Next, I removed the unused weeks from my vertical ECLP so I didn’t have unnecessary bulk:
Removing pages from old planner

Then, I carefully snapped the horizontal pages into my vertical, just like you’d snap in a bookmark, dashboard or new cover – just more carefully:
Inserting pages back into vertical planner

This week is kind of a Frankenstein week, and I will miss the colors of the horizontal, but here’s the finished product!
Frankenstein Planner

Do you have planner peace? I know I will now. HOME SWEET HOME! Now the wait until January when I can use the newest version. 🙂

jensignature

Comments

  1. Robyn says

    Jen – Let me know if you are interested in selling your horizontal planner. I really would like to use the horizontal. Thanks

    • Jen says

      Hi Robyn! I am considering repurposing it, so I’m going to hang onto it for a little while until I decide! <3

  2. Angela L says

    Would you consider selling your horizontal planner? I would be interested. Email me if you are. Thanks!

  3. Julie says

    Frankenstein week, haha! What you said is true, some people think left to right like reading a book, some think up to down. Personally, I love my moleskine planner where I can write to-dos on the left and journal pages on the right. Also spiral bound doesnt work for me. I’m glad you found peace and a system that is right for you!

  4. Emily says

    Hi, I just ordered a vertical too – I’m wondering how do you label your three boxes in the weekly spread? I work full time but all my work related stuff is my Outlook, so I’m thinking of doing kids/school stuff for one, then home, and not sure about the third one.

    • Jen says

      I will stick to morning/day night, but I also don’t work outside of the home. I think if I did, I’d probably do exactly what you are thinking! Maybe another one for set appointments.

      • Emily says

        Thanks, I think I’ll try that. I figure I’ll have to experiment a little bit as I go. Also I have two kids at two separate schools and different events – since you have 3 do you normally color code different activities by child or school or just list them all the same?

  5. Hindah says

    I had the same thought this morning. I just cannot get into the horizontal planner, even though I love the colors and the lines.

  6. Maddie says

    I stayed with the vertical when ordering my new ECLP. You should do a double check though…I ordered a 12 month and was sent an 18 month. That error seemed to occur a lot as per the posts I was reading after the launch. Glad you’re in planner peace again!

    Maddie

    • Jen says

      Maddie that was the first thing I checked! LOL! I must have gotten mine after they found their error because I did get the 12 month I ordered instead of the 18 month. Kind of wishing I had ordered the 18 month now!

  7. says

    Such a great idea to snip out the pages and transfer them back! I wanted to love the horizontal, but it didn’t work for me, either. Glad you are back at “planner peace” 🙂

  8. says

    Ahhhh! I’ve been debating switching to horizontal all week. I think vertically so I never considered the horizontal, but I primarily use my planner for memory keeping and I was thinking the horizontal would work better for journaling at the end of the day. I mean, I’m covering up the entire bottom section of my planner each week. I haven’t made the switch because I didn’t want to mess with uncoiling and recoiling… but now I think you’ve shown me how I can fix that. I think I’m going back. And saving this one just in case I want to go back….

  9. Julie Garza says

    Yay! Welcome back! I ordered both as well and after two weeks I chose to stick with vertical because it was so comfortable and basically effortless 🙂

  10. Monique says

    I was pretty close to planner peace and when I got my new ECLP, it’s escaped me. Although I covered up the morning box and used for “all day” events or an overview kind of thing, I now really miss them. I’ve been ordering and designing some new stickers and I hope that I can find my planner peace again. Congrats on yours!!

  11. Maris says

    I’ve had the same issue. I made the decision two weeks ago to go back to my old planner and order a new one. I gave my horizontal to my daughter which made her day! I’m glad you posted this because I was feeling kind of bad for not being able to like the new layout!

  12. Dani says

    Hi Jen,

    This is exactly what I kept telling myself when I was ordering the new planner back in June. Your brain works this way, don’t get tempted because everyone else wants the new layout. So I did stick to what works for me and I am in the planner zen! 🙂 So glad you found your way! Have fun planning ❤️

    Regards,
    Dani B

  13. Jenna says

    I feel just like you regarding the horizontal layout. I have been using a printout of the horizontal layout this week and it is just not working. I just cannot plan my day that way, I just don’t feel it flows for me.

  14. Natasha says

    Hi Jen!! I have an Inkwell Press horizontal planner and an EC vertical planner. I’ve used EC for several years so I’ve been having a hard time switching my brain to using the horizontal planner. My brain works in the vertical format but my large handwriting really wants the space of the horizontal. Ughhhhhh….the struggle! Lol…

  15. Theresa says

    I also bought both to see which would suit me better and I’m the same- planning is vertical in my brain. However, I found the horizontal to be a great journal! All that writing space and calm beautiful colors makes for a great creative and open space. Possible repurpose for you as well? 🙂

  16. says

    Hi Jen,
    Good on you for being honest with yourself! I too purchased the Rose Gold horizontal after many hours of deliberation! The colour scheme was a big factor that won me over and after a few weeks of using, I *think* (haha) that its the layout for me. I am finding it harder to decorate though I must admit, and I will miss your Instagram posts with your gorgeous spread inspiration!! xx

  17. says

    I had a feeling you were going to come back to the vertical side (follow you on instagram lol). But yes do what works for you! You are very inspirational in your planning and I hope to be as organized as you! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Jennifer Crowder says

    Jen! I am soooo happy that you are back to “planner peace”! I really do prefer the vertical layout when I am home in the summer with Gus and not working. I absolutely agree with everything you said about the horizontal layout. And I really prefer the flexibility of this layout when I’m working 40 hours a week as a public educator. That’s the perfect excuse for me to order one of each. Ha! Can’t wait to see what you post next!

  19. Nicki Poer says

    Gotta have planner peace! We are opposites…I have had a vertical since 2010! Went horizontal this year (after seeing your previews!) and I am more organized and focused. I must be horizontal at heart! 🙂

  20. Karri Fenstermacher says

    I have horizontal EC that has some use for July Beginning of August (will remove pages), that I am willing to sale. I went back to my horizontal as well.
    The back notes pages are completely unused.
    Karri

  21. Jessica Lauren says

    I prefer the vertical to plan but I just couldn’t resist buying the horizontal. I use the weekly layout as a daily journal and the monthly view to list three gratitudes for each day.

  22. says

    Welcome back to the vertical layout! I am still working on perfecting my own layout that works for me and my brain but you are one of the planners that I look up to the most for ideas! I’m so excited that you started a blog and I am looking forward to following along and hopefully picking up some helpful tips along the way! #Plannerfriendsarethebestfriends 🙂

    <3 and harp strings,
    Kate

  23. Pam says

    I’m new to planners for my personal use. As a teacher for many years, I jotted my appointments down in the margin of my lesson plan book. I kept a separate desk calendar to keep up with my schedule away from school, but ultimately I transferred my
    Information back to my plan book. I lived by that book. I didn’t use stickers then because I needed every speck of space to write, but now I’d like to try it in an effort to be more organized and to record my life and memories. Where should I start with stickers? It’ s a bit overwhelming. Thanks for listening!

    • Jen says

      Hey Pam! Thanks for your comment – You can check out the new JenPlans binder kit that I’m helping curate for krissyanne.com (being released Oct. 2) or you can check out my preferred shops under the FAQ section here. Really, it’s all about what works best for YOU – you don’t need a ton of stickers to make a big impact!

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