Why Did We Choose Plum Paper Planner? (for D.I.Y. Rock Star Planning)

This blog post is a great accompaniment to Gab & Jam

Ep 150 Goals: Why less is more (for the D.I.Y. Rock Star)

(video: https://bit.ly/Ep150goalslessvid and podcast: http://bit.ly/Ep150goalslesspod )

We are so excited to FINALLY be able to take advantage of the Black Friday sale from Plum Paper Planner, where we ordered our third 18-month standard-size planner. We’ve never done a blog post about it—although we have done a couple of unboxings and a couple of “Plan With Me” videos (here’s the playlist: https://bit.ly/goalsplaylistvid )

Plum Paper Planner Unboxing 3.0: https://bit.ly/plumplannerunbox3

Why Plum Paper Planner?

Well, until I create my own D.I.Y. Rock Star Planner—which is in the works-—decided that with all that we have going on right now—the blog, the podcast, the YouTube channel, and the record companythat we needed a base of operations to run it all from. I looked around at the various most popular custom planners and ended up liking what I saw when I checked out the Plum Paper Planner website. —No, this is NOT a sponsored post; I am just sharing, because when I was looking, it was these kinds of posts helped me be able to choose between all the many planning methods and choose specific options.

2019 Plan With Me video: http://bit.ly/planwithmedos

How the planner habit got started….

As you will see if you look at our first unboxing video (http://bit.ly/plumpaperunbox1 ), I started with some really tiny planner I picked up at Walmart before I took up the arduous task to research what the options were out here in these streets. —Oh, and also to be prepared to pony up the large amount of cash to get this customized planner (which has ranged from $60 to $75 each year, depending on the options I chose).

Why did we choose a customized planner?

It’s a fair question to ask why I might choose a custom planning system versus just finding one that can be more budget-friendly and that I do not have to sit by the mailbox and wait for to be delivered? Frankly, once I started looking at pre-made planner systems—like Franklin Covey—and start adding up what it costs to buy the binder and the refills, I have already spent nearly $70. It seemed more exciting, more usable, and more effective to choose the options that we were most interested in and leave all the others behind. So that’s what we did. And each year, we have chosen something slightly different (as you will see in the video; http://bit.ly/planwithmedos ).

Layout options…

This time, I chose what I am calling the “goal-oriented” page layout. It has space on the page for 2 major priorities for each day, an empty block for note-taking, and something like a habit taker for each week. This is the first I have seen this, I think, and we are at a different place in our creative enterprises, so I knew that we needed something different than the last 2 times. —To be COMPLETELY honest, the first time out (in 2018-2019 edition), I didn’t have a clue what we wanted/needed, so I just ordered without TOO much thought to the weekly configuration and it didn’t help that I could not look at the thing in-person and flip through the pages to ACTUALLY see what I liked and didn’t, so I chose what I thought was best; the weekly configuration. When it arrived and it had absolutely NO lines WITHIN the week, I already knew I had messed up. 😳 But it was too late by then (and so you will see (at this time stamp in the video https://youtu.be/g3YrCO-udr0?t=98 ), that I went to a coffee shop with a ruler and a pen and drew in all the blocks for the days of the week. 🙄 It took hours and looked ugly, but what was I gonna do? It was my own fault that I ordered a custom calendar with the wrong customization! 🤷🏽‍♀️😳

Layout options (similar to last one; http://bit.ly/planwithmedos )

What do you do when you know you’ve messed up?

So, I just had to make it work and that did make it function better, but as you can imagine, for a colorful and creative person, this hurried, raggedy looking week was NO a joy to use. 📝 That’s why, in the second iteration (2019-2020), I was SURE to select the interior that was labeled and lined with the days of the week. (And I have been pretty happy with that.) However, even then, I would write my 5 major goals right at the top edge of my page each week and then figure out which day I would tackle each within the week. So, when I was looking through all the possibilities for interiors—and this time, I really did stop to look at ALL of them a couple of times, actually—I saw the configuration that I ordered this time, which has a space for 2 priorities for each week day and a spot for listing weekly priorities at the top of the page, which seems pretty perfect.

Here was the first Plum Paper Planning unboxing: http://bit.ly/plumpaperunbox1

What’s missing?

What I didn’t find, but wanted, is a one-page, simple income and expenses ledger anywhere in their customizations. —When they had budget enhancements, they either were so complicated that didn’t even understand how to use them or they were a section unto themselves or, in the case of the “budget-oriented” variety of planner that they sell, finances dominate every page and EVERY section! 😳🤷🏽‍♀️ —What I was looking for was something super simple to be able to write in the few transactions we have a month. What I ended up doing was researching a solution—and I could not find one that was exactly right—so I created my own. I was able to make it cute, the right size for the planner, and that contained only the fields that are important to use now. (If you would like a download of it, click here.) So, right after the unboxing, I took time out to print them, cut them, and paste them into the months of the new planner.


Because we took advantage of the Black Friday special, not only was everything 30% off, but a free gift of planning stickers were thrown in (see Unboxing video timestamp here: https://youtu.be/AifyBM7i0mw?t=168 ). This was a nice bonus, because while I have been very curious about their stickers, I would have NEVER have ponied up the cash to throw it in the cart. —While I am a sticker whore, I tend to get mine from the dollar section of Target or on sale a Meijer; I would NEVER spring for premium planner stickers, because I buy so many stickers, so often, for so many other purposes. —So, it IS nice to be able to try them without paying extra for them.


They have some of these stickers that have some that have inspirational quotes, some that denote the activities that you can identify with them, and—something I’ve NEVER tried—habit tracking stickers (where instead using an X to indicate that you’ve done something for a day—or a series of days— you can put a colored dot, etc.) —You know what, I AM going to try these, because they just look like pure fun! 🥳🙃

Another extra that I ordered—probably BECAUSE everything was 30% off— is what they call a “dashboard.” It’s a coated piece of cardboard that you can move from place to place in your planner to remind you where to flip to. It also has the ability to take dry erase markers, so that you can jot down ideas for your week on it.

Third-Party Editions

I couldn’t help it; I took the opportunity to stop by our local, major craft store, and picked up some third-party planner stickers. I ended up with two packs washi flakes by Park Lane Paperie (the super hero 🦸‍♂️ and the unicorn 🦄 packs), Day-to-Day stickers from Maggie Holmes, and some stickers from Yoobi.

I have never used any stickers throughout my planner—I only use them on the monthly cover and on the monthly thread. I am hoping to enjoy the planning process better, so this is my way of finding my zen and fun in it. 😬🙃