Why Ink+Volt is My Favorite Planner

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For as long as I can remember, I've been obsessed with planners. It was my favorite part of going back to school and the fixation continued into adulthood. There's nothing quite like that fresh new planner smell -- so full of possibilities and potential.

Being the frugalista that I am, I typically turned to budget department stores, such as TJ Maxx and Marshalls for colorful (and cheap) planners. But last year, I decided I wanted a grown-up planner. It was time to take myself and my goals seriously.

There was just one tiny problem: I couldn't find what I wanted. Despite reading multiple blog posts about the "best planners for bloggers," I still couldn't find one that fit my needs. Until last Christmas when my amazing gift-giver of a sister-in-law introduced me to Ink+Volt. It was everything I never knew I needed -- the weight (6" x 8.5", about the size of a hardcover book); lay-flat binding; and two ribbon page markers.

It was sophisticated and luxurious. It was my grown-up planner.

Once I opened it up, I couldn't put it back down. I spent the rest of that weekend plotting and scheming, quickly filling the first page with my 2017 theme: "Level Up." And, beneath my brainstorm session, my top goals for the year, which included a promotion, launching my weekly newsletter and redesigning my website. A few weeks shy of 2018, I'm happy to share that I've achieved those goals and many more.

What I like most about Ink+Volt planner is that it sets you up for success with a visual breakdown of yearly, monthly and weekly goals. My Sunday routine includes mapping out the week ahead by reviewing those goals and adding new ones, as well as adding appointments and blocking off time for creative projects.

Perhaps my favorite part of the planner (if I absolutely had to choose just one) is the monthly challenge, which prompts you to take one small action each day for that month. For example, my 31-day challenge for December is to pray every day (which is why I'm reading this devotional plan in the Bible app).

The challenge asks you to state your goal; why you want to make it happen; and your plan of action for the month, along with a signature line to honor your commitment to yourself and checkboxes for each day. Talk about accountability. Plus, there are weekly journal prompts with motivational quotes for inspiration.

My little writer heart rejoices!

I know there are digital ways to do all of this, but, much like Ink+Volt founder Kate Matsudaira, I prefer paper to technology. There's just something more concrete about writing something down on actual paper. It feels more real to me, more special.

So when it came time to purchase my 2018 planner, you can bet I went straight to Ink+Volt and ordered their 2018 limited edition series in plum, of course. Let the New Year begin!