Why You Still Need a Planner in 2021



It’s safe to say that 2020 panned out a little differently than expected, and I imagine planner fanatics everywhere have used more white-out this past year than ever before. But to say that our 2020 planners were completely a waste? That’s simply not true. You probably know by now that I’m a planner-loving, list-making fool, so today so I wanted to share a few unique ways to use your planner that don’t involve having actual plans (‘cause who knows what 2021 will hold). Without further ado, here are six reasons you still need a planner for the new year.


To Doodle.

Instead of letting my planner go to waste during quarantine, I started doodling in the empty spaces of my weekly layout. I love how this week’s Winter Wonderland spread turned out—complete with penguins and a snow-globe! Even if your doodles aren’t perfect, it’s a fun way to pass all the free time and gives you a chance to improve your skill with each new weekly spread. I love constantly trying something new with my drawings and searching for inspiration on Pinterest, and I find doodling surprisingly relaxing (something we could all use more of in 2021).

To Journal.

The other thing I started doing in all the blank space of my planner is journaling. I usually write one or two activities that I did that day, or something about what kind of mood I was in, or, on the rare occasion, something exciting that happened. This is a great way to keep the quarantine days straight, as everything tends to blend together after a while. You could also use the space to do some more serious journaling, like writing about how you’re feeling or having a full on rant-sesh to your planner.

To Make To-Do Lists (and Stay Productive During All Those Days at Home).

I used to keep my to-do lists separate from my planner because, quite frankly, they’re usually too long to fit. But with my Passion Planner (which has daily columns instead of the rows that are popular in other planners), I love writing my lists straight into my daily schedules. Sometimes I even try to prioritize them so I can stay on track throughout the day. Even though lockdowns are starting again and we’ll likely be spending a lot of time at home this holiday season, a planner is the perfect way to stay motivated and working towards your goals everyday (instead of getting sucked into the Netflix + couch + pajamas trap).


To Stay On Top of Your Online Schoolwork or Work.

I don’t know about other students, but keeping track of schoolwork has become so much harder since this pandemic began. Now that everything is online, I’m constantly worrying that I forgot to turn in an assignment or that I forgot to attend virtual class altogether—like I said, the days all blur into one! Having a planner is a great place to write all your school assignments, class times, due dates, etc. I usually remember things better when I handwrite them (as opposed to typing them into a calendar app), plus it eliminates the risk of a typo pushing your final exam an hour later than it’s supposed to be. This tip really applies to anything—school, working from home, the subpar Zoom social events that have now become so commonplace. All those virtual events are so easy to forget, so write them down in a planner!

To Track Your Habits.

While I don’t technically bullet journal, I like to think these new practices I’ve been using in my planner are essentially the same thing. And one of my favorite activities borrowed from the bullet journaling world is the habit tracker. Habit trackers usually take the form of some kind of calendar where you mark off the days you completed/adhered to whatever habit you’re trying to start; for example, drinking x amount of water everyday. I like to put my habit trackers on my monthly layout, but you can just as well put a week-long tracker in your weekly spreads. These free downloadable habit tracker inserts are a great tool to print and tape into your planner!

To Practice Gratitude.

Finally, a planner is a great place to practice gratitude. You can write one thing you’re thankful for each day, or you can journal about what you’re most grateful for throughout the week. The possibilities are endless, and practicing gratitude is a great habit to get into, especially during these challenging times.


I know this post is a little different than my usual fashion posts, but these unconventional ways to use a planner have been on my mind as we approach the new year, and I wanted to share! If there’s one thing this pandemic and all the uncertainty has taught me, it’s to prepare for all possible scenarios—another reason you need a planner.

The planner that I use and love is the academic Passion Planner, which you can learn more about in this post. You can also shop their new annual planners here and use my code GRACEG1 for 10% off your next purchase. They have so many cute colors for the new year, and planners make great Christmas gifts as well! That’s what I bought for my mom, along with the Passion Planner pens so she can start doodling herself.

Thanks so much for stopping by today’s post! I hope you enjoyed it and that it gave you a little inspiration (and hope!) for the new year.


Miles of smiles,

15 comments on “Why You Still Need a Planner in 2021”

  1. I used to journal daily- don’t know why and how I stopped! This planner looks like a good one and also very adaptable- gonna check out that link:) Wishing you a great week xx

    1. Thanks so much, Lucy! I really need to get into the habit of journaling daily, it’s such a good practice!

    1. Thanks Mireille! Yes, sometimes just notebooks and monthly calendars work best. I used to keep a huge monthly calendar on my desk!

  2. I’m a big fan of planners and was thinking of returning to a more creative written form…at the moment I use my phone to capture my daily sentences, and Mrs Hinch’s Book of Lists to capture my cleaning fun! But I have more life goals to aim for next year so will need something better. Thanks for sharing at #WowOnWednesday.

    1. Thank you! I hope you find a good way to keep track in written form and enjoy planning for the new year.

  3. Grace, I love this post! I just started using my planner to track symptoms of PMDD. All the pages were so blank and plain, I figured I should use it for something. I love all your doodles and colors in yours. I need to get more creative with my planner! Thanks for sharing this fun post and inspiring me. You look so pretty in that pink sweater!


    1. Thanks so much Shelbee! That’s a great way to use your planner. Sometimes I like to track meals in mine! There are so many different things you could use it to keep track of.

  4. Your planner is so colourful! I love that you have so many different ways to use it and that it works for you 🙂

    Thanks so much for joining the #WeekdayWearLinkup! Hope that you had a great weekend 🙂

  5. I’m a huge planner fan and was considering switching back to a more creative written format… I’m now using my phone to record my daily phrases and Mrs Hinch’s Book of Lists to record my cleaning adventures!
    Ghost Mannequin Effect

    1. How fun! I would love to get into bullet journaling eventually when I have more time to spend on doodling every day.

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