LifewithSalsaPutting the New Year Down on Paper, Finding the Right Planner to Keep Me Organized

Putting the New Year Down on Paper, Finding the Right Planner to Keep Me Organized


Wouldn’t that be amazing? When you set your mind to something, it will be so. I’ve been saying for years that my next year will be better than the current, and it is. With greatness (example: a baby) comes chaos. Juggling professional life and family life can be hard. What can I do?

Everyone who knows me and truly knows me, knows I’m a HUGE fan of lists. I have a weekly, monthly and a yearly list. Hey, I even have a bucket list that hasn’t got that much attention lately, because I’m so darn busy. Which reminds me I need to find it…


Why lists, Leslie?

I need lists in my life. As much as I would like to say that I can keep everything neatly organized in my brain, I can’t! Not to mention the things that get added last minute. Yeah, things get forgotten, meetings missed or double booking. Which is why I have had to attend several things on one day, not on purpose.


If I can just get my life all perfectly organized, it would simplify it all. Start with a clean house, clean office and in my case a clean art studio AND all the above. Clutter will not allow you to start a positive and productive day, much less a year.


Planners, Planners, Planners

The key word to everything is planning. You can’t leave things to chance, well you can but it’s a chance that things won’t turn out the way you want.

I’ve had some form or kind of planner since I can remember. When I worked an 8-5 job, I usually had a desktop calendar. I kept track of meetings, deadlines, and organized in my job meant more money.  And you know I love my money!

Then I dove full time into college and I had to find a way to balance school, personal life, and let’s not forget art. Just thinking of the chaos that was college life, my head hurts. My college planners would fill up, every single day!

I would get whatever cute planner I would find at TJ Max or Target. They worked and they didn’t. They kept track of my school schedule, assignments and sorority meetings but not enough room for my daily/weekly lists. I always had to keep separate lists for this. When I was done with college I figured let’s get a bigger one, still, at Target, TJ Max only had small ones. By bigger, I mean 8×10 size, not necessarily wider or more pages. Let’s say that got used maybe a total of 20 days combined and it stayed by my desk so if I wasn’t at my desk, it didn’t get touched. I have to connect with my planner, if not we are not going to be friends. BYE!

Use my CREATIVITY you say?

Making your own bullet point journals has become super popular and I did try one for this year and it was a total fail. I really enjoyed using my creativity to design it my way but it only works if you have the time to dedicate to designing it. The few pages I set up was so much fun to do. I got my colored pens out and I felt like a high school girl writing colorful letters to my girlfriends! Unfortunately, I am blessed to have a tiny human that requires lots of hugs and kisses and that trumps doodling in my journal and making lists in it. It was also too small to fit my calendar & week to do and notes on two pages weren’t cutting it. Maybe because I went with a small one, so I could take it everywhere. Keep that in mind if you are like me and want to go the bullet point journal way…
So long story short that bullet point journal is just my many lists of future projects, monthly, art, and personal put together and I have a notepad I use for my weekly to-do. I made it work because I can’t start on a new planner mid-year, I’m not a middle of the year kind of girl. I know I’m weird, or not if you think like me.

LifewithSalsaPutting the New Year Down on Paper, Finding the Right Planner to Keep Me Organized
The blog notebook and my bullet point journal for this year

New Year, New Plan(ner)

I love the new year because it’s a beginning and if you read the about me section, you know I absolutely love the start of something. It’s brand new, it hasn’t been spoiled, it’s a blank page, a new opportunity for change and achievements. So if you had a spat with someone, leave it in the old year by resolving it and hug it out (if you love them). If you have an idea you’ve been toying with in your mind, this is the time to make it a goal and bring it to life!

This is how I see the new year, and I begin to plan for it NOW in one of my favorite months. The anticipation of that new beginning gets me so happy. Except that now I’m left scratching my head because I’m searching for THE planner. I need a planner that will fulfill my many needs and yet be functional. I refused to have a bunch of lists all over the place, I need a one-stop shop. This mom right here gets very little time to get things done, so I have to work smarter not harder. After a lot of research and reading and watching many reviews, I have narrowed my list of maybes to the following results.


First, let me explain that when I talked to hubby about what I was looking for he made fun of me and told me I was going to need a giant book. The only way I was going to be able to condense my many hats or personalities as I call them, was a huge binder. Then I came across these lovelies:



The Get To Work Book kept coming up on many of my searches, especially when I looked up ways for a creative to get organized. If you have stumbled on this post, you must be on the same mission as I am, getting the right planner for the new year. I’m sure you’ve already heard of this   awesome planner! I’m super curious about this planner and it doesn’t help that it comes in a slick black cover. If you go snoop around on the website, you can check out the layouts. I can see the possibility of my lists fitting in this planner! 


Disclaimer: I did received a Get to Work Book free to try for my planner expirement but as always my opinions are honestly my own.


Now the anal organized person in me keeps eyeing the Passion Planner. This one is also one that I keep coming across on my extensive planner journey.

Why does this one call my attention? It feels very minimalistic, and you guys know I’m really trying to simplify my life. They have a dated yearly and an undated yearly. There is also an academic one, this would have been awesome during my college years. Just stalking their Instagram, I see some of the features this planner has, and I keep thinking about how that would help me stay on track. 

This one seems smaller, more compact than some of the others on this list. If you check them out you will notice that the undated one comes with a paw on it. This fur mom likes this a lot.


This one just makes me happy and lives up to its name, Happy Planner. It’s the color and customizable options that  draw me in. Come on who doesn’t like color? If you don’t, yeah this one is not for you. 

There seems to be a huge following, of the Happy Planner. Hmmmm that many people can’t be wrong.  


If you choose to accept this, of course & HELP a sister out! Please help me narrow down my choices and find THE one for me. If you own one of these planners, tell me why you love it or hate it. Do you love lists as much as I do? Which planner, if not one of these keeps you organized? Most importantly, if you are a creative what planner or method keeps you balanced, work and personal life?

STAY TUNED as I will be updating this post as I find a planner or suggestions for the right planner.


Leslie M. Guzmán is a Guatemalan artist best known for her creative explorations of world cultures. Her works capture the untold stories of people, objects and the places from which they come.


  • Marelyn Mayen

    I totally loved it! I do a simple workbook and Google Calendar, it’s functional to me.

    Love you blog!

  • Francia Ayon

    I totally love this article! I am a planner lover! So much that I often see cute ones and I buy them and end up with 4 or 5! Not a good idea if I wanna keep on track! I would miss things I put on one and forget to put in the other ugh! I have the Passion Planner and I love it! Only downside is that is too small😕 can’t wait to see what planet u get!

  • Coppelia

    Love this! And I have two suggestions! I love the planner I used last year, the Brilliant Business planner! And this year, I’m trying the Business Boutique Goal Planner. I can HIGHLY recommend the 1st one as I used it, and loved it!

    I just started the 2nd one, so we’ll see how it goes, but so far, it already got me setting goals for 2019!

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