Ana: The Ladybug Planner

(Ladybugs) Love visual simplicity and organizational simplicity. You prefer to have all your items hidden out-of-sight. You also need fast and easy solutions, like bins and baskets without lids.

After taking the clutterbug quiz, I feel like a light bulb went on for me. I also immediately realized that my spouse is a very different clutterbug (he’s a butterfly).

Cas (at Clutterbug) described ladybugs as looking all clean and polished on the outside but if you look underneath, it’s a bit of a horror show. That’s me. To a tee. Like Butterflies, Ladybugs do best with easy, fast storage solutions and this applies to our planners as well as our yarn stash. I use the same plastic bin storage for my yarn that Laura does but mine is hidden in a closet behind a door. I don’t want to SEE my clutter!

Once I realized I will never have a super compartmentalized, super tidy, Instagram-worthy organizational system, I felt like I could breath a sigh of relief. It’s okay to be a little scattered but also want some visual simplicity. This explains why I’m okay with my pens touching. I just toss them all into one bin.

Inside of the undated Traveler’s Notebook 019 Weekly + Memo

This applies to my planning style too. Complex planning systems haven’t worked for me. If a planner has too many boxes, compartments or sub-divided sections, I end up not using it. Like a butterfly, I do better with big buckets. I think this is why I tend to prefer a week-on-one-page with the facing page just an open section for notes, lists, things I want to remember, etc.  Too many sub-sections or boxes can be too involved for a Ladybug. We need just enough structure so that we can find information, schedule or lists but not so much that we get overwhelmed and feel that we didn’t use the system efficiently.

From Erin Condren, this style of planner is TOO MANY categories for most Ladybugs

Modular systems built around a polished cover is a ladybug’s best friend. This could be a Filofax, a disc bound system like a William Hannah or a travelers notebook. They all provide some flexibility and a discreet exterior to contain “the horror show”. Ladybugs need the clean, simple exterior of a pretty notebook or binder and they also need to be okay with the insides of their notebook to be a little freeform and chaotic. 

On top, a standard Traveler’s Notebook. In the middle, a William Hannah ringbound notebook and on thee bottom an A5-sized Filofax.

For me, a travelers notebook (or other flexible system) works best. If I need additional space or feel the urge to be more organized, I can add another blank notebook to the calendar insert and hide it all away behind a clean cover.

Ladybugs would also do well with a commonplace book for notes, ideas and lists. For events, activities or meetings, combine a commonplace book with digital calendars. 

Adding tabs to a notebook or bullet journal to create large “buckets” for information might be a good solution. The tabs can be as loose as “to do lists”, “ideas” and “maybe someday” rather than a more complicated sub-system. “Today”, “Someday” and “Stuff to Remember”? 

Side view of Traveler’s Notebook, William Hannah and Filofax. Each utilizes a flexible system for adding or removing pages (or notebooks in the case of the Traveler’s Notebook) so a Ladybug can have as much or as little in each cover.

For Ladybugs, thee key is to find a planner that is simple to use with less granular storage of data. Like our shoes, we want to dump and go. So thinking of your planning system as large buckets rather than detailed organization. We can envy the Bee and Cricket planners for their compartmentalized data but for us, we are best served with something we actually use rather than a more involved planner that sits empty most of the year.

Really, what I hope this week will reveal that there is not one perfect planner or planning system that works for everyone.

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3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. YES! I laughed so hard at the “horror show” under the shell. My Clutterbug test results say I’m a Bee, but I know I’m a Ladybug (will have to try that test again). My problem is that I tend to stash things out of sight… but if I’m just stashing, I’m susceptible to “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome. Yarn goes in clear bins inside a wardrobe, and in a closet, and under the guest room bed, and… you get the idea. I have to review it, or review my project to-do lists, so I don’t forget it. When I regularly review my discbound planner (with its pretty cover and tabbed sections), it makes such a difference.

    Thanks so much for this series! Not only did I learn a few things about my own organizational style, but also my spouse’s style.

    1. I think discovering where your organizational style is similar or different to other people in your household is really helpful too. I feel like I understand why we get snippy at each other sometimes and now I can work to find organizational systems that accommodate both our organizational styles and also when to let go of the urge for everything to be “perfect”.

  2. Thanks so much for posting this! I was looking around for “my style” planner and Filofax definitely is interesting. With my current investment into Arc journal, I realized that unfortunately it’s not travel-friendly as I wished it was. Filofax would’ve cut down on that inconvenience. I heard of it before but I’m really more into it now. Thanks for sharing!

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