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Big Plans: The Official Laurel Denise Blog

May 2024

Our Favorite Planner Hacks

It’s no secret here in Laurel Denise land that we’re all about the planner hacks. We sort of imagine it like real life iPhone widgets or when that one friend knew how to jailbreak everyone’s phone in middle school…No? Just us? Well, we’re firm believers that your planner should work to fit the way you think. So, a few months ago, we made a YouTube video on Planner Hacks we’ve loved from our planner using experiences and also some of our faves that we’ve seen in our Laurel Denise Loves Facebook Group.  Come along with us through these hacks as we try to optimize the planner game so things get done and you feel good doing it.

  1. Erasable pens/highlighters - PLANS CHANGE, people! Say it louder for the people in the back! Frixion has been a total game changer for us in a world where permanent ink on a page just can’t always be trusted. They’re also so helpful for figuring out how you want your planner to look without totally committing or resorting to those pesky pencil smudges. Here are some pens in action - and here and here.

  2. Placing a U-shaped Brass Page Marker on the tab for the month - These cute page markers are good for a lot, but one of our favorite tricks is to mark the monthly tab guy so that your spread is super easy to open up to when you’re out and about.

  3. Big paper clips - Speaking of page markers, these paper clips are just too functional and fashionable to not be a planner hack. We love to use these to clip our short pages together so that we can skip to the correct week even faster!

  4. Washi tape day divider - We think that one of the best things about our planners is how customizable they are to fit how you need to plan your life. This washi tape is #1 in our books for providing an easy straight line for the visual separation needed to designate time blocking, to-do lists, kiddos’ schedules, you name it. Here is a great example of us doing this hack. 

  5. Putting your Elastic Pen Pouch on the inside of your planner - This trick is helpful if you also use an LD Folio or you prefer to carry your planner around in a bag and don’t want your pen pouch to be compromised by any purse snags.

  6. Speaking of our Folios - it fits ALL of the things and keeps them so nice and protected. Call it your Laurel Denise insurance.

  7. Inserts! - Switching up weekly organization because life isn’t always the same is totally allowed! We have our Horizontal and Vertical weekly layouts available as undated inserts so that you can swap around as needed. Mabby’s major hack is losing all of the weekly inserts and switching to Project Planner Inserts for summertime with her kids.

  8. Using a Pop-In Panel as dashboard - PIPs are awesome for reusable list making space and organizing thoughts, meals, and money, but we’ve found they’re also perfect for keeping those sticky note lists that get moved from month to month. BONUS: Your notes pages can also serve as a dashboard so stickies don’t get lost and are still accessible for the whole month.

  9. Keeping daily to-do lists on sticky notes - We know that it’s not always the most practical to carry your planner everywhere - as much as we want to. So using our sticky notes is perfect for taking little lists on the go in the car or to run errands! Big stickies can also be trimmed down because our new stickies are on the way!!! And totally worth the wait, we promise!)

  10. Writing plans on sticky note before you fill out your month - All the joys of planning ahead with out having to commit to your monthly layout all the way in advance!

  11. Sticky note dashboard - level up your PIP dashboard with a little stash of stickies to have with you always.

  12. Assign your One Big Thing task/priority for the day, week, and month - This trick has been super helpful for us to narrow our mindsets and fight the all or nothing mentality - PLUG!

  13. Cut off the top of the weekly layout in the Horizontal Planner - Nancy revolutionized her 2024 planner and, well, you just gotta see this one.

  14. Store your stickers in your planner folder (but not how you think) - one of our most favorite ideas from your Facebook group, this keeps your stickers organized and prevents all of the slipping and sliding about when you open your planner!


Just because we love you, here are two more hacks we really LOVE since we made the hacks video :)

- Draw a line to visually divide your week from the weekend in a Monday start planner.

- Coiling coming apart? This is the craftiest, quickest way to make sure your planner stays intact.

May your hacks only be helpful and all of these links not leave you with too many open tabs!

xo Team LD