My my my....there are so many out there! The top cult favourites are: Midori Traveler's Notebooks, the Hobonichi, Filofax, and Erin Condren. I have tried all three except the latter. I am currently using Hobonichi and Filofax. My midori is away in my drawer and collecting dust. However I use my smaller Passport size for my sketching. I got into planners/agendas late 2015 when I was putting together a vision board for myself. But less about me and let's chat about the Midori Traveler's Notebook.
Two words: notebook customization. Midori is a notebook system that allows you to customize the organization of multiple notebooks in one. You can have up to 10 notebooks (at extremes) if you like. The notebooks are held together with elastic bands and by adding more bands you can expand the number of your notebooks. Since I am a designer, I took to designing my own notebooks. This way I can customize to my hearts content!
My current favourite is the Filofax. The beauty of this ringed planner is that pages are easily removable allowing customization to an extent as well. The key for this type of planner is finding the right inserts that would work with your planning routine. Yes, how did you guess -- I once again resulted to designing my own inserts. I had a lot of fun with this (you can see some shots of the inserts on my portfolio page). From shopping lists to habit tracking...the possibilities are endless. I'm still coming up with more ideas for inserts - maybe it's time for a blog planning insert!
Lastly, the Hobonichi! This planner is very versatile in it's uses. It has grid pages and allows for art journaling, daily planning, or just anything really. I mostly use it as an art journal as the pages allow for watercolour though only light washes. Some users love the crinkling of the Tomoe River paper and others detest it. It is however very thin and takes non-alcoholic markers very well. Often there are no bleeds on the Tomoe River paper. My hobonichi has helped me to draw something everyday and helps me keep memories throughout the year.
In conclusion, the journaling world is so much more than just keeping a diary. With so many stickers and washi tapes out there, how can one resist buying into the planner world? (If that's not your thing it's completely fine of course!) But having a planner definitely helps me to stay on top of things and see where I spent most of my time. The stickers and beautiful washi tapes remind me of my childhood sticker collection.