July 10, 2017

Professional Post-Grad Planner + Coupon Code

Why the Plum Planner is the PERFECT planner for college, graduate school, internships, and work! Plus, use my code for 10% off your next Plum Paper Planner!! | brazenandbrunette.com

It's the best week of the summer!! AKA the week that I got my new planner in!! In undergrad, I'd always get excited to use my planner and then slowly stop using it after the first few weeks of class. But since then I've realized that the reason why I stopped using it was simply because the planner I was using wasn't cutting it. Which is why I'm a Plum Paper superfan. If you're new here, you can check out my post comparing Lilly Pulitzer Planners, Kate Spade Planners, Erin Condren Planners, and Plum Paper Planners and my follow-up post comparing The Happy Planners, Day Designer Planners, and Passion Planners. 

Anywhoo, back to this year's planner. As you may know, this past year I have switched to I guess two planners— using the iStudiez app for class assignments and using my PP planner as more of a life planner. I ended up having to use an app for my assignments because 4 out of 5 of my classes ended up getting way off from the syllabus so the "move assignment due date to next class" feature ended up being a necessity since my planner was getting scribbled all over it and I ended up having a hard time knowing what I was supposed to actually be reading. 

Related: How I use the iStudiez app and my Plum Paper Planner together

Why I love Plum Paper

This is my third year ordering a PP planner and each time I get a new one I'm reminded of why I love these so much. The plastic cover before the designed cover on my first planner was slightly opaque and kinda hid the design so I'm glad that they've switched to a much clearer cover. The two covers itself is a great idea because the clear one keeps your design from getting ruined by accidental spills or pen marks.

I reached out to Plum Paper Designs and they were so nice to give me another coupon code for y'all to use again. So use BRAZEN10 when checking out (expires 1/31/18 ) and get 10% off your order 😃 One thing I'll say is that now is the time that everyone is ordering theirs for the new school year so order now because if you wait until August your planner might not get to you before the first day of class. 


Because I've started using an app just for assignments, I knew that I wanted to get my next planner to have a layout that was the most compatible with my setup (I've always used option 1). After trying out the Passion Planner, I learned that I really liked having just a whole bunch of time slots to write out my day (option 2). It saved time so that I didn't have to write meeting times in my planner and I could just write whatever needed to get done at that hour on that time slot. But this wasn't always great because sometimes I just needed to get things done but didn't have a certain time I needed to get it done, so I also was thinking about getting my new planner to have just a bunch of blank lines (option 3). But then I got to thinking about how really I could get by with just the monthly layout (option 6) since I don't seem to be using the daily pages near as much. Of course after this my next though was well if you're going to do that you might as well just get the fitness layout (option 5) and instead of writing down daily assignments I could keep up with my calories throughout the day. Yes I realize this is level 5 over-thinking it, but I can't help my mind.

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

In the end, I decided to try out the new horizontal layout for a few reasons. First off, I decided that I still want daily pages even though this won't be just an assignment planner anymore. Secondly, I really liked the Day Designer planner and it had a layout very similar to this. Third, I'm not taking any classes my spring semester and am instead working for class credit so I needed something that could be versatile enough to be useful the fall semester when I am in class and the spring semester when I'm working. Overall, I think this split-side layout will end up being really great for both uses. 

Right now how I'm using it (I'm currently in summer school), is that I'll write down any due dates and my exam dates on the left side. On the right side, I use the box for two purposes since it's so big— the top to keep track of what I wear to work so I keep from wearing the same thing over and over again, and the bottom to keep track of what I eat (lazy calorie counting). The only thing that I'm iffy about on this layout so far is that it doesn't have the weekly and daily checklists like what come with option 3. I usually like to put little to-do's in there so I miss that but I'm making do by putting these in the notes section at the top of the week.

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

Another thing that I like about this planner that other planners like Day Designer, Happy Planner, and Passion Planner incorporate is that it has places for you to write out your ideas at the beginning and then at the start of every month it has a place where you can prioritize your goals to help you accomplish them.

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com


Of course to make this work, I needed a few add-ons too. Since I ended up not getting the fitness layout, I decided to get the fitness tracking section again. I'm starting to get really in to working out every day and have loved having this in my 2016 planner because it keeps me accountable and helps me track my progress. I've been getting in to spin class lately so I love that this has a place for me to keep track of my monthly progress but also the first page is a before/after for me to see how much progress I make overall in the year.

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

Another add-on that I got again is the blogging section. If you have a blog, I highly suggest having this! I credit this for keeping me from forgetting to blog throughout the busy times during the semester. I love how this year they moved the blog stats and expenses to the bottom of each month so now I don't have to flip back and forth through three sections to keep track of everything.

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

In my last planner, I got a to-do checklist at the back of every month and used each little checklist to keep up with my outlines progress and study schedule. But since I'm only going to be making outlines for one more semester (hallelujah) I decided that I probably don't need that this time (but we'll see). This year PP added some dotted pages in the back so I figure that if I do end up needing a checklist, I can make it back here.

Instead, I got a cleaning checklist added for each month. I like how this breaks down the cleaning by room so that I can work on deep cleaning one room each week. And on the back of the checklist there's enough extra space that I can put my weekly checklist (like laundry, dishes, trash) and keep track of that back there. For some reason, having a messy apartment will really add unnecessary stress so my hopes is that this will help me maintain a clean place.

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

The last add-on that I got was a monthly bills tracker page. I used to not need this because I had automatic withdrawal set up for my rent, my utilities, and each of my loans (I'm paying them off a little each month during school to try to keep the interest down). However this summer I realized that automatic withdrawals are too scary for me because the withdrawal dates sometimes come before I have money in my account and I got slapped with a big overdraft fee last month. Plus I realized it also really sucks thinking I have a couple hundred dollars in my account so I think I'm fine and then next thing I know my card's getting declined because I forgot about all of this money getting sucked out of my account. But I still want to be a responsible adult and not miss a payment so this was a must for me.

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com


Yet another way where I overthought this planner. I have loved the designs of both of my planners each year, so when I saw that they re-vamped them (new version of my '15 design and new version of my '16 design) I seriously considered getting them again. I'm obsessed with how my planner looks so honestly as soon as I saw that they had an updated version of it, I made a beeline for the cart and was thisclose to ordering it and then last minute decided to actually go through and look at the other designs and I'm so glad I did!! Here's the top six that I had it narrowed down to:

My new favorite designs for the 2017-2018 school year Plum Paper Planner. Plus, use my code for 10% off your next Plum Paper Planner!! | brazenandbrunette.com
one // two // three // four // five // six

What I love about PP is that you can completely customize the front cover! I never opt to get the year just because I add so much that I don't want too much going on. Of course I had to have them add my monogram, just like I do every year. And this year I decided to try something different and get my blog's name across the bottom. I've never added my blog name to my planner before, but I decided why not since I use this for my blog so much.

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com
Check out the cute little notepad they included for free!

professional post-grad planner | brazenandbrunette.com

Planner Tips

The only way a planner can be useful to you is if you actually use it. What I did was get in the habit of taking it out of my backpack first thing when I get in from class. Then I can look over it and see if there's anything I need to do. I also am in the habit of "journaling" in it right before bed. I'll record my workouts, my meals, and check off what I've cleaned for that day before I pack it in my backpack. Pick a time to use it and stick with it and it'll be much easier.

Fill it out as much as possible as soon as you get it. Fresh new planners are fun but the funness does wear off after a few months. So while you're still excited, go ahead and mark the first and last day of class, when you should start studying for finals, doctor's appointments, and major things to remember. You can either find a sticker set for these or use washi tape to block days off and just write on it. Make sure to add these days to both your monthly and your weekly sections, just to be double sure you never forget anything.

Keep up with serious and fun goals. Obviously I'm tracking my progress to being healthier and my loan repayments with my planner, but it shouldn't be all serious. I also have a page in my planner that is a bucket list of places to eat/things to do where I live that I'm slowly working through. I also have a page of books that I want to read. What I did for that is drew a simple bookshelf and then drew books in it. Some have titles, and I'll color those in as I read them. I left some books blank so I can fill in any unexpected books I read. Then I can look back on what I've read at the end of the year :)

Add something positive to your planner. I have a whole Pinterest board of motivational quotes and I always write one in the notes part of the page! It might seem silly at first, but I promise you that there will come a time when you're having a rough week and seeing that little pick-me-up note from yourself will make things a little better.

The 4 things I do to set up my new Plum Paper Planner. Plus, use my code for 10% off your next Plum Paper Planner!! | brazenandbrunette.com

Planner Accessories 

I also have a few planner accessories that I highly recommend because they're just so useful! Last year I ordered these college stickers and they have been perfect so I just re-ordered them! They fit perfectly in a PP planner and have stickers for everything from a registration sticker to a book buyback sticker. And the best part about ordering through Etsy is that in the notes to the seller, I always just request that they change the color scheme to match my planner design (so I asked for a pink/purple/baby blue scheme). I also got these planner sticky notes for when I need little things to stand out. The last little thing that I got to decorate my planner is washi tape. I use it to tape off long-lasting events like 4 day weekends or finals week.

And I use my Staedtler pens for color-coordinating with a color for each class, a color for pro bono hours, one for extracurricular activities, one for my work schedule, one for my wardrobe planning, and one for keeping track of what I eat (but I'm extra haha). But another method of color-coordinating that you might consider is one color for meaning that something is due in a week, one color for due in a few days, one for due tomorrow, and one for due now. My pens are also great for making rules or elements stick out in my notes for class. I don't need a separate pen color for meal planning because I use this snap-in dashboard to keep track of my weekly meals and what I need to buy for those meals.

Another thing that I bought for my last planner and get a lot of use from are these bookmark bands. I love this 3-pack because I use one to keep my place for what week I'm on, another to keep my place in my blogging section, and the last one to keep my place in my fitness section. 

My 6 favorite, must have planner accessories for my Plum Paper Planner. Plus, use my code for 10% off your next Plum Paper Planner!! | brazenandbrunette.com



  1. Your Etsy stickers link is broken. Can you please repost or post a different URL? I'd love to see what stickers you are using.

    1. Sorry about that! These are the stickers that I use! https://www.etsy.com/transaction/1181780461?source=aw&utm_source=affiliate_window&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=us_location_buyer&awc=6220_1496543013_1ca8f203c906dd57b77cf10f4f219e55&utm_content=392021&source=aw&utm_source=affiliate_window&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=us_location_buyer&awc=6220_1499799352_268678e9d8ecab46b036a9c470442979

    2. Sorry, but it still won't load for me. :( I think it's because you're linking to a transaction you've had, so it will only load for your account. What is the name of the shop you found yours in? I've found some nice ones in "TheDigiRainbow" and "LilyandLion," was it one of those? Sorry haha I just want to make sure I get stickers in the right size :)

    3. Wow I'm sorry I'm an idiot 🙄 the shop is GYSTplanner just in case this link doesn't work again https://www.etsy.com/listing/272627906/college-planner-stickers-academic?ref=shop_home_active_2

    4. THANK YOU :D :D it worked! I'm super excited. I'm starting my 1L in about a month, and your blog has been such a big help as I try to prepare!

  2. I was wondering if the meal plan dashboard fit well in your PP planner? I also have a PP Planner after reading your review on it! Some of my old erin condren stuff doesn't fit well into my PP so I wanted to make sure!

    Love your blog! It's been so helpful preparing for my 1L year coming up next month!