Do You Still Love Your Planner?
HOW I FINALLY GOT THE PERFECT PLANNER AND YOU CAN TOO!
Last week I broke up with my planner. It was beautiful in the beginning, but after just a few weeks I knew something was wrong. Something was missing and wasn’t working for me. I had to admit the relationship just wasn’t all that I had hoped and dreamed it would be. Sadly I closed the cover one last time whispering “It was me, not you”.
Have you ever had this experience?
You purchase a new planner and fall in love. You get that amazing feeling that you are on the brink of lifelong organization. Just like a new high school bf with each new planner you are sure this is the one. You will get up early, do your hair, reach your goals, be on time and never miss another deadline. It works for a while but not long and the search resumes.
Like me, you may have tried all sorts of systems; large, small, expensive, very expensive, paper, electronic, bound, rings and discs, but none have the Goldilocks factor we are looking for. None are “just right”.
The size may be wrong, or they are missing sections we need or have too many sections we don’t need. Whatever the reason, no matter how pretty or expensive, we become disenchanted and experience planner envy.
I can help!
Even if your planner is still the love of your life, you will probably find some things below to help sustain your affection. No matter what your current relationship with your planner is, I have found a ton of resources to make it better!
Choosing A Planner – My Story
Right after my break-up, determined to have planner success, I made a list of things I wanted and needed and began my search. First, I knew I wanted a paper planner. There are some amazing apps but I find paper planners faster and more fun. I love the ability to decorate the pages with markers, stickers and washi tape.
I also knew I wanted more than a calendar, a comprehensive “life organizer”. I did a lot of research and found 2 excellent posts comparing planners that you can read here and here. I can’t lie, the Erin Conderan is wonderful and I was seriously tempted by several others, but hesitant to spend that much money with my track record.
The Happy Planner Create 365 with a 40% off coupon at Michaels fit my budget and I love the flexibility of the disk system.
Coupon in hand I went shopping and lo and behold they were on clearance! I couldn’t decide between the large and classic size and since the prices were so great, I got both.
Size Does Matter
I have learned from past experiences, that a 12 X 12 planner is too large for me. I find using it anywhere but on my desk cumbersome, yet the 8x10 can be too small. Size is one of the only planner features I haven’t found a way around, so chose carefully.
Finding The Best Free Printables
This is where the magic and fun begin! From printable pages to stickers, dividers and dashboards, you will find everything you need here to stay in love with your planner for a long time. They are all free and oh my goodness there are so many options! To save you time, I have collected the best of the best.
*Special Note for Erin Conderan and other spiral planner people. If you want to turn your planner into a disc system for more functionality, this is a great how-to video
The Supermom Planner by A Spark of Creativity includes Cleaning Charts & Checklists,
Blank Weekly Menus, Grocery Lists, Today & Weekly To Do Lists, Monthly Budget Log, Medication List, Password Tracker, Online Bill Pay Checklist, Daily Expense Log, Debt & Savings Tracker, Donations Log, Babysitter Information, School Information, Insurance Information, Family Medical Information, Birthdays & Anniversaries List, Chore Charts for kids and plenty more!
Fortypreneur has a big set of pretty pink and gray planner printables. You can download the whole set or pick and choose the ones you want.
The Free Planner 2017 by Shining Mom is a pastel set divided into three major categories: Life Planner, Kid Binder and Home Binder. I especially love the Kid Binder!
The Ultimate Customizable Personal Planner by Green Child Magazine has 81 customizable printables in 2 different colorful designs.
Ultimate Life Planning System by DIY Home Sweet Home is another comprehensive set of printables for organizing your life.
The Project Girl has a complete list of all of her printables. I really like her short and long term goals sheets (link below) and she also has some unusual ones like Blog Brainstormer and Room Design Form.
Ala Carte Printables
Since I work from home now, I wanted a daily docket without time blocks. I also needed a lot of space for “to-dos”. If I don’t write it down, it doesn’t get done.
I like this customizable one by Money Saving Mom and this one from Andrea Dekker. I might also test drive Let’s Get Things Done Today from Team Confetti and Daily To Do’s from Scattered Squirell. For more options you can check out this post 10 MORE Free Printable Daily Planners From Contented at Home.
The Harmonized House – This Home Finance collection includes multipurpose labels, binder labels and tags, annual budget, debt worksheet, monthly budgets, bank accounts, tax deductions and more. They are editable and ready to print …. and FREE!
Frugal Fanatic also has fantastic free budget binder pages here.
Still need another choice? Check out Just A Girl and Her Blog’s Budget Binder.
Goal Setting is not just for January! Many experts recommend setting 90 day goals. If you need help, Mary Shore has an excellent workbook that you can sign up for here.
Living Well Spending Less has a Goal Setting Workbook “that will help you create a straightforward action plan for achieving your biggest goals and reaching your dreams this year”.
Dear Chrissy has a recipe organizer is loaded with over 30 pages to help you plan meals, track food and shop for ingredients.
Blissfull Intent has a Meal Planning Kit with a grocery list I love. It has a section to indicate items you are totally out of as well as a place to put coupons.
Scrimpalicious has a nice concise one page cleaning list.
DIY Home Sweet Home has a daily blank checklist for you to fill in with the chores you want to do each day.
And if you need something not too structured but not too open ended, Smead.com has the perfect House Cleaning Checklist,.
Now that you have your pages set up, you are ready for the next step!
Next week: Free Stickers, Dividers and Dashboards!