I know it’s February, but….it takes me a bit of time to get over the holidays and realize that the year is upon me! And then I have to research…. :)
Isn’t it funny how we tend to adopt an idea or seek after some “thing” hoping it will “do the job.” I’ve wasted years searching for that “holy grail” and have finally come to understand something. It’s not the idea or product that gets the job done, but the person using it! That’s a duh! (Okay, I’m a bit slow.)
Now carry this reality on to our topic of goal setting and planners….
When it come to goal setting and being organized, it’s not the planner, but the “D” word! DISCIPLINE. We need discipline to use any plan well.
A commenter on my post, Goals…and A Planner, A Necessary Part of Success, called it “determined to be disciplined.” I really like that!
- We need to stop striving for the end all – perfection – and instead exert our efforts in being determined to living out our goals.
- It’s the process of getting things out of our heads and onto paper that really help us feel less overwhelmed.
- Then it’s the actual doing that reaps the rewards of goals met. The process is what really gets us to the productive stage.
It’s simply the work of life. We can do this!
We just need a plan, and a place to plan.
Planners Beaucoup! – (hint: /bōˈko͞o/)
Okay, so I promised I’d share what I discovered in my quest to find a planner or goal-setting product that would inspire me to get going this year. (Caveat: even as I’ve researched and launched into my new planner, I’m still learning just how easy it is to get carried away with details instead of just doing the work! Argh.)
I’ve listed some of my results below, both in options and favorites:
Pre-Decorated Planner (My Favorite!) – Mom’s On The Go Planner –
It’s all the trend to embellish planners with stickers, markers, and washi tape. This was new to me, but looked like a lot of work. This planner has all the design work done for me, in a colorful, tactful display! You’ll find these planners at – In The Leafy Treetops. As you can see above, it’s a pretty planner (we girls like that!) complete with lots of creative pages to set goals (and these goals focus on much more than home management, like relationships with family, friends, and God. How great is that?!)
I’m really impressed and think it will help me love my planning time, and remind me of the importance God places on my responsibilities as a wife, mother, and friend. (The creator of this planner designed it for Mormon moms, but offers one for non-Mormon moms. I got the Mormon mom one and will alter the pages designed for the LDS family for my homeschool/Bible study planning for our family.) I love this planner!
- PS – I even bought washi tape and stickers to highlight some of my most important events. Pretty fun stuff!
- PPS – Since using this planner for a few weeks, I can see that having one in a spiral (even though it’s beautiful, strong, and metal) is, for my OCD brain, a bit limiting….yikes…it’s excruciating! But I may take it out of the spiral, punch holes, and put it in my personal, adjustable, comfortable, binder! Ahhh…..smile.) You see, planners are only as good as they fit your personal style! Yes!
Popular Undecorated Planner – Erin Condren Planners –
These planners are extremely popular but expensive! They’re similar in content to the Mom’s On The Go planner, but they are not decorated at all. Just a simple page layout you can decorate if you want a pretty planner. Above is an example of a simple page decorated with washi tape, multi-colored pens, and stickers. Although you can use these planners simply, women have taken scrapbooking to a whole new level with these planners! You’ve got to check out some of these planners here! I guess the scrapbooking crowd just had to have a place to create!
Printable Planner Pages – The Polka Dot Posie
This Etsy shop has some attractive, printable planner pages already designed for you. They’re colorful and simple in design and include: monthly & weekly layouts, plus daily planning pages, notes, lists and journal pages, just the options I like in a planner. These work well if you have a personal, multi-ring planner and you want to arrange your planner to fit your needs. Just print what you need, punch holes to fit your planner, and you’re ready to get organized!
(My penny pinching brain has a hard time wrapping around the copier ink needed to print these, or the cost of going to an office supply store to have them printed. I’ll have to work on that for next year because I still love being able to add a page here or take out one there!)
Basic Planner – The Homemakers Friend
There are many basic planners out there at reasonable prices, like these at Walmart and Target. I prefer to support the entrepreneur so The Homemaker’s Friend is a simple yet cute option and includes Scripture on many pages. It includes general task lists, monthly and weekly calendars, projects/events pages, shopping lists. I really like having a task list on the same page as the weekly calendar. I choose items from my general To-Do list to add to a specific week’s to-do list, planning out what tasks are best for what week. Plus, I really need to have an easy place to jot down those last minute to-do’s that come to mind!
A Few Less Traditional Planning Methods
I may try these on for size in the coming years. They come from creative minds that are less concerned about tradition and seeking to pull from different styles of learning (think right vs. left brain).
Hand Drafted Planner – Bullet Journal
Bullet Journaling is the minimalist method of planning. Call it “freestyle” planning. You call the shots on what your planner looks like, how it’s laid out, what goes on what page and let it grow as the mood or need fits. You’ll find ways to keep your goals, tasks, and planning in easily used pages with: bullets, tasks, notes, events, monthly and daily calendar pages, and pages for collections of information, page numbers and indexing so you can find your all your info easily. Try it, you might just like it!
Brain Dump Style Planner – Planner Pads
Planner Pads has a practical and unique style of planning. I really like it. Just list out your project Warehouse (Brain dump of to-do’s) and funnel them down into the next row – your daily to-do’s. Below that, list our your daily appointments. Simple and easy way to prioritize, organize, and plan life activities.
Life Coach Style Planner – Passion Planner
Passion Planner is a great place to brainstorm and define life goals. It helps you create an action plan to start moving toward them. It offers plenty of space to get focused, declutter your mind, journal, manage your time, and challenge yourself to positively live your dreams.
It’s easy to find a multitude of ideas for planner types and styles. Just Google what type of planner page you’re looking for (weekly, monthly, daily) and wah-lah! Click “images” and you’ll have hundreds of pictures of planner ideas, then click on the image page to find how to use it, where to buy it, or copy for free or a small fee.
Pinterest has tons of ideas for planners, along with many sites you can click on to find ideas and videos to learn the best tips from those who use them well.
To Sum Up
Well, there you have it! I hope my research helped you discover some options for organizing your life. It’s so important to find a planner that fits your personality and needs. Remember….
It’s not about perfect or perfectly organized, it’s about viewing your place in your work and family in a more productive way. When I gain fresh perspective about the necessity of what I do each day and throughout my week, it helps motivate me and gives me confidence to do even better.
I pray you will determine to make this the best and most productive year yet!
The plans of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
Proverbs 16:1, 9