Not sure where you came from already, but here you are!
I’m not mentally in the groove yet. I mean, it’s barely past Epiphany and my foyer is lined up with naked Christmas trees and plastic bins that jingle when you pick them up.
But, I’m getting there.
I’ve got my planners for the year so that’s something.
Actually, a HUGE something because it’s like the planner landscape has just exploded in the last couple of years.
I remember when I was in high school and college, having a student agenda with a red plastic cover. It was the same book each year, just with new dates. I LOVED getting a new one each summer and personalizing with stickers and colored pens for the upcoming year. It was a set point to launch into hopeful success.
Then when Palm Pilots came out (remember those?) I hopped on the digital wagon and never looked back. Syncing to my computer became my muse and my crutch.
Now that I’m juggling SO many priorities for multiple work clients and family, my head was going to explode trying to keep it all in my 2.5” x 4” screen.
So I went old school.
I still keep my schedule on my desktop, ipad, iphone and notebook, but I’ve offloaded almost everything else to paper. I started that a year ago and it works for me. My paper planner is my daily to-do list. I break down my big goals into steps and schedule them into my calendar and that’s what holds me accountable. With so much to remember, I need to have it laying open and always available, otherwise, I’m in and out of waking my phone and unlocking it all day. Or distracted by pinging email.
Apparently I’m not alone either. While sales of desk pads and wall calendars has declined, sales of appointment books and planners has gown from 2014 – 2016, according to a consumer research firm. (Source: NYT)
It’s also noted that the time it takes for one to actually write out something, reframes and allows for deeper thought than the speedy click type of stashing it digitally. (Source: QZ.com)
So if you’re like me and need a space to let go of everything you’re trying to remember instead of turning your phone back on, you may like what I have to show you today. I’m featuring some ingenious planners from Texas moms, as well as some work-related and family planners. Here’s what’s on my desk:
I have long been a fan of Wylie-based Carrie Elle designed planners and this meal planner was my gateway tool. Coming from someone who prints recipes from online and shoves them in a stack with my cookbooks, this will change my life. I’m constantly trying to keep weekly meals in my head but now I’m letting it go to paper. These beautiful planners have not only tabs for weekly weekly meal plans, but also gatherings and resources. They have freezer and pantry inventory pages, perforated grocery shopping lists next to the menu, and a pocket for all my print outs that are favorites. They even come with stickers for pizza or taco night, and more. (Carrie Elle: $35)
My next love is also from Carrie Elle is the Spend Well budget planner.
I’m trying to be more cash aware by using my debit card less. It’s so easy to just swipe away and not think about how you’re spending that cash. The Spend Well planner builds on that theory by offering space for all your monthly budget items. You use it by determining your budget for each category and putting your monthly cash in the envelope. When you spend something, you write it out on the category page. When the money is gone, it’s gone. (In case you’re wondering, it’s compatible with the Dave Ramsey system for money management principles.) It’s spiral bound for to accommodate lots of expansion and chock full of envelope pages that will hold up to 20 bills. It comes with extra sticky note journaling pages too. And gosh, it’s pretty! (CarrieElle.com $25) Visit the website for lots of great planners and tools. 😉
For my work like, I’m trying out a couple of new planners this year.
This may not get you excited, but it does me! The Epic Blog One Year Editorial Planner. I’m super impressed with its straightforward approach to organizing what can be a hot mess of analytics, social accounts, themes and content ideas. While this won’t directly effect all my readers, I’m hoping that a more purposeful approach to the content I offer you will make this website more valuable. Yay me. (Amazon.com $14.80)
Next up: Your Best Year 2017 planner by Lisa Jacobs. Specifically designed for the uniquely creative mind, this productivity workbook is designed for online entrepreneurs to help them focus on successful growth and profit strategies. While I haven’t dove into it yet, it looks to be great for anyone who sells anything online and was a standout among the other similar that I found. (Amazon $17.99)
These next planners are for your tiny humans.
For my mini me, I’m loving these custom kid’s planners from The Woodlands-based Planners4Kids.com. When we were shopping for school supplies this fall, I was became nostalgic about my sticker-filled planners of the 80’s and impulsively bought a cute planner for the Cupcake. I thought it would be a good exercise for her to start understanding her commitments and daily schedule. I mean, even in 3rd grade, she has spelling tests and each day is a different special that might require tennis shoes or not her best dress in the case of art day. We won’t even talk about her many sports games, girl scout booths and DI. What I love about these is that they have an “About Me” page that they can fill in which she’ll love, and is full of stickers for her activities and things like: library books are due, dentist appointments, birthday parties and play dates. On the monthly view, it has fun prompts on the side such as, “draw yourself in your favorite outfit,” or “Ways my family shows they love me.” She can even customize the cover and it has drawing pages and a memory pocket in the back. (Planners4Kids.com $25)
And guess what, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have the perfect planner either. There are tons of free downloads you can use to test drive the paper planner lifestyle and see if it’s for you. Check out this printable page from AMomsTake.com is a smaller version of a lifestyle planner (but you can print it in letter size, and even A4 if you like).
Here’s an example of a Project Planner you can download from Clementine Creative to help organize your thoughts for bigger to-do’s.
I also like this habit tracker from ClementineCreative.Co.Za although my habits are mostly bad and need to be broken, not made, lol.
With the planners offerings so abundant these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Don’t worry, I have a few tips to help you choose the perfect one here.
How do you plan your life? Are you digital or paper?
This post may contain a few affiliate links, but all were chosen by me because I love them!