So confession: I'm a huge planner nerd.
Probably not that surprising to those of you who know me. I'm a collector, a categorizer. So I love writing things down in a paper planner. And between the kids' activities (and birthday parties) to a husband who travels often for work to my own business, I have lots to write down in a planner!
I wanted to be an archaeologist for most of my childhood and even majored in physical anthropology at UC Davis. But after going on my first survey expedition in college that included tent camping in the snow, a bear dog, and having our truck break down in the middle of Nevada in some unknown town where the informal tag-line was, "Where men are men and sheep are scared", I decided I wanted a career that was a little less adventurous.
Now don't get me wrong, I still love collecting and categorizing. But now instead of applying this to bone fragments and arrowhead pieces, I'm applying it to information and local goods.
I have a few requirements when looking for planners. First and most important, they must be functional. For me this generally means time-blocking and plenty of space for notes.
So without further ado, here are my five favorite planners for the busy mom raising babies and a business.
I used the Passion Planner for several years and thought it was a fantastic planner. Not only did it allow me to time-block, it also provided space for notes each week, and plenty of space in the back for journaling/note-taking.
And it's more than just a planner, it also has a goal setting guide and monthly reflections, which allow you to set big goals yet remain accountable.
It comes in yearly, academic year, and undated. The undated still comes in two sizes, the compact (perfect soft-bound journal size that fits in a purse) or a massive 8"x11" which really allows you space to plan. New this year for yearly and academic planners is one size -- 7"x10". It also comes in a variety of colors and special edition cover designs.
One of my favorite things about the Passion Planner? Their passion for giving back. As a "Get One, Give One" company, for every planner purchased, they give one to someone in need. They also partner with nonprofit organizations to support causes from education to preserving our planet.
Ideal For: Anyone on an academic calendar, or someone needing to time-block on a large scale.
2. Plum Paper
I used a Plum Paper planner last year and really liked how totally customizable it was. And when I mean truly customizable, I'm not kidding.
The covers are beautiful (and there are so many different options) and the planner comes in your choice of three different sizes (A5, 7"x9", or 8.5"x11") and six layouts (vertical, horizontal, monthly, teacher, student, grid).
The best part? Plum Paper Planner offers add-ons for any area of your life. Seriously, this planner covers it all. Home, meal plans, budget, bill tracking, cleaning, baby, wedding planning, contacts, party pages, brainstorm, meeting notes, mileage tracker, blog planning, direct sales, photography, reflection, gratitude pages, prayer pages, fitness, travel, classes, student contact pages, parent communication pages, behavior log pages, and homeschooling.
I was not joking when I said truly customizable!
Ideal For: Someone wanting a comprehensive, truly customizable planner. A great option for teachers and homeschooling parents. Keeping track of several different family members' schedules (check out the grid layout for this).
3. She Plans
I used the She Plans spiral bound weekly calendar for 2018 and love it! It fits my needs of being compact yet providing enough space to time-block my days and have plenty of space to write down notes for that week.
BUT! She Plans has undergone some massive chances for 2019 and has completely done away with the spiral bound planners. WHAT?! I know. I was quite hesitant when Ashley announced that rather than the traditional planner, She Plans would only be offering disc bound (A5 size to insert into a binder) and quarterly planners. "What even is a quarterly planner?" I thought to myself...
So I checked it out and I have to say, I'm pretty excited for the changes. Rather than having one large planner to lug around all year, it's broken up into 4 quarterly notebook planners. This really coincides with the 90-day planning period that I like to view my business through. I imagine it may be a little strange to carry around two notebooks during the transition times between quarters, but let's be honest, I always have at least 2-3 notebooks plus a planner in my bag at all times. I told you, I really like planners.
She Plans planners come in monthly, weekly, and daily views. And while I used the monthly notebook last year for content calendar planning and the weekly spiral bound planner of my regular business/family planner purposes, I'm excited to try out a daily planner for the first time.
And what sold me on this daily planner is that there is a monthly view and weekly view in addition to plenty of space for each day. I also appreciate that there are goal setting and note pages.
Ideal For: Time-blocking, goal-setting, 90-day planners.
The stunningly beautiful Ponderlily Planner is made with eco-conscious materials and was created to help you plan, pursue and seize the things that matter most to you.
The planners come in six different colors ranging from warm grey to violet to blush, and are offered in weekly dated and weekly undated.
The Ponderlily Planners include space dedicated to writing down intentions, to-do lists, gratitude, and notes. They also include reminders to recharge and are perfect for making self-care and intentional practice in 2019.
Note: Ponderlily Planners are from Newcastle, England so time-blocking is on the 24-hour clock.
Ideal For: Making space for self-care and dreams.
The Bulletproof Business Planner was created by business efficiency coach Yvonne “Yvi” Heimann. Yvi used her years as an entrepreneur and coach, and her knack for efficiency, to create this all-in-one planner.
Not only does the Bulletproof Business Planner provide a daily agenda, it also provides goal setting exercises, simple financial planning and tracking, workout tracker and gratitude journal.The Bulletproof Business Planner is like having a business coach in your purse!
Ideal For: Serious business planners who don't want the fluff and color of other planners and are committed to making goals realities.
Bonus: So this last one isn't really a planner, but I've heard amazing thing about Power Sheets, the one year intentional goal planner. Let me repeat, this is not a regular daily/weekly planner. This is intended to complement your agenda, and to allow you to plan and achieve bigger dreams by writing down your goals, and mapping out to achieve them.
I haven't used these myself, but have heard such raving reviews from friends that I bought my first set this year. They went on sale October 24 and sell out quickly. Power Sheets retail for $58.
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I don't receive a commission for reviewing/endorsing these products. They are all products I have either used personally or have been personally recommended to me by someone I trust.