I have said this already, but being organized is really important if you want to minimize stress in your life. This is even more true when you have children with things going on such as school functions or extracurricular activities. One way to get and stay organized is by using a planner. I love my planner. But what is a planner? And is one planner better than the next?
Is A Planner The Same Thing As An Organizer?
Planners and organizers really are the same thing in my opinion. Both are meant to help you plan your day/week/month and stay organized. Different manufacturers just have a different name for their product based off of which they think will sell best.
I call mine a planner because that is what I do with it. I get in there and plan my life day by day and week by week. But in doing so I am able to keep myself organized by having everything right there to refer to as I need it. Otherwise, I would be forgetting appointments left and right. And I am not exaggerating that one. I could lose my head if it wasn’t attached to my body.
Examples of things I jot down in my planner include but are not limited to:
- school functions (I still have 4 kids in school. There’s no way to remember all of that.)
- my and my family’s doctor’s appointments
- errands I need to run
- bills to pay each week
- menu ideas
What Are You Looking For In A Planner?
Not all planners are created equally. So before you can decide on one to buy, you need to think about what exactly it is you are looking for. There are a variety of functional planners out there. The same way they vary in quality and content, they vary in price.
Some planners or organizers are essentially blank and you customize them yourself. It’s like looking at a template so you have some idea of where to start. I have seen many sticker packs for planners so that you can customize exactly how you see fit. Some brands of planners even have their own stickers that correspond with each style of planner.
Everyone loves printables, right? If you do, then you will be happy to know there are free, printable organizers as well. You just have to find the one that fits your needs the best. Get yourself a cute binder to place your printables in, and you’re all set.
Other planners are all laid out and ready for you to start writing your life down on paper. But they are all laid out differently, so it’s fun to find the one that you like the best. Do some research to see what is out there before you decide on what you want.
Many of the YouTube vloggers that I follow do planner reviews. This is a great place to start doing your research. I must say some of these planners are pretty spendy. But they are beautiful. They come in a variety of themes. These planners are very sturdy and have high quality paper.
You can find themes that are aimed at particular religions that include religious holiday pages, church services, prayer times, etc. These planners include pages for each major holiday so that you can plan your holiday meals and other ideas all in one place. Goals for the year, monthly budgets, weekly meal plans, and pages for your children’s school information are some other cool things you can find.
By the way, that is another thing to consider when choosing your planner. Do you need a daily, weekly, or monthly planner? They are all different. However, the ones I have seen in these YouTube reviews include all of these components in one planner. You really get more for your buck with these pricier planners.
When I say low end I don’t necessarily mean cheap. Although you can find planners for a buck or two at your local dollar tree, dollar store, and even Walmart. I just mean that these planners on the lower end of the price range don’t include as much detail.
My planner, for instance, doesn’t include cute, holiday themed pages to keep track of Christmas gifts and holiday recipes. But that’s OK. My planner is one color scheme throughout. But it does include pages for notes, and several pages for important information like contacts and passwords.
Planners come in a variety of sizes. They have smaller, pocket sized ones. They have some that are roughly 5 X 7 which will still fit in a purse or bag. Mine is a little bigger than a standard sized notebook. I picked this bigger size so I can see it easily and have plenty of space to write in the squares of the calendar. It is also pretty sturdy, and it includes a monthly spread as well as weekly pages so that you can plan out your entire month by week and by month.
What do you need in a planner? Big? Small? All the extras or just the bare minimums? The choice is yours for the making. And as I said, just because one is cheaper or more expensive than another doesn’t mean it is of better or poorer quality. Weigh your options and see what you need to plan your life to avoid stress. Even if you aren’t prone to stress and can fly by the seat of your pants, it never hurts to be organized. There are just so many things one can use their planner for. Birthdays, reunions, appointments, or even just motivational notes to oneself.
There are many, many different planners out there. But the two main ones that I would suggest would be the Erin Condren planner and the Mormon Mom Planner by In The Leafy Treetops. They are very comparable in quality, but the Mormon Mom Planner offers just a little more.
One difference between the two is that the Erin Condren Planner weekly spread goes from Monday to Sunday while the Mormon Mom Planner weekly spread goes from Sunday to Saturday. Both of these planners offer vertical as well as horizontal weekly spreads.
They also have an academic version of each which is based on an academic year. Each planner even has beautiful covers to choose from. AND, you can personalize your cover with Erin Condren. So take your pick and start planning. Keep an eye out for my Mormon Mom Planner review that will be coming shortly.