organization

Best Monthly Planner To Keep Your Life Organized

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
  • chores
  • 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.

 

High End

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.

 

Low End

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.

 

Decisions

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.

 

Suggestions

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.

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Best Monthly Planner To Keep Your Life Organized

  1. Michelle,

    I must admit, I am currently in limbo. I have used a planner for years to keep myself organized. I tried a Palm Pilot back in the 90’s and thought I was “rad.” Now with smart phones having replaced those devices and Google calendar being my hero. I find I am duplicating my efforts. I am wondering what your thoughts are on giving up the paper-based planner and going digital?

    There’s times where it’s just nice to have the paper to be able to flip back and forth between pages. But I like getting reminder notifications from my phone. Argh! What should I do?

    1. You make a great point about going digital. But it has never been my thing. Maybe if I did it and saw the convenience of it. But I’ve always done pen and paper so as you said I can just flip back and forth. I guess my fear of the digital aspect is what if my reminder doesn’t go off (I’ve actually had this happen) or what if my device won’t work and I can’t get to my calendar. Maybe that’s silly thinking, but for me the old fashioned way is more convenient, lol.

  2. Hi Michelle – This is a really useful post. For years I have been picking up planners and starting to use them, only to find they don’t work for me because I guess everyone wants something specific.

    I will watch your site with interest in the hope that I find that one planner that really fits. I know it’s out there.
    Very interesting topic, thank you!

    1. Nick, I know exactly what you mean. I took awhile picking one myself because I wanted all the bells and whistles but didn’t want to pay for it lol. So mine only costs about $8 and it will serve the purpose. It just wont be as cute. But functionality is the most important thing. And like I said I did see some that you customize yourself. That’s just not something I have time for. Good luck finding one to fit all of your needs.

  3. This is very unique. Never knew that Planners also have high end & low end and themes. I usually pick up a simple (low end, I guess) at the beginning of the year, but for sure, I cannot do without one.
    Now I shall scout for high end ones, too. 🙂

    1. There are so many to choose from it was almost impossible to decide. It just comes down to what you need and like! I know the Erin Condren series is nice as well as the mom on the go planner. Those are a couple I looked at.

  4. Great post Michelle.
    I’ve gone all digital over the past few years and while I miss the pen to paper planning, I find it easier to share plans with family and friends.

  5. Hi Michelle,
    A very useful post. I have in the past done the paper planner.. some and some digital on my phone. It is a bit confusing having both sometimes but you do make a good point that if for some reason you are unable to access your digital version, the paper one will always be there, as long as you don’t miss place it…
    Great read. I will need to rethink paper vs digital.

  6. I definitely like to stay organized and a planner is a great way to do that. I am more into a full size planner and it does not have to come with any type of theme.

    I like a simple planner that has the days of the month so I can easily just plan out my days and weeks in advance. Thanks for sharing these options.

  7. I prefer the simple paper and hard cover agendas! 🙂 The ones with the daily pages and hours, nothing else. I just note down all my appointments. The rest of the daily tasks I write in post-its and have them around so I can remember everything I have to do. Some one like you have would make me even more confused 😀 Great writing you have with great tips!

    1. Helga, I understand what you mean. Some people need to see it in their face, lol. And I agree that post its are a great idea because as they say out of site out of mind. And I don’t always remember to pull out that planner. So, good comment. I love post its!

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