Everyone loves opening a new planner. Planning systems mean the promise of an organized life, better time management skills, and even a clutter-free home. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, working mom, have young children or older kids living at home, you need a planner that works for your lifestyle.
But with all the planning choices out there, how do you know which type of planner to use?
When starting a planning system, you want to use something that will help you organize all the things:
- task lists,
- schedules and calendars,
- budget (bills, vacation budget, savings accounts, expenses, monthly finances, etc.),
- meal plans,
- cleaning routines,
- and EVERYTHING in your life into one handy binder.
The point of a planning system is to stop overwhelm and keep you organized. But if everything is scattered or if no one else in your family is able to use your system, it won’t be helpful.
Every planning system, both paper and digital, is different, and there are pros and cons to each type. The key is to find something that works for you and your family.
There are several different layouts to choose from. The most common paper planner options are daily, weekly, and combination layouts. Depending on how you use your planner, one might be better than the other.
Do you have a schedule that changes daily? Try using a daily plan. Most daily plans are set up so that you can time block. List your appointments, activities, and even some of your tasks on the daily plan.
If you have a schedule that stays the same every day, try using a weekly layout. If there’s anything unusual or if you need to note certain tasks, like picking up your son from school on a Wednesday, write those on the day.
A great physical weekly planner is the Living Well Planner.
If you want a customizable, flexible planner, choose a printable planner like the Organized Motherhood Planner. The Organized Motherhood Planner has two types of daily layouts (perfect for both SAHMs and working moms). It also has a weekly overview layout and monthly pages so you can still plan your week and month in advance.
You can print the pages you need and save space and time by creating a perfectly tailored planner for your busy schedule.
Paper planners are simple to use. There’s no learning curve, and you can get started quickly.
Using a paper system helps you remember things easier. Studies have shown that you remember things that you write (that’s why you’re able to remember most of the items on your grocery list, even if you leave it at home).
How good is your memory? While writing things down helps you remember, you might not remember to bring your planner with you everywhere.
Size matters. Some planners may be bulky or too big to toss in your purse as you run errands. When deciding which type of planner to use, consider how often you’ll need to reference your planner when you’re on the go.
If you struggle to remember to carry your planner or if you want a slim design, the Rocketbook Panda Planner may be the perfect option. It’s thin, has reusable pages, and syncs to your favorite app, like Google Drive, OneNote, Slack, and more.
Digital Planning tools
If the thought of writing everything down or carrying one more thing makes you want to run for the hills, a digital calendar or planning system might be the way to go.
Digital planning systems can be as simple or as complicated as you make them, and many are created for non-techie people.
If you’re considering a digital planner, you first need to decide what you want to accomplish with your planner. Do you want a task list manager, a reminder system, a calendar, a digital filing cabinet, or something else?
When it comes to digital planning, the trick is to find a system that multiple people can use and access. It’s especially helpful to use digital systems for family calendars and home management, like setting reminders for appointments or changing the furnace filter.
Digital planning systems cut down on paper clutter. Instead of having scraps of paper outlining your to-do list, you can type it into a digital planner. Once you’ve completed everything on your checklist, you can even copy the checklist and reuse it.
It’s also easy to make changes to your schedule with a digital planner. You can easily move tasks around, assign them to other people, and reschedule them.
In today’s technical world, you’re never far from a digital calendar. Many systems are available as apps for your phone as well as websites that you can access from your computer.
Technology is a distraction. It’s so easy to go on a rabbit trail, especially if you use your phone as your planner. Also, while some systems are user-friendly, others are not. Digital planners may require a learning curve, and they make take time to learn how to use.
Looking for a way to organize everything in your life? Whether you decide you need a paper planner or a digital planning tool, a life planner will help you simplify you life and keep everything in one place.
The Living Well Planner is a great done-for-you paper planner. With goal setting sections, monthly and weekly calendars, daily meal planning boxes, and budgeting worksheets, it’s everything you need to organize your life.
However, if you’re looking for a simpler solution that’s tailor-made for your needs, consider a printable home binder that you can organize yourself.
Get the Organized Motherhood Home Binder for an all-in-one planning system.
Simplify your budget, cleaning routine, medical information, and more in this printable home organization binder.
Whether you decide to choose a printable, physical, or digital planner, spend some time deciding how you’ll use your planner before making your purchase. Also, consider what you need to track and plan to simplify your entire life.