Planners & Planning {with a coupon for you!}

How do you keep your calendar?

Are you someone who has a whiteboard? Or a physical planner? Or do you keep everything on your smart phone?

I tend to do all of the above. Well I don’t have a whiteboard – but I do have a magnetic notepad hung on the fridge. And I try to put appointments into my phone – the nice thing about this is that if I can remember to set the alerts, then the alerts remind me of what’s coming up.

But still, when it comes down to planning something out, I need to physically write it down. Something about physically writing it down and seeing the words unfold on the page helps my mind process what I’m trying to think. Since I didn’t use a physical planner these past few years, that meant I wrote things down in a million different places – hardly efficient!

This year I decided I wanted to use a combination of a physical planner and my smart phone. AND I was only going to use the magnetic notepad on the fridge for grocery lists! Streamlining in slow motion! LOL!

As I was searching for a planner, one found me! The Mom Planner by Tools4Wisdom. Tools4Wisdom makes a variety of appointment books and planners – including one geared at students and an undated one. The founder of Tools 4 Wisdom shipped it to me in exchange for offering the Christian Mommy Blogger community a 40% off coupon for the month of January. Use coupon code: christianmommyblogger.com

This isn’t something that I do frequently – but since its January, I thought many of you might be shopping for a planner. Hope this helps!

Things to think about before purchasing:
1) This is a notebook sized planner. So it will either need to live in a large tote bag or a desk drawer.
2) It weighs just under 2 pounds. As I started to use it, I got really attached to it – meaning I carried it everywhere! I have a child who plays sports at a competitive level. What this means for me is a lot of time sitting in gyms waiting in between games. So I added it into my bag with all the other stuff (books, snacks, water, etc.) Ouch! I had to pack better. Seems like 2 pounds wouldn’t make a difference but for me it did!

Things I’m enjoying:
1) There’s no wasted space. This is a straight-up planner that fits my style. It doesn’t have extraneous pictures. My last planner gave very little place for planning and had a lot of space used up for mini-biographies on “interesting people”. It was a nice idea, but the planner ended up in the trash by the end of January. The Mom Planner lays out each week with space to write appointments down from 5am-11pm each day. It also has space for the week’s personal goals, family goals, grocery list, extra notes, meal plan and goals for mom, dad and the kids.
2) Planning Materials are populated throughout the spiral bound notebook. The first section of the notebook is called Goals. It includes a series of printables to help yo u hone in on your goals for the year, prioritize them and make a time-bound plan for accomplishing them. The second section is the actual planner. Each month has a full page calendar for you to put in appointments and goals. And then each week has a full page as mentioned above. The final section is called Notes Journal. It gives you space to write down notes and reflections – and then a corresponding action.

What made me really glad I got this planner were the worksheets guiding me through planning. Of course I already had some goals written down for the year, but this helped me focus them better and ask myself some tough questions.

As I really held my goals up to the light of my values, some had to be re-worked. And some I had to get rid of. This was tough – but better now than half way through the year! Next week I’m going to write on goals and planning. Not on making goals, because its so easy to write “to-do” lists and “dream” lists, but on actual planning and follow-through.

The coupon code: christianmommyblogger.com is good through January 31, 2014.

Let me know in the comments how you maintain your appointments and planning!

Comments

  1. What do you use for your blog planning?

    • Hi Tami! Ok so up until the end of the year, I was using discarded notebooks from my kids! You know how kids may have used the 1st third of a notebook. I’d always hate to throw them away so…I’d use those. But I started this year trying to have a set editorial calendar for the month. I have that written out in my planner. This gives me a list of posts, post ideas OR lets me see where I have a spot for which I need ideas. But still, sometimes you just get other ideas! And for that, I’m still kinda writing down what comes to mind. Or using my re-purposed notebooks as idea books. How about you?

  2. I love to plan, but I think I keep my plans in too many places—whiteboard on fridge, calendar for schedule, coupon organizer, blogging notebook. Maybe I should consolidate?

    • Hi Victoria! Same here. Well, using the written planner that has space for notes is my effort to consolidate a little bit. I have times when I know I wrote something down or put something somewhere and then waste time trying to find it. SO I’m trying to get away from that type of inefficiency! If you consolidated, what do you think you would get rid of? I can see how each of those items you mentioned serve a different purpose. Its hard to see what to combine or eliminate.

  3. The coupon code wouldnt work for me…said it was not valid :/

  4. I have a blog planner and a weekly to do household planner (which also has our activities). I could not survive without my planners!

  5. I’m learning to be more organized… As a newlywed, I guess I’m just learning a lot of things everyday. Thanks for sharing this :-)

    • Hi there! Yes its amazing how much more organized one needs to be – both as you walk in this new phase of your life and just as life progresses! Congrats on your wedding! :)

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