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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ready...Set...Let's get planning! The first step to organizing - keeping it all in one place.

When you're thinking of getting organized, what is one of the first things that comes to mind? Oh yeah. Well besides that...finding a planner, right? :)

Are you in search of the perfect planner? Just in case you are, I thought I'd review a few of the ones I've come across in my organizational series. Speaking of that series, I'd like to apologize that it's running about a month late - obviously I need some remedial organizational assistance!

One of the most important aspects of finding a planner is finding one that you like and fits your needs well enough that you will stick with it. Another key is finding a planner that has everything you need so you can keep all your information in one spot - no flipping through several planners or notebooks trying to remember where you wrote that key piece of information. That said, I'm going to violate the second principle just a bit...if you have a business or side project that you need to keep organized, it may work best for you to separate your "home life" from your side projects or business, as long as you are conscientious about keeping everything in its place so you know where it is.

The Busy Body Book
This planner has a unique grid format that allows you to track and coordinate five different schedules at once. Each page contains a week, with weekends having just as much space as weekdays. The opposite page has a blank and lined section for to do lists, notes, doodles, etc. The possibilities are endless - track family member's schedules, school subjects, business or home projects, meal plans, and more. This planner is one that is especially well suited for either home management or business planning, and I could easily see myself keeping one for work and one for home. The planner includes 2 large pockets, a bookmark, contact pages, shopping lists and a planning calendar. There are several stylish cover designs to choose from, and at $17.95 this planner is very affordable!

The Busy Body line of products also includes a magnetic fridge pad with seven tracking columns and a lined note section. The days are also unassigned, so you can use them whenever you like and the pad is tailorable to any month or year. There is also a seven column wall calendar available, great for displaying and coordinating family schedules, chores, meal plans, etc.

BusyBodyBook products are available at Amazon.com, giggle.com, and several other online and specialty stores.

Mom Essentials
This planner is great for moms on the go - small enough to fit in a purse and with a built in elastic closure you can keep it together wherever you are. This planner includes

  • a week at a glance tear out calendar section
  • a space for contacts
  • to do lists
  • a meal planning section that includes space for both take out and menu planning (menu ideas side by side with a grocery list)
  • a notes section
  • a pocket for any miscellaneous items you need to keep safe
In addition, there are a variety of funny post it notes for added reminders or leaving notes for others.

Mom Organizer

This stylish wall calendar comes with a large space for the details of each day, reminder stickers, a chore chart, and space for emergency and contact information. A storage pocket helps keep important documents handy. For added fun, you'll find a list of unusual holidays such as national popcorn day and international talk like a pirate day listed on the inside cover.

My Daily Bubble

This planner uses the power of bubble maps to help you gain control over your to do lists and creatively map out your life. One side of each page is a lined list of items, the other side is a bubble map. This planner is great for brainstorming about projects and coordinating schedules. Planner pages are attached like a Rolodex, so you can add, subtract, or rearrange easily. The Bubble Planner site has some great tutorials on using bubble maps and goal setting, as well as inspirational videos and tutorials.

The Daily Seed WholeBook
This book is like a planner and a life coach rolled into one. Arranged seasonally, each book contains planning pages and worksheets for a quarter of a year. Designed to help mom's take a balanced look at each aspect of life, these pages include space for a morning and evening ritual, self care and relationships, visions/goals for the future and more. The introduction includes information on how to get the most from this book, and how to coordinate the "have to-s" with your values and goals to create a life you are passionate about.

Sarah Pinto Weekly Planner
If you're looking for a simple, stylish and green planner that will fit in your purse, this planner is for you! Each week is divided into two pages, with a space for appointments and to do lists for each day, as well as a note section for each week. These planners are printed on high quality recycled paper using soy based ink, and are made in the USA. A portion of the proceeds for each of the beautiful "Tapestry" planners goes to California Pacific Medical Center Pediatric Cardiology.

What kind of planner do you use? What do you like/dislike about it? I'd love to hear what's working for you, and what you'd like to see that you haven't found yet!

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Noah's Mommy said...

Hey SITSsta...my first time to your blog...and boy did I stumble upon it on the right day....I was just saying how badly I need a planner to get me organized...thank you sooo much

californiagirl said...

I agree having a planner is definitely needed! It helps immensely.

mommytoalot said...

Wow, I hit the jackpot with your blog. I so need to get organized. I use my planner all the time. If I lose it or misplace it I am totally lost.
Great post!

annie kelleher said...

wow i can see i will have to take some time and read your blog carefully! these are great tips!2 im always trying to be better organized!!! thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a ncie comment! pleasedtameetcha as they say where i come from! :)

Mel said...

oh planners are awesome, i use the one on my computer...you know what i really want is a coupon holder that is laid out in the same way the grocery store is...

you are always a wealth of information on planning and home stuff...

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Planners are a MUST HAVE! Great post! :)

CC said...

I still don't have an organizational system that I really like. grrrrrrrr.