Thursday, June 13, 2019

It's a planning frenzy for this organization nerd...

Happy almost-summer everyone! It *finally* feels like spring here in WNY, just in time for summer, yay. :-0 But it's been lovely, truly, albeit a bit rainy. But we need the rain for the flowers and plants to grow, yes?

I have an organizational topic for us to share today, and although that may sound totally uninspiring, I have to tell you that the excitement of all of this has taken over my life, and I'm not being sarcastic. 😂 I've *really* enjoyed my foray into the previously unknown-to-me paper planner world, and picking something out for myself. Yes, I still use a paper planner. Although I do use the Google Calendar on my phone, I still thrive only when having something physical to look at when planning my days and weeks. I'm also a daily to-do list maker, and I love the ease of keeping all of that in one place.

This all got started because I forgot to put my order in during the pre-order phase for a new Blessed Is She planner, which is what I've been using for the past 2 years. That is a fantastic planner. Since I missed the pre-order, I thought to myself: "maybe I'll take a look at what else is out there." Well.

*falls down YouTube rabbit hole*

I had no idea that there were planner launches twice per year (fall and spring), planner conferences, and people who make planning and decorating their planners with stickers a full blown hobby. Scrapbooking is certainly a hobby, and this seems to be an offshoot of that, so it makes sense, but I had just never thought about it before. Although I don't see myself taking up the scrapbooking path, I'm quite fascinated by those who do. And there are so many planner options! Layouts, daily/weekly/monthly options, vertical vs. horizontal, to-do list placement, meal planning head was spinning, but after my first lunchtime YouTube marathon, I felt all invigorated.

Let's do this! :-0

I knew that what I was looking for was a planner with an hourly layout for each day (I absolutely NEED this for my sanity with my crazy, always evolving teaching schedule each fall and spring semester, but also to keep track of meeting times, appointments, and other good stuff like that) but I also like to see the entire week in one shot. This is apparently called a weekly planner with hourly layout (who knew?) and they're actually not as prevalent as I thought.

Weekly planner with hourly layout

Before I fell down the YouTube rabbit hole I was looking on Amazon, and almost none of the ones I found had this sort of layout. The big planner companies (that I didn't even know existed prior to this little adventure) all do, but I had to know the name for what I was looking for. Once I got that figured out, the video watching continued in earnest, and I eagerly lapped up videos of women unboxing their new planners (which is definitely a THING, believe you me), as apparently I was just in time for the nationwide academic year planner launch. I prefer academic year planners, to be sure. As a person who went to school for many, many years, they are uber comforting to me, like a solid old friend, and as I now work on a college campus, the academic option that begins in July or August each year works perfectly for me. I found that there were all these planner companies with enthusiastic followers filming videos on how awesome their planners are, and I admit it, I got caught up in Planner Frenzy. :-0 I'm telling you, I really had fun with this. Happy Planner, Emily Ley Simplified Planners, Inkwell Press, Plum head was spinning with all of the customization options, and all of the beautiful planner covers. I had no idea that I could become so overwhelmed picking out a planner. 😂

I ended up ordering an Erin Condren Life Planner, which is apparently the Cadillac of planners. I chose the academic year start, hourly layout, a neutral/pastel color scheme for the interior, and I customized my outside cover. It just arrived yesterday, and I'm kind of in love with it:

This planner is the cutest size ever (7x9), has a SUPER sturdy laminated cover and awesome, indestructible gigantic coil that this company is known for, absolutely gorgeous, thick paper that pens do not bleed through, and I just CAN'T EVEN with how much I love it. I have my beloved hourly spread for each week, to-do list area for each day PLUS one on the side where I can put weekly tasks that don't need to be done on a specific day, note and goal pages for each month, a cover with fall leaves that is absolute perfection, and it even has my name on it. 😍 I mean, I LOVE it. It comes with pockets, a separate perpetual calendar to keep track of birthdays and holidays, and a snap-in ruler to keep your place. I also purchased a separate snappy-in thing (this is called a DASHBOARD, I feel so fancy and planner savvy 😎) that lays out meal planning for an entire week, with grocery list on the back, and it's WET ERASE (sorry to keep shouting, but this is all just so INGENIUS) so that it won't smudge, and some wet erase markers. I am in NERD HEAVEN, I cannot even tell you. It does come with a few seasonal stickers, and so I went wild last night applying them to their correct holidays and occasions. I don't even recognize myself anymore. 😂

Cute extra pouch I bought to keep all my pens, markers, and other planner supplies in

I have been really enjoying this, for sure, and I'm all motivated to keep better track not only of my own stuff, but appointments and other commitments for the kids (which grow and grow the older they get, it seems) that we usually only keep on the family monthly calendar in the kitchen. But then...sometimes I forget about those things, and you know, I need to ferry them there, so I need to know those things! I'm slowly filling in my calendar for July and August with Anne's Girl Scout camp dates, Henry's high school work study schedule, basketball camp, and altar serving dates. It's definitely a calming experience for me, and is helping me to not feel like I may cry all the time with all of the changes happening right now in our lives.

How do you keep track of your daily and weekly schedules? Do you use a paper planner or another system? If so, you KNOW I want to know what type of planner you have, what features you like about it, and photos would be even better. 😍 Post in the comments!


  1. I could never get into paper planners. I think my life is just too boring b/c I never had anything to really write in them and I felt bad for them being empty.

    Then about 3 years ago I learned about Bullet Journaling. Which was perfect for me because it was a DIY so I could design it the way I needed for my schedule. I used a happy planner one year. Then last year when I got an ipad with an apple pencil I started digitally planning. I can't decide if I like it or not ha. for next year i'm looking for a catholic pdf planner I think I might get the catholic sistas one.

    But last year I got super into youtube videos on planners and it's crazy what is out there! You could seriously spend hours watching different planner videos. I like watching Sara Marie she talks about planners and is an accountant like me. :)

    For Christmas I got a Cricut paper cutter and I really want to learn how to make stickers to sell on etsy but I just haven't had a change to figure out how to yet.

    1. oh gosh, so much good fodder in here, Beth Anne. :-0 I've always had a paper planner, but I've only used it a lot since I became a librarian. I still don't understand bullet journaling, which is ok, a person can't have every planning thing, ha ha! And I agree that sometimes you need to try new things as you discover what works for you, and that may be different from year to year, or different seasons in your life.

      OMG the planning videos have me obsessed, LOL! I watch them all the time when I eat my lunch now!

      OOO, I hope you start making stickers! I would buy some! :-0

  2. This was me two years ago! Welcome to the club LOL I'm coming to you after reading your post on Catholic Mom then switching over to your site to see what's there. I'm a recovering scrapbooker and have used an Eric Condren teacher planner for work and home life. I have purchased way too many stickers and pens; and use "sticker therapy" as a way to be in a calm place when my life is crazy. I open to the next month and go crazy! I like the academic year, too, for obvious reasons. September is really the New Year for me. In the fall, however, I plan to use the Happy Planner. My BFF used it and loved it and I thought I'd give it a try just to see what's out there. The major selling point was expense and being able to move or put in pages. I'm also a voracious reader. Keep writing! Happy summer!

    1. Hi Marisela, so happy to have you here! oooo, so excited to hear about your planning journey! I can totally see how stickers are not only fun, but also calming with giving a person a sense of beauty and control when life seems overwhelming. You'll have to tell me how you like Happy Planner after you start using it, especially as compared to Erin Condren! I'd love all the deets!

  3. I had no idea there was that much out there related to planners. I use a paper planner but I like basic planners best. For me a planner needs to show a week at a time and not have the hourly feature. It also needs to fit in my purse so it needs to be on the small side.

    1. Hi Melanie! A week at a time is an absolute must for me, too, so a daily planner would never work as my sole gig. A lot of people prefer the layout you mention, no hourly spread, but a whole week with either horizontal or vertical boxes for each day that you divide up as desired. 😊 It's all so interesting!


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