I have been homeschooling for several years. (Is it 8? I’ve lost track.) But this year, I am also tutoring Foundations at my Classical Conversations community. I also blog and run a natural products business from my home. So I need a planner that can handle a fair amount of chaos and help me organize all these areas of life. My husband insists that I need to keep my calendar and to-do lists online, but I’ve tried this, and I’m sorry to admit…I can’t do it. I am a paper and pencil sort of gal. I just feel much more in control when I can actually write things down, on actual paper, with an actual pen. Adding fun stickers and colors is also necessary. So if you are anything like me, you will find this review helpful. I spent an inordinate amount of time researching all the planner options on Amazon. Below are my top five. The first one is what I actually bought for myself this year:
I ultimately chose this planner because it has all the features I require and some extra little goodies that I am looking forward to trying. Because I need to maintain separate schedules for kids, work, and family, my most important priority is a planner that has plenty of space for appointments and task lists every day. What I especially love about this planner is that there is one column daily that is labeled with times for appointments and a second column that can be used for to-do lists. There is also a place to prioritize your “top 3” tasks for each day. I can’t wait to try this. I tend to get distracted once the day gets going, and while I know that I’m always busy, sometimes it’s hard to maintain focus on what’s most important. Of course there is also a monthly calendar page. One fun little extra with this planner is that it includes several pages that guide you through introspection exercises designed to help you identify your core priorities, check-in with how you spend your time each day, and set goals for the future. I’m really excited to get started using it!
#2 – Action Publishing Coloring Day Planner
CLICK HERE to Add the Coloring Day Planner to Your Amazon Wish List
It was a really tough decision between the Day Designer and this super cute Coloring Planner. I LOVE to doodle and this planner is perfect for that! There are doodles to color on every page. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that this isn’t a serious planner. There’s a column for each page divided into a place for appointments and a place for tasks. The layout is similar to the Day Designer in that way, except the Day Designer has an entire page for each day and the Coloring Planner utilizes two pages for each week with a single column for each day. The Coloring Planner doesn’t have as many guided planning pages as the Day Designer, but it does have a few pages devoted to goal setting and the like. If you don’t need quite the amount of space per day, and you enjoy being creative, this planner is perfect for you.
#3 – Action Day Academic Planner
CLICK HERE to Add the Action Day Academic Planner to Your Amazon Wish List
This planner has a unique set-up. It features a weekly 2-page spread with a column for each day. On the left side of the spread there is a place for writing tasks for the week and then along the bottom there are two large rectangles for recording goals and tasks to delegate. I don’t know if it is made by the same company as the Day Designer, but it features the same introspection exercises. There are also lined journaling pages and a fabric bookmark for keeping your place.
#4 – Erin Condren 18 Month Life Planner
CLICK HERE to Add the Erin Condren Life Planner to Your Amazon Wish List
The Erin Condren line of planners are ridiculously popular and it’s easy to understand why. They are colorful, fun to use, and have awesome inspirational quotes throughout. You can change the cover whenever you get bored and the tabs keep each month at your fingertips. The weekly spread is set-up horizontally instead of vertically in this planner, with monthly calendars as well. There are also several additional pages for notes and jotting down big plans and goals.
#5 – Well Planned Day Family Homeschooling Planner
CLICK HERE to Add the Well Planned Day Homeschooling Planner to Your Amazon Wish List
I used well-planned day for two years and I loved it. It has enough room to record lesson plans for up to four home school students. It is hands down, in my opinion, the best way to organize home school scheduling and lesson planning. And if you are willing to keep two planners…one for home school and one for the rest of your life…than it may be perfect. That is what I did for the last two years. But I found that managing two planners was getting a bit cumbersome. I wanted to try to keep everything in one book. This is my first year attempting this, so we will see how it goes.
I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these five planners. They all have awesome features and plenty of room to get your life in order. I can’t wait to get started with mine!