The Planner Craze!

Hey everyone!  Do you use a "planner" of some kind -- a Filofax, Erin Condren, Franklin Covey or any one of the other popular brands out there?  I do and have since the 70's (okay, don't call me old -- I'm just very mature and have been around the block a few times) when my children were in grade school, and I was one of the few "stay-at-home Moms."  Being in that small and very select group meant I was the chief volunteer for everything that went on in the school -- PTA President, room mother for both kids, Chair for all fundraisers, cookie baker for all parties.....well, you get the picture.  Of course, this was on top of keeping up with Scouts, soccer, piano lessons....whew, I truly had a full-time job that I did not get monetarily paid for, but I did it for my children.  I was involved in so many things that I knew I had to have a way to keep it all organized.  I bought my first planner at that time, and it was not much more than a small notebook to which I had added a calendar; but it saved my bacon many times.  This was kind of the start of my OCD about being organized.  I discovered that I REALLY liked having a place to write all this "stuff" down & even started taking some classes on being more organized.  As I got more into this organization thing, my "planner-needs" grew, and they continued to grow as my children got older, and I joined the ranks of "Moms working outside the home."

Classic Simulated Leather Magnetic Binder - Black
Over the next few years, I went through numerous planners, then Daytimers, & then entered the world of Franklin Covey.  Now these were not cheap, but once I found the binder that I liked, I had it for about ten+ years.  I simply replaced the calendar inserts every year.  I was running a small business at the time, so my FC was by my side at all times.

Then came the electronic planner.  Wow, no more lugging around the big leather-bound tome.  All well and good, right?  It was okay, but I needed that connection with pen and paper and scratching things off my list.  So, for a while, I was actually using both types of planners.  Well, if you've taken any classes on organization, the first rule is to have "one" place for everything, so I chose my old standard paper & pen.

Life had changed, still running a business, but scaled back, so I didn't feel the need for my old faithful Franklin Day Planner.  I was really feeling the need to have pages and sections geared to my life specifically, so I decided to create my own.

I bought one of these plain little 7x9 binders with the clear plastic cover that allowed you to insert your own graphics, photos, or scrapbook paper to make it your own.  I did a bit of embellishing and used this for a good 7 to 8 years.  Got my money's worth out of this little $3.99 notebook!

After I retired, I didn't think I needed a planner any more, but was really lost without some kind of schedule.  The Man thinks I'm kind of crazy, well, a whole lot crazy; but I just function better with plans.  A couple of years ago, I read about ..........
Wunderlist Revisited: Is It the Best GTD App Yet?

It's free unless you want the professional version and can be set up to completely meet your specific needs.  I have this set up with all my "To-Do's " and when they need to be done, all the stores that I frequent with an ongoing list for each one (including grocery stores), plus weekly menu plans -- really just about anything you want to keep track of is available.  And the added plus is that it syncs to all of your devices -- laptop, iPad, iPhone, or any of the other brands as well.  So when I'm out and about and find myself close to a Michael's Store, I just open Wunderlist to my Michael's page and know immediately what I needed to pick up there.  I use it all the time for grocery shopping, too.

This is all well and good, but for this "pen and paper" obsessed person, I still need some kind of planner and decided to unearth my old 7x9 binder.  It was looking rather worn, so I thought I would simply purchase another plain white one and decorate it myself. Off to Staples I went.  Well, right next to the plain and simple were the prettier versions that were still less than $5.  YAY!  Just take a look at the goodies I bought.......

My new binder is right there under the Martha Stewart Tear Drops -- my favorite color, too!

I blame Pinterest because I couldn't just leave the binder as is, I had to embellish a
 bit & add a closure.  I don't really have a need to close it, but this was just such a cute idea!

I love that the entire binder is covered in a heavy plastic and has a pocket inside the front & back covers.  I keep just a few things tucked or stuck on this cover that I can use to call attention to a specific page in my binder.

If you follow my blog, you know my "word" for the year is "SIMPLIFY," so I added it where I can see it all the time as a reminder.

Inside my binder you will find monthly dividers which I have had & used for a good ten years.

I printed my own monthly calendar pages.

I really love daily pages and found this Free download from Judy at Contented at Home.  It works pretty well for my needs & is available in a half-page size.  I simply print them as needed.  To keep my binder from getting too bulky, I run on a 3-month set up -- just past, current & next (right now I have Jan/Feb/Mar).

After my monthly sections, I took some Avery dividers & my label maker & created sections that work for me.

 Blog -- here I simply made up a sheet that works for my simple blogging needs.

Everyday -- this is my family section but also has some subsections, too,

Like these pages I made for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. and......

Special events like Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, Family Reunions, etc.

My Home is where I keep any and all ideas for decorating our home or DIY's we are working on.  I even have a subsection for Christmas 2014!

Hobbies is just that -- ideas for cards, scrapbooking, crochet, sewing, quilting, etc., etc., etc.!

This last section is where I keep a list of websites, usernames & passwords.

I made up my own sheet for this.  Now, just so you know, my binder never leaves the house.  I use Wunderlist when I am out, so my binder stays right on my desk next to my computer.  If I carried it with me, I probably would not include this section in the binder.

I also have one of these pocket pages in each section.  You just never know when you might run across a picture of something you want to remember or an article you want to share.

I added one of these thick rubber bands on the back cover as a place to hold a pen & some extra clips.    Well, there you have it.  My Staples stash cost less than $20, and I've ended up with quite a nice little planner.  It certainly suits my needs, and I've really enjoyed sharing my ideas with all of you.  I would be very interested to hear what your ideas are about planners and whether you use one or not.

I may do another post about how I organize my week and keep track of my "To-Do's."  Being retired doesn't mean I sit around eating bon bons and watching tv all day!

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my life with you!

I may be partying with some of these fine bloggers this week:

The Tablescaper at The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays
Karen at Sew Many Ways for Sew Darn Crafty
Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Mondays
Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons for One Project at a Time
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday
Leslie at House on the Way for Twirl & Take a Bow
Mary Beth at Cupcakes and Crinoline for Project Inspired
Suzy at Worthing Court for The Scoop
Karin at The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday
Kelly at Live Laugh Rowe for Live Laugh Linky Party
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home
Pamela at From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday


  1. I used a Daytimer for years and then the Covey system for a few more years. Right now, because my life has slowed down a bit.....hahahahaha....I work off just a large daily calendar. Sometimes I miss my little scheduling book though. Yours looks great- love that you decorated it up -it looks like a work of art. xo Diana

  2. I need to get one....I'm so forgetful at times, lol! Great idea. :)

  3. I have to write everything down and I use a planner in my home office, a calendar for the family which is hung in the laundry room and I also use my iphone for ongoing lists.

  4. I've never used a planner. I just use a calendar in the kitchen. I'm also the queen of sticky notes. :) I put them up where I know I'll see them. I use the reminders on my phone for almost everything. I even set them to remind me if I need to pick something up when I'm at a store, etc. Last week, I set it to remind me when I got to Walmart to buy some towels. Then yesterday when I walked into Walmart, my phone alert went off and it said "buy towels." So neat! I would have forgotten if my phone hadn't reminded me. :)

  5. I used the Daytimer while I was working. After retirement, I have found that the calendar on the ipad is all that I need. I glance at it every day and it holds all I need for my busy days. Love your ideas!

  6. I started using Erin Condren a few years ago. I really like it just not the price! I like how you made your own so it can be just what you need.

  7. I suppose this is terrible to admit, but I have never quite figured out how to use a planner. I could certain use some lesson in this area. I'm extremely organized in my living space but not with shopping, meal planning (I've never meal planned), or things of that sort. You'd think be 55 I'd be able to do that! Yours is darling and creative!

  8. Ooooohhh! I love that I'm not the only one still who has a binder like this! i have one too Carol! I call mine the Mommy folder! Perhaps not as jam-packed as yours, but still keeps me organized as can be. And though I have the laptop, iphone and ipad, I still rely on my good ol' pocket calendar for all the goings-on in my family and life! I too have a bunch saved and I did enter that planner stage too when I was in HS and college!

  9. Perfectly personalized for you! Makes me think about the mini planner in my purse. It could use a bit of a fresh face.

    Have a lovely week.

  10. I have always been a planner person as well. I do keep work things on paper and my iphone calendar plus we have a family calendar in the kitchen. For now this set up is working but if I take on much more I'll be back to a paper planner

  11. I've never really used a planner but my hubby and daughter live by theirs. My daughter kept one in jr. hi through hi school! ;) I do keep a journal though when we travel.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  12. Wonderful to have you at Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  13. I followed a link from Imparting Grace.

    I am always on the lookout for a good planner! I'm a home educator. I like using my planner for all of the regular stuff and for lesson plans.

    I also like turquoise and may need to go see if I can find that binder. :) I really like how you made it your own.

  14. I love your style Carol...I too am retired and especially retired from the FC planner. It was great for full time work and now I just need colorful & pretty pen and paper. I use the Blue Sky thin calendar from Target, Staples, etc.. Now I mostly schedule fun with grands and write favorite quotes along with appointments. I also keep lists of books, movies, and things to do outside my usual. Cheryl Ann


I truly love to hear from you and try to respond to each and everyone. If you have "no reply blogger," I will respond in my comments section and then visit your blog as soon as I can.

Make this a great day!

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...