Get Your Life Together in 2018 {The LAFMB Planner Guide}

Let’s be real – whether you work at home, work out of home, stay home with the kiddos – mamas have a lot going on. It can be tricky to stay on top of soccer practices, doctor’s appointments, work presentations, and the insane, practically weekly themed dress up days at daycare (a post for another day, trust).

Organization is as unique as you are – what works for one mom may not work for another. Some want monthly layouts, others need daily, and some crave hourly breakdowns. Luckily, the Lafayette Moms Blog Team has a Plannerati – a group of ladies who are so obsessed with planners that we have tried almost all of them.

Below is a real-talk, LAFMB overview and review of the planners that keep our worlds going round – and maybe one will be perfect for you in 2018!

The Happy Planner

planner

Who uses it?
Amanda & Amy

What is the breakdown?
Monthly, weekly and daily

What’s so great about it?
Amy: It came with monthly and weekly breakdowns, but I also added daily. I need all 3 to track family & work life plus it gives an area for note taking so it’s the only thing I need to bring with for meetings! The back of each daily page is a full blank page for notes, doodles, etc. Monthly & Weekly setup lets me track my workouts, menu for the week and who on my work team is traveling, plus reminders like when daycare tuition is due or a blog submission is due.

Amanda: I like to see the whole month. I really don’t use the weekly view. That’s why I’m switching to a Mochi Planner next month (Author note: Yep, a few of us switch midstream – always in search of the perfect planner).

How does it help you stay organized?
Amy: It allows enough space so that I can track everything!

Amanda: It’s very portable. The only planner that works is the one you use.

Price:
Deluxe planners start at $29.99, accessories and added pages are additional.


Plum Paper Planner

Who uses it?
Sarah & Kendra

What is the breakdown?
Sarah uses the Monthly breakdown but it can be fully customized. Kendra uses the monthly calendar with a two page weekly view with places to write on each day.

What’s so great about it?
Sarah: I need to see all plans for the month at once – meaning less paper and it coordinates with my monthly wall calendar. Large spaces for writing. No froufrou quotes or artwork. I customized with additional notes pages to use for grocery lists and added a meals section for menu planning.

Kendra:  I can customize the cover. Hello, monogram everything!! I also love how well it holds up over time. And I can pick the size. 5×7 or 8×11. I also love how cute they are. Tons of precious covers to pick from!

Author note: This planner seems perfect for teachers. They have a “teacher” layout divided by subject and even a homeschool teacher layout. You can also choose your start date so you can use this planner any time.

How does it help you stay organized?
Sarah: I color code for the SIX of us, and use it more than my phone. I can plan out waaay in advance for school events.

Price:
Starts at $32 and has a lot of additional add-ons and options to fully customize.


Purposeful Planner Daily

Who uses it:
Amanda

What is the breakdown?
Daily

What’s so great about it?
Amanda: It has quotes and allows me to track water intake, 15 minute task, budgets and goals, with plenty of room to write!

How does it help you stay organized?
Amanda: It gives me inspiration, gives me organization, and it suggests a task for me to do that I would usually put off.

Price:
$58


Emily Ley Simplified Planner

Who uses it?
Stephanie – who recently converted Ashley (note: she will be switch to the planner for 2018!)

What is the breakdown?
Stephanie uses the Weekly breakdown. Ashley will be using the daily breakdown.  

What is so great about it?
Stephanie: It seems a bit smaller so I can carry it everywhere. I love the simple design, fun colors, to-do checkoff lists, and the online support community Emily Ley has created.

Ashley: I love the simplicity of it.

How does it keep you organized?
Stephanie: I HAVE TO write everything down or I’d lose my mind. This keeps me organized!

Ashley: Just the act of writing things down helps me remember to do them. I also thrive on “checking things off.” I also can mentally prepare for INSANE weeks by intentionally scheduling downtime. I also like to see the big picture and what’s coming next so the art of writing it out helps me practice that.

Price:
$48


Passion Planner

Who uses it?
Lashonda

What is the breakdown?
Monthly, weekly, daily and hourly.

What is so great about it?
Lashonda: I get to track day to day tasks and appointments that may change regularly. I start each month by adding what I know is already scheduled by adding it to the monthly view and I have a weekly glance to get a quick look at how full my schedule is.

How does it help you stay organized?
Lashonda:  I love to write and track personal development and progress and well as keep a do all schedule. There’s space for everything in this planner. It starts with a roadmap that you fill in and create (it guides you). Each month starts with a monthly calendar, then breaks down into weeks, with time slots. At the end of each month are two pages for monthly reflection with specific questions to guide you. My favorite feature is the a weekly focus section at the beginning of each week, Good things that happened section, and each day starts with a daily focus box. It’s like a journal and planner all in one.

Price:
$30 – you can get it with a Sunday or Monday start and can choose between dated and undated.


Planner Pad

Who uses it?
Laurel

What is the breakdown?
Monthly, weekly, daily and hourly

What is so great about it?
Laurel: This is a fairly new planner to me but it has been around for 40+ years and I never heard about it! It uses a funnel system so you can map out your entire week at the top (by sections – so I can have a “life” column and a column for each client/main task category). Then below that is a daily task breakdown so I can assign each “to-do” to a certain day. THEN it breaks down hourly so I can track appointments and time block my days. Best of all, it’s all on one spread so no flipping pages back and forth.

Also, I’m left handed so no annoying giant coils making it impossible for me to write!

How does it keep you organized?
Laurel: I love that I can see everything at a glance, drilled down. Time blocking my days makes everything feel more attainable. Also, I cannot with the stickers and the extras most planners have. I don’t like it when my planner asks me how I’m feeling or what I’m grateful for. It feels like so much to fill out that I get overwhelmed! Just help me plan, planner.

Price:
$29.99


Wall Calendar

Who uses it?
Betsy

What is the breakdown?
Monthly

Why is it great?
Betsy: I can see the whole month laid out. Every event for the month is on it.

How does it help you stay organized?
Betsy: Every appointment, birthday party, gymnastics meet, school event, etc. all laid out in one view!

Price:
Varies – can be easily found at Target or Hobby Lobby


Other planners we have tried and moved on from:

Erin Condren
A few of our Plannerati have tried out Erin Condren – but most of us found it too bulky and difficult to carry around. The coils were large and felt cumbersome.

Savor the Success
These are monthly planners so they can get pricey because you are buying a new planner each month – but we loved the brain dump section and the daily drilldowns. You can get a 90 day version but the coil is insanely large.

Best Self Planner
Laurel: This planner asked me too many questions. I just needed to know when I was supposed to go to a meeting or track the many spirit days at school. For someone who would like guidance in shaping and achieving their annual goals, it may be a great fit! It’s very journal-y.

The Volt Planner
Laurel: This planner make work really well for someone – but it was almost too simple for me, and it was lacking the hourly breakdown that I needed.

What is your favorite planner? Did it make our list? 

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