Planning For Success

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Am I the only one that finds it hard to believe that summer is almost OVER?

In just a few short days, I will hear that familiar sound of the bus whirl by my house as it whisks off to pick up the neighborhood children full of new school year jitters. Although my home is empty of children, that has not stopped me from attempting to pass on words of wisdom to the youth in my family. This year we have one who is joyfully shedding off those blue and khaki middle school uniforms and launching into the big world of junior high. Then we have one that is headed into his first year of college and another who is leading the pack into the second year of college.

Oh, where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday I was sharing in the joy of their births, and now they are out marking new paths.

Each of them is starting a new year, and it’s our goal that it begins well. While some truths we shared were universal, each had their specific advice they needed because of the life stage they were in.

We all will go through different stages. But the essential thing in avoiding the drift in life is setting our focus and making plans to succeed. At this juncture in my life, I find myself wanting to be more intentional in my days.  In that quest to be more intentional in setting the course of my day rather than letting my time be dictated by the demands of others, I have been on the search for the perfect planner and productivity tools.  Please tell me I’m not the only girl that buys a calendar/planner then half-way through the year (like where we are now in the year) finds herself having put it aside.

The struggle to find my perfect planner fit is REAL ladies.

Just like you don’t share the same advice with the kid leaving middle school as the young adult launching into the world on their own as a freshman, we don’t share the same choice in planners because our lives have different demands. Whether we are shuffling children to school or papers at our desk, we women have busy lives. However busy does not mean we are always doing the things that matter most.

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Let’s take a look at a few of the planners I have tried and check out a few I’m looking at giving a try, shall we? ( Please note some links may be affiliate links, see our disclosure policy)

Mid Year Planner Review


The Day Designer by Whitney English

The Day Designer was my calendar of choice last year. I was so excited when it arrived all lovingly wrapped in beautiful paper. What I liked most about this planner was the layout of the daily pages with today’s top three at the head of the page followed by a section for specific to-dos and a daily time schedule breakdown. And I like the inclusion of the daily gratitude and download section, which offered the perfect spot for capturing bright ideas.  However, I did find I had a lot of empty space in this planner.  The hardback cover was a great feature as was the addition of the front pocket. Because of the size of this planner, I didn’t find myself taking it out with me to work.  The thing to note is that this planner does now come in an A5 size. Not sure if it’s the right fit for you, you can try it with the FREE Daily Planner Download.

Mom’s Weekly Planner by Peter Pauper Press

No, I’m not a mom but what drew me to purchase this planner was it contains planning slots for multi-family members. I thought this would be a great planner to see all my work, blog, and personal tasks in one place. It’s an 18-month planner that has a monthly calendar view for each month. Then the weekly view gives you 5-columns to plan your morning, afternoon, and evening tasks for by individual for each day. Personally, I have used this planner as more of a blog management planner.


Mom's Weekly Planner

Lilly Pulitzer Agenda

I picked this beauty up at this eclectic shop while browsing through the store as I was waiting on my sandwich order.  With the beautiful array of choices, I found it hard to settle on this one.  It’s one colorful calendar. Although I’m just starting to give this agenda a try, I like the size of the planner and that it includes a monthly overview spread along with weekly pages. The size makes it handy for packing in your purse.  One caveat is the writing space in the monthly view is a bit small.  Also, I feel that the 5×5 artwork section could have been better utilized or placed at the back of the planner.



Do It All Planner by Orange Circle Studio

My favorite thing about the Do-It-All Planner is its size, makes it extremely convenient for tossing in my work bag without much additional weight. The monthly view for all 17-months is at the front of the planner and then the 2-page spread weekly views for each month follows. I have used this planner mostly for tracking my work-related tasks. While I like the vertical column view of the week at a glance, I would have preferred to have the monthly view for each month right before that month’s weekly breakdown. As a smaller planner, the writing space is narrow in this planner.  One of the plus for the Do It All Planner is that it has perforated To Do lists at the back along with card holder slots in the back cover jacket.  The addition of the elastic band is a bonus as well.



The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley

I have been eyeing The Simplified Planner, and I have heard lots of good things about it.  I like the simplistic design, and it comes in both an  Academic and Weekly Simplified edition.

Simplified Planner by Emily Ley


Commit 30 Planner

The Commit 30 Planner is another future planner contender. I think this would be a useful tool because it aims to help you accomplish your specific goals by committing 30 days at a time. In flipping through the planner online,  I’m instantly drawn to the first step in the planner of casting your vision for different areas of your life and then setting monthly goals. Having set your vision for the year, it gives you an approachable way to break down your month into daily actionable steps.  An additional plus is that the planner is undated, which makes it easier to pick back up and use it at a later date if you find yourself not using it for an extended period.


Commit30 Planner - Start your 30 Day Challenge

Look inside the Commit 30 Planner.

PowerSheets by Lara Casey

I don’t know where it was that I first came across Lara Casey’s Powersheets but ever since I read about them, they have been on my radar.  They are all about helping you uncover what matters most and developing meaningful, actionable goals.  If you’re shopping for Powersheets mid-year, it’s likely the one-year set is sold out, you can grab a copy of the undated six-month set.  I debated on this, but I’m holding out for the one-year full set.


PowerSheets Ultimate Intentional Goal Planning Workbook Lara Casey Shop


Things I Learned About Planners

  • For as much as I love cracking open a nice new planner, it’s only a tool.
  • There is no magic in the planner selected.  But it’s in the daily discipline of putting it into use that helps to get things from to-do to done.
  • Each of these planners is beautiful and great in their own right. But sometimes finding the perfect planner match for you takes a little time.  Don’t be afraid to try and try again until you get it right.

Do you have a planner obsession? What has been your go-to planner this year?

Wanda is the owner and editor of BCW. She's on a constant quest to seek the one who fills this thirsty soul. A lover of God and seeker of wisdom and never too far from a good book. Lover of tech and enjoys helping beginner bloggers set up their new blogs