Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Planner

Thursday, July 3, 2008
If you are like me, you are juggling several things at once while also planning things for next week, next month or next spring. I have had a long courtship with planners over the years and my needs have evolved (I choose to see the career path to motherhood as evolution and not anything less). I have used Amy Knapp's planner for the past year and am loving it! My friend, Michelle, turned me on to it and I haven't looked back.

Here's why I love it:

  • I follow Amy's advice for the proper use of the planner and spend about 15 minutes a week, usually on Sundays, forecasting what we have in store for us. She has great tips on ways to color code kids each child's commitments, etc. It's speaks to my need for efficiency instead of spending all my time planning and no time doing.
  • It's a good size to pop in you tote and take on the go. I find that the planner has to be with me most of the time since that is how life and events pop up. If I leave it at home to be reviewed later I'm not really using it and feel like my brain is getting cluttered with to-dos for when I get home (and let's face it, home has enough to-dos).
  • There are weekly and monthly calendar grids. I like to see my month at a glance and get a big picture perspective but then break down the week with appointments and such.
  • Weekly Grocery Lists – perforated to tear out and go!
  • Weekly Menu Planning: If you know me and my family then you know we need diversity with meals and we need things to be interesting. That said, with three kids and a few other things on the side, I can't run to the store everyday. I really can only get to the market about twice a week. I usually plan the meals for the week and go on Sunday or Monday and then again at the end of the week for the weekend. Our weekend meals are usually more adventurous and interesting. So, the point being that I need to have a plan so that I can get through with enough provisions for the tribe. This helps the plan because I can see what's happening that week. Late afternoon tennis practice is not the night to do my chicken saffron with cream sauce but rather a quick soft taco night or even a slow cooker recipe. Do you get my drift?
  • Weekly to do lists and inspirational quotes. I like giving myself the week to handle something. It's more realistic for my life right now. The format works for me.
  • Color Coded Stickers (I haven't used these much but they are included if that lights you up.)

Sample weekly spread

My front cover

The only thing I don't love is the cover. It is not interesting or inspiring in any way. Michelle, aforementioned creative friend , personalized her planner and then decoupaged it. Don't panic, if you aren't crafty you can do this! It is in no way difficult and there is no right or wrong way to go. We used self adhesive paper (Target has several to choose from), cut our designs, then covered with decoupage. Simple! You can see that mine is tattered but keep in mind that this is a year's worth of use being dragged everywhere with me. Not too bad.

My back cover
The organizer runs from July 2008 through December 2009 so now is the perfect time to pick one up. Amy offers a Christian version and even a home schooling edition. If you can't be bothered to personalize your own you can order a cover directly for $14.

You can order directly from Amy's website for $14.99 or check your local bookstore. They will likely order it for you if you ask.


Live, Love, Laugh said...

This looks A-W-E-S-O-M-E!! I am going to have to get one soon!

Adrienne said...

This planner is indeed impressive. I have seen it firsthand and admired it many times. The cover is pure Sarah. As for my own organization process? I jot things down on sticky notes and promptly lose them or accidentaly throw them away. So far it's been working for me.

mybelle68 said...

Best planner ever, I can't live without mine. I've tried others and never used them, but this one is sooooo easy, It Rocks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip! I ordered one! I am excited to receive it. And you know me, there's no way I'm making a cover! Heck no. I ordered a cover too. ;-)

Joanne said...

Okay I got sucked in - I bought a planner. Your recommendation is like gold to me - especially in the planner department!! No Floaters!

Mama Bj said...

Yobaby and Joanne: You will not be disappointed. Review Amy's suggestions on how to best use it. Try to plan to spend 15minutes a week planning your meals,etc. I think you'll like it! Keep me posted.