Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Planners and Calendars

Well, I got an email from Calendars.com with a 20% coupon off for planners for next year (the ones that start in August or September), which got me to thinking about my needs for next year, which got me looking at some different planners, and next thing I knew, I had spend way too much time on the computer!

I got the coupon from Calendars.com because for the last four or so years I have gotten each child a fine arts calendar for their room. It is not our only artist study, but it is one way to get them exposed to fine art. Do not let your kids loose on the site, however, because they have all kinds of calendars, some quite inappropriate for kids to see. (Well, even for adults to see, in my opinion.) Sometimes I pick the calendar and surprise them, sometimes I let them choose between a couple. I have given them on Christmas or on New Year's Day. I think New Year's Day is better, because they tend to get overlooked on Christmas Day.

But now I am thinking calendars and planners for next year. . . .

This is the wall calendar that I have used for seven years (I know because I keep them). The More Time Moms calendar is big, has big squares, is printed on writable paper (as opposed to those fine arts calendars, which are on that slick paper...but we don't use those for planning, so it is okay). The MTM calendar comes with stickers and has a back pocket for a few papers. (It looks like they don't have their 2009 calendar out yet. Here is a description of the 2008 calendar.)

The MTM wall calendar is really our command central. Everything goes on there: appointments, school-related things, sports schedules, music lessons, and so on.

I have also used a planner that I could carry with me. I am less faithful to this these days. It was easier when our schedule was simplier (and the kids were mostly doing things together).

In fact, keeping a calendar and a planner is double work and, I think, asking for trouble. What if I fail to transfer something from the planner to wall calendar? And updating the planner each week was time consuming. So I am not sure what I will do next year. I stopped carrying my planner for this year already. But I do need something to record things when we are out.

The two planners I have used in the past and loved are the YWAM Prayer Diary/Daily Planner and Amy Knapp's Family Organizer.

I especially love the perforated tear-off grocery list on Amy Knapp's. It is a menu list one week--on the right page of a week-at-a-glance double-page spread--and the next week, the back side of your menu list is your grocery list--now on the left page. Tear it off and go! The Family Organizer also has stickers. I have had several people see this and get one of their own.

The YWAM Prayer Diary/Daily Planner is a great prayer tool. If my home life wasn't so busy, I think it would work very well. So far, I just haven't been able to make it work for our life as it is now. However, this planner has you praying for different nations each day, weekly prayer responsibilities, and much more. I really like the concept.

Ann, at Holy Experience, wrote about planners here. I, too, have the Motivated Moms downloadable chore list. I have not been using this lately. The house shows it! I need to print out more pages. (I was trying to print as I go, and it is too easy to forget to do this.)

At one time, I tried to make the Motivated Moms list my planner, but I was not successful with that. So now, instead of trying to integrate everything into one planner, I just accept that I will have a variety of things (calendars, planners, household lists, prayer lists, and so on). One was to use this is to put the list in the kitchen (my was on the refrigerator) and check-off what gets done.

Ann has a broken link on her page to Lilting House -- that blog moved, but here is the archive. And here is the day planners post.

This Circle of Days planner looks intriguing. . . and beautiful. But it is perpetual--good for that purpose, but I am not sure how it would work. I tend to like dated planners, but I am thinking on it.

The Mom Agenda is also beautiful in a different way. Too expensive for me, however. (Maybe too beautiful, too. Would I really use it?)

I do like the look of the BusyBodyBook, either the planner or wall calendar. What I like about this one is the separate sections for each family member.

When the kids were younger, we tended to stay together more than we do now with my oldest going into high school, second one junior-high-aged and the youngest one still considered elementary-aged. (The oldest will go to public high school, the two younger ones will be homeschooled.) Having a slot for each child makes more sense these days.

And should I switch from wall calendar to a planner? My thought is the planner would have a place in the kitchen, unless I was leaving and then it would go with me. That would be a big adjustment, but it might work.

All this to say, I have some thinking, praying and deciding to do.

But now, I have the links to the different options in one place!


Javamom said...

Thanks for sharing all these links. Some of these are simply beautiful, indeed!

As to an earlier post, I find that with summer here, my computer time has lengthened, as well. The house is also very quiet, with our oldest having flown the nest in January, moved to another state. The other teens are either working a lot or spending some of their time with friends.

I could be using this time to finish projects. BUT I also have plans to complete, and part of that requires online time.

I could benefit from simplifying what I do online; streamlining as it were.

Not much help, I am sure. I like your blog!

Javamom, also in TX

Leah said...

Thanks for your comment, Javamom!

Yes, it is a balance between computer time that is productive and computer time that is less so. It sure draws me in, in a way that, say, cleaning out closets does not! (I'm usually okay once I get started. It is the getting started that can be tough.)

Thanks again,


Success said...

I love these links and your honest comments. I would love it if you would review our planner as well, it's called The Bubble Planner. It's the only planner that is focused on the Visual Spatial learners. E-mail me if you want more information (info at bubbleplanner.com).