My Review: The Best Organizers for The New Year

I have five children, I work two part-time jobs while taking freelance gigs on the side, I have no “help,” and my husband is a doctoral candidate with a FULL-TIME job in addition to his university studies and writing. Still, we find the time for weekly Family Home Evenings, monthly home teaching and visiting teaching, and our children are active in weekly Young Women’s, the “Faith in God” program, and Cub Scouts.

How do we fit so many activities into our already busy lives?

I credit our planners. They are what keep us organized!

I should also credit our time-management strategies, but I’ll have to share those in another post.

Why Buy a Planner When Planning Apps are Free?

I don’t use an app or anything digital–I use a physical planner that goes with me everywhere.

  • When I am at my desk, it lies open, showing me my daily tasks lists.
  • When I am at church, it is open in my lap, so I can jot down upcoming activities or events.
  • When I am in the kitchen cooking, it is on the counter with me, reminding me what is on the menu tonight.
  • While I am cleaning, it goes from room to room with me, reminding me what needs cleaned first and foremost, with shopping lists inside that I can add to as I run out of furniture polish or paper towels.
  • When I am on business calls, it is open to the “notes” section so that none of my work tasks or assignments are ever forgotten.

I cannot survive without my planner!

I tried the apps, but because I could never see them in front of me, they were quickly forgotten. Reminder alarms only got snoozed until I forgot them altogether.

Here is the planner I use:

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(This is just my planner–click on image to view actual product)

Note how the photo above shows that I also buy calendar pages, shopping list pages, etc, to keep me organized.
This year, I am using an even better system of pages, called “Seven Habits,” because it is based on the time-management strategies from the famous book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:
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These are my FAVORITE planner pages! Click on image to view actual product

Back when I was a young mother (translation: too busy nursing babies and chasing toddlers to make many appointments), I used this family planner instead, and I LOVED it:

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Amy Knapp’s planners were my *favorite* for keeping track of meals and groceries; if ever my business slows down and lets me return to a more serene life, I plan to go right back to these! 🙂 **click on the image to see other sizes/styles

Amy Knapp’s planners are larger than the purse-friendly compact planner I buy from Franklin Covey, so I used this purse/planner combo back then, which I really loved and could easily slip inside my diaper bag before outings to church or to the store:
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BEST feature of this planner case: both Amy Knapp’s planner pages AND my “Seven Habits” pages (above) fit into it, so I don’t have to change binders even as I change page styles. PERFECT! 🙂

Here is another homemaker’s planner that is similar to Amy Knapp’s, but much prettier (though less practical, because it has no pockets or spaces for me to store stuff). It is just so pretty that I want to buy one and keep it on my counter, even though I don’t need it! 🙂

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My kids also use planners, as part of our family’s chores-for-privileges rule (something I’ll explain in a future post). Here are the planners they use:

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These come in a variety of styles, sizes, and formats, click the image to view them all.

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I recommend these planners to my university students, to help them stay organized and not miss any assignments, because I do not accept late work:

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Back when I was teaching my children at home, this was also my favorite homeschool planner:

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For those who instead prefer to support cottage industries and local artisans with their purchases, here is a homemade planner for LDS moms, that is made and sold out of the homes of some very creative LDS moms:

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As you can see, I am a massive planner enthusiast, so please let me know of any other planning products I should try! 🙂

PLEASE NOTE: any videos or images appearing after my signature were placed there by WordPress, not me. I cannot see these ads, so I cannot endorse them.

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6 thoughts on “My Review: The Best Organizers for The New Year

  1. I have used my Franklin Covey Planner now for over 15 years, I don’t know what I would do without it! I can see I am going to be spending a lot of time reading your blog . . . genealogy and organizing, my two passions! It’s great to have you here!

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  2. I love how you organize . . . I am really enjoy reading your blog and ideas. I can wrap my brain around how you do things. I agree, I think we are kindred spirits for sure. We just had to move out of our home for over four weeks due to a water leak in our kitchen . . . all new flooring in the entire house so I get to start over in my genealogy office, I am completely reorganizing and taking my time trying to think out a work flow and organizing my genealogy files. I love the idea of creating “Current Project Shelves” and now I know exactly what to do . . . thank you, Jenny! By the way, your home looks wonderful.

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  3. Just found your blog today and I love your organisation strategies. I desperately need to get my self organised. You have convinced me to go back to a physical diary. Have been trying digital calendars etc but they really don’t do it for me. Thanks for the tips.

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