Choosing Your Planner

Through all the chapters of my life, some a bit more irresponsible than others, I’ve always kept some sort of notebook or planner. They have changed in style and layout as my schedule needs have changed, but have always held calendars, budgets, lists, and doodles about everything else.

Starting the new year with a crisp new planner has always been a huge motivation to help keep everything on track. Some of my planners have been more budget and work schedule oriented, others were just bound note taking pages. Recently they have been pages detailing hour by hour business plans, but always changing. I have saved these chronological works over the years as my own type of scrapbook. Looking back and seeing how my life has changed through my planner is like reading my diary.

We all know the new year is full of pressures to make resolutions, keep goals, and start fresh. I look forward to this holiday and reset, but also am a lot more realistic than years past. I guess my standards have lowered with each kid. My priorities have changed drastically since last year, and I need a new system of organization. I look forward to using a simple planner/calendar, with some space for good mind mapping work to keep me, my marriage, three kids, a house, homeschooling, obligations, and all the other life stuff manageable.

Take time choosing a planner that fits your needs. There are so many choices on the market, and this is something used every day. Make sure you like it! If you are starting to think ahead to 2019 plans and goals here are my top three planner styles and what I’ve picked to try in the new year.

Basic Note Book
I kept more of an art journal like diary before having kids. A sturdy leather bound notebook with lined paper, mostly written were my monthly running budgets, grocery lists for two, and plans with a baby. I feel like this was before the bullet journaling trend so there was nothing fancy about it. Just notes on pages.

Weekly LayoutAs life progressed my family had appointments, Costco budgets, and oil changes. As a first time wife/mother/home person I needed something more structured. I upgraded to, and relied on my Erin Condren Life Planner. The layout was perfect for my needs. It is durable, portable, and ready to use. I also loved getting to personalize the colors and covers. You can also modify the year length, and layout of their design. It’s a perfect structured option to incorporate into your busy routine.

Hourly Layout
I have never been one to plan every hour of my life but also know that sometimes you have to if you want to make it all work.  The Passion Planner or Law of Attraction planner is perfect to cater to anyone needing some structured down time of reflection and guided mind mapping space,  but also providing a layout for detailed plans. Having an hourly layout is beneficial for busy families, entrepreneurs, or anyone needing some time management help, but it can feel overwhelming to fill up if it’s not needed.


I look forward to, and start early picking out my planner for the upcoming year. After considering all the styles I’ve used before I’ve decided to try out a 2019 Planner Leuchtturm1917 which features a basic calendar and section of informational content, but then it is just numbered paper and an empty table of contents.

I’ve wanted to combine my earlier forms of art journaling back into my planner keeping system and look forward to trying out a more creative minded and artistic approach, but with just enough structure to keep things from getting out of control. I’ve only been using a monthly layout the last few months and have enjoyed its simplicity. Really keeps me from over-committing too. The table of contents will have sections for budgets, homeschool notes, obligations/work schedules, and lots of room for random lettering and design doodling.

If you are starting to shop for your next planner make sure you choose one that fits your needs and style. A great place to start when beginning to set goals and intentions for 2019, is with a planner you love. 


I’m Jessica! Married to my best friend and mother to some pretty wonderful little people. My family makes this life pretty exciting and I strive to do my best to make this world better for them. I grew up in rural Colorado but decided to trade it all in for a life changing move to the Caribbean islands. After 3.5 years of world traveling and beach bumming, I decided to plant roots in Kansas City. We now call the charming city of Lee’s Summit home and couldn’t be happier with this amazing community. I am the owner of Lee's Summit PLAY and work hard to promote learning and adventure in youth. I love to shop small and support all of our wonderful local business owners. My favorite parts of this area of Missouri are the fantastic local breweries, beautiful parks and outdoor spaces, and the passion behind all of the welcoming people. You can usually find me sipping a local brew, working on a community project to spread love and kindness, and experiencing all the Lee’s Summit and the Kansas City area have to offer.