Thursday, January 13, 2011

In Pursuit of the Perfect Planner

As I mentioned the other day, I've been trying to put together a Home Management notebook.  With all the things I have to keep track of these days (homeschool, farm expenditures, canning supplies, menus, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseaum) I've come to the realization that there isn't enough caffeine in the world to help my brain keep up I could use some help.  I've read a lot of other moms sing the praises of their notebooks, so I figure it's time to give it a try.

Ironically, I received two different emails this morning regarding this very thing.  After looking them both over, I'm coming to the conclusion that it might save me from pulling my hair out be a wiser use of my time to simply purchase a pre-made notebook rather than go through the trouble of putting one together myself.  (Naturally I'll be tweaking whatever I get to suit my own needs.  Babysitter info?  Sorry, it's just not part of my reality. Those pages go straight to the burn bin.)

But I could really use your help.  See, I'm one of those "stationery junkies"...I love notebooks, journals, calendars and whatnot.  And (confession time), I'm a tight-wad.  As easy as it would be to shell out untold sums of money for every pretty notebook that catches my fancy, I can't bear the thought of plunking down my hubby's hard-earned income on something that's going to get used for two days and then shelved.  So it would be deeply appreciated if you, Dear Reader, could give me some advice.

Here are the two planners I received emails about this morning.  First, the momAgenda, a favorite of "blog moms" everywhere.  They're stylish, functional, and come with a list of free printables for more personalization.  Right now, they're 35% off.

Second is The Well-Planned Day from Home Educating Family Publishing.  I know scores of homeschool moms that swear by their products.  The bundle packages come with a planner and zippered three-ring binder with plenty of room for storage and expansion.  Currently, they're 20% off with free shipping.

Have you used either of these planners?  Or is there a different system out there you're using that meets your needs?  What do you recommend?

*For the record, I'm neither affiliated with momAgenda or Home Educating Family Publishing nor am I plugging either one's products.  These just happen to be the two that I received emails about.  I'm very open to hearing about any home-organization system that works.  Thanks!


Chele said...

I had started my home management binder a long time ago... it still sits here collecting dust! lol. I do know you can find information free online and pick what works for you. Print it out and put it in a binder. Like I believe Simple Mom has some stuff, Organizing Your Way.. just to name a few! I also know of two other places to get planners. BusyBodyBooks which is what I use but you do have to plug your info in there and they don't have stuff like keeping track of finances section. The other is Molly from MyGoMom, I haven't tried hers yet but I hear a lot of good stuff about it. I thought that MomAgenda was just that a planner like you can buy at any store that sells planners... it would be just calendar stuff. I didn't know MomAgenda had more than that. And your other name up there, I don't homeschool so I can't answer for that one. Those are my thoughts now that I wrote you a post! lol

marye said...

I just make my own that way I can have the customized pages I need. For example, how many people need pages that say, record of query letters... or PR Requests? Or even "Scenes to put in book"

Q said...

Several years ago I put together my own. Now, I know that's not what you want to do, but I wanted to share a problem I ran into because I too and am tweaker and a journal/notebook junkie (Oh . . . the Levenger catalog . . . droooool!)

Anyway, I found that I was spending more time tweaking and fiddling around with the notebook than I was actually doing the work and/or using the information.

In the end, reading Sidetracked Home Executives, firming up my household management system, a 'to do' list, and a filing cabinet was what worked the best.

Now, I don't mean to poo-poo your desire of a notebook. Just thought I'd offer something to pray about before you purchase. If it's still your thing, be sure to let us know what you bought and how it's working! :)

Wendy said...

Chele - I answered you via email. :)

Marye - Actually, I think a lot of bloggers would be interested in those pages. You should look into marketing that, you could make a killing!

Q - Very sound advice, thank you! I do have and use a filing cabinet (because goodness knows we just seem to accumulate a ton of papers around here!) I haven't heard of Sidetracked Home Executives...might have to check that out. I am starting to think that I just need to bite the bullet and plunge into creating my own. I'll definitely keep you posted! :)

Polly said...

I had been in the process of making one for myself, but now I have gotten to the point that I am getting more comfortable with digital convenience (I've always been a pen and paper kind of gal). So, I am currently trying to make my smartphone my homemaking journal.

I would like to make my daughter one though. I bought her a little binder this summer and it's still sitting empty. Someday...

Lynda said...

Hi Wendy! I found you through Blog Mommas, and love your blog.

I personally have not tried either of those planners you mentioned, and I am too much of a tight-wad myself to splurge on them. There is a great site ( that I absolutely love. (That is stating it a little mildly.)

I print out the forms I know I will use, and go from there. It is definitely cheaper, and I can customize the forms to fit my needs.

She offers every kind of form imaginable, and some you can fill in online and then print. (Did I mention that I love lol

I am following your blog and look forward to seeing what you decide on your planner.

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