If you’re looking for planner ideas, then you’re also likely hoping to find a bunch of genius planner hacks and easy to understand tips that organized people use to make their planner work for them.
And until you found this, you’ve probably been pretty disheartened because what you actually found was a ton of articles telling you about 50 planners that all looked the same or giving you ridiculous planner ideas that are just overwhelming.
There’s nothing as exciting as getting a brand new planner and getting it ready to be used. You always think “THIS IS THE ONE. This is the one that will change my life.”
But then it never really does.
So we search for planner ideas to figure out what we’re missing.
But searching the internet for planner ideas is like trying to drink from a firehose (but when the firehose is filled with toxic water).
- There’s way too much information.
- It’s all contradicting each other.
- And most of it will make you less productive (rather than more).
So, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know about planners and planner ideas. So you can customize the planner you have now or find one that is customized to you and your crazy life.
But before I do that… I need you to understand one thing with perfect clarity.
Planners Don’t Make You Organized.
How you use your planner makes you organized (it’s called your planning system).
You can buy a top-of-the-line, very fancy, $50 planner and I can buy your friend a $1 planner from the dollar store. If I show her how to use it by working with her unique personality then she will be WAY more successful with her $1 planner.
Pro tip #1: Stop buying expensive planners when you have no idea how to use them, hoping they’ll be the ticket to your success.
Pro tip #2: Buy ANY PLANNER and then use this ridiculously simple system to actually stick to using it.
Update: 5/16/2022 You asked for it and I’m delivering! Starting NOW, you can grab the Trashed to Total Home Transformation Survival Guide For FREE!
It teaches you step by step how to work with your personality to not only set up home routines that will work (no matter how many times you’ve failed in the past), but that you’ll stick to…
We’ve taught hundreds of thousands of people how to use bare minimum consistent effort to completely transform their home (and life!). If you’re overwhelmed with the state of your home… this is for you.
Okay, let’s talk planner ideas.
Choose One: Functional Planning or Pretty Planning.
(These are planning style types which can be done in any planner.)
Hint: If you choose functional- it can still be pretty. And if you choose pretty, it can still be functional. This is just the main priority of your planner.
Functional planning is a way to get everything out of your brain and into this book that now becomes your brain.
The focus isn’t on color coordinated stickers (which cost a small fortune) and Washi Tape, this planner can be messy and ugly, but it gets the job done.
All of my hot mess moms, ADHD peeps, and Type B people… I implore you to choose functional. Feel free to spice things up and make it pretty, but you need functional first!
A functional planner is a work horse, it runs your life. It can also be pretty (if you want to take the time to do that) but the functional planners primary focus is to act as your external brain.
Example of Functional Planner:
A pretty planner’s focus is to inspire you and is more of a hobby (think of the planning version of scrapbooking). Typically “Type A people” or truly creative types enjoy the process of decorating planners. It may still function on some level (why else do it?) but the primary objective of a pretty planner are the creative and artistic visuals.
Examples of Pretty Planners:
What do I use? Pretty or Functional?
Functional. Hands Down.
I’ve lived most of my life as a total hot mess (we’re talking dishes piled up for days and laundry that spills out of the laundry room). I was FINALLY able to overcome my chronic disorganization by learning how to work with my unique personality (hint: I have no willpower).
9 years of consistent planner use later, I wouldn’t recommend anything other than functional unless you’re naturally extremely organized and just want a creative outlet.
Choose 1: To-Do Lists or Time Blocking?
There are two main types of planner layouts. Using a to-do list (often with prioritization, which we’ll go over later in the choices section) or time blocking.
To-do lists just lay out the things you need to get done in a list format. You check off each item as they get done. To-do lists tend to be better for the hot mess, chronically disorganized, or “Type B” people because you don’t need to track every hour of your day. And, if you fall off the wagon and screw up, you can just move a task to the next day.
Examples of To Do List Planners:
For time blocking you lay out your day in hourly increments (or less) and then fit all of the things you need to get done into the blocks of time you have.
If your planner was a personal assistant, then The to-do list planner is telling you “get these 3 things done and then I don’t care what you do. You do you, Boo.”
The time blocking planner is telling you “do this for the next hour, then come back to me and I’ll tell you what to do next. Did you do it? Great, now you need to work on this for the next hour.”
A combination of both recognizes that all days are not created equally. So one day, you may just need a to-do list but for those “I already hate today even though I just woke up” days, you may need the extra oomph of time blocking.
Keep in mind, if you choose a combination but identify with a to-do planner… don’t buy a time blocking specific planner, because it’ll be harder to adapt to that. (Likewise, if you know you want to time block, you’ll need to buy a time block planner).
Hint: Consistently time blocking can be really difficult for a person who struggles with sticking to a planner routine because it’s very regimented.
Examples of Time Blocking Planners
What I Use: Time Blocking or To-Do Lists
Mostly to-do list, with a separate time blocking page for super busy days.
I use a to-do list for the majority of my days. For people like me (Type B, hot mess, or chronically disorganized) a to-do list lets you easily prioritize things. Plus, I know myself well enough to know that I won’t stick to every time block (or even the majority) of the blocks I layout if I just did time blocking.
That being said, for tough days where things have close overlap and my to-do list far exceeds my motivation or natural capabilities then I use the stand-alone 30 minute Home Success Daily, included in the Home Success Planner. It breaks my day into 30-minute increments. I schedule everything in the morning, then try to live by it for the entire day. This tends to work well for me, because I know I only have to suck it up for a short time.
Choose 1: Online or Paper Planner.
Last thing before we choose our planner, we have to decide if we want an online calendar or a paper planner.
This may seem like an easy pick since an online calendar would be constantly available to you wherever you are through your computer or smartphone. But, it’s actually not.
Unless you have already used an online calendar successfully for more than a month (meaning you keep up with it, you enter new appointments or tasks and then complete them) then you should start with paper.
We’ve tested this over and over again and the results are surprising. Your chances of successfully using your planner go up significantly if you use a paper planner with this simple system.
There’s a few reasons why we suspect this is the case. Your phone is distracting (like when you pick it up to check something and end up scrolling Instagram for an hour) and there’s a learning curve with new technology that isn’t there with paper.
But data doesn’t lie. If you’re not already successfully using a digital calendar, start with paper and then try to upgrade to digital if you’d like to.
Hint: If you have a desk job and you have a digital calendar there, that doesn’t count as successfully using a digital calendar. But you also don’t need to replace a system that already works with a paper calendar. Keep that digital system for work and start a paper planner system at home.
If you’re already successfully using a digital calendar, Stick with what you’re using. These are the most popular digital planners though:
Google Calendar – Time Blocking Online Calendar
This is the #1 online calendar and what most people use. Whatever you need to do, Google Calendar can do it. Keep in mind, Google Calendar is a time blocking calendar by default. While you can set up tasks, it’s not as intuitive as other apps like Todoist.
Todoist- To Do List Online Calendar
If you want an online calendar that’s task based, then Todoist is your app. It’s AMAZING. Just write in tasks that occur every day (like your morning and evening routines. By writing “every day” it will automatically renew that item each morning. So if you write “feed the dog every day” then every morning it will remind you to feed the dog.
You can also group routines together by tag. So every day my morning routine, my evening routine, and my work routine all come up. And then any tasks that are written just for today.
You can set recurring tasks any time just by writing in how often you want it to occur. You can also talk to text by hitting the microphone button to add things like “refill Rx every 30 days” or “change the smoke alarm batteries every year.”
Finally, check off tasks every day to get to “task list zero.” Things that aren’t done roll over (but they don’t build up). So if you don’t check off feed the dog yesterday, you won’t open the app today to see two “feed the dog” tasks.
Cozi- Well Known for Large families with Teens
This is a popular calendar for families with teens because it’s designed to easily manage multiple users’ schedules together along with meal planning, grocery lists, etc.
What I Use: Online or Paper Planner
I’ve successfully used paper planners for years and won’t ever change to an online only system (every time I try, I fall off the wagon and stop using the planner… then life explodes into chaos).
But, I added in Todoist about a year ago to help me do my routines and I can’t imagine losing it. So now my planner doesn’t need to track all of my routines, it just tracks the things that are time based or must be done on a certain date (like appointments, events, etc).
Decide If You Need a Specialized System.
Most people come up with their own unique system that works for them (even if they still need to learn the secret to actually using their planner every day).
But some people would benefit from a specialized planner system that’s already created for them and that will work for their unique circumstances.
Luckily for them… there’s plenty of popular choices.
When you buy one of these planners, you’re actually adopting their whole planning system, not just the planner. They teach you the system to use it best and they cater to a certain clientele so they tend to serve that audience really well.
There are tons of popular planning strategies that are working for people that you’ve likely never tried. We need to find the one (or several because many of them can be used simultaneously) that works best for you.
I’m going to give you a quick run down and examples of the best specialized system planner ideas and who they work well for…
Hot Mess to Home Success: Home Success Planner
Hot Mess to Home Success is a phenomenal system for anyone that struggles with sticking to routines or new systems. It teaches you bare minimum effort on a consistent basis and teaches you how to work with your unique personally (not the one you wish you had) to actually stick to habits.
It has a proven track record of results and is often recommended by those with ADHD or chronic disorganization.
This planner tracks and organizes meal planning, budgeting, healthy habits, home routines, goal planning, wish lists, and has an impressive array of extra note pages like “movies to watch, books to read” and bucket lists of things to do around town.
Unlike the other personal planning systems in this section, the Home Success Planner is low priced (you can use this link to get it for 66% off- just $9 at the time of writing). It’s available as a printable digital file only, which means you buy it once and own it for life which works out perfectly since it’s reuse rate (the people who use it again year after year) is so high.
As part of their planning system, they teach you how to print it out for about $12 (even if you don’t have a printer) and add custom hardcovers to it for free so that it looks like a premium $55 planner for less than half the price.
Do I use The Home Success Planner?
This is obviously what I use. Big fan over here. I would highly recommend this for anyone that feels like their life is a mess and they need to get it under control.
12 Week Year
The 12 Week Year system is an extremely popular business goal setting system that believes instead of setting yearly goals, you should set 12 week goals. Because when you set yearly goals, you tend to ignore them and do them all in the last quarter anyway and by the time its the last quarter, what you should be focusing on has likely changed.
Fans of this system say that by using it- you can actually do about 4 years worth of work in just one year since each 12 week year goals tend to be the same as your yearly goals.
This system works best for people that excel at goal setting but struggle with procrastination.
It tends to be business and entrepreneur focused and the person using it has control over what tasks become a priority for the next few months.
People have definitely adopted it for home use and it would likely work just as well to organize and execute bigger projects at home like renovations, etc. But that would cater to an extremely detailed productivity minded person.
You can get the 12 Week Year Planner here, but you can really use any to do list or open block planner with it (I’ve used the 12 Week Year successfully with the Home Success Planner above) if you read the book and apply the principles.
Do I use the 12 Week Year?
I use the 12 Week Year principles at work and have for years, I love it. I used their actual planner for one year and then just switched to listing my goals and tracking their status in the Home Success Planner.
Bullet journaling is an increasingly popular planner system that can transform into anything you want it to be by the day. People that don’t want to be boxed into choosing one set system love it. People that embrace change, and hate commitment love bullet journaling.
The concept is simple.
You take a planner that’s completely blank except for a small dotted grid on every page and you make your own planner based on what you need. You can use any of the concepts we talked about here and you can change the layout as often as you want.
A ton of these end up being pretty planners, but there are people who do this functional style (and remember, just because it’s pretty doesn’t mean it’s not functional. It just means that they enjoy the creative outlet of calligraphy and stickers and it’s a hobby as much as a functional planner).
There are as many bullet journaling set ups as there are types of planners. While many people spend significantly more time setting up a bullet journal than a done for you planner, there are some popular short cuts out there that make this easier.
One popular system people love for bullet journaling is Brainbook (Use code: Rosemarie15 for 15% off), which lets you pay a low monthly fee to get access to printable bullet journal templates and printables- you can either use the templates to recreate the pages or you can print out the templates and attach them right into your bullet journal.
Do I use a Bullet Journal?
Nope. I’m a super functional planner and have no desire to be changing pages. I thrive with a system set up to work with my unique personality.
But if you need freedom, you want to design your own system, or you enjoy spending time planning… the bullet journal may be for you! ( Don’t forget things like Brainbook exist to save time so you don’t have to start each week from scratch.)
Choose One Or More Of The Following Planner Ideas To Add To Your Planner:
There are tons of popular planning strategies that are working for people that you’ve likely never tried. We need to find the one (or several because many of them can be used simultaneously) that works best for you.
These strategies don’t require a special planner and most of them will fit into your own unique planning system. These are what I call “proven by popularity.” Even if I’m not a fan of a particular philosophy, there are enough people that are using it and loving it that they’re proven to work for certain personalities.
I’ll break down the type of people that usually does well with each trick or philosophy.
Getting Things Done
Getting Things Done is a wildly popular productivity system that’s best for extremely detailed people that have willpower and can stick to systems. This is the most popular system for your typical type A personality.
The basic concept of GTD (as it’s often called) is that our brains are crappy storage facilities. The trick is to get everything you need to remember out of your brain and into a system that can be recalled at the appropriate time.
There are 5 steps to the GTD system…
- Capture everything- that crosses your mind (big or small) into your inbox.
- Process everything- in your inbox into next action steps. Sort items into reference, next action, or project.
- Organize- put everything into the right place, add dates to the calendar, delegate action items, file away reference items. Sort your tasks and more.
- Review- frequently look over, update, update and revise your lists, do smaller daily reviews and bigger weekly reviews.
- Engage and work on the important stuff- know exactly what to work on and where.
Do I Use Getting Things Done?
Not just no, but absolutely no. Detail oriented “Type A” executors love this system. I would LOVE setting this up with color coordinated everything and then I would never touch it again because there’s too many steps, they don’t make sense to me, and I’m not going to follow through on days that I don’t want to.
The only thing that works for people who struggle with sticking to a planner routine like me is setting up a system that lets me do what I’m naturally going to do (what’s easiest and laziest in my worst moments and make that work with the bare minimum effort on a consistent basis). I stick with Home Success and leave GTD to the glass ceiling breakers.
Eisenhower Matrix (also called Eisenhower Box)
So the concept here is that humans suck at prioritizing important things. We just do the things that are due the soonest, not the things that are actually most important to our long term goals. Because of this, we’re always kind of operating in the “red zone.”
The Eisenhower Box is one of the simpler planner ideas. It’s a box divided into 4 quadrants.
Based on where the tasks end up, you complete the action based on where it lands in the box. Do, delegate, schedule, or delete.
It’s works best for people that struggle with correctly prioritizing things, who just do the next thing without understanding leverage.
One thing that should be said is it can be difficult to correctly categorize items on your task list if that’s not your natural strength.
Do I use Eisenhower Matrix?
I have before. Usually for work tasks but not on a regular basis. I prefer ROI as a prioritization method. I actually think this method leaves a ton of room for error based on your ability to correctly identify where a task fits in the box.
ROI is my prefrence because it’s more straight forward. There isn’t a dedicated planner system that teaches ROI, I use my own system. But let me know in the comments if you want more information about how I use ROI in a planner for business and I can do a separate post on that.
Eat that Frog
“Do the hardest, most important thing first”
Eat that Frog is a best selling book by Brian Tracy but the strategy is SO simple, you don’t even have to read the book. Do the hardest, most important task for the day as soon as you wake up. Don’t give yourself a chance to procrastinate it.
Once It’s done, you feel AMAZING, like you can tackle the world and the rest of your day is really easy. You don’t have that big, stressful thing looming over your head.
Eat that Frog is beneficial to literally everyone, but the people that get the most life changing benefits are those that are prone to procrastination.
Hint: For people that have necessary routines, like moms with young kids (you kind of have to feed kids and get them to school before you can eat your frog), “First thing in the morning” doesn’t necessarily have to be the second you wake up. It can also be the second you start your work day.
Why is it called Eat That Frog? It’s based on an old adage by Mark Twain that said “If the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing you’ll do all day.”
Do I use Eat That Frog?
Absolutely! I’ve used Eat That Frog for years and can’t imagine life without it. It’s absolutely life changing. I’ve also adapted this to my eating habits (I’ve lost 60 pounds in the last few years) by eating ALL of the healthiest things first at every meal (two servings of the vegetables and fruit before the bread) and that’s also been a life changing habit.
“Work in 25 minute focus blocks”
The Pomodoro Method is basically to work in uninterrupted focus blocks of 25 minutes with 5-10 min breaks between.
These are typically used for work but can be applied to any project.
The idea behind it is that humans can only focus on a single thing for a certain period of time. So, rather than planning to work for longer but spending most of your time surfing Instagram or texting people… Pomodoro has you dedicate a 25 minute block of intense focus with no distractions and then has you plan a 5 minute break to allow for distractions.
This is life changing and like Eat That Frog works for people who are easily distracted and procrastinate. (Hint: this is often too rigid for super creative types who want to go with the flow of their thoughts and ideas.)
There’s a few more rules.
- For every four 25 minute blocks (called Pomodoro’s), you need to take a longer 20-30 minute break.
- If task items are small, group them together to fill one Pomodoro.
- Leave an overflow Pomodoro (or two) built into your workday. They’re for things that take longer or that come up when you didn’t anticipate.
If you work 8 hours a day, you don’t necessarily need to have 16 focus blocks of 25 minutes. The average worker only focuses for 3 hours a day. The rest is distracted busywork. I built a successful thriving business working an average of 15 hours a week by making sure that every minute of those hours was in a focus block with no distractions.
Also, if you need to get things done with toddlers at home, Pomodoro was life changing for me. I spent 5-10 minute breaks playing on the floor with the kids at their level and then gave them something to occupy them (a jumper, a toy, a busy box) for a 25 minute focus block.
When the timer went off, I went right back to them. Over time, the sounds of the timer, trained the kids to know that I was coming right back. It also prevented me from continuing on with what I was doing and letting them get bored. I built my business while staying at home with a baby and a toddler and this was a major factor in my success.
(Pro tip: It’s hard in the beginning and gets easier as your consistent with it).
Hint: I use focus@will to play brain stimulating sounds and to track my focus blocks, it’s $9.99 a month but I’ve used it exclusively for 5 years and it’s probably the best money I spend every month. It trains my brain over time as well, as soon as I hear my “channel” start (what they call their timed wordless “music” which is really more sounds.) my brain automatically knows to focus.
Do I use Pomodoro?
Absolutely. There’s no way I could have been as successful as I am without utilizing Pomodoro. I started Pomodoro the same week as I started my business. It’s life changing.
Zen to Done
“Get things done with a focus on habits”
Zen to Done is an off shoot of Getting Things Done that we already went over. It’s slightly simpler and it focuses on you creating habits to get your most important tasks done. So if your most important task is a dissertation paper for college for instance, it creates a habit of working on it for 25 minutes a day.
Who it’s for – Type A personalities, detail oriented people, people who enjoy systems and routine and can stick with them.
Do I use it? Nope. While I definitely focus on habits in my life, I use the Hot Mess to Home Success System which teaches those habits in a way that uses bare minimum consistent effort. I like the idea of this system in theory but won’t stick to it when I’m having an off day (or an off month).
“Visual way of moving tasks in a team to completion”
Kanban is typically done with post it notes in a paper planner or more commonly on an online task management tool like Trello which lets you set up an online post it system. But you can also buy large white board systems like the one above.
It’s one of the incredibly popular planner ideas (along with other variations like Agile and Scrum) in business task management of coordinated teams.
This is a visual way of organizing tasks so that the focus is on completing a task before you pull another one.
Your goal would be to work in sprints and move as many tasks as you can along those 4 columns as efficiently as possible.
This planner ideas system is able to show you at a high level where all of your tasks are at in a single glance. Then you can see what needs to be done, pull those tasks, and get them done quickly. Other benefits for these planner ideas are that it helps you focus on completion of tasks before you pull more. You learn to work more efficiently as you get used to pulling the tasks along as quickly as possible.
Here’s what this looks like in Trello…
(Hint: if you use Asana already, Asana has the capabilities to do this as well.
SNOWBALL (Or Leverage)
“Do this first to make that easier”
The concept behind the snowball (also called leverage) is that you prioritize and focus first on the tasks that make other tasks easier. This is most popular in Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball method, where he has you pay off the smallest debt first and then roll that payment into your next smallest debt.
But this doesn’t just apply to debt pay off. It applies to every aspect of life.
This can be used on a daily basis. Which of my tasks will make other tasks easier?
Do I use Snowball?
YES! This is a core foundation of the Hot Mess to Home Success system that changed my life. It taught me automation first (how to remove myself from the running of my home with no extra cost), then foundation (the only 3 things that matter in the running of your home including how to use a planner so you’ll actually stick to it), next simplified meal planning, then easy budgeting and finally simplified cleaning.
Each of those things were taught in a way to make the next task intensely easier.
Which is exactly what happened, because despite trying and failing at budgeting for 12 years, when I did the things in order… it was easy. Not “eating Cheetos on the couch” easy, but WAY easier than anything else I’d ever tried and it actually worked the first time. I’ve been doing that for 7 years now and can’t imagine ever going back.
Don’t Break the Chain
“How many days in a row can you do your new habit.”
If you’re trying to implement a new habit in your life, then Don’t Break the Chain is the best way to track it. It’s a really simple planner idea.
- Pick a habit that you want to do every day.
- Then put an x on every day that you do it…
This can be done on a separate graph in your planner, on the days of the week, or on a monthly calendar.
Your goal and the entire concept behind this is to go as many days as possible without breaking the chain of x’s.
This is great for both work and business (like making the habit to “Eat that Frog” every morning and do your biggest task first), but also for home management (like a habit of doing the dishes every day), or weight loss (track points or calories every day) or even just life (journal every day for 5 minutes).
Fun fact: This system was developed by comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
Habits to consider doing for Don’t Break the Chain
(Remember to work on one habit at a time for more than 30-60 days until it’s well established as a habit before you attempt to start another one.)
Hint: Try to make them SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound) by saying “read every day for one hour before bed” versus read every day.
*Note: you can still check it off if you read for an hour in the morning but by saying before bed, you’re setting yourself up for success because you’re actually thinking about the lay out of your day and deciding where it’s going to fit in.
- Write every day for 45 minutes.
- Eat that Frog every day for 45 minutes.
- Track income every day.
Weight Loss Habits:
- Work out every day
- Track calories or points every day.
- Meal prep healthy meals every day.
- Eat within your points every day.
- Drink 64 oz of water every day.
- Do 1 load of laundry per day
- Do one load of dishes per day
- Check and add to your planner every day
- Do a 15 minute decluttering session per day
- Do a 15 minute pick up every day.
- Plan tomorrow’s meals every day.
- Give your spouse 3 compliments every day.
- Spend 30 minutes catching up every day over coffee or wine after work.
- Spend 15 minutes a day with each child individually.
- Compliment each child 3x a day.
- Stay calm during tense moments with kids every day.
Self Care Habits
- Write down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.
- Take a bubble bath every day
- Read for an hour before bed every day.
Do I use Don’t Break The Chain?
Yes! I love Don’t Break the Chain. It’s as easy as it is effective. I choose a different habit to focus on every month. And, I often repeat a habit for multiple months until it sticks and becomes a permanent habit.
Planner Ideas for Note Pages
When you implement any of the above ideas, you’ll usually end up using your note pages to fit them into your current planner. But there’s lots of other things you can do with your note pages.
Inspirational Meals Lists
Having a shortlist of SLAM DUNK meals that EVERYONE in your family loves mixed in with some easy back up meals (that can be made quickly and easily if the menu plan doesn’t work out ). Back up meals can be as simple as canned ravioli or as delicious as pulled pork nachos depending on your current level of skill in the kitchen and your palate.
The Home Success Planner that I use has this in it, but if your planner doesn’t, this is a great place to list the items your house NEEDS to run. When you stock these items (hint: don’t stock food. Only stock items you would immediately go out and buy if you ran out. Things like deodorant, toothpaste, and toilet paper.)
This way you eliminate a TON of unnecessary errands and naturally save money by not opening yourself up to impulse purchases when you’re running to the store.
They have actual Christmas planners, but you can also use your note pages to dedicate to this (I use this one which helps you have the BEST Christmas ever, even with a tight budget and stressful schedule. It’s been a life saver the last few years.
This Christmas planner has single handedly established all of our favorite Christmas traditions and kept me under budget while still giving amazing gifts.
Listing out your morning routine and evening routine.
Listing out your cleaning system. Particularly if you use a system that has a different task on every day of the week.
One of the most popular planner ideas is using the notes pages of your planner for planning your weekly, monthly, and yearly goals (use the systems above to do that- like the 12 Week Year).
I always use the notes pages to plan all of our vacations.
This is my favorite. It means that when I see something I want to buy (on Amazon or Instagram ads or wherever), instead of buying it… I list it here.
Then when I have money (or when I save money) I’m able to look at EVERYTHING I want to buy. And I can choose the thing I want most. This way I don’t just randomly spend money on whatever happens to be in front of me at the moment (I have low willpower).
This also makes it so I can keep shopping, which I love, without blowing tons of money. Because I “shop” to fill my wants list instead of buying. And the more I shop to fill my wants list, the better purchases I make.
We plan our annual parties in the note pages including guests, menu, timeline and tasks. I do annual parties where we host the same event every year. This makes it really easy to duplicate and get better results. We have less stress and less money spent every year I do it.
Other Types of Planners
Once you get the hang of using a planner, you may want to expand and look into other types of planners that track specific aspects of your life.
Budget Planner (also look into Qube).
A Budget planner will help you track your net worth, your budget and everything you want to focus on to improve your financial outlook.
If you want to do this online- Qube MONEY is an UNBELIEVABLE life changing way to manage your budget especially if you suck at budgeting. We started using it when it first came out and I will never go back.
It’s extremely unique though because they literally do your budget right in your bank account, by separating your paychecks into digital cash envelopes.
Do I use a Budget Planner?
Yes but the Home Success Planner that I use incorporates budgeting right into their planner so I don’t need a separate planner to keep track of this, but we do use Qube… because when we started using it we cut our spending in half easily and budgeting actually became fun (even to Jon!)
Qube also works seamlessly with the easy budgeting system they teach in the Hot Mess to Home Success.
For large projects, you may find that having a dedicated planner to plan it all out is immensely helpful.
Home Decor and Designing Planner Ideas
Designer in a Binder is a genius system to plan out home projects and renovations, whether your decorating a powder room or renovating your kitchen.
A health planner can help you get healthier. This can be a planner that focuses on helping you lose weight, a planner that focuses on improving your mental health, or a planner to help you identify food intolerances.
This could also be a specialty planner (like this one that helps caregivers of cancer patients track complicated schedules, appointments, and symptoms).
Journal planners reflect on where you’ve been more than where you’re going. Popular with self help proponents, this can be as simple as a gratitude journal listing three things you’re grateful for every day. Or, it can be as complicated as a diary listing your thoughts, feelings, and focusing on what’s bothering you.
Even the Home Success Planner that I use has a bit of a journal element where it asks you what’s the best thing that happened last month and what’s the best thing that could happen this month?
Also popular in this category of planner ideas is bible journals.
It’s where you journal directly in your bible instead of in a separate journal. A current trend now too is do do art around your bible pages.
If you want to do bible journaling but aren’t naturally artistic, you should know that bible pages are super easy to trace just by putting printables under the page. There are free templates for almost every page of the bible. You can get step by step instructions here.
What do I do now with all of this information?
If you’re super overwhelmed with all of these planner ideas and you don’t usually stick to using your planner anyway, then just ignore all of these planner ideas and get the Home Success Planner.
That will baby step you through the bare minimum effort on a consistent basis so that ANYONE one can stick to a planning system.
Go for easy. 🙂
P.S. If you want to keep going and level up your planner routine we can help! Using bare minimum effort and working with your personality, we can help you master the life skills that will make a HUGE impact on your home and your life.
And it frees up 5 hours of your time EVERY DAY so you can actually have time to do the things you LOVE. Reading in the hammock? Yes ma’am. More time with the kids? Let’s do it. 2 hour long bubble baths? You got it! 3 hours a night to start a side hustle? Yes, seriously.
Learn the simple routines that matter and then build on those skills to master the complex routines like budgeting, meal planning and cleaning will take your life skills to the next level. If you’re ready for the next steps then enroll in Hot Mess to Home Success here.