I’m a planner. No pun intended.
People often ask me how I do it all, and my answer is really simple: priorities and time management. We choose where we spend our time. During pandemic, I’ve done a terrible job keeping track of my productivity. And not just that, but I haven’t been spending my time in the most productive of ways these last few months.
This week, I started logging my time in 15-minute increments using this free tool. Um, that’s eye opening. But I’m serious about starting a fall with more intention.
Back in April, I decided to get a new planner for me and the girls for the fall, even though we had absolutely nothing to write in it. Ha! But seriously, life is chugging along even if most of the entries in our calendar are Zoom meetings.
So, as August gears up and we begin school again (even if it looks totally different than I ever imagined), we’re gonna find our scheduling groove again. And we’re gonna thrive. Because I said so.
Oh, and this post isn’t sponsored. Plum Paper doesn’t even know who I am! I just wanted to share my two cents.
What I loved.
The personalization. I am not a one-size-fits-all planner kinda gal. Rather, I prefer something that I can make my own. I absolutely loved that I could do an hour-by-hour schedule for my days. For my girls, we chose the student planners, meaning that we could actually add in their subjects, so they can keep track of assignments and tests. I’ve never seen that kind of detailed personalization before. Love. The girls chose different daily student layouts and personalized them with their class schedule. In addition, we could choose covers, fonts, colors, GAH. They really feel like ours.
The binding. I am a freelance graphic designer and I’ve spent my fair share of time at a print house. I detest plastic binding. It’s cheap and it breaks. Because we use our planners, a lot, and they get lugged all over creation, I appreciate the metal coiling system. As a sidenote, I am LOVING my planner stickers from Sweet Little Ones that include saint quotes and scripture verses. I use mine as the first “monthly goal” for each month. Perfection!
The customer service. When our planners arrived, the girls’ covers got switched accidentally, so I reached out to customer service thinking we would have to throw out their planners (or send back and have them re-bound). But, much to my surprise, they sent us new snap-in covers, along with a $15 refund, within a week. I couldn’t have been more impressed with that quick (and Earth-friendly) response.
The extras. I added fitness, shopping list and to-do sheets as extra sections in my planner (mine are divided among every month, but you can also do them in their own sections. The girls included an “academic” section that also included “community service” trackers. For my high school parents, you know how useful that information is when applying for scholarships or applying to college! Plus, Plum Paper also had pen holders, stickers, clips and so many other useful and fun add-ons.
The paper quality. It’s not too thin, my felt tip pens don’t smudge or bleed through and it’s the perfect weight.
What I am on the fence about.
The learning curve. Because of all the personalization, I did have to watch a video first. It wasn’t long (a few minutes), but you do have to familiarize yourself with their system. But, now I have the hang of it for next time!
I can’t add special days. As much as I love that they pre-print the month-at-a-glace holidays, I would’ve loved the option to also include other pre-printed days, like Catholic feast days or other religious holidays in the master calendar page. It’s not a huge deal, just a nice-to-have.
The bottom line.
I read reviews of more than a dozen planning companies. I pored over websites, watched a ridiculous (!) amount of YouTube videos and made a list of the things that were important to me. For several years, I was an avid user of the Blessed is She planner, but I needed more flexibility in the sections, as well as planners that made more sense for my middle school and high school girls. I can wholeheartedly say: HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
I’ll be recording a YouTube video this week of some of the specific features and it will be live next Monday. I hope it’s helpful! Leave any comments if I can answer any questions.