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Walk into any Staples, or browse online, and you will find hundreds of different planners. I admit to being a planner junkie, and I’m not the only one! We all yearn to get our lives in order and believe buying the latest planner will magically make it happen. The choice of planners is completely subjective. Since a good physical planner should compensate for your shortcomings around being organized (whatever that means to you), it’s impossible for me to know what would be your best choice. So here is a buffet of yummy ones.


Business or Personal?


I’ve tried combining business and personal in one planner, and I’ve tried keeping them separate. Having all your events and reminders in one place certainly seems to make a lot of sense, since it’s just you managing all this stuff.

I’ve tried it both ways, and found  – for me – that having life and biz in one planner is too chaotic for me. Logically it should be more efficient and streamlined. But it doesn’t work with my mindset. I allot time each day for personal tasks and business tasks.

When I’m in “biz” time, that’s all I want to see and know about. I don’t need to open up my planner and see that I have to go to the post office, buy cat food, or remind one of my violin students to reschedule last week’s lesson. Tell me what Tala Arts needs from me today.

So I ended up with three separate planners. For biz, I found this gem, The Awesome Marketing Planner. For years I used Leonie Dawson’s Shining Biz and Shining Life workbooks (2 separate books). They’re available on Amazon. Very big and comprehensive, but there was a lot in them that wasn’t relevant to me. They’re more geared towards mothers of young children, I think. Excellent way to plan your year! I’ve used Passion Planner, the downloadable version. I love what Ms. Trinidad did there, and highly recommend it. I’ve downloaded a couple others that I didn’t use, but they looked well done. I’ll provide links near the end of this post.

My second planner is for scheduling violin lessons. That’s all it does. I keep it in my violin case so I always have it with me for lessons. When I’m teaching, that’s all I want to think about. Found it in a drugstore. Very simple.

My third planner/organizer is Google Calendar. My next blog post will cover electronic and virtual planners, so I’ll talk about it there. Basically, all my time commitments are there for everything, but not in detail. I block out time with labels like “Tala Arts time” and “Lessons.” Everything else is more specific, like appointments. The challenge is in making sure all 3 organizers are in agreement!

Planners and organizers should do two things – guide you to plan your yearly goals, and break those goals down into actionable steps. Then, when you transfer those steps onto specific dates, they become appointments with yourself, just like any other appointments. For planning and goal setting, I much prefer using a physical book and markers rather than online.


Some Planners to Get You Started


Wirecutter has reviewed several planners based on certain criteria for various uses.

Intentional Moms presents the “Ultimate Planner Review.”

New York Times defends its case for paper planners.

Natalie Bacon presents “An honest Review of 8 Amazing Journals and Planners.”

Refinery 29  “15 Planners That Will Make 2018 Your Most Organized Year Ever!”

Passion Planner is mentioned above.

And these from Rocket Book are just about the coolest around, They work with the internet somehow, and are reusable by either washing, wiping, or microwaving them. Honest.

NOTE: I’m an affiliate for Awesome Marketing Planner, but only because I wholeheartedly recommend it!

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

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