Plan on It: My love of Planners

For me, back-to-school time is the best time of the year–and I don’t even have kids!  As the new school year approaches, I find myself wandering the aisles of local office supply stores in search of new school supplies to help me get (and stay) organized.  In addition to teaching four levels of English, I also spend part of my day helping to keep our private high school running smoothly.  In order to optimize my efficiency (ooh, doesn’t that sound grand!), I require a planner.

The beauty of school supplies!

Finding a planner is never an easy task for me, and I’ve spent the last few weeks hunting for the ultimate one.  I have several requirements that limit my options–an academic year (runs July to July) being the biggest one.  During the school year, I make a daily to-do list but also have to keep an eye on the bigger picture.  My planner has to have months so I can keep an eye on long-term projects, but also needs separate days and weeks because my to-do lists never fit in the tiny monthly calendar boxes.

Blue Sky's Weekly/Monthly 8x10 big planner is perfect for my long To-Do lists each day!

My planner from last year was pretty good but didn’t have enough room on the day pages for my long to-do lists.  I googled the manufacturer–Blue Sky–and while drooling over their inventory, discovered the perfect planner.  Really, it was like kismet, as if the designers at Blue Sky tapped into my brain and knew what I needed.

Gorgeous! Look at the page for long-term lists and a full-page month!

Sadly for me, finding my dream planner is only half the battle.  I went online this morning to order the planner only to find that it is OUT OF STOCK.  School starts in a mere 24 days; I can’t dream of setting foot into the building sans planner!  Angels are weeping, friends at Blue Sky!  I dread the notion of picking out a sub-par planner from another company and hope it doesn’t come to that.

Is a planner an integral part of your daily life?  Do you have any planner recommendations for me?


  • At 2011.08.14 15:29, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

    I have 4 calendars running at all times. 2 downstairs and 2 upstairs. One on each level is for the month and the other is a daily calendar.

    • At 2011.08.14 23:00, Natalie said:

      I do keep a separate calendar for my book blogging life–one with all my scheduled reviews–but it’s a year-at-a-glance type one, all on a single page. If Blue Sky makes those, I’ll gladly get one, too. For my personal life, I do use my cell phone for appointments.

    • At 2011.08.14 15:39, Kathleen said:

      I wish I had a recommendation for you but I don’t. Good luck in your search! I’m sure you will find something that you love.

      • At 2011.08.14 16:05, Jac @ For Love And Books said:

        I am definitely a planner person! Although I’ve recently gone entirely digital using google calendars, which I have on my phone (Droid) as well as my iPad and of course my computer.

        Although I do wonder if digital is harming me more than helping… Maybe I should go peruse the office store for good old pen and paper.

        • At 2011.08.14 18:30, Ti said:

          Oh Nat! I feel for you!

          I’ve been using a daily planner from Moleskine this year and IT IS NOT WORKING. I thought that a daily planner would give me more room for stuff, and it does, but without that monthly view I am toast! I’ve missed so many appts!

          So last month, I bought a Moleskine Monthly for 2012. I can’t wait for January so I can use it!

          • At 2011.08.14 19:03, toothybooks said:

            i’m so jealous you have another 24 days of summer! school starts for me tomorrow and i’m already dreading it. i’m just like you. i need a planner or else i’ll forget when events are occurring or when i’ll have my exams and etc. good luck getting a planner! hopefully they’ll get some in stock before school starts for you.

            • At 2011.08.14 19:35, Lisa said:

              I just got a new one that I thought I’d love for the room for lists, but it doesn’t have a monthly view, which is limiting. I’m trying to use google calendars for the monthly, and the paper one for my daily nitty gritty. I have yet to decide if this is working.

              • At 2011.08.14 19:37, Sandy said:

                Most of my life runs on the planner on my iPhone/computer. But my blogging planner is a tiny little thing (zebra print! Ha!) that I plan my posts and stuff. I can’t digitize my blogging life for some reason. I need to be able to touch and see and change!

                • At 2011.08.14 23:27, Natalie said:

                  when it comes to school and book blogging, i’m a pencil and paper girl. for my personal life, i do use my phone for appointments. 🙂

                • At 2011.08.14 21:45, Jenners said:

                  Oh … it looks lovely! I wish you could get it in time. I have a weakness for school supplies too … I love now having an excuse to buy them for my son. When I was working in an office, I HAD to have a planner and I finally found the perfect one for me. It is such a personal decision and when you find the right one, life is so much easier.

                  • At 2011.08.15 03:46, vivienne said:

                    An excellent planner! You sound just so organised. I could do with some major planning.

                    • At 2011.08.15 11:54, Jody said:

                      As a person with a similar obsession with new supplies it’s odd to me that I don’t have to do the beginning-of-the-year rush to buy any being a homeschooler. Stranger still is I do not find planners work for me much at all as we are too spontaneous for them to work. I just have a large family calendar from More Time Moms ( because of the sheer size of the blocks for putting in our stuff, and then my iPad. I do have to say that planner looks fabulous! Perhaps phoning the customer service line to inquire as to the date of restocking may be in order?

                      • At 2011.08.15 14:36, Dishy said:

                        Wow, what a find – and WOW what a disappointment! Like meeting your dream guy & he’s already attached. I have a feeling this blog post may help find you that perfect planner just in time (*wink*) !

                        I am a calendar girl. At my peak, I must have had 5 or 6 hanging throughout the house. This year I’ve pared down the collection to a minimalist two, only one of which I use (the other’s strictly looks). But man do I LOVE ME SOME CALENDAR.

                        • At 2011.08.21 23:30, Natalie said:

                          oh, dishy…i ALWAYS get my man…and my planner. hahahahaha. (don’t tell ant i said that.) update on PLANNERGATE 2011 later this week.

                        • At 2011.08.15 14:37, Dishy said:

                          Correction: three. Three calendars. I forgot the cute tiny one in the kitchen. Also, strictly looks. 😉

                          • At 2011.08.15 16:48, A Southern Cousin said:

                            I feel the same way!! I have been using a Compact Franklin Planner for years, but as my kids are getting older and since I too have begun teaching, I am finding it sometimes inadequate. I will be on the hunt for a new one and will let you know of any progress!

                            • At 2011.08.17 10:12, Jessica said:

                              A kindred school-supply-lovin’ soul! Isn’t this a great time of year??

                              I feel your pain of trying to get the perfect planner. And I love the word “planner” because it’s not just a calendar, right? As a freelance editor, I have to keep track of details and deadlines for several different projects at once, so I completely understand the pure elation that comes when you find the perfect one! Since the one you prefer is out of stock for now, I highly suggest you check out Planner Pads ( They explain how the planner is set up, but they don’t mention you also get a full monthly calendar page and notes page at the beginning of each month and about ten pages in the back to be used for “future” goals/projects/schedules, etc. You can get dated and undated versions, and they also have a version that goes July-July. I got my first Planner Pad in 2000, and I get giddy every year when reordering time rolls around. Any questions, let me know! I could talk planners all day long! 🙂

                              • At 2011.08.21 23:26, Natalie said:

                                am i totally dorky for LOVING school supplies and planners? a box of new crayons sends me into paroxysms of delight–and i’m THIRTY-SEVEN years old. sad, really. (i’m working on a craft that required the purchase of a huge box of crayons–it was heavenly to smell them all and admire their pristine condition.)

                                as for my planner search, i’m happy to report that it’s over. more on that news later in the week! 🙂

                                as for, you have piqued my interest, though. i’m such a slave to planners.

                              • At 2011.08.19 02:20, Cathy said:

                                I am a planner person, and Blue Sky makes the ones I love!

                                • At 2011.08.21 16:30, Jennifer said:

                                  I am infamous for cramming way too much into my life. Just this year alone I am going through a teacher credential program, beginning to student teach, working with on campus undergraduate res life, and working at the local library part time. Those are just my work related responsibilities. So obviously, I am in desperate need of a planner. I used to buy my planners from DayTimer. They have a really great selection and most of their planners come with inserts that can help you manage lists. However, they can be a bit pricy. However, when I got an iPhone and then an iPad i switched over to an electronic planner. I love the iCal app and have been experimenting with different apps to maintain my massive to do lists. I hope that you find the perfect planner before school starts!

                                  • At 2011.08.21 23:29, Natalie said:

                                    i’m dizzy from your comment–talk about over scheduled! the weird thing with me is that the more i have to do, the more i get done. give me a vacation day and i turn to mush and do NOTHING. not good. i can fit more into a day after working until 5:45 than on the weekend. i guess once i get going there’s no stopping me! hope that rule applies to you this year, otherwise you’re going to be missing out on a ton of sleep. as for PLANNERGATE 2011, there is a happy ending to my tale. details to follow later in the week!

                                  • At 2011.08.22 14:35, veronica said:

                                    I’m so with you on the need for a planner. I’m kind of a mess in all aspects of life so my planner tries to be like the eye of the storm. I really, really love Franklin Covey planners (especially since you can go on their site and design the planner yourself so it’s to your exact specifications and totally personalized) but they can be super expensive (like SUPER expensive).

                                    Good luck for the new school year, and enjoy the rest of vacation. 🙂

                                    • At 2011.08.28 22:54, Lisa said:

                                      Ah, that really is a great planner! I know so many people who have entirely given up on paper planners but I still need to be able to have it all laid out in front of me in a form where it is big enough to see and that I can grab and take with me. I’m going to have to check this one out.

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