How to Choose a Planner You'll Love

Looking for the best planner to fit your lifestyle? With these tips, you can find a planner that will work for you.

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As the year comes to a close, many of us are already starting to think about finding a planner for 2022. If you're a busy mom like me, you want to get a head start on mapping out your schedule and getting organized for the new year.

And, if you're like me, you've tried more planner systems than you'd like to admit and still haven't found a favorite planner.

With so many different planner options available, how do you know which one is right for you? It's easy to be swayed by all the pretty designs and accessories. But does that truly work for your lifestyle?

The right planner can help you feel organized and in control of your time, but the wrong planner can add more stress to your already busy life. 

Are you ready to find a planner that actually does what you need it to do? I'll help you figure out how to narrow down your personal preferences and find a planner that you will love.

Read on for my planner recommendations and to see what I've personally picked for 2022!

How to Choose a Planner You'll Love

When you're choosing a planner, you need to figure out what you're looking for first. Otherwise you'll be tempted to BUY ALL THE THINGS and end up with a lot more than you need. Here's what you need to ask yourself when deciding which type of planner works for you.

What is the purpose of your planner? 

Planners can help you organize a lot of things: work and school schedules, household chores, meal planning, goal setting, fitness tracker, etc. They come in all sizes and formats: from pocket monthly planners to mid-size weekly planners to detailed daily planners. You can choose a simple spiral bound paper planner or an entire planner system with refills and accessories.

Your planner may also serve as a notebook or journal as well as an appointment calendar. Narrow down what planner pages and sections you need to track so you know what features will be most helpful to you.

Are you looking for an all-in-one solution or a specialty planner? 

I personally prefer to have two planners: one for our family schedules and one specifically for planning lessons for homeschool. Keeping them separate works better for me, and keeps me from lugging a huge lesson planner around everywhere I go!

You should also consider whether you want a dated or undated planner. If you are consistent about using your planner, dated is the way to go. But if you stop and start you may consider an undated planner to give you more flexibility and less waste.

What kind of layout works best for you?

You can find planners with all kinds of layouts and you should take the time to figure out what makes sense to you visually, and decide how much space you need. Most planners have a monthly calendar along with additional weekly layouts or even daily planning pages.

If you have a busy schedule and multiple kids in many activities, a daily or hourly layout may be necessary. If your schedule is more fluid, a week at a glance may be helpful. If you have trouble prioritizing, a layout with a "top 3" or goals section is a good choice.

Are there any accessories or features that are important for you? 

Things like planner stickers and color coding may look beautiful, but to some people they are more of a distraction. Having a pretty planner is awesome if it works for you, but it's not necessary if it is more work than reward.

Think about things like hard vs. soft covers, spiral vs. disc binding, and the ability to customize your layout as you make your choices. You'll also want to decide what planner size works best. Do you need something that can fit in your purse or pocket, or do you prefer a larger planner with plenty of writing space?

Once you've decided what you need in terms of layout and planning pages, it's time for the fun part... shopping for your new planner! I recommend heading to At-A-Glance for a huge selection of planners for every lifestyle.

Plus you can use my code SUNNYDAY10 for 10% off and FREE SHIPPING on your new At-A-Glance planner and accessories!

My Perfect Planner for 2022

Deciding on the perfect planner for my family and home is usually a challenge, but At-A-Glance made it easy this year. I had a few things in mind and my new planner from the Harmony Collection checked all the boxes.

All the Planner Pages I Need

The Harmony planner included all the planner pages that I needed and nothing that would go unused. 

The year starts with a two page "pursuits and possibilities" section - the perfect place for goal setting. I love having this right up front so I can spend some time getting focused on the big picture before the year begins.

Next up are the monthly planning pages, beginning with January. There are multicolored tabs separating each month, starting with a two-page monthly calendar at a glance. The calendar has space for goals, notes, and a to do list. This is a exactly what I need to see the overall month and what I need to accomplish.

Then there is a two page weekly layout. Each day is laid out vertically with lines for writing but without times (perfect for our flexible days). There is also a section for the "Top 3 Goals" of the week which is a productivity trick that I have used for years.

Each week also includes a number of features to help keep my home and family organized: a to-do list, notes, 3 habit trackers, and wins of the week. These are super flexible spaces that I can use to organize things the way I need. 

Finally, at the end of the monthly and weekly planning pages, there are additional sections that add a layer of organizing without being overwhelming. You'll find an expense tracker, holiday list and a place to note important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. There's also a section of note pages (both lined and graph paper style).

I also love that there are stickers included that you can write on! This is a genius way to color-code your planner exactly how you want, without ending up with a million stickers you don't need.

And I can't forget my favorite thing... a pocket for all those extra notes, slips of paper, receipts, etc. that I need to hold on to.

My planner size is 8.5x11 - I prefer to have plenty of space to write in all the things (and I carry a big purse). It's a spiral bound planner with a flexible cover that will stand up to being used multiple times a day. It's also lovely to look at, with script accents, muted colors, and inspirational quotes. It's a pretty planner that is not overwhelming, which can be tough to find.

The Harmony is the planner that works for me... but it's just one of the many choices you can find at At-A-Glance. You can find everything from pocket calendars and planner systems to journals and accessories... and more. It's easy to search by size and feature so that you can find exactly what will work for you!

Your Perfect Planner Awaits

So what’s the best planner for you? The one that will work with your life, help you stay organized and get things done. I bet you'll find it at At-A-Glance, and when you use my code SUNNYDAY10 you will save 10% and get FREE SHIPPING on your entire purchase.

Need help deciding? Browse the choices at At-A-Glance here and message me on Instagram with questions! Be sure to tag me @sunnydayfamily with your new planner pics too.

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