How to Choose the Best Mom Planner
Choosing the right planner for you can be extremely difficult, especially when there are so many options. As mothers, we juggle and juggle some more and your “mom planner” should be able to help you plan and organize all those juggling things.
A planner that works for your working mom friend, may not work for your stay-at-home mom friend who has kids in different sports four nights a week and neither of their planners may work for you.
Picking out the right planner is super important because if you end up with one that doesn’t fit your needs you are much less likely to use it. And what’s the point of having a planner that you aren’t using?
When I was growing up my mom always referred to her planner as “her brain” and she never went anywhere without “her brain”. If a mom 30 years ago needed an external brain to help her keep everything in order, imagine how much harder we must be tasking our own internal brains in 2021 without one?
I honestly believe a planner is an essential tool for moms in many aspects of their lives. It helps to organize and plan your time, save your brain space, and tackle a little of the overwhelm and possible anxiety for you.
First I want to walk you through all the ways you can decide on which planner is going to be the best for you!
Second I will give a detailed analysis of all my favorite planners, what they look like and how they work.
Last, I’ll give my recommendation of who I think each of these planners will work for, working moms, exercising moms, meal planners, spiritual and more.
If you want to jump ahead to any section just click on that link in the table below.
How to decide what you need in a mom planner
How to choose your Planner Size.
Choosing your planner depends entirely on where you are going to be using it and if you need it to travel with you. My mother’s “brain” that I referenced above was about the size of a bible, like a family bible. A decent-sized book but very thick. She could stick it in a purse if she needed to, a large purse, but still. It always rode shotgun with her and she had three kids so it was leather-bound with a clasp to keep it closed for durability.
I prefer my own planner to be an 8×11. I like more space to write and I don’t find the large size too cumbersome because I generally carry a backpack with me wherever we go and it can obviously accommodate a larger planner.
When deciding on your planner just think about where and when you will be using it.
- Will you carry it to and from work every day?
- Will it sit on your kitchen counter most of the time?
- Will you be toting it to swim practices and cheerleading camp?
Typical planner sizes are
- Full Letter at 8.5 x 11
- A4 at 8.27 x 11.7
- Half Size 5.5 x 8.5
- A5 5.83 x 8.27
- A6 at 3.74 x 6.73
- Pocket at 3.19 x 4.72
I Heart Planners has a really great visual on various planner sizing that you can check out here.
How to Choose your Planner Style
Remember when I said there were tons of planner choices out there? Yep, there are. And every style of planner has a multitude of options to choose from so deciding on a style like minimalist or bullet doesn’t necessarily narrow things down that much for you. Good thing I’ve done all the heavy lifting for you!
Still, deciding on a style is important. You don’t want features you don’t need and you want the features you do need.
For someone who is creative and wants to use their journal as an artistic outlet, you won’t want a planner that’s already got colorful borders and beautiful formatting. You might want something a little more minimal for you to create.
For someone who has really detailed needs, you might not be able to find a ready-made planner that fits your needs. Maybe going a custom route might be a better option.
Paper Planner or Digital?
This post is going to focus on paper planners but it’s still important to think about going the digital route if that makes more sense for you. There are truly some beautiful digital options out there and if you are an iPad user this might be a great option.
Traditional Planner or Bullet Journal
I will admit I do not understand why anyone would want to devote time to creating their own layouts and systems in the form of a bullet journal when there are so many ready-made options available. However, I am glad that there are people in the world who do devote the time because they are truly beautiful to look at.
Pre-Bound, Printable Planner, or Disk Planners
Pre-bound planners are ones that are already put together in a book format.
Printable ones are ones you print and bind yourself, or you can have it done professionally at a printing store like Staples. There are various options for binding them yourself such as X and X Printable planners can be highly customizable and can be cheaper as it’s a more DIY option.
Disc planners are kind of in-between. They have their own disc and printed pages that fit these discs but they offer a more custom approach because the disc allows the pages to be removed and added.
What features do you need in the Best Mom Planner?
When thinking about what features you want in a planner it’s important to think about what you want to accomplish by using a planner. Are you looking to plan your whole life or just a portion of it? Will you be using multiple planners at once?
I personally use three different planners. I know it seems crazy but having the various tasks I need taken care of all in the same place would be too overwhelming.
I use one for “life planning”. I have daily tasks and reminders, grocery lists, to-do lists, meal plans, exercise plans, and notes. I have another for planning out our homeschool lessons and a third for blog planning. All three require different features in order to accomplish the goals I have set for each area of my life.
Here are a few common features you might find in a planner:
- do lists
- grocery lists
- shopping list
- goal setting
- meal planning
- creative outlet
- note pages
- budget planner
How to choose page Layouts
There are four typical page layouts that you will see, weekly, daily, monthly and undated. I prefer a weekly for my life and a homeschool planner and a monthly for my blog planner. Daily planners are good for creatives, women who are using their planners for bible study, or working moms who have intense daily schedules to plan out.
Undated planners in any of these layouts are nice if you are starting at a weird time during the year as most dated planners start in January or July/August.
Another important consideration would be time. Planners can vary in length of time from 1 month to 18 months typically.This post contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through a link I provide that I may be compensated. This does not change the price for you and I only recommend products and services that I believe in and trust.
Features and Benefits of My Favorite Planners for Moms
Planned and Proper Planner
The best way to talk about how amazing the Planned and Proper Planner it would be to explain the concept behind the name.
Designer & mom, Shea Bailey believes planning refers to a bigger picture than just working out your everyday tasks. She believes planning involves having a vision of possibilities and using planning to turn those dreams into reality. She also believes the proper way to plan is to have tools that are appropriate to equip you for the occasion at hand. Her planner will help you be prepared for the day and be equipped for life.
The Planned and Proper planner is functional and beautiful! It comes in a variety of covers so you can pick a cover to suit your own style. You can also choose your start date anywhere between January and May.
What makes the Planned and Proper Planner special?
- 12 & 18 month options
- Wipeable stain-resistant cover
- 70 lb paper pages
- Gold Coil Binding
Planning Pages Include:
- Vacation planning
- Monthly expenses
- Goal setting
- Journal pages
Day Designer Planners have so many sizes and options to chose from, you really can design your planner to fit your daily needs.
All planners have durable covers with protective corners and gold wire binding.
Day Designer Daily Planners come in two sizes, the regular Daily and the Daily Mini. Both include:
- Hourly scheduling
- To-do lists
- Dinner Planner
- Top 3 Goals
- Daily Quote
The Day Designer Weekly Planner comes in the same size options but offers a little different layout. The weekly layout offers weekly planning but still has daily to-dos. You also get:
- Extra hourly planning pages
- Goal setting
- Weekly quotes
The Best Ever Planner is also highly customizable with many different options for your planning needs. Because of the level of planning and attention to detail for your day-to-day daily life, you can choose from 3 months or 6 months in the pre-bound options or you can choose to print your own full-year version.
- The print yourself inserts option is dated Jan – December and will print on 8.5 x 11 sheets.
- The 6 month option will be dated Jan – June or July- December.
- The 3-month option is updated.
The bound options are a 3 mil laminate cover with your choice of design and the pages are 75gsm paper.
Serious planning will happen with the Best Ever Planner because it includes everything you can think of!
- Timed Appointments
- Daily health tracking
- Additional features include
- Brain Dumps
- Goal Tracking
- Reflection questions
- Vision boards
- Focus Wheels
Ashley Shelly has ALL. THE. THINGS. Everyday planners, self-care journals, budget planners, and more. For now, we are just going to take a quick dive into the Ashely Shelly Planner though.
The Ashley Shelly Planner comes in two sizes, the petit and the signature.
The signature planner is has a hard glossy cover and is 7.25 x 9.25. The binding is silver wire and the corners have metal protectors. The pages are 80lb text weight, bright white, smooth, full color, and each month has colorful, laminated tabs.
The Ashley Shelly Weekly Planner layout offers 1 week at a glance with Schedule and To-Do List sections and has equal space for ALL days of the week including Saturday and Sunday. Each week also comes with perforated bottom corners to tear off and create a built-in bookmark.
What else makes the Ashely Shelly Planner great?
- -Inside front cover pocket to store – Perfect to store your Budget Notebook or Notebook Bestie
- -Clear zip pouch bound in on the first page for sticker sheets or loose papers
- -Creative Spreads each month to help you get grounded and inspired
- -2021 Inspiration Board page
- -Important Contacts page
- -Favorite Meal Ideas page
- -2021 Planning Overview spread
- -2021 and 2022 Yearly Overviews page
- -2021 Holidays List page
- -2 Notes pages each month with short lines and long lines
- -Holidays marked on monthly and weekly spreads for easy planning
- -10 extra notes pages in the back
The Living Well Planner is my personal favorite. It has just enough of everything without having too much stuff you won’t use.
The planner comes in three cover designs, which are hard, stain-resistant, and have protective metal corners. It is ring bound with a gold coil and 7.5 x 9.5 in size.
One of the coolest things about the Living Well Planner is it comes with a free Crushing it Bootcamp course to help you set up your planner and use it effectively. You also get access to Crushing it Central which is a video tutorial library for planner users.
What else does the Living Well Planner include?
- Long term goal planning pages
- Year at a glance Pages
- Monthly goal setting
- Project o
- Project and goal planning pages
- monthly budgeting
- 2-page monthly calendar
- Weekly Scheduling pages which include meal planning
The Best Self Planner is a perfect, no-nonsense planner for those that want to create more of a work/life balance.
The size is a conveinent 7 x 10, its undated with a durable hardcover and 100g ivory paper inside. It also includes TWO ribbon markers
What else is notable about the Best Self Planner?
- BestSelf Benchmark
- 6-Month Bucket List
- Quarterly reflection
- Monthly habit tracker
- Weekly time-blocking
- 6 Project Plan sheets
The Hope Planner is the best Christian option on this list and combines a planner and a prayer journal into one!
The planner is 9″ x 8” inches, with a linen wrapped hard cover and gold coil wire binding with 74lb white paper pages.
You can chose between and daily and weekly versions both of which feature:
- Undated Christian Daily Planner
- Weekly Sermon Notes Pages
- Inside Front Cover Pocket
- Gold Foil Monthly Stickers
- Gold Foil Clip-in “Today” Bookmark
- Full Month View
- Monthly Goal Setting
- Monthly Prayer List
- Faith-based Planner
- Daily Healthy Habit Tracker
While this isn’t a typical planner, I had to include it on the list because sometimes meeting your goals is more than just planning day by day, Cultivate What Matters offers “PowerSheets” goal planning which is designed as an updated goal planner will help you set, plan, and track progress toward the goals that matter most.
The size is great at 7.75 x 10.5, with a hard-cover, metal corner protectors and gold coil binding as well as several design options.
The Cultivate What Matters Planner offers:
- 6 months of intentional goal-setting worksheets and coaching to help you set goals and follow through. Undated—start anytime!
- A simple process that helps you break big goals down into small, daily steps.
- Exclusive seasonal worksheets to refresh and refocus your goals each season.
- Made with the highest-quality materials including hardcovers and rounded gold corner protectors.
If you want to plan out your life in the big picture instead of focusing on the minutia of day to day this planner is for you!
Clever Fox is really popular because its A) found on Amazon, B) has a great pricetag and C) because it works!
Clever Fox has several options to chose from but here we will talk about the daily and weekly options. Both are updated, A5 size with a hardcover and 120 gsm pages.
The Clever Fox Daily planner lasts for 6 months and the Weekly is a full 12 months.
The Clever Fox Weekly planner includes:
- one page for each day of the week
- spaces for the week’s main goal
- to-do list
- grid of check-boxes for daily routines
- a summary of what went well during the week
- aspirations for the next week.
The Clever Fox Daily planner includes:
- a separate page for each day of the week
- a daily schedule that runs from 6 AM to 9 PM
- today’s main goal
- personal to-do list
- daily productivity review section
This is a HIGHLY customizable Christian planner. At last count they had 72 different combos to chose from.
All In the Leafy Tree Tops planners options include:
- Beautiful and SUPER-smooth 70lb paper
- JANUARY 2021 – DECEMBER 2021
- Spiral-bound so it can be folded in half or laid flat
- Zip-loc plastic pocket
- Inspiring quotes, beautiful colors, and room for notes and journaling
- Birthday and Anniversary Spread
- Holiday Planning Pages (Traditional U.S. Holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas)
- Financial Management Sheet for getting out of debt, tithing, and savings plans
- Thank you Card Tracker
- Monthly Goals & To-Do Planning spread
- Simple Budget section each month
- Relationship Improvement page each month
- Year in Review spread
- Note pages (2-3 pages at the end of each monthly section)
- Summer Planning pages
- Vacation Plans spread
- Monthly Planning Matrix (versatile spread to use how you would like, ie. exercise, meals, work, gratitude, etc.)
- Together Forever – a spread dedicated to you and your marriage
- ‘All about me page. Similar to the ‘Child Tracking Pages’ now there is a place for all the details of your life.
- 6 Child tracking pages – Here you can keep track of everything from shoe sizes to present ideas for their next birthday.
- Family Ideals and Goals, including plans for chores and housework
- Financial Management and Debt-elimination
- Emergency Preparedness
- Home maintenance and cleaning schedule
- Vacation planning sheet including a packing list and meal planning
What can you customize In the Leafy Treetops Planner?
- Size options avalible are 5×7, 6×9 and 8.5×11.
- Daily or weekly layouts – 5 differently weekly layouts
- Sunday or Monday start date
- LDS or Non-denominational Christian content
What is included in the LDS content?
- Scripture reading charts for the LDS Standard Works
- A copy of The Living Christ and The Family Proclamation
- Home Centered Learning/Family Home Evening planning pages. Each page has a cute and inspiring quote and room to write down assignments, lesson plans, family council discussion items, and a monthly focus chosen from the family proclamation.
- Keep track of service given as a Ministering Sister
- Sunday pages with room for notes, lessons, and scripture study
- Non-Denominational Planners will also include Sunday pages and a Bible reading chart
The Legend Planner on the outside looks pretty similar to the Clever Fox. It is hardcover, with faux leather and 120gsm paper on the inside. It is un-dated and is 5.8×8.3 in size with three ribbon bookmarks.
What’s included in the Legend Weekly Planner?
- 12 month undated
- 2-page monthly view
- top monthly goals & goals by life area
- Space for daily planning
- The main goal of the week
- routine tracker
- personal and work to-do lists
- Weekly review
- Extra Pages – Awareness, self-discovery and life vision, dreams and life goals, yearly goals, 3-month goals and action plans, strategy and daily rituals, monthly reflections, and notetaking pages
What’s included in the Legend Daily Planner?
- 90 days of planning
- Monthly calendar, goals, and to-dos
- Daily work and personal to-dos
- Life balance to-do lists
- weekly reflections
- Habit tracker
- Hourly Schedule
- Space for notes and doodles
- Extra Pages – 3-month goals and action plans, skills, habits, people and daily rituals, notetaking pages.
Overall Best Mom Planner – Living Well Planner
Why is the Living Well Planner the Best Overall Mom Planner?
The Living Well Planner has everything you need to be successful as well as a FREE course to help you get started!
Best Family Planner – In the Leafy Treetops
Why is In the Leafy Treetops the Best Family Planner?
Family life is really at the heart of the In the Leady Treetops Planner!
Best Mom Daily Planner – Best Ever Planner
Why is the Best Ever Planner the Best Mom Daily Planner?
So many customizable options and spaces to fill out all the various intricacies of mom life!
Best Planners for Working Moms – Best Self Planner
Why is the Best Self Planner the Best Planner for Working Moms?
The Best Self Planner is intended to help working moms strike a perfect balance between work and home.
Best Busy Mom Planner – Clever Fox Daily Planner
Best Stay at Home Mom Planner – Ashley Shelly Planner
Why is the Ashley Shelly Planner the Best Stay at Home Mom Planner?
Ashely Shelly kills it when it comes to planning every single aspect of your life in perfect detail in a way that makes so much sense.
Best Mom Life Planner – Planned and Proper
Why is Planned and Proper the Best Mom Life Planner?
Planned and Proper just helps to brain dump all the craziness that floats around in a mom’s brain, from daily schedules to planning your summer vacation.
Best Christian Mom Planner – The Hope Planner
Why is The Hope Planner the Best Christian Planner for Moms?
When God and Prayer are at the center of your life the Hope Planner really allows you to focus on those things while still being functional as a planning tool.
Best Mom Planner for ADHD – Legend Planner
Wow! That was a lot to think about right? Hopefully you’ve figured out what you want and which planner can give it you. So jump in! Grab the perfect planner for you and get started today!