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I Always Go Back to My Favorite Daily Planner

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Homemaker’s Friend. All opinions are 100% mine.

2018 Planner
Update: This post features the 2014 Daily Planner. However, I have continued to use this planner in the same way each year. You can find the latest version of the Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner here.

I’m a planner by nature. Always have been.

At the beginning of a new school year, I would sit down with my daily planner, class rubrics, and different colored pens. I’d start with English and work my way all the way through Science taking great care to write down all my deadlines, tests, and assignments for the entire year. Each subject had a color, and I’d even write in reminders for myself in the weeks leading up to an assignment. Test on October 15th? No problem. I’ll just write in the October 1 box to start studying.

I never missed an assignment.

Well, except for that one English assignment where I was supposed to fill out a college application to turn in. That was a God moment though and a story for another day. Remind me to tell you sometime. It’s pretty cool. I still have no idea how I forgot to do that assignment.

Anyway, back to daily planners – spiral bound and crisp. They have been by side for over ten years now. Okay, fine. More than fifteen years. Time flies.

Last year, I created a simple to-do list and calendar system to help me manage all the moving parts of my life. If you read this post, it explains in detail how I keep up with appointments and plan each day’s task.

However, a couple of things have changed. Because no matter how many systems I try, I always go back to my favorite method for creating a weekly to-do list as well as a daily running to-do list and that’s my daily planner.

Consider this post an addendum and the following is what I use for point #3 and #4 from my previous post.

Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner

I won the Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner in a giveaway.

At the time, I wasn’t using the paper and pen method. I was trying really hard to go all digital. But this planner peeked my curiosity.

Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner was created by a sweet, Christian woman who has been a homemaker for more than 20 years with six babies in her care! She might know a thing or two about keeping track of your daily life! You think?

I entered the giveaway and much to my surprise, I won! My Daily Planner 2014 showed up in my mailbox a few days later.

Scrolled across the front of the planner were these words:

Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established. ~Proverbs 16:3

scripture on the cover

Scripture. On the cover. Of my planner.

It was love at first sight.

As I thumbed the pages of the planner, I quickly realized that it was broken up into seven sections:

  • Yearly Calendar
  • Monthly Calendar
  • Weekly Planning
  • Tasks List
  • Projects & Events
  • Information
  • Shopping Lists

Each section starts with a scripture or encouraging quote to help you think about what matters. It’s always good to be reminded of why we live intentionally.

Let me show you how I use my Daily Planner.

Update: Be sure to check out my Planning 101 Series featuring how to plan your time to be more intentional. I go even more in depth into my planning tips and tricks with more information on how I use this planner.

yearly planner

Yearly Calendar

I use this section to jot down any dates I want to remember.

I use this section to see at a glance what’s coming up for the year.

monthly calendar

Monthly Calendar

In my eBook, Live for Him: A Grace-Filled Look at Planning, I walk you through how to create a mission statement and set goals. Then, I give you a step-by-step guide to breaking your yearly goals down into monthly goals.

In the Monthly Calendar section of my Daily Planner there is space for notes. I use this area to write down my monthly goals plus my intentional living checklist items! Then, as the month progresses, I just check each completed task off the list.

I also jot down any appointments or deadlines I need to remember on the appropriate date.

colorful paper clip

I use a colorful paper clip (it’s necessary to use color, folks!) to mark what month we are in. This makes it easy to flip quickly to the current month when I open my planner.

I keep a shared calendar for the family online that my husband and I can easily access.

But the truth is – sometimes I don’t want to pick up my phone or get on my computer. When I unplug, I unplug. This is the main reason I went back to paper and pen planning again!

Therefore, I jot dates down in my planner as well so it’s in both places. I keep the rule that the Google Calendar is the master calendar though.

weekly planning

Weekly Planning

This is where the rubber meets the road for me. This is hands down my favorite section in my Daily Planner.

I use a colorful binder clamp (it’s necessary to use color, folks!) to mark what week I am on. This makes it easy to flip quickly to the current week when I open my planner.

Fun fact: The binder clips in this picture are the ones I’ve been using since HIGH SCHOOL! I’ve had them for THAT long. No joke. I love them so much. I even have the original box they came in. I know I’ve lost a few along the way, but these things are the best thing since sliced bread. If you don’t have any, you’re missing out. These should do it. Of course, the packaging has changed …

Back to my planner …

tasks list

For each week there is a tasks list section and a two page spread with entries for each day. Plus each day has a menu plan section for jotting down what you plan to feed your family each the day.

Not to mention, each week I have a new scripture to encourage me. 2014 is all about Proverbs!

At the beginning of each week, I use the tasks list section to brain dump all I need to complete during the week. I’m often overzealous, but I get it all out on paper what I hope to accomplish.

Then, I write in the mandatory to-dos for each day in their appropriate sections.

weekly close up

For example, Wednesday night’s are youth group. I’ll write in 6pm Youth Group for Wednesday. Tuesdays are days when I do Bible Study with a teen girl. I’ll write in 1pm Bible Study with K. So on and so forth.

Finally, I take my tasks list and assign each task to a day. This is usually when I see my overzealous list in a more realistic state. When I start assigning days, I quickly see that I’m trying to do too much and start crossing things off the main list.

I do use colored pens to help me see at a glance what kind of work I’m doing because this helps me work in batches. Working in batches makes me more productive!

For example, my computer work is written in with blue pen, family time is green, homemaking tasks are purple, anything outside the home is orange, etc.

The way I color it each week changes. I don’t always have the exact pens handy. Some weeks I write it all in with a black ink pen and come back with highlighters to give me a visual. Sometimes I write in my list with colored pencils. Whatever I have handy, I use it.

The Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner is small and spiral bound, so it’s easy to take with me, move around, tuck into purses, or lay flat on the counter. For this section (Weekly Planning) alone, My Daily Planner is a constant fixture in my home! No doubt about it, this section is worth it’s weight in gold for me.

Here are some past planning pages to give you another peek:

example 2

example 1

Tasks & Projects

I use these two sections to jot down ideas that come to me as I’m going through my day.

Again, I don’t like to hop on my phone or computer every time I need something. Therefore, if a blog post idea comes to me, I will add it to the tasks section where I keep a running list of ideas.

When I’m on my computer again, I’ll add the ideas to my master list on Trello. If I have a house project idea, then I’ll jot it down under projects and outline the idea into actionable steps. Then, when I’m on my computer, I’ll add it to my master list on Trello.

Info

The Info section is not something I have used. I keep my contact information in my phone.

shopping list up close

Shopping

Another amazing part of the Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner is the Shopping Lists.

I hate writing my shopping list on a legal pad or notebook paper. I always feel like it’s such a waste of paper. I only use one little column! The rest of the paper is wasted unless I take the time to tear it apart and keep the other two thirds safely tucked away for next time. I’m not very good at keeping up with loose sheets of paper!

My Daily Planner has blank Shopping Lists that are perforated tucked in the back. Each page has three columns of shopping lists that you can easily tear off to take to the store with you.

shopping list perforated

When I create my menu plan each week, I just add what I need to one of these pint-size shopping lists, tear off easily, and head to the store. No more wasted paper!

In the very back of the Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner are pockets where you can tuck receipts, scripture memory cards, or whatever else you want to keep with you safe and sound.

pocket in the back

I’ve been using my Daily Planner for almost seven months now, and I absolutely love it. I’ve tried really hard to go paperless with my planning, but it just simply didn’t work for me. Spiral-bound daily planners are the best way for me to plan my days with intention and actually stick to it.

It’s useless to plan if you’re using a system that isn’t working for you. I’ve always said that one of the most important parts of living intentionally is changing what isn’t working. Going back to my old faithful daily planners was a change that I had to make in order to have a system that worked for me.

The Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner is my favorite because it’s made by a fellow Christian mom and homemaker just like us. It has everything I need to keep my family organized and home running smoothly.

Want to learn more about how to plan your time to be more intentional?

Check out the Planning 101 series to learn more!

Planning 101 - How to Be More Intentional With Your Time (2) - Intentional By Grace

What about you? Do you think the Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner would help you plan your days with more intention? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

2018 Planner

This post contains my affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy here.

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37 Comments

  1. Oh, I know exactly what you mean about being a pen and paper girl. I tried to go digital for about a week last year and then promptly returned to my pen and paper planner too.

    Oh, and the paper I waste on grocery lists! I definitely know what you mean about that.

    I’ve been seeing your ads about this product for the past several weeks and am definitely thinking about getting it now. I usually spend about this much on a paper and pen planner from Walmart every year anyways, and this one has scripture and grocery lists!

  2. Great post Leigh! I wish I was more of a planner… I am more spontaneous than a planner, but I know how much planning helps get more things done and helps me not to be all over the place at one time.

    Maybe I should get that planner, hmmm. I actually prefer the pen & paper style as well ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I’ve been using a paper planning for many trips around the sun now too! I just can’t seem to do without. I used an Erin Condren this year (big splurge) and LOVED it! This one looks great too! I like the tasks list for each week!

  4. This looks really useful! I tried to go all digital, too, and I totally need to plan on paper, I realized. I love how you use color, too!

  5. I’ve been using these planners for the last four years. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM! Deliriously love them!

    I don’t usually get as color-crazy as you do, but I have the binder blips and paperclip and all.

    Confession: I love to get my new one on my birthday in November so I can start setting things up for the upcoming year over the holidays. It’s an awesome little homemaking gift to myself.

  6. I’m so excited to have won the 2014 planner during the FB party! Your post is great and love the tips! Excited to get it! I tried going digital, but I missed flipping through the pages too much!

  7. I love this! Last year I invested in the Arc system which I like too for different reasons but I’ve hated the calendar part. I fall short with dinner and then scramble at the end of the day so I love that the visual reminder is there! Thank you for sharing the pictures- this was a great post! I’m going to buy it now!!

  8. I just bought this because of your recommendation (that and you were so thorough with how you use it and the pictures help too!), and I am also grateful for the discount too (making it an even better score!) I love calendars/planners, but I usually don’t spend very much on them, except usually when I add them all up, that might be a different story because I can never seem to settle on one that I love or can use it for every aspect of my life. I am super excited about getting this planner and putting it to good use. On a side note, I’m not very digital, and have tried a few different sites to help me.. all unsuccessfully until I came upon trello from another post you linked to this one. Trello is the answer for my online needs and I am creating my own personal budget sheet(cards) with it in a way that I would do on pen and paper… and it’s free!

  9. Thank you so much for your suggestions — they are really helpful! I am wondering how you coordinate your lists on Trello with your paper planner. I also have a master list and a paper planner, but haven’t yet found the best way to use them together. Any help is appreciated!

  10. This planner looks amazing! I think I will just have to order it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ One little question…when you use the colored pens or highlighters, do they bleed through to the opposite side of the pages? I usually use a pencil for that reason, but I much prefer a pen! Thanks for sharing what works well for you. I can’t wait to give it a try for myself.

  11. hi i ordered a 2018 plannet after reading your article and recommendation but i have yet to receive the planner or any email confirmation. would you know if home makers friend is still up and running ? please help.. i live in singapore and a relative working in texas is supposed to bring the planner back for me.

      1. hi Leigh Ann, appreciate your quick response. I’ve already emailed and asked my relative to call them but there’s been no response so far. on google it says it’s permanently closed. so sorry to trouble you, but is there any way you can try to reach out to Sue Hooley?