A planner is a tool – not a tyrant. It won’t do the work for you, but it may make it easier for you to do the things you must and the things you want to do. There is no one perfect planner, but there may be a perfect planner for you. In my experience, it has not been easy discerning which planner is the right fit for me. I spent years trying many different things on for size. For me it came down to a combination of things. I needed something that would sync with my brain. I needed an internal sense of permission to embrace something imperfect. And, I needed to give myself permission to change how I use it as many times as it takes to find the best fit for my needs. And, of course, this may mean using it differently in different seasons.
For me, the perfect school planner is the Erin Condren Teacher Planner. I love the columned format of the lesson planning pages. I love the monthly prep pages, and I am finding great uses for the monthly calendar. Until last November I was a computer generated clipboard girl. Before that I was a three-ring binder girl. It is all right to use what you can afford and what works best for you. This year I discerned that the cost of the planner was manageable in my budget when I considered the benefits that a tidy planner would provide:
- I am powerfully motivated by beauty, and the colors of the EC planner sing to me.
- I teach a Homer class for other homeschoolers once a week, and I needed more planning space for that.
- I lead a number of book clubs, and needed space to plan for those.
- My kids are old enough now to have a fair amount of independent work that needs to be planned.
- I want to have more thoughtful memory work and Morning Basket time, and the planning pages help with that.
- Our quiet life has gotten full and busy this year, and I need to have more separation between the structured school time and the regular daily life time. Having a planner keeps me accountable to that goal.
- We are becoming more intentional about keeping the liturgical year, and the structure of the EC planner makes that easier for me.
All of these things could be accomplished with other tools! But in my experience the ECTP makes it intuitive for me and reduces my decision fatigue. I just pray, plug it in, and then work the plan.
For my daily living, I use a Day Designer Flagship planner. Erin Condren does not make a daily planner and I must have a daily for my day-to-day living. I use my ECTP for school and enrichment activities. I use the Day Designer for my goals, family calendar, and daily living.
Note: The Erin Condren & Day Designer links are referral links. If you are a new customer and sign up for an Erin Condren account through that link, you and I both earn a $10 Erin Condren credit. I wish I had a Day Designer coupon for you, but sadly I am not aware of any.