My New Planner + Calendar Approach to 2019 (and a giveaway!)

posted by Andrea | 11/29/2018

It’s already the end of November… which means it’s probably time to order another planner and/or calendar for next year.

I know so many of you use digital calendars and planners (which is fantastic). However, I know there are many others (myself included) who really truly need a paper planner to get and stay organized.

For me, the simple act of physically writing down my to-dos and daily tasks, meetings, appointments, meal plans, etc. is key to helping me remember. I don’t remember nearly as well if I simply type something into my phone.

Also, I really like being able to quickly glance at an entire week (or month) to see what’s coming up — I haven’t found a great way to do this easily on my phone.

Anyway, my brand new Personal Planner recently arrived in the mail… and I’m so excited to share it with you today!! 

As you can see by the photos above, I opted for a smaller square planner this year… I’m changing things up after years and years of using a larger size!

I’ve been a die-hard A5 size planner lover until this past year…

Apparently planning for a family of 6 people (and 2 kids in school) on top of everything I do for work, church, etc. is too much for the A5 size (roughly 6″ x 8″)!

I considered ordering the much larger A4 size (8″ x 11″), but then realized it might actually be smarter to order a large wall calendar to keep track of our meal plan and everyone’s individual daily and weekly commitments, and use a smaller planner for my own daily to-dos. 

And that’s what I did! 

I even ordered a matching set with my signature bright pink accent color!

NOTE: it’s called “PERSONAL planner” for a reason — you can personalize SO many details of these planners and calendars.

I even have all our family’s birthday, anniversaries, and special dates programmed in, and they automatically transfer over to my new planners and calendars every year!

 

The wall calendar is a whopping 12″ x 12″ — plenty big enough (at least for now!) The planner is roughly 5.5″ x 5.5″ and can easily fit in a pocket of our diaper bag or my crossbody bag.

Although I haven’t actually used my calendar yet, I can already see how much better this system is going to work for our family next year.

I have separate columns for myself, Dave, Nora, and Simon… and a shared column for James and Clara at the end (they don’t really need their own column quite yet!)

Now I have a large space to keep track of all 3 different school schedules (High School, Elementary School, PreSchool) as well as Dave’s evening commitments, Nora and Simon’s extracurricular activities, various church, school, and community activities, and family commitments for each different person.

I’m planning to use the extra space under the date to write my meal plan for breakfast and dinner each day; and the large empty space at the bottom will be for reminders, weekly to-do items, or things that need to transfer over to the next week.

I’m SO excited to put this new-to-me system into practice and see if/how it helps me streamline my days, working from home and caring for my family. 

I’ve already transferred over all the upcoming dates, appointments, and long-term commitments from my current planner, and although I don’t want to rush through this next month, I really am pretty excited to see how the wall calendar + tiny planner work for me!

I’m planning a follow-up post in a few months where I’ll detail exactly how I’m utilizing this new system, the pros and cons (if any) of using a planner + calendar, and any other tweaks I’ve made in our system.

However, since I know so many of you want to order your planners, calendars, notebooks, and accessories NOW, I wanted to make sure I took the time to share what I ordered for myself, why I changed up my system this year, AND (most importantly) offer a fun giveaway and discount code!! 

More Personal Planner Links:

Here’s a link to ALL the posts I’ve ever written about my Personal Planners (there’s a lot of them!)

Here’s the link to start creating your own Personal Planner.

Follow Personal Planner on Facebook

Follow Personal Planner on Instagram

I’ve been using the Personal Planner for so many years now, and I truly can’t speak highly enough about it. The quality is fantastic, their customer service is top-notch, and the customizable options always allow me to choose what works for me and for my family in every season of life!

If you’re looking for a new or different planner, journal or wall calendar, of if you’re finally considering trying a planner for the very first time, I would highly encourage you to create your own Personal Planner (don’t forget to use the discount code below)!!

 

Enter To Win This Giveaway!

Today, ONE lucky reader will win a Personal Planner voucher for any planner or calendar of your choice!

Also, all Andrea Dekker readers will get 15% off using code: DEKKER15OFF from now through February 27, 2019.

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter widget below (it might take a second to load).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST, Monday, 12/03/2018 and is open to ANYONE, 18 years or older. The winners will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter and notified via email. I received a duplicate prize package in exchange for hosting this giveaway — but all opinions are 100% my own. Please see my full disclosure policy and contact me with any questions you have. Good luck!

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41 comments

  1. Lindsey

    12/07/2018

    I just ordered mine and I am so excited! Thanks for the discount code. The site didn’t give me an estimate time for delivery…how long does it usually take?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh goodie!! I think it’s 2-3 weeks for shipping — I know you won’t get it before Christmas as that deadline was earlier this month. You should get it before the New Year though!

    [Reply]

  2. Mara Beard

    12/01/2018

    Thanks so much! I can’t wait to hear how it works for you!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Mara! I can’t wait to see how it works for us either!

    [Reply]

  3. Michelle Bonk

    11/30/2018

    Does your wall calendar show a full month view?

    [Reply]

    Michelle Bonk Reply:

    And I LOVE that the contest is open to anyone!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I KNEW you would! I have another one next week that is open to anyone too 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    no, it’s just one WEEK at a time — so tons of space to write things for individual days!

    [Reply]

  4. Karen J.

    11/29/2018

    I love the mini planner. Fits in my purse and instead of getting appointment cards that I lose, I record all appointments in my planner. Also, I design mine to honor someone on the cover every year. This year I put a photo of my beautiful mother, lost but not forgotten. We think we will probably lose our great dog this coming year due to age so 2019 is his year. A daily reminder of someone/something I greatly love.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh that’s nice — about your cover! Do you save your planners then? I always just toss mine at the end of every year (surprise, surprise!)

    [Reply]

  5. Linda B.

    11/29/2018

    I really like the A5 size of this planner, but their monthly calendars starting on Monday drive me crazy…especiall6 since I coordinate between that and a “normal” family calendar. Each year I hope they will fix that, but no luck so far. Good luck with your new size planner!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh that is strange… I’ve never thought about the fact that you can’t start on any day of the week. I always like starting on Monday, but I can definitely see why that wouldn’t work for everyone. Have you sent them a note asking for this option? They are usually fairly responsive and might be able to make it happen for you (maybe not this year, but in the future!)

    [Reply]

  6. kimberly crawford

    11/29/2018

    Andrea,
    Loved this post! I have recently found a format (similar to your wall calendar) that FINALLY works.
    My colums are split into: family, work, personal. The rows held the day/date. For me, it has been incredible to see what tasks were filling up each column and has allowed me to create a more balanced list… and life.

    Thank you for all your energy and commitment in sharing what does and doesn’t work and how to find the joy in life.

    Best!
    Kimberly

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    isn’t it such a great feeling when you finally find that system that WORKS FOR YOU!?!?! Glad you found it!

    [Reply]

  7. Christina

    11/29/2018

    What is the book beneath your monitor???

    I started the ‘Bullet Journal’ the beginning of the year and I absolutely LOVE it! I kind of sort of used some of the ideas and rules to start, as you have to start with something, but really do my own thing now. I am also just starting a new one for 2019! While I don’t want the year to end quickly, I am enjoying some new year ideas and planning.

    Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — those are just books to prop my monitor up higher so I don’t have to look “down” 🙂

    [Reply]

  8. Debbie

    11/29/2018

    I’ve used a planner for many years just to log my exercise and what I eat every day. I like how this planner is so personalized with your name on the front. I hope win so I can try this!

    [Reply]

  9. Nicole Church

    11/29/2018

    This is a great post, Andra! I’ve been working full-time back in the corporate world since last February and I’ve been looking for a planner to keep it ALL organized (2 schools, church, husband’s praise team schedule, etc.). This looks like a wonderful option for me!

    Grateful for this product review! I’m going to check it out.

    Happy Holidays,
    Nicole

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — you need a biggie planner for all that information!

    [Reply]

  10. JoAnn C.

    11/29/2018

    A timely post for me, one of the items on my to-do list this week is to look for a planner for next year. Thanks, Andrea, for the opportunity to win and for the discount too.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    well good — glad to be so timely! Hope you find the “perfect” planner for you!

    [Reply]

  11. Rhonda

    11/29/2018

    Thanks for the discount code! I ordered one for my 8 year old (3rd grade) last week (sounds crazy, but she was wanting one, so I figured never too young to start!) I am ordering a personal and desk calendar for my MIL/FIL for Christmas – they have a LOT of birthdays to keep track of, but once they are in, it will be nice for her not to transfer them each year.

    I hope you like the new size personal planner – I usually get that one, and find it works well for me.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Nora always wants planners and journals — anything she can write in! I think that’s a great gift idea!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    My kids get a planner at school since they are in third grade. They make them write the homework and other things there. Not sure if they keep getting one once they start high school but I think it is great.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    this is fantastic! We got planners starting in middle school — I LOVED them!

    [Reply]

    Bea Reply:

    I love this idea to use one for your child!

    [Reply]

  12. Erin Heckber

    11/29/2018

    I’m curious. I currently use a different brand, but now that my oldest is in school have been debating on getting an academic calendar vs a yearly one. Is there a reason you still stick with yearly? I find that I haven’t switched primarily because there is no way to bridge the gap between converting between them (like a 6month option).

    Also, do you use pan or pencil and if pen do you white out or cross out?

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Erin, your last question made me giggle! This is precisely why I gave up on written planners years ago. My OCD takes over, and I cannot keep them neat enough! I know it’s ridiculous, but I finally stopped buying them and berating myself for never keeping up with them. And I hate to write in pencil so that doesn’t work either. My phone does the trick! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    on Jen, the ONE way we are different!
    I’m a die-hard paper planner… BUT I’m not a perfectionist so I’ve honestly never even considered whether to use pen or pencil. I just grab something and write. My planners ARE messy, but the surprisingly doesn’t bother me!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’ve thought about switching to the school year, but I just haven’t ever made the switch. Dave’s planner is set to the school year (obviously) but I still like using the calendar year. I might change later.
    That said, you can start in whatever month you want to start in for the Personal Planner — so if you want to start in July or August, you can do that!
    Also, I don’t have a set way of writing in my planner — sometimes pen, sometimes pencil, just whatever is close by! It gets messy but that doesn’t bother me — I don’t even own white out 🙂

    [Reply]

    Ann Reply:

    So interesting! I watched a Time Management video
    by Ruth Soukup that created the Living Well Planner & she assured everyone thst planners are SUPPOSED to get messy! They’re only perfectly neat when they are UN•used! We must remember the goal of the planner is to help organize our life, NOT have a pretty planner on Dec.31st.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, this IS interesting — and it might just have sparked another idea for a future post.
    I’ve honestly never thought about the fact that my planner is REALLY messy by the end of each week — it just doesn’t bother me at all. I love all the crossed off lines — it’s the sign of productivity in my eyes! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Michelle Bonk Reply:

    Erasable pens!! #gamechanger
    I can still colour code (one colour for each family member – black for “family” events) and no messiness when things get changed!

    [Reply]

  13. Chris

    11/29/2018

    Thank you for the giveaway!

    [Reply]

  14. Julia

    11/29/2018

    Yay for Personal Planner! Just got my 2019 planner a few days ago. I heard about it on your blog a few years ago and have been using them ever since! I have a lot of birthdays to keep track of (tons of nieces and nephews ), so I especially love the fact that you can have your personal dates put in. Thanks again for sharing such an awesome tool for us paper planner loving people!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    isn’t is SO exciting to get the new planner in the mail? Dave thought I was so weird for how excited I got when mine arrived 2 weeks ago!

    [Reply]

  15. Michelle O.

    11/29/2018

    I love my paper wall calendar. I, too, need to see everything at a glance and because I spend a lot of time in the kitchen area (I call it my office!), I’m always looking at it to stay on top of everything. It’s also near the phone (yes, I still have a wall phone…it IS cordless 🙂 ) so easily referenced when seeing if timings are available.

    I’ve been using the wall calendar from More Time Moms (no affiliation) for 6 years and I love it. I write everything in pencil, and when I write the details on the calendar I put them in a morning, afternoon, evening sequence using the first letter of our names (K, M, P, C, Ch, J). Also, when I come across an event that I think our family would enjoy, but are ready to commit, I write it in the calendar with a question mark.

    A positive side effect that I’ve noticed is I can see at a glance if the day is getting full. This allows me to easily manage our time and commitments.

    I use a separate paper for monthly meal planning. Works well for me. Thanks for the chance to win (I would give this one to my oldest daughter).

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yup, I love being able to see everything… and yes, it helps me realize when we’re getting too busy and trying to fit too many things in.

    [Reply]

    Michelle Bonk Reply:

    This is the calendar we’ve used for years as well! I really like that it’s true “paper” so it is easy to write on.
    Four kids, 3 or 4 schools (down to 3 this year), scouting/guiding, 3-4 theatre productions, swimming, swim meets … everything fits!
    I’ve just switched to the magnetic version to hang on the fridge for greater visibility by ALL family members!

    [Reply]

  16. Anna M Fischer

    11/29/2018

    I love having a paper planner it helps me so much. this season of life it is even more important for me to have a planner as I need to keep track of my husband’s chemo treatments. Plus with 2 teenagers and there schedules it really helps me.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    So glad you have a system that works for you! I’ve been a paper-planner-loving-gal for as long as I can remember — I think my brain just works better if I can see everything on a piece of paper!

    [Reply]