Updated with more information!
I know, I know! It's practically September! I would assume you've all bought your planners already, except every day I'm getting zillions of hits for "planner for moms"-related phrases. Some of you out there are still shopping.
Catholic Woman's Daily Planner
The ever-popular Catholic Woman's Daily Planner by Family-Centered Press is in fact so popular this year that the small size, the one I like best, is already sold out. In the school-year format, that is. The 2008 Jan-Dec calendar is still available in both sizes. The school-year version is only available in the 8 1/2 x 11" three-hole-punched size. If you use a binder for your planner or home management book, you'll definitely want to take a look at Michele Quigley's lovely pages.
Two page weekly spread with daily mass readings, all feast days & solemnities plus a daily rosary mystery reminder. Two page monthly spread with the Holy Father’s prayer intentions and all major feasts & holidays. Daily prayers, prayer journal, address book, web log & year-at-a-glance.
All styles have the full color cover page and include 13 plastic permanent stick-on tabs (12 printed months -1 blank).
You can also order menu-planning pages and lesson-planning pages. I've used this planner (the small spiral-bound version) for two years and I really love it. I did wind up wishing I hadn't gone for the extra lesson-planning pages. I liked the menu pages very much, but I just don't have a need for lesson-planning pages. What planning I do happens right here, in blogland. I use a planner for scheduling our bajillion doctor appointments and for recording—after the fact—what we did, read, ate, saw. "Planner" is probably not the right word for my purposes—"chronicle" would be more accurate.
Michele's planner made a lovely chronicle. And I love having the saints' feast days printed on every day.
8 1/2 x 11" edition, $24.99.
With menu planning pages, $28.98.
With lesson-planning pages, $29.48.
With both menu and lesson pages, $33.47.
Also available: a men's version. The Family-Centered Student Planner is already sold out for this year.
Oh—and I love Michele's lovely nature journals, only $5 each!
Now, you may recall from last year that I wound up with both the Catholic Woman's planner and the deliciously pretty MomAgenda. The MomAgenda's soft pastel pages and satin ribbon still make me swoon. And I still think the format, with sections for mom and up to four kids on each weekly spread, is brilliant. You can read what I wrote last year if you want to know more about it.
What I wound up not liking, and one of the reasons the Catholic Woman's planner won out in the end, was the binding. In the beginning I actually thought the sewn binding with its sturdy-yet-attractive shantung cover would be a big mark in this planner's favor, especially with the ribbon sewn in to mark your place. I am a sucker for ribbons.
But I discovered I really, really have to have a spiral-bound planner. I need to be able to fold the cover back; I need small and wieldy. You know, as opposed to big and unwieldy.
Now that's just my preference. The 7-hole-punched Franklin Covey-style planners in nice leather binders have never worked for me either. They wooed me with their nifty pockets (I got a used one on eBay a few years ago), but you can't fold them back like a spiral.
Well, I'm in luck. I may have been too late to snag the small-sized spiral bound Catholic Woman's Daily Planner, but MomAgenda has a spiral-bound version, too. They sell it alone for $19.95, or in a perfectly gorgeous (and fearfully expensive) leather binder.
The spiral (sold as a "refill") has a sturdy plastic cover, metal (not plastic) rings, and those same pretty, pretty blue calendar pages with the special kids-and-mom format. In the back are also some planning pages (green) and note pages (purple). The month-at-a-glance spreads are all together in the front of the planner, which I love, instead of spread out through the year in front of each month's weekly pages.
This is an August 2007 through December 2008 calendar. So is the bound version, which they call the "desktop" model.
Here's a look at that clever layout (click to enlarge):
There are quotes at the top of the weekly pages, and last year one or two of the quotations were not the sort of thing you'd want your tender young readers to grab hold of. MomAgenda creator Nina Restieri responded to customers' complaints with concern, and my guess is that this year the quotes were chosen a bit more carefully. If you can't leave your planner out on the counter all day, what good is it?
Spiral-bound planner, $19.95.
Spiral-bound planner in leather binder with pockets, address book: $119.50
Desktop planner with sewn binding: $42.
I reviewed The BusyBodyBook last year (here's my post, which was quite detailed), and this year's version is similar, with some improvements. Like the MomAgenda, the BusyBodyBook provides a weekly grid with space for five separate people. It's a totally different layout from the MomAgenda, though—the people columns are vertical and the days of the week are horizontal. Like this:
The left-hand pages are for notes and lists, and the weekly grid is on the right.
I quite like the light brown shading on the weekly grids (though not nearly as much as I like those blue MomAgenda pages), but this year's covers don't do much for me.
Actually, the striped one isn't bad; it's just that my taste tends to run more to vintage botanicals. Or anything Lesley Austin makes.
Last year I complained about the photos that decorated the bottoms of the left-hand pages, and what do you know? This year they're gone: big improvement.
There are six-month-at-a-glance pages up front, covering July 2007 through December 2008. I like the idea of seeing six months at a glance, but of course in putting that many months on a spread, the grids must be much smaller, and these are probably too small for my purposes. The month-at-a-glance part of my planner is my most-used part. The rest is for notes and jottings. It's that monthly calendar that keeps all my balls in the air.
In the back are some extras, including perforated to-do lists (nice touch!), note pages, address pages, and a pocket. (There's a front pocket too.)
What strikes me about this planner is that it would work really well for scheduling lessons and activities for multiple kids. I like its 7 x 10" trim size and spiral binding. The cover is heavy card stock. The planner covers August 2007 through September 2008. (There are 2008 calendar-year versions available as well, with fun, funky covers.)
BusyBodyBook also sells a 7-column magnetic Fridge Grid Pad. You write the names of each family member across the top and their activities through the week. Here's a peek:
More planner posts:
Elsewhere on the web:
If you've got a planner post, send me the link!