Inside: If you’re scattered-brained like me and looking for the best planners for moms, I’ve got you covered. Here’s the easiest system to cut the chaos.
“Phew, what a looong day!” Exhausted, you flop down on the couch. You think back through the day and scratch your head, trying to figure out what you actually did all day.
Sure, you were busy the whole day, on your feet pretty much non-stop…but did you cross anything off your to-do list? You drag yourself to the kitchen to look at your list.
Well…the laundry went through the washer and the dryer, but it’s still sitting in an unfolded heap on the couch. You tried sorting through the giant pile of mail…but then a crying kid interrupted you and the mail still sits unsorted.
As you scan the list, your stomach fills with dread. “Shoot, I forgot the doctor’s appointment today!” You berate yourself for the $99 no-show fee you’ll have to pay and add “Call doctor and grovel” to your to-do list for tomorrow.
It’s okay mama, it’s not your fault. You see, between the meal prep, laundry and tantrums, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks…that is, unless you have a planner.
In this post I’m going to take you through the best planners for moms. But unlike those countless posts you’ve read or videos you’ve watched, I’m not going to spout a list at you of the top 10 planners that happen to be hot at the moment.
Instead, I’m taking five years of trial and error to find the best planner for moms who are scatter-brained like me. It’s a simple system meant to cut the chaos and increase your productivity.
So you can go do the things you really like…you know, like taking a much-needed nap. Because #lifegoals.
Best Planners for Moms #1: Google Calendar
Google Calendar is my favorite planner for keeping my schedule. It’s versatile, can be used on the go and you can check it or update it while rocking a baby at 3 a.m.
It can go across any device or platform (which cannot be said of the native calendar app on iPhone). So you can use it on your iPhone, iPad or desktop computer…if you also jump ship to Android (or vice versa), you can still use it.
It automatically syncs to the cloud if you have internet. If you don’t have internet, it saves new appointments and will sync the next time it has internet.
I use Google Calendar to plan out my whole day, as well as setting recurring reminders for my cleaning schedule.
Because seriously, with mom brain, I wouldn’t notice the laundry needs to be washed until we’re out of underwear. Since I’ve set recurring reminders for chores, all I need to do is look at that list at the beginning of the day to see what I have to do that day.
Here are three reasons to love digital planners:
#1: You always have your phone with you.
There are many times I leave the house with just my wallet, phone and keys. While I rarely carry a purse big enough for a planner, I always have my phone.
I dare you to think of the last time you didn’t bring your phone when you went out somewhere. Odds are, you can’t remember a time.
As technology becomes more and more a part of our lives, it just makes sense to keep your important dates and to-do list on your phone.
#2: Most planners are heavy.
I love paper planners, and will probably always use one in some capacity. I can set it right on my kitchen counter, where I’ll see it and remember I have a load of clean laundry sitting there in the washer, wet and waiting to be moved over.
But paper planners are terrible for on the go, which is where most of us make our plans.
Paper planners are heavy, bulky, and cumbersome. Compare that to digital, which fits neatly on your phone (which you already have with you) and can be pulled out at any time to make an appointment.
#3: Digital backs up.
It depends on the app you use, but most apps for moms have some sort of back up feature. Meaning — if you lose your phone, accidentally drop it in the bathtub or your toddler hides it in the laundry hamper, you’re covered.
Can you imagine filling out months’ worth of appointments in your paper planner, only for your kid to knock over grape juice that gets all. over. the table??
It makes the pages wrinkle, stick together and smell like a playdate at the park on a hot, summer day.
Let’s compare that to digital. If your kid knocks over grape juice, you’ll most likely just be able to wipe off your phone and be on with your day.
But even in the worst case scenario of your phone being destroyed, when you get the new one you can sync the data, and “voila!”, it’s all there.
But alas, digital is not the be all, end all. So that brings us to the second best planner for moms.
Best Planners for Moms #2: The Happy Planner
My best planner for moms system is two parts. Like I told you above, I use Google Calendar for scheduling out my days and setting reminders for chores.
I don’t know about you, but if something’s not in my face, I forget it ever exists. So, while I love using the reminders in Google Calendar to tell me when to do certain chores, I could never rely on it to actually get those chores done.
Enter, the Happy Planner. It’s a weekly planner, giving a chunk of space for each day of the week.
How I Plan out My Week
Once a week, I sit down and look at the reminders in Google Calendar. Then, I write them down into the Happy Planner, so that I can quickly see at a glance what chores I have to do that day.
I also use this space to write down when we’re responsible for snack at school or when my 1 year old has a doctor’s appointment.
I have the mini version of the Happy Planner. They have a big “normal sized” version, but I find it unneccesary. Since I don’t use it to hold every single thing in my schedule, the mini version is plenty enough.
My Happy Planner sits on my kitchen table, opened to the current week. It’s easy for me to take a quick glance to see what I have going on that week.
What are the cons?
The plastic ring binding of the planner allows you to customize pages by removing and adding different pages. This system can be a pro and a con.
While it’s awesome that you can customize it, the ring system can be a bit flimsy if it finds its way into little hands. I haven’t had any issue with it, but this might be something you consider if you have fast acting little ones.
I also wonder if it would hold up in a purse if you want to carry around with you. Since I don’t carry it around with me, this hasn’t been an issue.
Best Planners for Moms #3: The Living Well Planner
The third best planners for moms is for those who absolutely insist on having a full-sized planner for moms. If this is you, I highly recommend the Living Well Planner. Here are a couple of reasons why:
First and foremost, I love the weekly layout of this best planner for moms. At a quick glance, you can see what you have coming up.
The planner is set up for time blocking, which is a great way to schedule out your day into blocks.
In a nutshell, I think of time blocking as wearing different hats. When I’m at home with my kids, I’m fully wearing the mom hat. During that block, I play with my kids and do household chores.
When the kids are down for nap, it’s time for me to put on my “blogger” hat. During that time, I’m focused on helping overwhelmed moms put habits and systems in place to cut the chaos and create a life they love.
The Living Well Planner makes it easy to time block. You can start out planning your week by scheduling in the non-negotiable blocks, whether that’s exercise, doctor’s appointments or playdates (because mama needs some social interaction).
Once those blocks are in place, you can easily see where you have time to schedule the rest of the things on your to-do list.
Learn more: Create a life you love with time management for moms.
Second, I love that the Living Well Planner includes a place for meal planning. I’m a reluctant advocate of meal planning, which means that I heard about it for years and years and automatically pooh-poohed it.
It was for those moms: you know the ones…the drill sergeant moms with perfect makeup and well behaved kids who always eat their veggies.
I didn’t want to be a drill sergeant mom.
Until one day the thought occurred to me that if I bought groceries every week based on the meals I was going to cook, then I’d have the ingredients necessary to make the meal.
Let me say that again for the people in the back.
If you make a list of meals you’re going to cook each week and buy based on that list, you’ll magically have all the ingredients you need when you go to cook.
Sounds obvious, but it was a lightbulb moment for me.
If you’re not meal planning yet, check out this post I wrote about how a meal planning schedule can save you time and money.
The Living Well Planner also has monthly pages for budgets, notes and monthly goal setting.
So, what are the cons?
Okay, since the Living Well Planner is so great and all, you probably want to know why I don’t use it. One reason, my friend: It’s so dang bulky.
I talked about this earlier when I fawned over my love for Google Calendar, but I’ll repeat it again.
One major downside of physical planners is their shear size and weight. It takes up space and adds weight to our already weighed down diaper bags.
And as such, I never carried it. When I was out and about and wanted to write down something in my planner (which I didn’t have with me), I’d send myself an email, hoping I’d write it down at some point.
But then, I’d get home, get distracted with something else and forget to add that appointment to my Living Well Planner.
When I was up at 3 a.m. nursing a baby, I’d check my email to find that reminder sitting there. But of course, didn’t have my planner with me.
It was an inefficient system to say the least.
So, while I love the Living Well Planner and highly recommend it if physical planners are your thing…it’s just not for me.
I much prefer using Google Calendar together with a small planner for moms like the Happy Planner.
Grab your free printable planner!
Now that you’ve read my recommendations for best planners for moms, why don’t you go ahead and grab yourself a free printable planner?
I’m a huge advocate of setting up a simple daily routine. Putting a tiny bit of structure into your day can make a huge difference. It can take you from being a hot mess, to feeling some calm and control in your day.
Click the big pink button below to grab your free printable. You can print it once to set up a daily routine that you follow every day…or you can print it several times to make it a day planner.