My Favorite Tool For Keeping My Life Organized


From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center ~ #Divinely Organized

My Favorite Tool For Keeping My Life Organized

There is one thing I use daily to keep my life moving along smoothly. And although I have a smartphone, iPad, 2 laptops (one is in need of repair) and an old PC, I still need this one item to keep me on track. As you can see, I am pretty plugged into technology, but there is one more item that is not technology driven, that I truly cannot live without. Can you guess what my favorite tool for keeping my life organized might be? Do not cheat and scroll down before you guess. 🙂

It’s a personal planner. I love, need, and use my personal planner daily. I need to feel the page, have colorful pens and have a place to keep my grocery lists, to-do lists, appointments, blog post Plannersubjects, birthdays, anniversaries and all other important information that makes up my daily life. I also need a place to jot down my daily feelings and an area to log my prayer requests so I have a tangible reference for when God answers them.

Nothing keeps me organized, gets me where I need to be on time, or allows me to share my feelings like my personal journal. Surprisingly, with all of the available technology, planner sales have skyrocketed and different styles are  hitting the marketplace all the time.  There are all sorts to choose from and finding one that works for your personal style can become expensive and  be daunting.

Since the new  year is approaching and it will soon be time to purchase a new planner, I thought I would share some of the options with you. Please know there are many, many more options out there, but I thought I would choose five that represent the gamut from simple and inexpensive to the more expensive ones that you can actually tailor to your specific needs.

You need a personal, hard-copy journal if:

  • you like to have your day planned and available even if your mobile device battery dies or if technology fails for some reason or another
  • you like to be colorful and creative with your lists and calendars (you can use colored pens, stickers, etc)
  • you like to carry coupons or other important papers with you during the day
  • you prefer to personalize a system that works specifically for you
  • you are not comfortable maintaining personal information like credit card numbers, children’s schedules, banking information online
  • you like to have a space to carry greeting cards, stamps, etc.
  • you simply prefer holding a pen in your hand and checking off your to-do list
  • you enjoy maintaining your calendar, to-do list, and daily journal in one convenient place
  • another important positive attribute of a hand-held journal is the fact that it can be color-coded, add pictures, stickers, labels and so much more to each page if you enjoy that sort of thing (I do)

Personal planners can be very expensive these days. I know because I gave several a test drive before I found the one that works for me and a couple were quite pricey. Once I found “the one” I have ordered the same journal each year and with it, I am able to keep up with my family, church, work, and blog obligations. But what works for me may not work for you. With that in mind, check out the 5 examples below.

This article may contain affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are mine and you can view my entire disclosure policy here.

The Path Planner


  • Priced at $14.98
  • The Path is a planner for those who love to set goals
  • It includes proven principles of some of the world’s TOP achievers to make you purposefully move forward, get more done & feel happy every single day
  • It is designed with success in mind. our calendar planner has layouts that help you set yearly, monthly, weekly goals and your life mission, with a flexible system to move you toward achieving them.
  • This planner comes with several bonuses including a mini notebook (pocket size) for daily to-do lists + 6 coloring mandalas to distress, a printable vision board, and an annual planner. It is also equipped with a life mission guide.
  • Read more and decide if this is the right planner for you. You can find the Path Planner here.
  • Follow the link to see what the inside pages have to offer.

My Take. I like the fact the planner is wire bound and lays flat (I’m a lefty). I also like the look of the internal pages and the fact that there is room for notes, successes and a place to record goals. There are also sections for lessons learned and a place to list things you want to improve.  I am certain it can be masculined (yes I created the word) up, but it has a feminine feel that I like. I love the price and I think that for the price, it is a decent choice.

At A Glance Daily Planner


  • Starting at $14.35
  • This is a basic general planner
  • It includes a weekly appointment book and covers 13 months (January – January) and is perfect for teachers, administrators, parents and other professionals who are used to planning along the calendar year time frame
  • One week spans a two-page spread with one column per day. Julian dates. Quarter-hourly appointment times to plan your day in 15-minute intervals. 7:00 am to 8:45 pm, Monday – Friday
  • Quarter-hourly times run 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays to keep your evening free. Sundays are condensed and untimed
  • Read more and decide if this is the right planner for you here.
  • Follow the link to see what the inside pages have to offer.

My Take.  Of course, the price is right and this planner is simplistic in design. It is perfect for teachers and students.  There aren’t any uplifting quotes, but you could add your own. The lines are small, which means you need to write small or keep your notes outside of this system. It will work perfectly if you simply need to know what you need to do or where you need to be next. Personally, this is a simple desk calendar and not the type of planner for a blogger. 

Erin Condren Personal Planner

  • Starting at $55.00, this is a customizable planner
  • It comes with beautifully designed covers and pages that can be customized to include your Plannername and even pictures on the front and back cover
  • The internal pages, tabs, and accessories can be personalized for your needs
  • You can even choose the size of your planner
  • Erin’s journals are all encompassing and not only can you choose your layout, color theme, you can also choose your coil color
  • This journal is amazing and my favorite
  • There are encouraging words on many of the pages and it is set up with areas for goal setting and daily notes and affirmations
  • You can also purchase other accessories for your journal (pens, tabs, envelopes, etc.). All to make your journaling experience a positive one
  • This journal is perfect for the organized person
  • Read more and decide if this planner is right for you. You can find it here.

My Take. This is my favorite. Actually, this is the planner I use. My outside cover is different because I had it personalized, but this is my go to system. I love the fact that I can keep anything schedule related in one place. Coupons for shopping, greeting cards for a last minute event, notes, blogging schedule, appointments, etc. And I get the all-important positive quotes. There is room for goal setting, and a place to journal, which I love. You can add stickers, pouches, zippered compartments, and even a hand-held printer.  There are stickers, washi tape and much more to personalize this system. Could you do the same things in another system? Of course, you could. But I don’t have the time nor inclination to figure it out. 🙂

As you can see, it is a bit pricey, but it is actually mid-range because there are some that are a lot more costly.

Leatherbound Daily Planner

  • A bit pricey at $81.00, this journal is leather bound and simple
  • It is a sweet calendaring system with a beautifully engraved year on the leather coverPlanner
  • The journal comes in several colors
  • Each page has the monthly view at the bottom of each page
  • It appears to be set up to write to-do lists, as well as lots of space for planning
  • This would not work for me because I am a lefty and the spiral bound planners work best but this is a gorgeous book
  • Read more and decide if this planner is right for you. You can find it here
  • Follow the link to see what the inside pages have to offer

My Take. I don’t really care for this one. First of all, it is bound and does not lay flat. Which means it is not lefty friendly. Secondly, it is a bit too simplistic for my tastes and especially at that price point. However, what you are paying for, in my opinion, is the leather. It appears to be really well made and if you are in the market for an elegant, yet simple system, then this one might be for you.

Kate Spade 17-Month Medium Agenda-Black Stripe 


  • This is also a pricier journal, beginning at $84.69.
  • The journal measures 7.75″h x 5.5″w x 2″h
  • It has yearly views plus monthly and weekly views
  • Features interior golden metallic spiral binding, mylar covered tabs, interior pocket
  • Includes elastic band closure, celebrations section, notes section
  • Follow the link to see what the inside pages have to offer. You can find it here.

My Take. Now this one made me
go hmmmmm. I have never tried this one but I have a friend who swears by it. Although the picture above looks kit it bound, I am told there is a wire bound option. WhooHoo. I did get excited. But after more research and looking at more of the inside pages, I think that for me, my current system works best. This is a very nice planner and I love what they do with the black and white of this one and the gold and white of some of the other options. Very classy. But the inside is why I purchase a system and my current system allows me to personalize both the in and outsides.

There are many price points and journal styles and you will need to do some research to find the one that best fits your lifestyle. I have tried 3 out of the 5 mentioned above and a few others as well. So far I have landed on the Erin Condren brand (this is not a sponsored post – I simply like the product) but a friend is nudging me to give Kate Spade a try. I will keep you posted if I change my mind and give it a try.

What do you do now? Research, research, research. Yes, I have links here and it would be wonderful if you would order your next journal using one of my links, but I want you to be happy with your choice. Your happiness is most important. Because I am a blogger and an What Noworganizing enthusiast who loves to open her journal and read positive affirmations. Because I love to color-code and tab. Because I need space to journal about my day, and keep notes, the Erin Condren system works for me. A small planner does nothing for me. I need a larger size. But I did not automatically know that. After purchasing a few duds, I had to do my research to find one to fit my needs.

I hope my suggestions will help you make a decision because if you are a planner user, you know now is the time to order for 2017. And that is especially true if you are going with some of the designer brands because sometimes they sell out quickly.

Please, let me know which planner you decide is best for you . Who knows, you may have one that would work for me as well.

Until next time…Organization is my element




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21 thoughts on “My Favorite Tool For Keeping My Life Organized

  1. Amber says:

    Love this list! I’m a paper planner girl all the way. I had never heard of Path Planner. Love At-a-Glance too. I’ve been using a Passion Planner this year and will be using it again next year. It’s another goal setting planner. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Amber. Thanks for reading along. You are a girl after my own heart! I love, love, did I say love, my paper planner too. The Path Planner is new to me as well, but it looks pretty interesting. If you use At-a-Glance, you must have very precise and neat handwriting. 🙂 Me…not so much.

  3. Nicole Roberts says:

    Even a minimalist, I find that many of my paper products remained- my planner, bill box, paper books, and recipe files. Sometimes I just like something tangible, something in my hand, especially while planning. There is nothing better than checking off tasks on a to-do, especially a pretty one! Two snaps, friend! Great post!

  4. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Nicole. I feel ya. I can’t get away from my paper planner and so I embrace it. I also still have paper files, organized, but paper none-the-less. Thanks for stopping by and I’m happy you enjoyed the post.

  5. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hey Paula. The key is to find what works for you. So if you have, I congratulate you. The key is using it and you are. I will have to look into the The Living Well planner. Just because I’m curious like that. LOL Thank you for reading along.

  6. Grammy says:

    Great article but I will confess, I use my iPhone. I haven’t ever tried a paper planner. Everything and I mean everything is on the phone (important dates, reminders, schedules, to do lists). Just don’t know if I could get used to using paper again but you have to know this about me…I’m a tech junkie 🙂

  7. Clearissa Coward says:

    lol Grammy, I do understand. My daughter and my husband are exactly the same. I am the only odd ball out in my family but I love my paper planner. Although I use my iPad, my smartphone and my laptop, I keep my planner handy. And yes…I do know that you are a total tech junkie. 🙂 And that’s a good thing.

  8. Melinda Mitchell says:

    Oh, Clearissa!! Love, love your page! I’m another purple girl!
    I have a cheapie calendar, like $2. But the rectangles for each day are so tiny!And they put Sun as the last day of the week! Hate that!!
    So, I’m thinking I need to bust out and pay for a real planner. I keep hearing Erin Condren’s name. I guess I need to check her out!
    Blogging Grandmothers

  9. Clearissa Coward says:

    So glad you love my page Melinda. I am thinking of lightening up the purple a bit. Most bloggers now-a-days have these very light almost monochromatic color schemes. I won’t do that…love color too much and I must be true to me, but I have thought of lightening the purple. 🙂 It’s nice to connect with a fellow purple girl. I just received my new Erin Condren Planner last week. I am in love. Just take a look and let me know what you think.

  10. Grammy Dee says:

    I won’t repeat what I said above earlier but I do want to say thank you Clearissa for sharing this post at the Wednesday AIM Link Party. I shared it on my social media sites.

  11. Leanne | crestingthehill says:

    I don’t carry a planner around with me – I have a calendar at home and my purse holds a fair amount of stuff. I think they’re a great idea and I really hope the art of keeping a journal/planner doesn’t die out in this electronic age. And you’re right about the battery not going flat!

  12. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Leanne,

    Thank you for reading along. I love my planner and although I use an electronic one as well. I still find taking the time to jot down my plans and to color code and add stickers is a form of relaxation and preparation for me. Or perhaps I’m just old fashion. 🙂

  13. Pingback: The Planner: My Favorite Tool For Keeping My Life Organized

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