Choosing a new planner each year is always a bit of a chore. This year I used “A Simple Plan” homeschool planner from Mardel, plus the On The Go planner from Well Planned Gal for personal/household scheduling. I liked that “A Simple Plan” had large spirals that opened easily, however they were a little too large. I also appreciated the front pockets and durable cover. The cardstock tabbed dividers between months was nice, as well. There was a section for recording attendance for students, but not for grades, so I used the planning pages for recording grades. The drawback to this planner, though, is that it is strictly for homeschool planning, with no additional space for personal/family/household planning, which is why I ended up with the second “On The Go” planner for handling all of that.
It was fine, it worked okay, but for next year, I really want to combine it all into one planner. I find the flipping back and forth to be a bit tedious and redundant. I also want one planner for meal planning to make planning around homeschool and family events easier without having multiple planners open on the table at once.
Well Planned Day by Well Planned Gal has all the homeschool and household planning options I am looking for (well, almost all, but I didn’t want to have to make my own from scratch). It contains yearly homeschool planning pages for each student, pages to track attendance and grades, chore charts, tear-out-shopping lists, monthly recording places for reading, projects, etc., plus a Christmas planning section. Plus, the colors and designs are just beautiful. My big complaint about this planner, as I have used it in years past, is the cover. The cover is just laminated cardstock, without pockets. The cover does not endure 12 months of my use. The first time I used this cover, it finished the year covered in packing tape to hold the cover on and I have taped cardstock pockets inside to hold loose papers. The next time I used it, I sewed a cover for it, with pockets, and it helped, but the pockets were not big enough to hold papers without folding them.
This year, I was determined to get my “Well Planned Day” planner to fit my needs. Originally, I planned to buy a poly folder cover, punch holes with my binding machine and then re-bind the whole planner. This idea failed as the holes on the planner did not match the holes that my binder punches.
So, I moved on to the idea of a 3-ring binder, but a soft one to be easier to slip into a tote bag. I found a beautiful floral one at Dollar Tree, of all places!
I also picked up two poly binder pocket folders. Three dollars gave my planner a more durable cover and two sets of pockets inside!
I went a couple of steps further and added a stretchy band to hold it closed. I used elastic cording from Michael’s (known in my previous diaper making days as fold over elastic) to make a simple loop and punched two holes in the back cover to run it through before tying it.
I also pulled out my label maker to add the year to the spine.
As a side note, I found the leftover sections of binding holes to catch on each other while turning pages, so I pulled out my paper cutter and trimmed them off.
I am so excited with how it turned out! I can’t wait to start using it in July. And, worst case, if the cover lives up to its $1 price tag and starts to tear or come apart, I can easily replace it. Perhaps next year I will take the time to design and print my own planner pages. But, if I decide to stick with “Well Planned Day” at least I will have a budget friendly option for upgrading the cover and adding pockets.