Hello everyone! Welcome to Planner - Stay Focused Blog Hop! We have invited some of our planner loving friends, along with our own design team, to bring you a fun hop about planners! Some of us are hard-core planner nerds, and some of us are just starting. But we all have one thing in common, as well as many of you who are reading this post, we are juggling between many roles in life and we want to play them well. How do we keep the balance? How do we stay focused? The main purpose of this hop is to share tips on using an analog planner to help us get things done so we can spend more time with our loved ones or just playing. We will be featuring our brand new planner stamp sets in the hope that planning can become part of your life (if it has not already). No matter how you organize your life, we hope you can find or make something that will work for you. Planner-Stay-Focused-Blog-Hop-Badge We are just covering some basics on the WF blog today. If you are an experienced user, please hop along to learn more! We are grateful for these talented and kind ladies to join us. It is so generous of them to share their life, skills and experiences with us!

Waffle Flower Blog <-- You're Here! Jennifer McGuire Joni Andaya Patricia Roebuck Katie Gehring Candi Billman Lorena Canto Kristina Werner Suzanne Dahlberg Debby Hughes

  Disclaimer Waffle Flower Crafts is not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned; all opinions are our own.  

What is a Planner?

In Dictionary

A planner can refer to a person who plans or a calendar/diary used to record appointments, to-dos, goals, etc.

In Office Supply Stores

A planner can usually be found in a section called "Dated Journals".

In Real World

A planner may also be referred to as an agenda, an organizer, or a scheduler.

In the Eyes of a Nerd

A planner is what you need when the reminder app on your phone is not enough.

In the Eyes of a Memory Keeper

A planner lets you jot down the facts of life, keep them all in one place which will later become your precious memories.

In the Eyes of a Crafter

A planner lets you be creative. You can be as crafty as you want with your planners. Use your craft supplies and make your planner you.  

Are You a Planner?

Are you a person who plans? If you make grocery lists, you are a planner!  

Do You Need a Planner?

Do you feel that you are always catching up? Do you feel that you don't have time for anything? Do you feel that you are missing the big picture? Do you feel that the simple calendar app on your phone is not enough? Do you want to keep memories of your life in a quick and simple way? If any of the above answers is yes, then yes, you could probably use a planner.  

What Planner is Right for You?

Now, that is a good question! First of all, from your local office supply stores to independent online shops (some of those even let you customize every aspect of your planner), a planner can be found at all price ranges. You can be as practical as you need or as loyal to a brand as you want when it comes to choosing a planner. There is one for everyone! I've been using paper planners on and off for years and switching back and forth among layouts and styles. I've found that when my life/career changes, my need for a planner changes too. I'm not getting into the grand topic of Time Management today but would like to cover some of the very basics about planners. The examples shown in this post are from various sources. While At-A-Glance, Arc, Day Timer, Franklin Planner and Moleskine are available at Staples, the others can be ordered directly online from their official websites. We are talking about characteristics of a planner in general from the look to the layout. Then we will share some of the unique products that have their own ways of solving the cons of its specific category.

Three Bindings of a Planner

Decide on a binding can help you quickly narrow down your options.


Many people like a book-bound planner because of its compact size and because the pages are secured together. A premium book-bound planner can come with some of the finest paper to write on. [caption id="attachment_12511" align="aligncenter" width="600"]18-month-star-wars-2014-2015-weekly-planner-pocket-black-hard-cover-fullsize-2 Week on a Page from Moleskine[/caption] But there is not much room to add or remove in a book-bound planner. You may not like it if you are big on "decorating" because a book-bound will not take much bulk neither.


A spiral-bound is a widely adapted binding method for planners. You will have a good range of products to choose from. (You can get one for a few dollars at Staples or get a fancier one from a fashion brand like Kate Spade.) Comparing to a book-bound, there is some room for decorating and you can permanently remove a page without damaging a spiral-bound planner. [caption id="attachment_12513" align="aligncenter" width="600"]kate-spade-17month-agenda 17 Month Agenda from Kate Spade[/caption] Some people don't like spiral-bounds because the wires get in their way when they write. The customization of a spiral-bound is still limited: you cannot re-arrange, add or remove dividers or pages easily (although some brands do have accessories to help you do this.)


If you are into "customization", a ring-bound planner would be your best choice. [caption id="attachment_12514" align="aligncenter" width="600"]filofax-patent-compact-lemon-alt-2 Patent Organizer from Filofax[/caption] Generally, you are buying a binder and then you can choose or make your own inserts to go with it. There is no limit to what the price can be and how you can customize your planner to your need. There are also innovative bindings like the ones from Arc by Staples. It uses specially designed discs (rings) to hold the cover and inserts together. [caption id="attachment_12517" align="aligncenter" width="600"]staples-arc Arc Customizable Notebook from M by Staples[/caption]

Three Sizes of a Planner

Planners are available at many different sizes. The three basic sizes shown here are available in all leading brands. Think how you will be using your planner when you are choosing the size.


About the size of your hand. Great for planners on the go.


A little bigger than your hand. A compact binder is approximately 5" x 7.5" in the Filofax system. Good for desktop use. Can be easily taking around.

Large/A5 and above (including US Letter size)

Usually used as a desktop planner. Big space for busy schedules as well as big writings. [caption id="attachment_12516" align="aligncenter" width="600"]filofax-size-comparison Size Comparison Chart from Filofax[/caption] One thing to consider is that most time management systems suggests that we keep only one planner. Keep everything in one place is a good start to prioritize.

Three Layouts of a Planner


A daily layout usually has one or two pages for a day divided into rows and/or columns by hour. This layout is great for recording appointments. You have a lot of space for one day's activities. Sometimes there are dedicated space for to-dos, call list and even a expense table. [caption id="attachment_12500" align="aligncenter" width="600"]At-A-Glance-Daily-70800_XL_1 Daily Appointment Book from At-A-Glance[/caption] [caption id="attachment_12505" align="aligncenter" width="600"]hobonichi-daily One Page Per Day from Hobonichi[/caption]


A weekly layout usually has one or two pages for a week divided into rows or columns by day. This layout is great for task oriented users. You have a decent space for each day to record your to-dos and such. A weeklys can be significantly thinner than a daily which makes it great for carrying around with. [caption id="attachment_12510" align="aligncenter" width="600"]filofax-week-on-two-pages-diary-pocket-white-alt-1-v2 Week on 2 Pages from Filofax[/caption] [caption id="attachment_12509" align="aligncenter" width="600"]FranklinPlanner-Weekly Week on 2 Pages from FranklinPlanner[/caption]


A monthly layout usually has two pages for a month divided into grids by week. This layout is great for scheduling repetitive activities and gives an overview of your month. Monthly pages are commonly found in a weekly or daily planner. [caption id="attachment_12506" align="aligncenter" width="600"]daytimer-2-page-per-month 2-Page-Per-Month from DayTimer[/caption] [caption id="attachment_12519" align="aligncenter" width="600"]a5_weekly_cute_sweet_diary_detail2 A5 Weekly Diary from kikki.K[/caption] Usually, a planner is a mix of these three layouts as well as a Yearly overview.

Design Team Favorites

(All photos are from their official websites) Moleskine The legendary notebook brand's book-bound planner line. moleskine_project_planner_347 Erin Condren Life Planner A spiral-bound weekly planner with fun color schemes and accessories. erincondren-planner Simplified Planner by Emily Ley A spiral-bound planner with both a daily and a weekly version. Page layouts designed by Emily Ley. emily-ley-simplified-planner FiloFax A ring-bound planner with inserts of all layouts and a huge online DIY planner community. filofax Traveler's Notebook A highly customizable notebook with a leather cover and 15 refills to choose from. travelers-notebook-cover 2015 diary-traveler's notebook

DIY Planner

There are free planner printables online but they are expensive to print, take forever to cut and most importantly, they are still not customized to our need. We hope our planner stamps can help you customize your planner or even create one of your own! [caption id="attachment_12447" align="aligncenter" width="350"]271017 Planner - Stay Focused Planner - Stay Focused Stamp Set[/caption] 271017z Planner - Stay Focused Stamp Set Idea Sheet [caption id="attachment_12454" align="aligncenter" width="350"]271020 Calendar Calendar Stamp Set[/caption] [caption id="attachment_12457" align="aligncenter" width="350"]271021 Calendar Numbers Calendar Numbers Stamp Set[/caption] 271020z Calendar Stamp Set Idea Sheet 271018 Planner Add-on - Weather 1 271019 Planner Add-on - Weather 2  

Grand Prize for the Blog Hop (Winner Announced)


How to Enter

Leave a comment to this post, telling us what planner are you using or would you consider. Extra entires can be earned by commenting on each of the participating blog posts. Don't forget to follow and subscribe to the ladies too! They are amazing!

Waffle Flower Blog <-- You're Here! Jennifer McGuire Joni Andaya Patricia Roebuck Katie Gehring Candi Billman Lorena Canto Kristina Werner Suzanne Dahlberg Debby Hughes

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