Finding just the right paper planners for moms can be the defining difference between maintaining sanity and succumbing to the chaos of raising a family.
Paper planners (or day planners, agendas, diaries, calendar books- whatever you want to call them) have always worked better for me than digital planners (like a phone’s Notes App, or Google calendar, or platforms like Cozi) have. Things stick in my brain better after I physically write them on paper; but figuring out how to organize all those thoughts and lists has been a learning experience for me at best.
This is especially true since having kids – mom brain is real, friends- and when my memory feels like a colander full of steamy Kraft macaroni with all the water wooshing out, I thank my lucky stars I’ve got a planner system that holds all those lists, agenda, memories, and thoughts when my brain is unable to.
If you’ve been around here for longer than 5 seconds you’ve likely seen my love of bullet journals in action. I started working with a bullet journal at the end of 2019, and over the last year I’ve honed my bujo skills and I’m really happy with the current layout that I have.
But if you’re not into bullet journaling, a paper planner can be a lifeline to sanity. This is true for all paper planners for moms, who are eternally juggling a thousand balls at once.
Today I’m sharing with you 8 essential paper planners I’ve used in the past, before falling in love with bullet journaling. I’ve also included my must-have planner accessories, so you can really get the most out of your organizational prowess.
I’m going to break them down here today and show you how a busy mom can get the most out of each paper planner, what each planner’s price point is, and how to figure out which type suits your mom brain the best.
Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a (very) small commission if you make a purchase after clicking through. Thanks for keeping me in coffee money!
Erin Condren | For Those Who Need to Keep EVERYTHING In One Book
Erin Condren is, for some, the holy grail of paper planners for moms. Designed by a stay-at-home mom of twins, the Erin Condren Planner is cleanly designed, with interchangeable covers. Comes as a Teacher Planner as well as weekly and monthly, and has days broken down into hours so you can time block effectively and slay your daily to-do list. Her company also sells gorge office supplies.
Price range: $40-$55
Happy Planner | For Those Who Like to Divide by Section and Conquer
I used this planner for years, and for a while before I started bullet journaling, it was where I did a bujo-slash-regular-planner-hybrid. The Happy Planner lets you choose your own layout: vertical, horizontal, or “dashboard”, where you can see everything at-a-glance. They’re put together with a “disc system”, which means you can interchange the covers, add and remove sections (like meal planning, fitness, etc). Comes in Undated and Dated versions, plus the company that produces the planner, Me and My Big Ideas, also sells stickers and accessories that work great with the planner. Their website has a lot of tutorials and ideas for using the planner as well.
Price range: $27-$33
Blue Sky Planner | For Those Who Like Coloring
Bluesky Planners have a deeply devoted fanbase, and it’s easy to see why. The planners are cleanly laid out and come in a variety of sizes so they work with your lifestyle. The website includes a bunch of free downloadable calendar printables you can color in and add to your planner. The covers are leatherbound with a spiral spine so they lay flat when open. There’s a number of different designs to choose from, and I especially love the habit trackers they include. It also has a man planner version for dudes or gender non-conforming who like to stay organized without the typical female-centric flourishes.
Price range: $9.99-$60
Get To Work Book | For Those Who Have Goals to Crush
Get to Work Book isn’t just a planner, it’s a philosophy. The website includes tons of printable to-do lists you can include in your planner, and it’s designed to break down your goals into achievable steps. The planner itself is cleanly laid out for easy flipping pages, writing, and accessing different sections. While this isn’t a paper planner for moms explicitly, it’s a great planner for those who have a job to do and need to stay focused on doing it.
Inkwell Press | For Those Who Like to Customize It
This planner system offers different types of “planner starter packs” with themes that focus on different types of goal-setting, so it’s a great customizable option for those who want a disc-bound Build-a-Planner system. Includes inserts for meal planning, grocery lists, and more. Make sure you check out the “Start Here” section on the website, which offers a beautifully styled breakdown of all the points the planner offers.
Price range: $37-$47
Emily Ley | For Those who Like Simplicity and Clean Lines
Like the Erin Condren planners, Emily Ley’s gorgeous line of agendas has a raving fanbase who are obsessed with its clean designs and whole-home organization. Created by a working mom of 3, the company sells more than just paper planners for moms, including a whole suite of products for organization that range from office to baby. They come in Daily and Weekly flavors as well as Teacher Planner, and I love the journal pages. Emily Ley has also written books on simplifying and decluttering your life.
Price Range: $14-$58
Panda Planner | For Those Who Need To Focus on 90 Days a Time
Panda Planners come in Undated and Dated versions, and are built around a 3, 6, and 12 month planning system. Some are themed around topics like entrepreneurship, wellness, and also a standard day-planner. The Panda Planners’ premise is to utilize small, achievable goals that work you towards a big goal, as opposed to trying to attack too much as once. Also includes space for morning pages and an end-of-the day review, which I love.
Price range: $25-$28
Passion Planner | For Those Who Dream Big But Need to Get a Plan Together
The Passion Planner is amazing for those who feel overwhelmed at the scope of all they want to accomplish, and need a guide to help them break it down. The best part of the planner is a Map It Out section, that encourages you to use mind mapping to get all your ideas out on paper, and to organize from there. It includes sections like looking at the big picture, working out details, and reflecting on what worked. On the website, they run with a “Give One, Get One” system that, with every Passion Planner sold, gives away one to a student or low-income business owner. Comes in Yearly, Weekly, Daily, and Undated versions.
Price range: $15-$35
And there you have it! I’ve used all or am intimately familiar with all these planners, and I’m telling you- it’s hard to make the decision sometimes! I feel like finding the right paper planner as a mom is such a deeply personal experience, especially since the right one can really help propel you forward to crushing your yearly goals.
What’s your favorite paper planner for moms? Did I leave any out? Let me know in the comments, and if I get a lot of recommendations, I’ll update the post!
Planner Accessories I can’t live without:
I use these thin Post-It note tabs on my monthly calendar spreads. They can be moved around or even shared month-to-month without a lot of scribbling when plans change.
These extra-fine point Sharpie markers are my #obsession. They don’t bleed through paper and make clean, dark lines.
I use these sticky tabs in my Bullet Journal to mark sections, like “Today”, “Next Week”, and “Goals”, among others. Then I reuse them as I fill sections and move through the journal.
I’m always losing my pens, which sucks because -like I said- I’m obsessed with my extra-fine point Sharpies. These sticky pen tabs hold my pens on planners and journals that might not already have a spot to do so.