Are you in pure survival mode keeping up with work, family, faith and life? In this Purposeful Planner review, I will show you how the Purposeful Planner can help you plan your schedule, todos, menu, budget, and home tasks in order to live the life you want.
Note: This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you. Information below is based on the 2018 calendar year planner. Please see Corie Clark’s website linked below for most up-to-date information.
Last year, I failed to complete any of my goals. It was a big blow to my ego. Sure, I made progress on lots of things but nothing was DONE. At the beginning of 2018, I turned to Powersheets to help me determine my word for the year (SIMPLIFY) and pinpoint my 4 biggest goals for 2018 (1. Read the Bible, 2. Declutter Our Home, Simplify Our Finances and 4. Simplify My Blogging Business). I was determined to focus on just those so I could get them DONE. I would not be deterred. I would not be distracted.
But you know, life doesn’t go that way. You could say things were getting chaotic again, the harder I tried to focus on my goals, the more the little things crept up that would take my attention away. A zillion 5 minute phone calls and tasks that needed to be done to manage my family, my health and my quest to simplify and declutter our finances and home.
And as beautiful as my Passion Planner is, the weekly format just didn’t allow enough space for me to write down those little things that still needed doing. And I got so caught up in making pretty bullet journal style trackers that I was making my planning routine more complicated when my intention was to SIMPLIFY.
I’ll admit I like to see EVERYTHING I got done during the day, it makes me feel better how I spent my time especially since I know that a good part of my day is unplanned things that come up with each phone call/text or kid’s paper that comes home or blogging idea that pops into my head. This happened once before and back then, I switched from my weekly Plum Paper to the daily Day Designer.
I still LOVE the Day Designer but I had heard The Purposeful Planner was on sale for 50% off at the end of February so I bought one. In addition to my requirements (the hourly time slots, health, menu planning that I need on the daily pages and the monthly goals), I really liked that the Purposeful Planner* had sections for a monthly menu plan, monthly budget and daily tracking of water, prayer and praise, a 15 minute decluttering task and a large brain dump section for all my random ideas.
The fact that the Prayer and Praise and 15 minute decluttering task aligned so perfectly with 2 of my 4 big goals, I felt like this planner was calling out to me! So I tried it out and am here to give you my honest review of The Purposeful Planner with loads of pictures of the inside so you can see the beauty and function of this planner for yourself.
Picture Walk Through of the 2018 Daily Purposeful Planner
First, I thought I would walk you through the Purposeful Planner* in pictures.
I have the black floral 2018 Daily Purposeful Planner, isn’t she GORGEOUS? Want to know what I’m using? Specific pens and products I used along with the Purposeful Planner are mentioned at the bottom of this post. If you’re like me, you love pens as much as the planners you write in!
Note for 2019: Sadly, owner Corie Clark decided to sell only one cover option in 2019 which is their most popular white marble. It’s still a beautiful cover but the one I have shown below was discontinued. The layout of the pages has remained the same as what is shown from my 2018 planner.
Here are the specs for the one-year planner from the Purposeful Planner website:
January 2018 – December 2018
- Planner is approximately 9″ x 9 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ including binding.
395 page daily planner includes:
- New! – Stronger binding
- New! – Scuff free matte laminate cover
- New! – White gift box with gold foil detail
- Thick pages! 100gsm (approximately 60-70lb weight)
- Inside pocket for storing loose papers and receipts
- Life and goal planning worksheets to help you live your life on purpose and with intention
- Tabbed Monthly spreads With Monday Start- Black with white text
- Budget sheets for every month
- Menu plan sheets for every month
- Master task lists for every month
- Goal sheets for every month
- Daily plan sheets for Monday through Friday
- Saturday and Sunday share a page
- Today I will section for your top three tasks of the day
- Hourly schedule from 6am-9pm with lines between each hour for more room or for 1/2 hour increments
- Prayer/Praise – New! Larger size
- Water intake
- 15 minute challenge for every day
- Brain dump for to-do’s, notes, doodling, etc.
- Retail therapy for shopping lists
- Hardcover, gold colored metal wire binding, gold foil detail.
The Purposeful Planner® was designed for YOU! For the creative, the stay-at-home mom trying to fit it all in, the entrepreneur chasing their dreams, the empty-nester living their dreams, and anyone else trying to live their life on purpose. It is so important that we create margin in our lives so that we can live the life we’ve always dreamed. There are miracles in the margin!
Packaging, Cover and Binding
The Purposeful Planner* has THE most gorgeous and sturdiest cover of the planners I’ve ever owned. The scuff free matte laminate cover is thick and after having it for a month now and using it every day, the cover is still blemish free and looks like new. I normally prefer platinum to gold in general, but the gold coil and accents on the cover are stunning! The planner comes in a hard, keepsake box so it arrived in perfect condition.
All About Function
Besides the gold accents on the outside, the inside of the Purposeful Planner is all about function, which is completely great for me. I don’t tend to decorate my planners besides color coding to track my time. Each page has plenty of space to write and the font is black and easy to read.
Inside Pocket and Cover Page
The inside front cover of The Purposeful Planner* has a pale pink pocket to keep stickers, paperwork or a small journal. The title page has space for you to write your name and information.
Letter From the Purposeful Planner Creator Corie Clark:
As with many great planners, creator Corie Clark built this beautiful planner out of personal necessity. She shares her story about how she created the planner at a time when she was burning the candle at both ends trying to juggle her family, life and business. Core inspires us to plan a life with intention that helps us from spinning our wheels and finding “miracles in the margin”.
Guide to Using the Purposeful Planner, Planning with Purpose & Bucket List Pages
Next, there are instructions on how best to use The Purposeful Planner* and what each page and section is designed to help you with. Of course, the choice is yours but the guide is a good one to help you make the most of your planner.
I love that the Planning with Purpose page has a space for you to define your roles and what goals you want to accomplish. If you haven’t heard me gush about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, it’s all about identifying your roles and goals to determine what is most important to you for your season of life so you can achieve your purpose. I even created this goal setting workbook to help you define and break down your goals into manageable pieces because I know how overwhelming it can be to have all these goals and no idea how to get it all done. So defining your roles and goals is pretty big in my book and I’m glad to see a page dedicated to it in this planner.
Bucket List page goes without saying, you have plenty of space to write down all your bucket list ideas and goals. Those things you’ve always wanted to do, you have a space to dream it and do it!
2018 and 2019 yearly calendars and 2018 US Holidays
The Monthly calendars follow the same classic, minamlist design. I love that the calendar starts on Monday so that the weekend is together. I typically do my planning on Monday morning for the week so this format works well for me. I don’t understand why most monthly calendars start on Sunday since that’s not when our typical work/school week starts.
Monthly Budget and Menu Plan
Many of the planners I’ve had don’t have dedicated pages for budget/expenses and menu planning so I was pretty excited that The Purposeful Planner* included both! I track my expenses in the “retail therapy” section of the daily pages and then could total them up and compare it to my budget on this monthly page. This will really help me with my Simplify Our Finances goal this year by tracking our basic budget and expenses which will help when it’s time to create our household financial reports.
As for meal planning, I have 3 sons (the oldest is a teen who plays two sports and determined to grow taller than his dad) so to say that I spend A LOT of time meal planning and at the grocery store is an understatement. I feel like some weeks, I am at the store everyday if I don’t have a good menu plan in place.
In an effort to simplify my meal planning and spend less time at the store, I’ve been trying to get to a monthly menu plan. My goal is to do a big grocery once a month so that I have all the pantry staples and just have to buy the fresh meat, produce, milk and bread each week.
So, I find what breakfast and dinner recipes I haven’t made in awhile from my Plan to Eat menu planning tool* and quickly note the main ingredients I need to buy the complete the meal. When I’ve made the meal, I check it off and write the date in the margin. Having the dates in the margin really helps me figure out how old the leftovers are so we waste less food.
This monthly menu plan format also helps me see at a glance realistically how many meals I make in a week. I have a tendency to overplan, thinking I needed to cook dinner everyday. From doing this menu plan, I realized that I probably only really need to plan for 2 big breakfasts and 4 dinners a week to get us through.
Anyway, I love that I finally am getting started on monthly menu planning, it’s been a goal of mine for over a year and I’m finally making some sensible progress on it. I’m hoping it will help us save on groceries too since I’m at the store less.
Household Master Task List and Dreams & Goals Pages
The Purposeful Planner* includes a handy monthly master task list to track your household cleaning, organizing, maintenance and decluttering schedule. I love that it is broken down by room and there’s space for miscellaneous things like changing air filters, vacuum bags, or maybe some of those recurring errands we have to do, like going to Target or picking up dry cleaning.
The dreams and goals has plenty of space to write your big picture ideas that need to get done for the month and break down those goals into bite-sized pieces so you can see your progress and get. it. done!
The Purposeful Planner*‘s daily pages show a full day on a page for weekdays. I like that it has health and water tracking already built in since I’m horrible about drinking water. I use the health box to track my morning pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis and the weather if it’s a bad RA day since that determines how the rest of my day will go and how productive I will be.
The Today I Will section is where I list the top 3 tasks I will get done (usually besides appointments). I keep all our family appointments in Google Calendar so I don’t schedule any conflicts and only write them into my planner AFTER they are completed just in case an appointment is canceled because someone is sick or weather cancels soccer practice. The Schedule section is to track how my time was spent not how I plan to spend it. It may work differently for you, but that’s how I use it.
The Prayer and Praise is where I track my daily Bible readings so that I can finish reading the Bible in a year. I’ve struggled with my faith a lot and I don’t talk about religion much on the blog but it is important to me to pay more care and attention to this part of my life that has been lacking. Sometimes I do just write someone I prayed for and it’s rewarding to go back and see the steps I’ve taken to follow through with this goal. If you don’t plan to use this section, you could always retitle it as a space to track Gratitude or a Random Act of Kindness.
The Brain Dump is great for epic list makers like me. All those random emails, texts, phone calls and things to follow up on go in this section. I also track happy memories, small victories and gratitude in this section. It’s amazing how I can fill it up by the end of the day.
Retail Therapy is where Corie intends for us to write things we need to buy. However, I use this section to write down what I purchased and expenses incurred. It helps when creating our monthly financial reports!
Menu is simple enough, I pick a meal from the monthly menu plan and write it down in this section when I make it.
The daily page is AWESOME! I have something that helps me track everything I need for my busy and unpredictable life with kids and chronic illness and on my quest to work from home.
Color Coding and Time Tracking
I try to color code and track my time so that I can make sure I get a good work-life balance. I completed the Powersheets prep work at the beginning of 2018 and they helped me analyze my life in 8 different categories:
- Spiritual and Personal Growth (red)
- Finances (orange)
- Work/Blog (yellow)
- Family and Friends (dark green)
- Health (lime green)
- Home (turquoise)
- Fun and Recreation (blue)
- Spouse/Significant Other (light purple)
Since the colors were already laid out for me, I use the same Powersheets colors for tracking my goals and how I spend my time. I got Papermate Flairs*at the same time as the Purposeful Planner and the colors matched the Powersheets categories perfectly. So here I’m toying with a few different ways to color code my time so I can see how much time I spend on each category and the goals associated with them.
The weekend pages are two days to a page. The only thing missing is the daily schedule. It’s ok for us since no one works/goes to school on the weekend. Our weekends are dictated by kids soccer, activities and focusing on family. So this format works fine for me.
Well that’s about it for the picture walk through. What do you think? What do you like about the Purposeful Planner? Keep reading for my bottom line review…the pros AND the cons.
Favorite Supplies Shown
The Bottom Line Review
The bottom line is I LOVE The Purposeful Planner*! It has everything I need to track my time and juggle my home, family, and chronic illness AND to help me with 2 of my biggest goals to grow in my faith and declutter my home. I like the goalsetting exercises and love the monthly budget, menu plan, household task list and dreams and goals pages that come standard. Many planners don’t include all of that monthly!
I do wish there was more notes pages but I understand that would make this planner even bulkier, it’s quite a big beauty already. So I remedied the need for notes pages by getting that pretty little traveler’s notebook* that can slide into the pocket. My longer term task lists can go in the notebook and it’s easy to transfer into next year’s planner, assuming there’s still a pocket.
Mine is a large planner since it’s the daily coil bound version. The bound daily and the weekly versions appear to be slimmer. This would be a heavy planner to carry around every day but since I’m a stay-at-home mom, I don’t often need to take this planner with me. If I do, it sits in the seat next to me in the car as I run errands. I love the planner enough that I would lug it around if I had to take it to work, I’d just need a bigger purse. It’s not hard to convince me to buy a new purse. 🙂
Overall, I do love this planner. It has space to track all the things I NEED to do and the things I WANT to. I love being able to see at a glance how my time was spent, the things I got done, the meals I cooked and the memories we shared. The daily planner works well with my Powersheets and simplifying my planning routine. I just open it and go without too much agonizing over weekly goals (and not meeting them because life happens) or making pretty bullet journal style trackers (which I love to do but it’s time consuming). The Purposeful Planner* is a great solution for those who need a no-frills way to organize and reflect on managing their home, family, self-care, schedule and faith in a minimalist and functional way.
Want to see how the Purposeful Planner compares to other planners on the market?
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