Why ‘The Best Laid Plans’ Kicks Your Planner’s Butt

You know I’ve created a planner, and maybe you’re thinking, “Kelly, why should I spend money on your planner when I can just download some free printables from this other site, or purchase something at Target?” Maybe you even have a planner you love, and aren’t in the market for a new one. Today’s post is for you!

First and foremost, my planner contains a 250 to 300 word entry for each week, written to make you laugh or reflect, usually both. So it’s like you’re getting a book in addition to your planner purchase. Even if you’ve been reading the blog for a long time the majority of the entries (70%!) are brand new, and almost all end with a question to prompt your own writing, if you’re so inclined. This is what really sets my planner apart from others on the market; you’re getting a heavy dose of ME every week. So even if you don’t need a planner, if you enjoy my writing, purchase the download and read it on your Kindle at your leisure.

Me as a luchador. I'm either the coolest or the most embarrassing mom ever.
Imagine this, as a planner entry, comin’ atcha every week!

Now, setting aside the weekly entries  what’s so great about ‘The Best Laid Plans’ vs any other planner? I think it’s space and flexibility. I know it’s impossible to create a planner that will appeal to everyone, but I think I’ve done a good job of creating a planner that can meet a variety of needs. I know because I have to coordinate a crap-load of stuff every week and this layout is what finally worked for me. Let me show you what I mean.

I use it as a blog planner. If I’m on top of my game, I plan out posts on the monthly layout pages. In the side column, I jot down monthly goals; big picture items. On the weekly spread, I write down smaller action items and make a note on the days I’d like to post. Sometimes life gets in the way, but I’m still at least able to keep track of when and what I want to post. I store blog post ideas in a separate Evernote notebook.

All the Quick Takes highlighted so I don’t let you down. Goals, blog to-do, and check out that quote!

I use to it keep track of my schedule and to do list.

I can also use it to mark down feast days and liturgical seasons, and take note of special meals and activities. You could write down meals for everyday of the week, plus a grocery list too.

I also use it as a homeschool planner, however, I probably write out less formal lesson plans than many moms I know. Each child has an assignment notebook and I keep simple weekly notes in my planner. I select topics we study as a family, but the kids just move through any workbook chronologically. I stopped writing down page numbers and chapters a long time ago since we constantly had to slow down or speed up depending on the needs of specific child. However, here I show how you could use it as a more traditional homeschool planner, two ways.

Here I wrote in each child’s daily assignments, with weekly subjects highlighted in the ‘to do’ segment.
Here I used one block to list all the assignments for one child. For this format, and the one pictured just above, I would use the monthly pages to keep track of all upcoming events.

I found keeping separate daily and homeschool planners meant I was frequently only looking at one planner at a time and forgetting something I wrote in the other. I need ALL THE INFORMATION in front of me at all times, otherwise we wind up with $36 in library fines. If separate planners work fine for you, please buy two of my book for best results.

There’s lots of other planners out there with special tabbed sections or pages for keeping track of water consumption, exercise, personal goals, long term life goals and a host of other related topics. I don’t see why you can’t keep track of all that in ‘The Best Laid Plans’. Do you really need me to design a special “How did you express gratitude today?” section accented with flowers??? The graph background is conducive to creating boxes and checklists or even using a modified bullet journal system. And if you want to flesh out your life goals, just use the blank pages in the back. You can even write in the words, ‘Life Goals’ really pretty and add some glitter puff paint if you want. (If you choose the pdf download, you’re still free to add in all those other free printables you find across the internet. I won’t mind.)

ALL. THE. FREE. SPACE. And look! It lays flat like a boss!

Plus, I know some ladies enjoy decorating their planners. My planner is blank enough, that if you crave washi tape boarders, matching tabs and embossed stamps to track the number of bites you’ve taken in a meal, there’s space. I allowed my kids to demonstrate the versatility.

Who needs space to write anything down? Just make it pretty!

Even if you decide you hate my planner, it’s a great sticker/ coloring book and found poetry generator.

Are you convinced yet? Remember time is running out to order in time for Christmas delivery. Although, I’ve got you covered if you wait until the last minute.

If you purchase a planner, and customize the pages, share them on social media using the hashtag, #thebestlaidplansplanner. Tag me, @kellymantoan on Instagram or Twitter. Or send me a pic via email, kellymantoan(at)gmail(dot)com.

If you use a weekly entry as a blog prompt, send me the link to your post. I’d love to read it and share it with my readers! (And if you find a typo in my planner, you can let me know about that too.)

Beginning January 1st, I’ll start sharing your creations!


  1. The page you let your kids decorate makes me think of a Doge meme. Wow. So Planner. Much Stickers.

    But I think my favorite is the Ninja Turtle doodle

  2. First of all, I’m totally jealous of your trapper keeper. Secondly, I just can’t let go of my digital planner. Part of me wants to, but…I. Just. Can’t.

  3. I just ordered one. Merry Christmas to me! Thanks for designing a great planner. I hope I can start keeping up with life a little better (just a little)!

  4. I switched to digital planner a year ago, but this post convinced me to still order one of your planner. Most because I want to read your writing!

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