Planner organization…

May 23, 2012
I think this is the most requested post EVER. ย I finally got around to sharing my planner organization, but not before I switched out planners. I am a planner addict and have already been through 2 planners this year. ย I like change and this is no exception. ย If you find that your planner isnt working for you, dont be afraid to change it out. Its not set in stone. When Martha Stewart first came out with office supplies, I was so super excited. ย I love office supplies, I love Martha, and I love planners. ๐Ÿ™‚
I picked up these planner supplies at Staples. ย Some of the stuff was 25% off and I got a coupon for 40% off one MS item here.
The binder is the smaller size. Its 5×8″ or something like that. Its a great size and portable!!
Menu planning.
I like to use these particular (Mr. Sketch scented) markers because they do not bleed through to the back of the page. ย I have so many skinny sharpies but cannot use them in my planner for that reason.
Everything is color coded. ย Each family member has a color, as well as the family as a whole.
I use sticky tabs at the tops of the monthly pages to navigate easily.
My planner is organized into main sections…
1. Monthly
2. Notes
3. To Do’s
4. Menu Planning
5. Budget
and then I have sub sections…
1. Blog Schedule
2. Sponsors
3. Ideas (Blog)
4. Giveaways
5. Income (Blog)
6. Checklists (more on this soon)
7. School
8. Blank
The blue planner…
The Red Planner….
ย More Martha Stewart products…
I love these bookplates.
ย Pantry stickers… Love.
I love my new planner. ย What type of planner works best for you? Leave a comment and share with us.

76 comments on “Planner organization…

  1. I love the Martha Stewart products – I used bunches of them for the organisation I volunteer for since there are so many items to keep at my fingertips. But your photos have inspired me of other uses and needs that I never thought of. So – I still have a MS-Staples coupon – perhaps I should stop by tomorrow and pick up a few things. Thank you for giving me loads of new ideas! I hope you don’t mind, but I am sharing this blog entry on my Facebook page. Love it!

    xx Jennifer

  2. I love the color variety ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Lita Lita says:

    I can’t get those Martha Stewart here in Spain BUT I love reading how you do it.

  4. Isn’t Martha just the BEST ?! Ugh <3 <3 <3 LOOOVEEE your planner! I bought one of her hard plastic spiral notebooks to use in my planning system as well as some of her labels...the quality on her labels is incredible, the paper is such good quality they almost feel like a sticky fabric.

    I couldn’t ever find a planner that fit my needs so I literally spent 3 years (and who knows how much money) on perfecting my whole planner system. And I know this seems silly but it seriously Changed.My.Life. I had no clue how much I was capable of when my time was managed properly in a way that was fitting to me …anyway, ramble ramble ๐Ÿ˜‰ i’ve got tons of pictures and more rambling about my planning system on my blog:)

  5. I think I need to head to Staples to check out Martha Stewart’s office supplies. I have seen them on several different blogs and love them more and more each time I see them. Love your planner!!! Very bright and cheery. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  6. Elyse says:

    I think you just inspired me…or made me jealous of how organized you are….either way, thanks!

  7. Heather says:

    Well I know where I am going to be this weekend…buying a new planner. I THOUGHT I liked having a large planner because I always have a lot to write, but I think my taste has changed. I will take yours!

  8. Julie says:

    I love your blog! Is your planner Martha Stewart? What size binder? This is great!
    Thank you for sharing your ideas!!

  9. emilyc says:

    Love your planner. Just wondering though, how the monthly tabs at the top are used. Are they on the calendar pages? I think I need to go shopping!

  10. Toni says:

    Yes they are on each monthly page.

  11. Toni says:

    Yes. Its martha. Not sure what size… 5×8?

  12. Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin… Definitely gonna have to invest in some Martha Stewart organizing products! Love that color blue!

  13. Aidyl Ewoh says:

    Wow, you sound like an amazingly organized person! Wowโ€ฆWowโ€ฆWowโ€ฆ

  14. marisa says:

    I have gone crazy in the MS aisle at Staples. I was embarrassed to go in it got so bad! I’ve been using alot of her stuff for scrapbooking and organization. I have been eyeing her planners but am pretty happy with the one I have.

    Are you using the smaller planner? I love how cute it is but thought it wouldn’t be enough room for me or to store things I needed too.

    Love your planner!! That turquoise is my fave color right now and that’s what drew me to her line. Along with the red? Gorg!

  15. I did my tour of planner post a couple of days ago at .

    Loved reading yours. I especially like the idea of using monthly dividers on top and subject dividers on the side.

  16. Christy says:

    Love your Planner ideas. I love all Martha’s stuff. What is the binder size is it full or half in this picture? Thank you for so great idea on that planner!

  17. Toni says:

    The binder is the 1/2 size (5×8) or something like that. Its a great size and portable!!

  18. I have to stop by staples and pick up some of the Martha Stewart products.

  19. Sandra says:

    Toni, I LOVE your blog, recently got here from iheart organizing about a month ago. I’m also liking your new color scheme, very inviting! I recently began work on my own home management binder. And I know what you mean about changing things up, I’m constantly changing my binder including the tabs. Great to see what categories you use, and mine is very similar. Do you mind if I ask how long you have had the small size binder, do you have any regrets about going with a smaller size compared to the regular size binder? I’m thinking of also going smaller.

    Thanks, Sandra from


  20. I’m sure you, being as creatively organized as you are, created each planner page yourself. If I’m right, you should do a post about the various pages you created for this particular planner!

    Love it! Makes me want to create my own, and being a student, about to begin planning my wedding, and having a Fiance who works so much that I end up doing everything myself, this would be a wonderful idea!

  21. Could you give me an estimation of how much you paid for the planner and contents?

  22. Toni says:

    For the planner and supplies, the cost was around $50 with the coupon and sale. Its comparable to the Erin Condren life planner.

    Samantha, I did not create any of the pages. They were all from the Martha Stewart line. Thanks for the compliment. ๐Ÿ™‚ Its a good idea.

    Sandra, I have had a smaller planner for a few months now and really like it. I also use a large binder for my home management stuff. But for the daily stuff, its my martha planner. I love it.

  23. Fredmyn says:

    I use an ARC planner from Staples because I love the accessories that go with it. I recently bought a MS monthly calendar in both sizes for work and for personal use. I love that I can take from different places and punch holes to get what I need. Love the MS line!

  24. Amy says:

    I love everything about this planner! I’m a planner addict too, and I have an Erin Condren that I really like but I can already tell that customizing one like yours will work better for me. I even ordered the markers ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much for sharing and I’m heading to Staples today!

  25. So you still use your home management binder? how do you use the 2 planners in conjunction with each other?

  26. Ms. Cathy says:

    Wow you are the most organized person I know! I used to love planners but have found i’m in a love/hate relationship with my current one :/ Will try these ideas out! Thanks!

    Cathy Trails

  27. Oh this is perfect, just what I need in my life! If only the Martha Stewart Home Office line were available in England!
    I have tried so many different variations for my planner and organiser and I think yours looks fantastic.
    Thank you for the inspiration.

  28. Mom to One says:

    I use an Erin Condren planner. Unfortunately, I usually find out after a week that the planner I bought isn’t working for me. HOWEVER, I’ve been using the EC planner since February and love it. I only wish it were smaller. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Great job! Would love for you to share this with us at Inspire Me Monday, my weekly week-long Creative Blog Hop at:

    Create With Joy

    I am also adding you to my Pinterest boards (that’s how I found you!)

    Have an awesome week! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Amanda says:

    It seems from the post that you have not yet met the AMAZINGNESS that is Sharpie Pens! They write like the skinny markers but are made specifically not to bleed through the pages. I use these to grade student papers – they are my favorite! Target is the only place that has fun colors that I’ve seen, though.

  31. I also got an Erin Condren Life planner last summer and have been through COUNTLESS planners before but this one made it almost a whole year! So far it is the best and I am looking forward to the updated design. If I wasn’t using that I would go back to something like you posted here though, I love the Martha Stewart options you chose to use.

  32. Rhiannon says:

    Oh I love the planner, I hope they get them here in the UK. Yours looks so cute, the colour and colour coded areas really speak to me ๐Ÿ™‚ I have lists and books for work, blog and family.

    p.s. have just become your 6,000th follower!

  33. What did you use for the tabs on the tops of the calendar pages? Beautiful planner! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. I would love to see more pictures of each section. I’ve been trying to find a good way to organize my blogging stuff.

  35. Lisa says:

    Maybe I missed it but are both your binders the same? The red and blue?

  36. Lisa says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. I use an Erin Condren planner. Pricey but I love it. I love the idea of color coding stickers! A lot of people color code in pen but I can’t bring myself to do it, I’m very much a pencil only kinda girl.

  38. I love this but can’t find the calendar inserts in Canada. They’re. It on or in store. Amy thoughts on how I can get my hands on them in Canada?

  39. Natalie says:

    Where do you find the calendar pages like in your red binder?? I too love the Martha Stewart office supplies…and I see that calendar page at the MS display over the products…but I can’t find it at either of the Staples here. Is it actually part of the Martha Stewart line?? I couldn’t find it online either. ๐Ÿ™

  40. Toni says:

    I found the calendar pages at staples with the MS stuff. Others have said they cannot find them either. ๐Ÿ™

  41. erika says:

    If you can’t find them at your local store I believe you can get them online. Or you can ask a salesperson to locate one and order it for you. Also other companies planner pages fit in the binder as well. Daytimer, Franklin Covey Classic, while at Staples go to the planner aisle and there is a host of other products not just Martha.
    I have the aqua binder and i love it. I was fortunate enough to find inserts in the clearance section at staples for $0.50 so I’ve outfitted my binder with avery accessories. If you have a tight budget for your planner check out the clearance section at Staples AFTER the back to school sales. That is when you’ll hit the jackpot.

    Lastly if there is an item that is on clearance at Staples that you need more of but they’ve run out then head over to Office Max and they will match the clearance price!

  42. Natalie says:

    Well pooey…but thanks! I’ll keep searching. Maybe I can find them online somewhere. I might be able to order from Staples in the US. ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. Natalie says:

    I found it online under!!

  44. Snyder Fam says:

    Just a quick question, What is the difference between the blue and red. Is one older, I know you said you like to change up planners. Or is one for work and the other personal?

  45. 3twentysix.. says:

    i love this! great post! found ya through google and im glad i did. i do have one question for ya tho..when you write in your planner, do you remove the page and write or just write in it where it is?! the reason i ask is cause of the bulkyness of the stickers or pens yanno. i have a filofax and adore it but its so awkward to write in it yanno..just wondering what other folks do. :]

  46. Jen says:

    I’ve used a day-timer planner for years. I love it, I didn’t think when I became a stay home mom I would need it. Wrong! I didn’t even think about keeping blog ideas in it or tabs out the top. Thanks for sharing!

  47. Mommarock says:

    I think planners need to be portable. So 5X8 size is nice. You still have enough room to write what you need in it. I would really love however if I could make a cover for mine so that it had soft edges, and handles so I could tote it around like a purse. Easy peazy!

  48. S. says:

    Which sheet protectors do you use (1, 2 or 4 pocket) and what do you keep in them? Thanks!

  49. Unknown says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  50. Risa says:

    I used to see pictures on this blog but now I do not. Is there an issue on this website or is it Mozilla Fox?

  51. Emily says:

    Would you be willing to put these together and sell them??? We are stationed over in Germany and can’t get any of these supplies where we are ๐Ÿ™ I absolutely LOVE this and would LOVE a binder like this.

  52. Trudi says:

    Quick question: What is the difference between and planner you carry with you and the Home Planner? It looks basically the same to me am I missing something. Love your blog BTW:)

  53. Mica says:

    I love this planner I recently bought it because I was great at planning stuff and staying organized! With this I am trying to become a more organized person!! Also anything Martha does is soooooooo cute ๐Ÿ™‚

  54. Yoly says:

    I’d been searching high and low on the internet for different DIY planner ideas and I just wanted to thank you for giving me the base to my customized planner!! I’m so happy with my end result that I did/ do the “dance of joy” whenever I have to use it because now it’s PERFECT!

    Thank you for all the wonderfully useful ideas – I’ve ordered some things to get my mail center going – I’ve NEVER been SO excited over organization!

    Thank you again for sharing

  55. Kathleen says:

    Love all Martha Stewart. I have used her hanging tags to organize things in baskets in my closets. I have also used her pantry labels in my kitchen. Love the clean lines and colors! Thanks for sharing!

  56. Peggy says:

    Love the MS planner….just picked one up at Staples!! Do you carry it around in your purse? I’m finding it’s too large to fit in most of my purses. Love your blog! I’m so inspired!!

  57. Debbie says:

    I am a planner junkie too, so thank you for giving us permission to buy more than one! I probably switch at least twice a year. I love the one you’ve shown here and will most likely put Staples on my “to-go” list today!

  58. Naomi says:

    This will be one of my new year resolutions!

  59. Kelly says:

    This is beautiful! I just scored some of the Martha goodness for .50 – 2.40 at Staples this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ Her stuff is just so lovely and FUNCTIONAL. Thanks for sharing your planner.

  60. Tiffany Martin says:

    Love this. I just bought my stuff to make my own planner and love it. Where did you find the calendar for your Martha Stewart binder? Is it also MS? I couldn’t find a planner insert at all when I was at staples. I was disappointed!

  61. Natalie Muoio says:

    I can totally agree with you, about the organizer’s I’ve got 2or 3 also.. I fell in love with this post cuz I can so relate to you and how you love color-coding your family schedule. I do aswell, I also love pens, I just recently placed them on the desk, but I’m afraid some one will walk off with one our two.. I hoard pens especially colorful ones aswell, I’m still searching for a new planner. I am liken your Martha Stewart planner alot, and the rest of your blog! I an so happy I found some one who is just as much obsessed with them as I am…

    Thank you

  62. Kristine says:

    I am addicted to planners/organizers. My problem is I can’t stay with one system for a full year. Do you have any suggestions on this? Do you use electronic calendars for either personal use or for the blog? I want to streamline and make things as simple as possible, but I just love setting planners up. right now I am using a Staple Mini Binder. I like that size a lot. Just not sure if I should keep using the weekly planner pages I have in there or just do daily to do lists. Decisions, decisions. Any suggestions or tips would be appreciated. I just LOVE your blog and all tips.

    • rachel says:

      You really do have to go with what works best for you. Sometimes it takes some trial and error until you find the perfect system or perfect binder/planner that you want to use because you simply love it that much.

  63. annie says:

    could you list the product number of each item that you bought? for those wishing to purchase this system. thanks!

  64. Christina says:

    how much did it cost to make this? I am very interested in an erin condren planner but I know they are very pricey!! if i can find a cheaper alternative, that would be great ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rachel says:

      You can check out all of the EC planners <HERE> but remember there are so many options. I personally like a 3-ring binder that allows for more customizing (more pages in notes than in menu planning, for example).

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