5 Go-To Planners for Busy Moms

posted: 08/18/15
by: Blythe Copeland

For many families, back-to-school means back to a crazy busy schedule of sports, music lessons, weekend events, science projects, spelling tests, and more -- which is why finding the perfect calendar is an essential part of your fall shopping. Try one of these to keep your family's activities in order and never again show up at the soccer field when you should be at ballet lessons.

1. Erin Condren Life Planner

Erin Condren Life Planners come in your choice of vertical or horizontal weekly layouts, and nearly endless covers--including the option to upload your own photo for a fully personalized look. Motivational quotes, to-do list spaces, plenty of space for filling in commitments, and a variety of coordinating stickers, tabs, and notepads help you organize every part of your day. (Erin Condren, from $50)

2. Amy Knapp's Big Grid Family Organizer

For some families, an old-fashioned wall calendar is still the most reliable way to keep track of everyone's schedule. The larger size of this one -- 11"x15" -- leaves plenty of space for writing in each block, while an extra meal planning block at the bottom of each day labeled "Dinner menu" avoids any last-minute stress about whose turn it is to cook. (Family Organizer, $15)

3. momAgenda Desktop calendar

momAgenda planners offer monthly, daily, and weekly layout pages, as well as extra sections for expense tracking, vacation and party planning, and note-taking. But it's the daily and weekly pages where you can really stay organized: Each includes a main section divided by time of day for scheduling appointments and specific activities, plus five additional sections for listing tasks specific to each family members. It's easier than color coding one massive calendar, and just as simple to tell who needs to be where, when. (momAgenda, from $19)

4. Cozi

For families with older kids, a shared app like Cozi is a simple way for everyone to keep track of the same calendar on their phones or tablets. Everyone in the family can sign in using his or her own email and a shared password; from there, you can monitor shopping lists, travel plans, family game night, school activities, and more in one central location. (Cozi.com, free)

5. Planner Pad

What Planner Pads lack in fancy covers they make up for in practicality: This unique system promises to make you more productive by helping you organize and prioritize all your tasks. Start by listing your tasks by category -- you decide what categories work for you -- and then assign each to a specific day or specific hour. Dated versions start in January, April, July, or October, and an undated version lets you fill in the calendar as you go. (Planner Pad, $30)