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5 surprising questions you never thought to ask yourself before buying your next planner

There are soooo many gorgeous planners out there tempting and whispering our names, asking us to buy them.  Wanting us to kiss them and squeeze them and call them George.


But, we can't have them all! 

So, how do we choose?

It's not easy, it's more than just whether or not we can afford it or need it or even want it. Even when we get a wonderful planner that works for us - gives us planner peace, even - there is still no guarantee that it's all glitter and rainbow stickers from here on out.

New planners are constantly being released and we will be tempted, enticed and planner friends will gently enable us to buy the latest and greatest.

How do we choose? (click to tweet)

I have 5 questions you can ask yourself before you head out to drive 45 minutes to the Kate Spade outlet or hit that tempting 'add to bag' button on that pretty new Kikki K in their online shop.

These surprising questions will help narrow down your choices and get you adding coffee cup stickers and floral washi to your pretty new planner that works for you! 

ONE. What is your main purpose for buying this planner?  
Do you want it to plan in or to decorate?  Either answer is correct, and you can say both! You just need to know which it is for you. If you want to plan in it, then you need the pages to be laid out in a way that works with your brain. It's so important to consider the way you think and organise yourself, so that you can be as organised as possible with this planner.  

TWO. Where will this planner live?
You need to have room for it, not only standing on a shelf, but opened up, lying flat when you are using it.  This will help you decide if the size is right for you.  Do you have the flat surface space?  Will it fit in your purse?  Also consider that if you leave it out on a counter, it will spur you to use it, check it and build the habit of using it.  Hidden on a shelf, it may be forgotten.

THREE. Do you like the layouts of the pages?
If you are going to decorate it, do you have stickers that will fit? If you are planning in it, is there enough room to write and plan? Do you prefer a horizontal layout or veritcal?  A whole day on a page? or a week or a month?  If you don't know the answers, that's okay!  Find a similar layout on a printable page and give that a go for a few weeks and you'll know.

FOUR. How sturdy does the cover need to be?  
Will you carry it everywhere?  Will it have to stand up to a lot? Or will the cover not get a lot of wear and tear? What are you using it for?  Do you prefer a cover with that becomes gently worn, loved in? or would you rather it stay pristine?  Your answers will help you decide just how hearty and strong your cover needs to be.

FIVE. Do you LOVE it?  
It needs to be pretty!  You will look at this day in and day out.  If you don't love it absolutely then you won't use it as much and you will be less organised.

Are you intrigued, confused, enlightened?  Haha! The way our planners work for us are as unique as we are.  Our needs dictate the way they must work for us so it is not an easy decision to take on a new planner!  But, it doesn't have to be boring or hard, it can be FUN!

In my planner class, Practically Perfect Planners, I help you decide what planner (or planners) is right for you.  First we figure out how you need a planner to work for you and then, and only then do we buy.  Come join us! Class started Monday, but you can still join. But HURRY!  Registration closes tomorrow and it's the last session until Spring 2016. Don't miss out!

Practically Perfect Planners


Here is what planner girls are saying about Practically Perfect Planners:

With all the different planners on the market now, it’s not easy to choose!  Practically Perfect Planners allows you to try out the best one for yourself and find out what you need to put into your planner.
-Margareta Carlsson (

After taking Cara’s class I can now say that I am in love with my planner and I have managed to make it mine and have it work for me.  I highly recommend this course so that you can be happy with your planner too.
Beth Soler (

Cara’s thought of everything, and she really helps you to think through what you need your planner to be and how best to make it work for you.  She even manages to make the whole process fun!
Lisa Harris (

Join Us today!!


Capturing and Telling Your Stories Triggered by Food and Smell with Project STIR

Project STIR will take place in kitchens around the world capturing the stories of families passing on their heirloom recipes.
The heart of Project STIR is the story of how food can bring us together.  -Sarah Shotts

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 16.29.50photo by Sarah Shotts

Project Stir is near and dear to my heart and I’d like to share why:

I remember as a teenager, having extremely busy days at school and trudging home, worn out, with a test in my bag that came back full of red marks even though I had been sure and certain that I had done well on it. Also, my planner had new assignments and new tests pencilled in to its already bulging study schedule. I was tired, stressed and just plained tuckered out!

I'd open our back door, and walk in to the wonderful smell of mom's biscuits and my shoulders would immediately drop and my school stress would melt away, if only for a moment.

My bag and coat would slide off on to the floor as I rushed into the kitchen.  I'd grab the molasses and open up one of the still warm biscuits and a little puff of steam would escape and rise. I'd practically inhale the first biscuit, then take a second one along with a glass of milk to the kitchen table and sit with mom and she'd help put all of my school worries in perspective.  Afterwards, I'd climb the stairs to my room ready to tackle my homework with a new energy and motivation thanks to my mom’s encouragement and warm biscuits.

Do smells and foods invoke any memories in you?  I’m sure they do.  Smells are so nostalgic.

Whenever my husband makes himself a coffee with our Nespresso, I’m transported back to when I was an Au Pair in Switzerland, when I first arrived in Europe and had my first european coffee with the family’s Nespresso.


I’m preparing to make my yearly fruitcakes with my Nannie’s recipe.  Its spicy smell zooms me right back to Christmas nights as a kid with a leftover hot turkey sandwich and fruitcake for supper in front of a movie with my new toys.

Stories are important.  Stories are what enrich our lives and help us leave a legacy.

This is why, for me, stories are my favourite part of scrapbooking, I always tell a story, it could be two lines or two pages just as long as I can tell what’s in my heart.

Baker-boyScrapbooking helps us document those stories all the while getting our creative me time.

Smells are such a wonderful trigger for a treasure trove of story ideas.  It’s a wonderful idea to use the recipes and stories for foods that you remember most.


Sarah Shotts from Project STIR is doing an amazing thing with this!  She wants to travel the world and documenting families cooking together.  Older generations cooking and teaching younger ones how to make tradtional family recipes.  Caring on the tradition, passing down the recipe, continuing the stories and making new stories.

Sarah describes it like this:

The heart of Project STIR is the story of how food can bring us together.

Everyone has a family recipe story. (Even if your story is that you don’t have one.)

What's Project STIR?

Project STIR is a series of documentary films capturing the universal language of love in the family kitchen. The films will take place in kitchens around the world and will tell the stories of Abuelitas, Nans & Mothers passing on their heirloom recipes to the next generation.

By backing this project you are helping connect families all over the world. Backers will get an email invitation as each recipe video goes live. Because the films will be public you will be able to share the link with your family and friends so we can continue building community around the family recipe.

This isn’t just about funding a film. Our mission is to rekindle the family recipe. It is our hope that this project will inspire families to take the time to slow down and learn their own family’s heirloom recipes the world over. 

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 15.31.06

Click here for more information.

What recipe, smell or food story would you wish Sarah could document? Share it in the comments and scrapbook that story soon!

Are you letting a book made of paper dictate your life?


Let me paint a little picture for you...  You absolutely adore this planner craze and have so much fun decorating your planner, but there's just something that's not working right.  You missed Janie's eye doctor's appointment last week and keep kicking yourself for it because she needs new glasses and she has to wait another week for an opening.  And really, you feel you should be on top of these things!  You are the mom after all! And your daily to-do list, which is so long, never gets done or even chipped away at!

You feel like you are spinning your wheels.  

It's all because of that stupid planner!  Everyone was ranting and raving about it, and gorgeous photos of it were all over Instagram. And how many videos did you watch of people flipping through it on Youtube and Periscope?  Sigh, it looked so pretty! You drove 35 mins with the kids bickering in the backseat the whole way to the outlet store in the next town over and then stood in line another 15 minutes while the Finn struggled and protested very loudly about being strapped into the stroller after being in the carseat for so long.  But, in the end you had that coveted, beautiful planner in your hands! You were sure this was it.  After so many planners, you found THE planner.

This was the planner that would bring you planner peace.

You were so proud and couldn't wait and snapped a photo right then and there in the store and posted to instagram, gloating just a little.  Then, you went and bought the whole gang ice cream to celebrate and you didn't even mind that it got all over the carseat.

But now, it's a month later and it just isn't keeping you organised. It's hard to keep track of appointments and such because you really prefer a weekly spread not this daily thing, where you can never see what's coming up.  There's no room for your to-do list in that tiny little box so you try to cram in all your tasks plus the kids' activities with your teeniest writing and it ends up a big jumbly mess and you don't know if you are coming or going!  

'Argh!' you think, 'Why can't I ever get myself organised?'

Can you relate to any of this?  
Have you ever been so frustrated by a planner?
Does the binding, size or shape drive you crazy?
Or maybe you aren't using it at all anymore?
Are you decorating it, but not actually planning anything in? 
Are the boxes or spaces too small or too big?
Have you ever given up on a planner and let it sit collecting dust only to run out and buy the lastest pretty planner on the market?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, keep reading!

For less than the price of yet another new planner, I can help you find the right planner for you.  THE planner, that will, not only keep you organised, but, keep you sane and less stressed and HAPPY as well.  

The right planner will not only keep you organised, but sane and HAPPY too! (click to tweet)

To stop the insane search for Planner Peace, click here to join me in my class Practically Perfect Planner.  Read more to find out if this class is for you.



3 Clever videos to transform your planner into something practical as well as pretty


The first video come out tomorrow so you don't want to miss out! To get the videos just put your name and email in right here and you'll get an email from me tomorrow:

You can go here to learn more.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 9.39.32 PM


I can't wait to help you make your planner your minion!

What Planner Peace really looks like with Richelle Shadoan


Hey everyone! My name is Richelle and I'm not your typical planner girl. My planner is a very important part of my life, but it's pretty ugly. When I see the gorgeous planners out there on Instagram and Pinterest, I sometimes get planner envy. But for me, a planner that keeps me in line is priority #1. So even though my planner is plain, it keeps my life on track and makes it easier for me to get things done, and that's a beautiful thing.

Today is jan

I've always been a lister. I have way too many things going on inside my head to keep them all straight without some sort of list. When I had a "real job",  lists and a monthly calendar were enough, but since I've started my own business, I need a lot more help keeping things on track.  I've tried store-bought planners, but I could never get them to work for me because I need my daily to-do list,  weekly calendar and monthly highlights all together on one page. I figured this out my first year in business when i realized that Thanksgiving was only 3 days away and I hadn't taken my turkey out of the freezer. Oops.


Now I have a great planner which helps me track my day, week month, and year all in one place, as well as any big projects I've got going on. Even more importantly, I have a routine for planning. Every night, I make my plan for the following day. I try to keep my to-do list small and achievable, but of course, we all tend to load up our list with everything we hope to get done and disregard the fact that there are only so many hours in the day, so after I make my list, I give it a hard look and rank the items according to how important they are for moving me toward my goals. Then I jot down how long I think each task will take. This helps me remain realistic about what I can get done in a day.

Planner page - 1

It's important to put task on the list rather than projects. For example, if my goal for the day is to write a blog post I would need to outline the post, write a draft and edit it, then choose, edit, and upload pictures...You get the idea.


I love how flexible my planner is. I print them one month at a time and stitch them into one week booklets. I add a couple of sheets of lined paper, a copy my editorial calendar, plus any pertinent docs for the week. This week I'm in San Francisco, so I added my packing list, flight itinerary and lodging information. Once a month or so, I do a review and make note of anything that may have slipped through the cracks, or any brilliant ideas I scribbled down on the blank pages.

So that's basically it. Nothing fancy, cause that's how I roll, but super effective. And after all,

The best planner is the one you love to use and that gets the job done.  click to tweet

Happy planning, everyone!


PS: if you are interested in learning more about my planner, check it out here and download the free sample pages.

About Richelle
The Red Scorpio is Richelle. Or, maybe, Richelle is the Red Scorpio... Both. She is a perpetually curious, stay at home Mom of two 20-somethings, addicted to bliss. She loves sharing her passion for life, handmade, travel & fancy chickens. She developed a planner system that guides you to get stuff done. She makes unique, bold statement jewelry & her favorite thing is creating wearable memories from favorite photos. She blogs at

 Check out her instagram challenge for October #redrocktober and as a contributor to my Planner peace class, Practically Perfect Planners coming this month!