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Find Your Perfect Planner and Achieve Planner Peace


Finding Your Perfect Planner

I've got quite a few posts on my little blog now about the wonderful world of planners, and I thought I'd do a round up of all those posts that can help you find your perfect planner and get it working perfectly for you. I would like for this post to be a reference or expert planner directory for you so that when you need to find just the right solution for your situation, you can find it easily. You may not need all (or any) of these posts today, but keep scrolling! There may be something you like today and all the links may very well come in handy in the future. Feel free to book mark this post and even note the web address ( in the back of of your planner! Share it with your friends as well:

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Remember that even it you've found your perfect planner, things change. Life situations, daily routines and seasonal changes can impose some planner tweaking or even a complete change, so your perfect planner today may very well be frustrating you 6 months from now, or maybe it will continue to serve you well for years to come.  Maybe it was perfect for you 6 months ago and now it's just not serving you as well as it once had been.

Last week I gave you a quiz to find out if your planner is lacking in it's service to you. If you missed it, go ahead and take it now, I'll wait...

13 Ways to Know if Your Planner is the Right Planner For You

Here's another cheeky little quiz:

Find out if you are Planning the Correct Way?

If these quizzes or even your own intuition tell you that something needs changing, the following planner series can help you decide what would work in your planner. If you've been a planner girl for a while, don't shy away from the term 'newbie'! These are the basics, but if you are changing things, then sometimes it's great to get a review!

Newbie Planner Girls START HERE!!
OMG Where do I Start? Planner Series: Choosing a Binding
OMG Where do I Start? Planner Series: What SIZE to choose
OMG Where do I Start? Planner Series: What Inserts do I Use?  
OMG Where do I Start? Planner Series: 4 things to do Before you Buy All the Things!
OMG Where do I Start? Planner Series: How to Make Multiple Planners Work

And if you're new to the Planner World and would like a free (and pretty) Planner Newbie Cheat Sheet with some of the definitions of those terms and acronyms that seem so foreign to you, but everyone else seems to know what they mean, then just click here:

Planner Newbie Cheat Sheet

I also have a class specifically to help newbie planner girls get started in this slightly overwhelming but fantastic planner world. Click here for more information:

I'm a Planner Noob! Now What?

If you find out that you are a traveller's notebook kind of girl, here's a fabulous tutorial for making TN inserts. Making them yourself allows you the flexibility of choosing paper quality, lines, dots or whatever your fancy, not to mention book size!

A Simple Insert or Booklet Tutorial for You



Tips to make the best of your planner once you find the perfect one

Once you've settled on a planner set up that seems to be working rather well for you, it's time to tackle the more in depth skills of organisation. Try these posts to improve your system.

A planner is made from paper and it should be your slave not the other way around. If you are feeling like a slave to your planner, here are some hacks to make your current planner work better for you:
Perfect Planner Hacks to make Your Planner Work Better for You Now!

The Secret to Successful Planning and Why I HATE It!
here's a little more on that topic:
Do you even remember the Resolutions you made in January?

And here are lots more posts to keep you on your toes and on top of things!
My Dirty Little Planner Secret
7 Steps to Create a Morning Routine that is Peaceful, Powerful and Perfect for YOU
Where will you be in 2018? How to get where you want to be.
The Biggest Secret to Achieving Your Goals in 2017
6 Easy Tips for Keeping Your Goals Top of Mind
How to feel CALM, not stressed, no matter how busy you are.




Planning your Dreams

“Dreams is full of mystery and magic . . . . Do not try to understand them.” the BFG

Everyone has dreams and goals they want to achieve and I believe they need to be worked towards daily. They have a place in your planner right along side the dentist appointments and grocery lists. This is the juicy bits of life, working toward something that means something special to you and makes you happy. Happy, not only when you achieve that dream but also every little step you need to take along the way.

This is my favourite section, planning your dreams!

Where Your Dreams are Born and Grow into Goals

The story of how one of My DREAMS came True

If you don't know where to start, if you don't even know what your big dreams are, then start with this post:

Start the New Year off on the Right Foot with a Free Goal printable



If you've loved this post and still want more, you can check out my classes, here on and also at I have new classes coming out on a regular basis, I'm finishing one with Studio Calico and I also have a webinar with coming at the end of May. If you're interested, you can keep up to date when new classes are released by signing up in the tag just below.


13 Ways to Know if Your Planner is the Right Planner For You

You're planner should be a workhorse, slaving away to keep you organised. It should be easy for you to use and you shouldn't feel like you have to change any of your habits or routines to satisfy this book. It's just a thing made of paper after all, it should hold no power over you, however its power is to keep you on top of things!

Your planner is there to serve you, not the other way around. Take this quiz to see if your planner is the right planner for you.

  1. Do you find the boxes are too small? Do you often have to squeeze things in or does your writing often leak out into neighbouring squares?
  2. Are you a lefty and in a coil or rings? Those can really get in the way for us lefties (though if you love rings or coil binding there are work arounds).
  3. If you need to take your planner with you, is it a struggle to get it to fit in your purse?
  4. Is it hard to find things you are looking for in your planner?
  5. Does it need to close when it’s not in use and you just can't get it to shut?
  6. Are you keeping track of things for other people? Children, spouse, parents, co-workers, etc and there just isn't room for everything?
  7. Do you struggle with the layout of traditional store-bought planners but can't seem to find the perfect versatile layout with online printables?
  8.  Are there too many things (elements, pages etc) in your planner that you just aren’t using?
  9. Do you dislike the order of the pages, boxes, lists etc?
  10. Do you need more of a certain element (boxes, lists, etc) on certain pages?
  11. Do you need less of a certain element? For example there are too many spots on your to-do list. You can only do so much in one day! ;)
  12. Are you writing on scraps of paper or backs of envelopes?
  13. Is your planner big enough to plan as far into the future as you need to plan?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, it may mean that your planner may need some tweaking. If you answered YES to many or even ALL of the questions then you really need to change things up!

What ever your answers, your planner should make you smile whenever you open it. Once you've decided on any changes you'd like to make to your planner, next add a fresh look to your planner! A new spread is a quick and easy make-over that you can do today. I've got a really pretty spread that you can easily recreate in your planner.

If you are having troubles changing things up to work better for you, stayed tuned for next week's blog post. I'm gathering a great list of resources for you to explore to help find your Practically Perfect Planner.

Don't forget to consider what IS working in your planner. What are the good and even great things about it? These are the things that work so well you don't even realise they are working for you until they go away. What have you not even noticed in your planner? It’s probably because it’s working, it’s often only the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.

There are a trillion different combinations of planners, pages, and set ups, if you don't love the one that you are using now, if it's not working for you the way you'd like it to, then tweak a few things to get it closer to what you need from your planner.

Happy Planning!


4 Keys to Planning a HUGE Event or Project

There are many different types of large events and projects that need extensive planning. If you have one that your are planning, it may look completely different that the one I'm sharing here today, but the steps to planning are basically the same regardless of the actual event. As you follow my plans in this post, keep your own event or project in mind, so that you can adapt the steps to fit your specific needs.


My daughter is making her first Communion in May and if you aren't in Europe you may be thinking 'Cara, That is not a HUGE event or project. Sure, it needs some planning, but it's not huge'. In my corner of Europe, it really is!

We are having a sit down, formal, 7 course meal for over 40 people... wait for it... in my home!

Cooked by me.

Yah, see I told you it was big. I've seen communions that could rival weddings, not only in size but also in grandeur.

My daughter's won't be that big, but there are still a lot of moving pieces. Besides the formal dinner, there are her preparations at school and at the church, there is the mass itself, and other meals and get-togethers through out the weekend, as well as lodging all the people who will be coming. Plus, my favourite part of this whole event, creating the decorations and invitations.

That's a lot to do and a lot to organise. So like the good little planner girl that I am, I've created an entire planner devoted to this celebration!

Communion-dashboard-FBall goodies used in the dashboard are from the March kits from the Hip Kit Club

I've started it out with a lovely little dashboard, grab a cuppa and hit play and watch how it all comes together.

This is only the beginning, There will be many sections, including a place to brainstorm, a to-do list, invitations (guest list, design ideas), seating plan, menus, grocery list, shopping list (I need to buy 40 sets of dishes!) and of course we can't forget the decorations! I'm sure I'll be adding more as I get closer to the big day.

Now your event may look completely different but you should always start by brainstorming to-do's and then prioritise them, schedule them into your daily planner and set deadlines along the way. This brainstorm list will lead to the different sections that you will need in your planner that you set up specifically for the event or project.

If you follow these 4 key points below, you should be able to pull off your event or project with great success!

  1. Plan ahead, the earlier you can start the better! At the very least brainstorm a big list as soon as possible. Having it out of your mind and down on a concrete list will take off a load of stress as well as get your plans started.
  2. Hack away at the projects as time allows. Planning early allows you the time to work on it at a reasonable pace. You won't be completely stressed out by the time the big days comes which would leave you unable to enjoy it.
  3. Give your self deadlines along the way. Working backwards from the day everything needs to come together, decide when smaller projects within the whole HUGE event need to be completed. Mark these in your planner and stick to them.
  4. Decorate your planner early on, it's prettiness will motivate you each step of the way. I truly believe that a pretty planner is much more motivating than a plain one. If you don't have time to really set it up the way you'd like, grab a few clips and dashboards from your stash and put some pretty supplies in the pockets and that's all you need to put a smile on your face when you open the planner.


Happy Planning!

A Sneak Peek Inside Studio Calico's April Planner Workshop

I'm teaching over at Studio Calico all this month! There's a workshop that goes along with each of the kits, and I'm heading up the Planner Workshop for April! The kit is called 'Written in the Stars' and it has a fabulous dream theme. 

There are three planner spread tutorials using the April planner kit and add-ons. The first project is with the Main kit only. This video shows everything that came in the main kit.

Here's a peek at the project for the first lesson: 

Sneak shot

The second lesson is with the main kit plus a stamp set.

Detail shot lesson 3

Here's the stamp set I used and you can get it in the Studio Calico shop even if you aren't part of the workshop.


The last lesson, and probably my favourite, is a tutorial using the the digital add-on as along with the main kit. I helped create this printable for your planner and I'm so excited with how Design interpreted my ideas. This is the result:

Prinable image
 And here is what I did with it!


Happy Planning!