Finding the Perfect Planner

I have an admission. I am a planner junkie. I love new calendars, especially those that are tailored to who I am as a person. Sometimes, I go through several planners in a year because the type of planner I need changes to the phase of life that I am in at the time. Jobs can change, along with other circumstances, so finding a new planner is one of my most looked-forward to adventures. There is nothing better than going to a stationary store and finding the perfect planner to meet my needs. This year, I did something a little different- I shopped online for new calendar. Normally I don’t like doing this because I like to see what I am getting before I purchased it, but I had some time to really choose the planner I was looking for, so I gave it a whirl in the online market.

Two planners immediately caught my eye- Ruth Soukup, the individual who created the Live Well, Spend Less concept created a calendar three years back that I was interested in purchasing. The other calendar is created by Tools4Wisdom. Respectively, I call them “Live and Tools” within this composition to save time.


What really caught my eye about the new wave of planners is the concept of goal setting that contemporary calendars are starting employ. By setting long term goals, these calendars help the user to set long-term goals and break them down by month, week and day. There are many calendars like this on the market, but the two that I wanted to try out were close in the running for what they had to offer.

The Living Well Planner breaks things down into long-term goals to help you set priorities, monthly goals to help from becoming overwhelmed, meal-planning, budgeting, and project planning. It was written by a working mother so the marketing is geared towards that particular target audience. However, you can’t see what the actual pages look like unless you thumb through the photo gallery- which makes it difficult to determine if it is going to be the right planner system for you.

The Tools Planner is more generic, and so a man or woman can relate to the goal setting concepts. It breaks down goal setting into it’s own unique program, and the pages are set up with the same idea of breaking down large goals into manageable chunks. Both planners have their own system. However, it seemed to be more flexible and simple. It was more clean cut, and because of the variety of styles, reaches a broader audience with a wider span of life circumstances to plan.


The big difference in what you will see in these two planners is this. The Living Well planner does not let you view the pages up close, when the Tools planner allows you to download the actual worksheets. You don’t know what you are getting with the Living Well planner before you buy it. However, it is a beautiful planner. It is brightly colored and a lot went into the design and layout of the pages. It is easy to locate where you are and all the subjects covered in the goal portion setting are color coded. Simply said, it is just pretty.

The Tools planner comes in a variety of different styles, and you can print out out the worksheets and make your own if you choose. The Living Well planner comes in one limited option. There is little personalization to the set-up. The pages look like they were quickly photocopied and assembled with binding- it isn’t as nearly as appealing. But the pages are more simple- which is great when you are looking to just get the information into your planner much less try to keep up with the color coding system.


The Living Well planner sells for $55 online, and only from one website. Even better- there is a huge waiting list for the product you are not guaranteed a printing for this year. I am sure the planner is popular- but that is not something a person like me is willing to wait for. The dimensions of the planner are 9.5 x 7.5 and it does not state how many pages are in the book.

The Tools Planner runs about $30, which is about what I would pay for a good planner. The dimensions run your typical 8.5 x 11 inches, which makes it convenient for me personally. There is typically no waiting list for this product, and it is available through a variety of distributors. However, the great thing about this site is that it regularly has a sale, which knocks about $10 off the total cost before shipping.


Both planners offer a variety of outside resources as part of purchasing this product. The Tools planner comes with 77 different worksheets that you print out. There isn’t really a customization opportunity, but having a wide range of formats to choose from is great. The only question is, why do you need more worksheets when you have the planner? Many of the worksheets focus on goal setting and different strategies- which is nice when you are trying to figure out what main goals you want to structure your time around in your calendar.

As stated about, the creator of the Living Well planner has created her own selection of tools and products around her concepts of Living Well and Spending Less. She has written a few books around the subject and offers some great free programs on her website. You can sign up for her mailing list for most of everything else, you have to pay a fee.

Everyone uses a different style and is looking for a a system that works for them. Either of these planners is acceptable, but I would much rather continue using the Tools4Wisdom planner system. It just seemed more simple and accommodating to my work- and the best thing was is that I didn’t have to wait for it and it was a lot less expensive to purchase.