1 Planner Giveaway and 3 Free Tips to Using One!

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So, the story goes like this.  Once upon a time, an author wrote about a gal who had clutter issues.  But… she just couldn’t let things end with removing the extra kitchen gadgets and clothing from their home.  No, this author is cruel–heartless. So, she added crafting to the gal’s repertoire.   That wouldn’t have been sooooooooooooooo bad but… um… the author found this planner.

Erin Condren makes fabulous planners that are sooooooo much fun.  Okay?  So, the author gave one to Kaye and well… things got a bit… obsessive.  For her, of course.  The author, of course, is not obsessed with planners at all–no way.  She doesn’t spend time designing stickers or creating pretty pages to make her WANT to look at her planner.

Well, back in February, she–oh, forget it. I can’t keep up this third person thing.  Anyway, back in February, on one of the Facebook Planner boards, someone shared a Kickstarter plan for a new planner–Fruitful Planner.  So, I donated and as a thank you, she sent me a planner.  Now this planner started in April, but there’s the better part of the year left for some lucky winner to decide if this is the planner for her!  I asked on Facebook if anyone would like to see how I’d use it/decorate it, and the answer came back.  YES!  So, I did.  I did the same week in this planner exactly how I had in my other planner.  Just recreated it.  So, here’s the planner! There are a lot of things about this one I really like.

The cover I chose.  This can be personalized.  I chose something generic because I wanted something anyone could use.

The cover I chose. This can be personalized. I chose something generic because I wanted something anyone could use.

To compare the coil size of a PPP/ECLP planner, this is it!

To compare the coil size of a PPP/ECLP planner, this is it!

And here's the cover size difference.  As you can see, it's taller and thinner.

And here’s the cover size difference. As you can see, it’s taller and thinner.

This is the inside cover.

This is the inside cover.

Tons of note pages at the back

Tons of note pages at the back

perfect for brain dumps!

perfect for brain dumps!

Monthly planning...

Monthly planning…

More monthly planning

Weekly planning- Left Side

Weekly planning--right side

Weekly planning–right side

Full weekly spread

Full weekly spread

Forgot to share these!

Forgot to share these as a full spread!

First week of April decorated with information from my first week of April (slow week for me, as you can see)

First week of April decorated with information from my first week of April (slow week for me, as you can see)

Full week...

Full week…

Okay, so I didn’t fill in notes etc., because frankly, I had no clue what I would have put in there that week.

So… my take?  Probably my second favorite planner of all.  If I didn’t take my planner with me when I left the house, I’d absolutely want this one.  This would fit in my purse, but barely.  I wouldn’t want to carry it, although it is lighter than the one I do carry.  Funny how that works.

Still, if I wanted to give a gift of a planner to someone who just wants to organize their life but doesn’t need to keep it “on the go” this is probably the one I’d go for–next year, of course.  😀

One winner will receive this planner ready to go!  I may (or may not, depending on time) send extra goodies with it.  So the official giveaway is for the planner only.

I also promised three tips for using a planner.  Here are my top 3.


  1. If you’re a perfectionist about things, pre-plan with sticky notes.  I can’t stand having to erase (Frixion pens are AMAZING pens for this) things before I even get to this week’s stuff, so anything that isn’t happening this week goes on a skinny sticky flag or a sticky note on the day in my planner.  I have some all the way through the end of the year.  Just a note.  When I get my hair cut, I write down what time the next appointment is on a sticky flag and pop it on the day.  Then when I go to plan that week, there it is–reminding me.  I do the same for webinars I hear about, tentative visits from friends, and reminders to call about maintenance for appliances.
  2. Do whatever you have to do to make yourself WANT to look at your planner.  For me, that means stickers, washi–anything to make it fun to put the information IN and eye-pleasing when I go to see what I’m supposed to do.  For some people a very streamlined, neatly written list is what motivates them.  For others, check boxes or systems of some kind.  For people like me, beauty inspires.  So I make it cute, fun, pretty–whatever strikes my fancy.  But when I open my planner, I don’t mind seeing, “Bathroom” (Which means CLEAN IT) when it’s on a pretty page.  But on a boring black and white page, I wouldn’t even open it to see, and if I did, I wouldn’t remember it.  Yes, I have issues.
  3. If your system isn’t working, CHANGE IT.  The system serves you.  Not the other way around.  Don’t let yourself be enslaved by a system that isn’t “you.”  If you are a lister, use a planner that allows for lots of lists.  If you work by the clock, then find one with times for the day.  If you’re a journaler, consider horizontal layouts instead of vertical.  If you find that you don’t follow your plan, de-construct it until you see why.  Then rebuild it with a plan that DOES work for you.

Happy planning!  And good luck!  To enter, it’s super easy.  Leave a comment and tell me if you’re a functional planner or a decorative planner or a hybrid–a bit of both!  I want to draw and ship by Friday so it’ll be there by July!  Someone ding me on Facebook or email me if I haven’t done it by then!




  • Marleen Viola

    Definitely a hybrid

  • Julie

    I think I’m a hybrid. I enjoy making it pretty and fun but don’t have a lot of time so then end up with plain lists.

  • Carolyn Gould

    Hybrid for me, too!

  • Vi Pruitt

    Hi Chautona! I’m a functional and decorative planner. I like things pretty and like being organized keeping track of stage of planning. 🙂

  • Lucretia Wasson

    Oh my, Chautona, you’re a treasure!!!
    No wonder I don’t get all excited when I see…house filter, or coffee maker filter or whatever filter…I’ve just been making plain boring lists. A few sticky notes to be sure, but….from now on it decorate and personalize my planners…..
    Thank you so much.
    Blessings on your day,

  • Heather S

    I’m a functional planner but am desperate for more “fun” in my life. Perhaps, the answer is jazzing up my planner. Or, perhaps I should be intentional about planning it? Otherwise, I end up with a schedule of “shoulds.”

  • Dena

    love this!! I think I’m a hybrid wanna be? Lol

  • Dena

    Oh and I love those Frixion pens!! I am a perfectionist by nature and they are amazing <3

  • Jane Urig

    Like that it is thin but I would not need to carry it all the time. Still working on finding the planner for me.

  • Carol

    Functional. Maybe if I were decorative I’d do a better job of looking at my planner……..

  • Lea-Ann

    Functional, but want to learn to doodle!

  • Wanda Myers

    I am a hybrid. Would love to be more organized but usually just jot down excessive notes and go from that.

  • Peggy

    not much of a planner user but need to be one. I need to be one with decorations to make me use it.

  • ErinJ

    I think I am a functional planner, but could see myself doing a bit of hybrid.

  • Sasha

    I don’t really plan, just jot reminders on a calendar, but, if I used a planner it would definitely be decorative. Anything to distract from the “chores” of life! Stickers, washi, stamps and lots of prettiness! Hee hee, fun!!

  • Linda Molden

    I think I’m a hybrid.

  • Nikki

    I’m definitely a hybrid planner. It must be functional, but it’s very encouraging and pleasant if it’s pretty.

  • Joy

    Functional planner. I love looking a beautiful things, but I’m not gifted at making them, so trying to “glam” up something stresses me out.

  • Martie Hawkins

    Functional but love pretty

  • Ava

    Functional….mainly because I haven’t really tried decorative!

  • Sandi

    Unfortunately I am in desperate need of some deliberate planning. Seem to be moving through life lately at the mercy of everyone else’s plans! Also trying to clean out my mother’s house after her death. Talk about de-cluttering!

  • Brooks Lance

    Being a “functional planner” hasn’t worked for me, so I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the ideas! I may end up a hybrid, but I can wait to try decorative!

  • I am a decorative gal. If it ain’t pretty, I’m not going to do anything with it, hah. Meal planning has to be colour-coded or it doesn’t happen (and then I lose my pens, lol).

  • Cheryl Celebi

    Functional – working full-time with 4 girls means it’s all about efficiency!

  • Steph

    Hybrid doodler with a penchant for multi colored pens!!! 🙂

  • Bettie

    A hybrid because I have tried both. I tend to start new planners only to abandon them within a few months.

  • Loretta

    Definitely a functional planner. Lots of check-off lists! (Yes, I have been guilty of adding something to a list so I could check it off! Sad, I know.)

  • DKStevens

    a hybrid–a bit of both!

  • Cathy

    I, like Joy above, was a functional planner, simply because I don’t have a knack for decorating. However, since leaving the workforce (which has been quiet some time ago) I have slowly become a non-planner and that’s not working out so well anymore. I started trying to get organized by using a Google calendar and various lists around the house, but an actual planner would be a huge improvement and blessing! Especially such a beautiful one that also offers the visual reminder of where the source of our strength lies….love that inside cover!

  • I so need one of these I am a hybrid

  • Virginia McGuire

    Functional. I love to see the decorative things, and I collect the stuff to do it, but just can’t quite step up and actually DO the decorating. Fear of messing up, I suppose.
    So I become a collector/clutterer. But, I must say that my collections of artsy things make the grandchildren very happy. 🙂

  • lana bag

    Hybrid. I start put pretty but in the heat of the moment, I switch to functional …. no time daily for prettying it up.

  • Amelia


  • Patti P.

    iam definitely a hybrid. I love to use it for functional planning, but I want it to look pretty. I love using Frixion pens because they allow me to color code which makes my planner pretty.

  • Ruth

    I think I am more functional! I just need something to help me kick-start!

  • Erin G.

    I probably a hybrid of both. Maybe a bit more decorative than functional.

  • Carol Lynn

    I would say I am a hybrid.

  • Joanne Hios

    I’d say I’m functional as well since I don’t draw well. I am definitely a journaller though! Thanks for the drawing!

  • I desire to use a planner…..
    don’t use one presently.
    I’m more of the crafty, creative type…

  • Barbara

    That looks fun! I’d like to win the pens, though 😉

  • I like that list page to the left of each week. I am a cluttery decorator, though, so I’m not sure it offers enough scope for my creativity. I would LOVE to try it, though. 🙂

  • Deborah G

    I would say Hybrid as I want to make things decorative but sometimes time gets away from me and I forget so some are cute and some plain.

  • Kim D

    I’m definitely a hybrid! Beautiful planner!

  • Anna C

    Functional. I think… right now I don’t use any calendar or planner other than the one on my phone.

  • Jennifer

    Hybrid – but I would looove to be decorative only. Something to shoot for!

  • Lindsay

    I’d say hybrid. I’m still trying to figure out what I like, but I do know I love my Frixion pens! 😉

  • Sarah R

    Before this post, I would have said functional but now I suspect I should incorporate decorative aspects too for those days when I struggle to get things done. Maybe that would inspire me to finish strong.

  • bn100

    little of both

  • Ida Tackett

    Functional when I use it.

  • Alicia Klick

    I would say I am a hybrid planner. I love making things colorful and pretty…plus it helps me organize better. Highlighter on my lists mean different things: appts, reminders, to do (errands), birthdays or days to remember, etc. so that also adds color and organization to my list part. In regard to everything else, I like the decorating aspect and making each day/week different.

    When I got my first daytime it came with the generic black and white weekly pages. Drove me crazy. Would use it but there wasn’t a huge incentive to do so. The next year I got the weekly/monthly pages by Flavia. Colorful pages and awesome sayings listed on each page and I added some things to it to make it something I wanted and would use.

    I have been trying to find the perfect planner. I like ECP, but couldn’t fit it in the budget the last two years. Seeing as this is your second favorite…WOW. That says a lot.

    I know I need a bigger planner than what I currently have and what I have is helpful but I still get things missed on a day under a to do or things like that. Organization is something I am working very hard on and I know I need to find the right planner, then the right method, and my life will be 80% more organized than it currently is. I will be able to meet deadlines, appointments, get done the things I need to do that day. I will have more of an incentive to look at it and go by it because it is a bigger space, it will be something I want to look at and at the end of the week have been able to achieve almost all, if not all, of the items in my planner I set out to do. :).

    For me, it would be the ultimate organization tool on several levels. Just thinking about it puts a smile on my face and a feeling that “this is the answer you have been waiting for…”

    • Kaye Harper

      I’m using the PPP column right now. It’s a perfect one for me. I love everything about it, but until I saw someone else’s setup with it, I was SURE it would be the LAST planner I’d ever use.

      Sounds like Fruitful Planner might be your “thing.”

    • Kaye Harper

      I’m using the PPP column right now. It’s a perfect one for me. I love everything about it, but until I saw someone else’s setup with it, I was SURE it would be the LAST planner I’d ever use.

      Sounds like Fruitful Planner might be your “thing.”

    • Karla Nodorft Heller

      Knowing you, and all that you have going on in your life right now to keep track of, I think this planner would be a perfect fit Alicia!

  • sheila alford

    I would guess hybrid. I love pretty things to write on and obsess with list even to the point of which list to do first. Scary I know but hey it’s my life and I live it purposely and love every minute of it. Thanks for the drawing you’re awesome love every book can’t seem to put them down that causes problems with my list obsession.

  • Karen

    I spend so much time researching the ‘perfect’ planner- you know, cute enough to entice me to use it, and functional enough to actually be useful, that I end up defaulting to a yellow legal pad, or three.

    • Kaye Harper

      hee hee. I finally just WENT for one. Figured if I spent the money on it and then the money to have things to make it pretty, I’d use it. I have switched to two different ones since then but it was worth it once I saw that when I found what I loved, I USED IT.

  • Julie Dobson

    I am definitely a hybrid. I need it to not be cluttered or distracting, but I also like to doodle or add my own touches to it to make it pretty. I find that writing it and then adding a doodle helps me to remember it. I also like to color coordinate. I am going to have to check out those pens. I love the sticky tab idea as I too hate to scratch out or erase.

    • Kaye Harper

      If I make a mistake and didn’t use Frixions so I could erase, I just slap a little bordered sticker over it and go on again. Works for me

  • Sharon Smith

    I am functional, but I do use colored highlighters to make certain things stand out. I am interested in checking out the Frixion pens. Thanks for your site.

    • Kaye Harper

      Seriously love my frixions. My daughter loves to write notes with them, use my heat tool to make the ink disappear, and then give it to a friend and tell them to put it in the freezer to read what it says.

  • Anita

    I am a hybrid planner type person. I don’t want the planner so cluttered up that it is hard feelings for me to use it for its intended purpose, but I am a visual person so the more visually appealing the planner is the more likely I am to use it.

    • Anita

      Oops – wish I could edit my comment! The iPad has a mind of its own! I meant to say that it is hard for me to use it…..

    • Kaye Harper

      You sound like me! Some I see are too sparse for me to notice things. Others are so cluttered I can’t tell how the owner can see anything. But, obviously it all works for everyone, so that is the coolest for me! We do what works for us.

  • Libby

    Function. Absolutely. I like to write in color or use highlighters, but decorations and stickers and such are just a distraction. How can I find when the appointments are or what they are for?

    I have been using the same planner for over 23 years. It works for me. I have tried to use a different one, having seen things I like in it, but we just didn’t “click” with each other. I did find out that I could get my “tried and true” discounted by buying it half way through the year when I couldn’t stand the new one anymore. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no perfect planner.

    • Kaye Harper

      Love that you know exactly which ones you love! I use stickers to highlight appointments and make them stand out. It’s what works with my brain. Fun to read how different we all are, no?

  • Erica Johnson

    Hybrid for me would be awesome!

  • Andrea

    I haven’t used a planner in years, although I am starting to tell that I need to start again! But I was a functional planner before…it will be interesting to see how it works out when I get started again!

  • patty-anne Lea

    I have to plan my life. My panner is the core our family revolves around.
    note, birthdays, todo lists . It is all their. AND it is a diary of what I have done with my life, so when I write my Christmas letters, I review The year.

  • Grace

    I gave up using a planner years ago, too. I guess it was about the time I retired. I have been giving some serious thought to starting using one again since my memory is slipping a bit. 😎 I totally forgot an appointment last week, but my DH reminded me about 20 minutes before I was supposed to be there.

    I like the idea about using sticky notes in the planner as reminders to make appointments. My last 6-month checkup became an 8-month appointment because I forgot to make one on time. I don’t get my hair cut until my bangs look like I am an Old English Sheep Dog–not good!

    I did the quiz to find out what kind of planner I am and came up 75% daily and 25% weekly. Does that tell you something about my personality??? I not artistic in the least, so a Plain-Jane planner would be my choice. Decorating one would be fun, but I can’t see myself doing it. I even gave up scrapbooking because I realized that when I died, they would all just be thrown in the trash. What a waste of time! I’d rather be working on blankets for Project Linus where someone would enjoy the comfort of my efforts during my lifetime.

    Enough said! Plan on, ladies!!!

    • Kaye Harper

      Isn’t it cool when we get that kind of epiphany? It sounds like you might work well with one of those small paperback sized ones–just a monthly view and a week at a glance thing for appointments and things like “change the air filter in the AC” type jobs??? Then a full page sticky note for a list of chores you want to make?

  • Gail

    I love planners! I’m a list maker and use them on my phone, but paper is good, too! I can’t have too many lists! 🙂

    • Kaye Harper

      I don’t have a phone, so I could discover that I’m wrong, but I can’t see trusting my brain to something that is so fragile. I see posts daily about how their phone is lost so they don’t know what end is up, phone got destroyed, can you send me your number again… If I lose my planner, yes that could happen too, but it’s harder to lose something that big! 😀

  • Stephanie

    Really some of both. I would love to have it all neat and organized and pretty, but I haven’t gotten organized since I switched careers!

  • Susan

    Definitely a functional planner.

  • Sharon Goodwin

    I am a dys-functional planner. I want to. I try to, but nothing works for very long. (I scanned the answers…I couldn’t find anyone that said that!)

    • Kaye Harper

      That’s how I was for years. Finding one that worked for me (or made me want to work it is probably more like it) was the key to planner success for me!

  • I am also a planner junkie — definitely a hybrid. I don’t have time to doll it up but scratch that itch by using lots of different colored pens. =D Love your books, Chautona!

    • Kaye Harper

      Thanks! Glad you do. And I do love my planners. Hee hee. Time to get mine out and get meals planned for this week. I failed last night!

  • Jackie M

    Hybrid would be my choice.. I would like to be able to write down appts and write a daily journal with artwork. I think anyone can incorporate function and fun by coloring collaging doodling any elements to making a planner more of who we are day to day….

  • Kitty Dulgar

    I am definitely a hybrid!

  • Candace

    I’m definitely a hybrid. My children are getting older and my calendars can be more for me and my projects.

  • Diane Bowman

    I think I’m a hybrid planner, I buy the cute washi tape, post it notes, pens (you now have me looking for the Frixion pens) but I am always making lists…and losing them. With three out of four college kids home for the summer all working but only two vehicles for the five of us….it’s been crazy! We won’t mention a boyfriend coming to visit, family reunions on both sides of family, and keeping up with the daughter working at a Christian camp 12 hours from home. I think I need to put my brain all in one place ! 🙂

  • Kristi

    I am definitely a forgetful planner! Woops, that wasn’t a choice, functional planner then =)

  • Andrea Donaruma

    I am a digital functional planner now. It has taken me a complete year to get to this point. I miss my traditional planner and may go back to one for home use only.

  • Flo

    I’m a “not very good at it .. using different apps on my tablet … stick notes up on my cabinet … and hoping I’ll remember” type planner.

  • Lucinda

    I don’t have a planner yet, so I’m not sure! But I could see myself trying it!

  • Karla

    I am a disorganized mess planner. I would love to be functional and decorative!!

  • kristen

    hybrid. i need my lists but also love to make things look pretty!!

  • Courtney

    Definitely a functional planner! (If you draw my name, please pass the planner on to someone else. It’s a long story but I can’t use the planner right now. I just hadn’t commented in awhile and wanted to reply. 🙂 )

  • I do not send Christmas Cards any more. Instead I make a donation to our homeless shelter.
    When it comes to time to write my annual letter to keep our family and friends up to date, I usually look at the paper and draw a blank.
    By looking through my day timer, I have a written diary of the years events.
    The Day timer is the centre of my memories. I look through the pages. Some make me smile, some not, but the memories are all there to be triggered.

  • Melanie kurz

    I do a little of both. Sometimes it is just functional other times I have more time.

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