The perfect planner

Call me old-fashioned, but I’m one of those people who still relies on a paper planner to keep my life balanced and bound together. For the past few years, I tried digital calendars, but found myself missing appointments and scribbling my weekly plans on scraps of paper which disappeared as quickly as the deadlines they were intended to remind me of. I’d outgrown the Barnes and Nobles Ireland-themed agenda book I’d used from middle school to grad school, so I was in need of something to help me manage my busy life as a teacher and mom of four.

An ad popped up on my social media page for a Catholic planner that would offer me the day-to-day organization I needed with the bonus feature of spiritual guidance. I asked my social media friends if any of them had tried using the planner and one fellow St. Joan of Arc mom of four and career woman suggested I check out the Marian Martha planner. I did and it was love at first sight!

The Marian Martha planner is the brainchild of Amy Horan, a Catholic mom like myself who understands how chaotic it can be to manage the many facets to work-home-faith-life balance.

Her planner includes not only your standard monthly and weekly planners (I love the grid-line layout, which is perfect for bulleted lists), but also spaces to reflect on gratitude, special intentions, and motivational quotes from scripture and saints. There are sections devoted to setting and tracking goals, habits, and feast days. To appeal to my inner artist, Horan has included gorgeous coloring page illustrations that coincide with each month’s theme. You can even track the weather, or the moon, or your mood. The pages are thick enough to accommodate the fine point felt pens I use and the hearty spiral binding will ensure that everything stays together – especially me. I love that the Marian Martha planner offers me two prayers to say before making my plans for the week. Sunday nights can be overwhelming, but I will feel more confident by asking for God’s hand to lead me into the days ahead.

I am looking forward to using the Marian Martha planner to guide me through appointments, events, and plans of every kind this year. I’m especially excited to arrange for daily spiritual check-in and check-ups, by completing the “Daily Examen.” These “dates” with God will make each and every day more deliberate and significant.

I suspect that my Marian Martha planner will play a major role in making 2018 a meaningful year in my development career-wise, family-wise, and faith-wise.

You can purchase your Marian Martha planner on this website. It’s available in full-color or black and white in spiral binding or digital download.

Robyn Barberry

Robyn Barberry

Robyn Barberry is married to her high school sweetheart, Patrick. They are raising four imaginative and adventurous children, one of whom has autism.

Robyn teaches English at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore and is a former art and language arts teacher at St. Joan of Arc in Aberdeen, where she worships with her family.

Robyn earned an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College in 2011 and she has been blogging for the Catholic Review since 2012. If she could have dinner with any living person, it would be Pope Francis.