My Big Plans and My Busy Week!

Posted by Claire Smith on

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed a new section in the Shop - Planners and Journals - where there are two books: My Big Plans! and My Busy Week!.

It all began as an idea for a back-to-school planner for my niece, with lots of space to write down all of her activities and after-school clubs and adventures. It's a big book - A4 size, landscape - and it opens out so that you can see the whole week across two pages. It's going to be spiral bound (sturdy plastic, not metal), so it will easily fold back on itself. The reason for the very wide layout is simple - little kids have big handwriting! The planner is designed for children who are practicing and refining their writing skills, so I wanted to make sure that there was plenty of space to spread out. There's also a page with suggestions for how to use the planner, in case starting with a whole book full of blank pages seemed a bit overwhelming.

The pages are nice and thick - the paper is 120gsm (recycled and FSC-certified), which is heavier than your average plain white printer paper - so that you can use felt tip pens or rub out pencils without going through the page. There's also a handy colouring-in page at the front and the back, which is a great place to test your pens just to make absolutely certain they're not going to show through.

While I was working on the My Big Plans! book, I received some great feedback from a friend with a daughter who is pre-school age. She may be too little to read and write just yet, but that doesn't mean that she's not interested in knowing what's going to happen each day. That led directly to the idea of the My Busy Week! planner, specifically designed for pre-school age children. Rather than having lots of space to write, it has a column for each day where you can pop in keywords, draw pictures, or use stickers to symbolise that day's activities. This one has a whole week to view on one page. Each day is colour-coded, and each day is headed with a large initial letter to make it easy for little ones to recognise. It also has clocks for bedtime and getting up - which obviously no child in the world is going to stick to - but it's a great way to start learning to tell the time, and understanding that activities happen at a particular time, by drawing in the hands of the clock.

Both planners are undated, meaning that you don't have to wait for any specific time of year to start a new one. You can simply write in the month, number the days, and off you go! As well as being convenient, this is also a great way for kids to learn the order of the months, how many days each month has, and it's great practice for writing out sequences of numbers.

The undated format also makes the system very flexible. There's no pressure to fill out a whole year, or even a whole month, in one go. Try it for a while, and when the novelty wears off you're not stuck with a diary full of blank, unusable pages. Whenever they feel like picking up where they left off, simply date the next page and start again!

If you'd like to have a sneaky peek inside the planners, there are PDF previews for both My Big Plans and My Busy Week

It's far more cost-effective for me to order these planners in small batches, rather than printing them on demand. I'm going to place my first print order on August 18th, so that the books will be back with me and ready to send out to you before the start of the UK school term at the beginning of September. I need pre-orders for at least ten copies of each book in order for the print run to be viable - which is where you come in. If you feel like getting a head start on your Christmas shopping, or if you know someone who you think would enjoy one of these planners, please feel free to share this post or the product links ( far and wide! 

I have Grand Plans for putting together more planner ideas in the future, for both kids and adults, but getting it off the ground rather depends on the success of these first two. Your help in spreading the word about them would be very, very much appreciated.


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