Tools for Wisdom—Goal Setting and an Old-Fashioned Pen and Paper Planner

I know it seems like January is supposed to be the time for New Year’s resolutions and goal setting, but having spent my entire life (first as a student and then as a teacher) with my life revolving around the academic calendar, for me a new year begins when school starts.

But then again, I’m so in the habit of setting goals, planning strategies, stopping to reflect and analyze my progress, and pivoting when things aren’t working well, that I am constantly reflecting on goals—whether it’s January, August, or October, doesn’t really matter.

I ordered a new planner a few days ago and the nerd that I am, I had to share how awesome it is. I have tried all kinds of planners over the years—both digital and paper—but none of them have been quite as useful as this one.

The best thing about my Tools 4 Wisdom Planner is that it isn’t only a calendar to keep track of daily appointments and deadlines, but it has built in pages that prompt you to reflect your primary and secondary goals and then it has pages to break down those goals into monthly, weekly, and daily pieces. It also has plenty of space to reflect and write about strategy and next steps. I use this as a calendar to keep track of daily appointments, to set goals and strategies, and to write in as a daily journal.

This planner has a hard cover, a spiral binding, and thick pages that are tabbed with the month of the year. For myself, I use the full-sized 8.5 x 11 inch version. This is a large planner, but mine stays on my desk. Since I don’t carry it around with me from place to place, the extra space to write is important and I don’t care about the extra weight and bulk of a big planner. There is also a 6 x 9 inch travel-size which would be more appealing for many. It’s also worth noting that you can order these planners to be from July 2017 through June 2018, but in December, you’ll be able to order the same planner for January through December 2018.

I know most people nowadays use digital calendars and planners. I’ve tried myself. But there is something about putting pen to paper that makes my brain work in a different way, especially when it comes to strategizing and mapping things out. I’ve been using this planner for a couple years now and I don’t anticipate changing to anything else. It’s been a really useful tool for me.

I purchase my books and planners through Amazon, but you can check out The Tools 4 Wisdom website here.

Check out the pictures below to see the page layouts.

Lots of cover designs to choose from.

The year in a glance.


Goal brainstorm and planning pages.

Mind mapping and goal strategizing pages. There are three two-page layouts like this at the beginning.


The whole month at a glance.


Each month is followed by a two-page layout that gives room to list the month’s priorities and essential goals.

Each month is broken down into week-in-view pages. These pages give plenty of room to write and take notes during the day. There is also room at the bottom of each day to write daily priorities (your primary and secondary to-do items.)


7 thoughts on “Tools for Wisdom—Goal Setting and an Old-Fashioned Pen and Paper Planner

  1. I remember things best by writing them down by hand even if I never refer back to my notes again, so I’m like you and don’t do best with a digital planner.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good to know I’m not alone. I’ve tried several times with digital planners. For what I need them for, it doesn’t work as well for me as this one.


  2. Oh thank you so much for sharing this! I LOVE planning things ahead and I don’t really have a planner like that for now, I’m being pretty much random about it all but I really want to have some sort oof place to keep track of everything. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Happy planning! Despite the technology they are using in middle school, the school still gives my son a spiral planner to write his homework in. He started jotting notes down but by the end of the year I think he referred to what teachers post online. Cheers to scribe on paper!

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a great thing for that middle school to do! There is just something about writing it in a physical planner that makes things solidify in my brain.


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