It’s such a thrilling feeling to sit down with a fresh new paper planner. It’s a time where many possibilities of what “can be” combine with lessons learned resulting in a surge of determination and hope for the new year. Nothing beats the feeling of crossing off items on to-do lists, making notes in margins and visually seeing and memorizing what lies ahead in your week.
But how can you find a planner that fits your hobby farming needs? Is it even possible to combine animal records, meal planning, gardening, goal setting, finances and canning?
The answer is yes! We’ve found three options to make 2022 the most streamlined, efficient and successful year possible.
We’ve reviewed The Homestead Journal Planner, The Farmhouse Planner and the Old-Fashioned On Purpose planner for 2022 and aim to guide you to find your perfect planner. First we will introduce you to each, and then share where we think each one shines best in comparison to each other.
The Homestead Journal Planner
The Homestead Journal Planner ($55) is Homesteaders of America’s flagship product. It contains everything necessary to track, plan and journal on your homestead.
There’s nothing left out in this homestead planner, which acts more like a handbook for your farm. Several areas for journaling suggest you should keep the planner to reference for years to come.
Homesteaders of America is the authority on all things homesteads. So naturally this manual reflects that, providing educational tidbits to learn as you go. HOA focuses on helping you make your homestead a business, and as a result there are several tools to review and plan finances. There are even sections for you to delegate projects or duties to others, which can help management for business owners.
For readers with animals, this one has the most thorough tools for animal records. The planner also includes:
- 2022 goals and projects worksheets
- 2022 dates to remember
- Seasonal to-do list
- Website login records
- Important contacts
- Monthly financial overview
- Daily rhythm printable
- Monthly calendar plus notes/to-do/projects
- Weekly Calendar plus notes/projects
- Daily journal entries
- Weekly meal plan
- Weekly planting and harvesting schedule
- Monthly financial records
- Monthly goals and habits tracker
- 2023 year at a glance
- Monthly egg tally
- Monthly harvest production record
- Homestead production and expense records
- Monthly pantry and freezer inventory
- Livestock health records
- Garden planning
- Seed inventory and sowing schedule
- Home canning cheat sheets
- Curing records
- Herbal inventory
- New this year: spiral binding, tabs, durable wrap cover
The Farmhouse Planner
Farm wife and mompreneur, Jessi, designed The Farmhouse Planner ($65) to be the “farmwives’ best friend.” Opportunities to plan field meals, kids activities, date nights, garden maintenance and everything in between are in this planner along with inspirational Bible verses and quotes to inspire you.
With several inventory list pages, you will never forget what you planted, saved and canned. The color photos she includes add a special personal touch, like you’re sitting down with one of your girlfriends.
It is the most compact and easy to grab and use, since it is a very practical size for sticking in your purse or tote. The monthly tabs make it easier than the others to find your place.
The homestead planner is offered in three different designs, with a daily or weekly option. The daily option offers hourly planning 6 am. to 9 p.m. Other features include:
- January 2022 to December 2022 monthly calendar views
- Daily calendar planning
- Hourly schedule from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- One day per page, shared weekend pages
- Black, sturdy wire binding
- Hardcover matte finish
- Meal planning
- To-do lists
- 12 monthly tab dividers
- Four specialty tabs (Farmhouse Goals, Spring Planting, Fall Harvest and The Journey)
- Farmhouse contacts
- Goal planning/tracking
- Garden budgeting worksheets
- Canning planning
- Freezer/pantry inventory
- Companionship gardening tips
- Livestock processing planning
- Farmhouse reminders to keep you on track
- Journaling pages
- Convenient size of 7 by 9 inches
Old-Fashioned on Purpose Planner
The Old-Fashioned on Purpose Planner ($65, digital version $24) author Jill Winger is known as the Homesteading Mentor. Her goal is to teach people how to grow their own food, ditch the grocery store, and create a healthier life through modern homesteading.
She creates podcasts, blogs, online courses, cookbooks and supplies. She claims this planner is her “number one secret to keeping all the balls in the air.”
Cooking is a priority for this planner (naturally), as Jill creates recipes and cooking techniques throughout all of her content. If you want to become better at homegrown cooking, this planner will help you.
In addition, she is very project focused and allows several opportunities for you to prioritize projects and keep them moving forward. And list makers can really get their fix, with several areas for list creating.
Daily planning hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Covering every detail, Jill provides videos on how to use the planner for those that want to make the very most of it. Features include:
- Daily menu planning
- Meal inspiration lists
- Kitchen substitutions and conversions
- Pantry and freezer inventory
- Canning and fermentation journal
- Canning cheat sheets
- Sourdough and pickling quick glance guides
- Canning and fermenting logs
- Yearly reading list
- Milestones and memories
- Important dates
- Skills to learn list
- Animal health records
- 2022 year at a glance (a new feature)
- Harvest log
- Seed inventory (expanded for 2022)
- Grid sheets for designing your garden
- Crop rotation cheat sheet
- Companion planting guide
- Garden journal
Choosing the Right Planner for You
Three questions you must ask yourself before selecting a homestead planner:
How Convenient do I want my planner to be?
If you want an easy “grab and go” planner, The Farmhouse Planner is for you. It’s not overwhelming to open each day, the cover is the most sturdy of this class, and locating your place via the tabs is a great feature.
And with its monthly tabs, you won’t need a bookmark to keep your place (as you will with the other two).
What am I planning?
If it is more than just your day-to-day appointments and shopping lists, you will want to choose The Old-Fashioned on Purpose planner or The Homesteading Journal.
- Breeders and bookkeeping homesteaders will appreciate the animal records and financial pages most in The Homesteading Journal.
- Canners and cookers will appreciate the Old Fashioned on Purpose pages, which educate and not just record.
Although both of these planners contain pages on canning and finances, each has a little more focus on what I’ve mentioned.
What is my planning strategy?
Research and decide if any of the following “trendy” planning strategies are for you:
- time blocking
- time boxing
- bullet journaling
- priority-based tracking
- deep work and shallow work
- the GTD (getting things done) method
You’ll find many resources out there to guide you to find best way to manage your time. If you’ve never been a “planner addict” or if you feel like you have never found the right planner, spend time researching time management methods. Once you discover what works best with your work style and personality, then you will be able to select a planner.
In conclusion, all of these are wonderful additions to your hobby farm planning. They all include basic resources for gardening, cooking, meal planning, list making and day planning.
Once you determine what level of time and attention you want to give your planner (and what your number one focus is each day), then you will be able to make the best decision for yourself.