The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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The Blaze Deluxe Planner Review by Ashley KoulakSandi Lucas
The Blaze Planner, LLC
The Blaze Planner was just the right tool at just the right time. After getting used to a year of canceled plans and activities, I found it challenging to get back to our previous, active lifestyle. I was highly excited when things began opening back up again, but at the same time, I felt so overwhelmed and spiritually dry. Our calendar started filling up, and we began to be busy again, but I felt like I needed more than a full calendar! I needed my spiritual cup filled too.
When my planner arrived, I was slightly overwhelmed. It was big and had several sections. It was obvious that this was not "just" a planner. It had a beautiful gold cover that clipped shut, with compartments to hold notes and even cards, as well as two pens. The box included a paper on setting up your planner, with video links to visit and see step-by-step instructions. The videos were short, sweet, and relatively easy to follow. I liked how the planner pages were all undated; there were no wasted pages!
The Blaze Planner is divided into four main areas, the first being the calendar. There are month-at-a-glance pages, all divided with colorful tabs. Next are the weekly pages, complete with space to fill in for daily tasks and even space for your dinner plan. On the back of each weekly view page is a weekly reflection section. This section walks you through your actions for the week and looks into the week ahead. Scripture passages and small reminders to visit your 'prayer' section are also included in the weekly view.
The daily view is very well organized. There is a large section for notes for the day, prayer focus for that day, quiet time scripture, and a place to write what you are thanking God for! The Blaze Planner makes it quite easy to turn your focus from your schedule and tasks to a Godly focus. On the backside of the daily calendar page is a checklist for that day beginning with Matthew 5:16, followed by Bible reading and prayer reminders, intentionally connecting notes, your daily 'to-dos, errands, and a "just for fun" section. I felt like I could glance over my page for the day and have a good sense of what we had going on and what I needed to accomplish while aligning myself with God's plan for my life too.
The next section of the planner is the Ignite To-Do list section. It features specific areas to write in and organize your thoughts and ideas, future possibilities, a master to-do list, and pending and completed tasks. It is a great way to manage all the projects and things you want to get done but have no idea where to start.
The Blaze Main Tabs are where you can start to shift your focus from just going through the motions to being more intentional with your days. The section begins with verses of Scripture and areas of your life that you can apply them- followed by a series of outlines to help you determine how you can bring God's light into different areas of your life. Each outline goes through the Blaze Lighthouse process, a Christ-centered focusing process to help you determine your best plans of action. There is a tab for goals, prayer, sermon notes, and ministry—all reminding you to set your foundation in alignment with Scripture and work up from there.
Lastly are the turquoise tabs at the back of the planner. There is a healthy meal planning outline as well as a grocery list- organized by type of product you need. There is a section devoted to trackers, whether beginning a new habit or trying to track your daily water intake- there is space for it all! The list section has a monthly view of birthdays and other important dates, routines, and a cleaning checklist. The cleaning checklist is thoughtfully organized into tasks that should be daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, and annually! I enjoyed the cleaning checklist. We recently moved into a much bigger home, and keeping the cleaning chores to a manageable task was helpful! The tabs for projects hold ample space to organize projects and their due dates, as well as a budget section for them.
I look forward to going through my planner daily. Not only are my days more organized, but I am living more intentionally. I am not just shifting from task to task- but finding God's light in my day-to-day. The Blaze Planner is beautiful, thoughtful, and easy to use. But most importantly, it serves as a daily reminder to meet with God and seek Him in our schedules. Although we make our own plans, the Lord determines our steps!
-Product review by Ashley Koulak, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2021