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Since summer is going way too quickly (it’s almost July.. what?!) I decided to write up a post about how to find the best planner to suit your needs. I finally found the best planner for me at the end of last year and I couldn’t be more excited about ordering a new one in a few days!
The easiest way to figure out what planner works best for you is to first sit down and think about what you’ll use it for. I use my planner mostly for school-related things such as writing down assignments, marking exam dates, and keeping track of readings. I also use it to track meeting dates and events for my frat and my work schedule. When life gets busy for me, it gets REALLY busy and I needed a planner that I could either section off or one that already had sections for me. I knew the sections would keep me organized when things got really crazy.
I don’t have much use for an hourly schedule in my planner because I use Google Calendar for that. However, if you schedule a lot of appointments or have a lot of meetings, an hourly layout might be best for you.
So, take a minute to think about what sorts of things you want to keep track of to help yourself stay organized and take a look at my planner suggestions below! This has been one of my favorite posts to write and I hope you find this guide helpful!
These planners are more expensive than any other planner I’ve ever bought (still less expensive than many of their competitors, though!) and I wanted to make sure I liked it before I purchased the 12 month edition. Needless to say, I loved it! The way the student planner was laid out worked perfectly to keep track of my many classes and activities. I am nearing the end of my 6 month planner and I will just ordered myself a 12 month Family Planner in the “Elaine” pattern, shown below. I chose the Family Planner this time because I still want separate sections for each of my classes/activities but I want a full length Saturday and Sunday as well. If you don’t schedule many things on weekends, then the Student Planner would work well for you because the Saturday and Sunday boxes are about half the size of the weekday boxes!
In addition to the student and family planners, there are also the traditional planners. You can choose from 3 different layouts. Morning/Afternoon/Evening, blank lines, or an hourly layout. The morning/afternoon/evening layout mimics that of the Erin Condren planners and the hourly is similar to the way the Day Designer works. So many options to choose from!
As you can see from the pictures above, the Plum Paper Planners come in some gorgeous cover designs that are able to be customized! As you can see, I got the “Corey” design for my first planner, but I decided I just wanted a monogram and not the name at the bottom too. I simply added that in the notes section when I was ordering and they were able to omit that for me! So easy! You are also able to change the colors on most of the cover designs. Just indicate that in the “notes to seller” section as well!
I wish I had a busy enough schedule for the Day Designer. I hope once I am an SLP I can get myself a Day Designer to use to keep track of sessions! I love the different designs the planners come in and I really like the way they’re set up. Each day has its own page with an hourly layout on one side of the page and to-do list bullets on the other.
There are also spaces for your “top three” of the day and a “daily gratitude”. I love the idea of having a single page per day and being able to start fresh daily. Day Designers are hard to come by, they usually sell out very quickly. So, if this is the planner you think will work best for you, be sure to keep an eye out on Day Designer social media to see when the next group of planners will become available! There is also the option to use the free download of the Day Designer single-page layout. I’ve used this on days where I am really busy and it has helped me tremendously. Sometimes it’s nice to lay your whole day out on a piece of paper to prepare yourself!
Erin Condren planners are all the rage. They are arguably the most popular planners for working women and moms everywhere. They come in all sorts of cover styles that are easy to remove and change whenever you decide. This year, Erin Condren released a rose gold edition (the first and eighth planners in this grid) which I think is absolutely stunning. I LOVE rose gold, this was a great idea. The layout of the Erin Condren planner can be either vertical or horizontal with specific colors schemes for each month. In the vertical layout, each day is divided into three sections that you can label to fit your needs. Home/school/work, morning/day/evening… the possibilities are endless!
Emily Ley Daily Simplified Planners are similar to the Day Designer. Each day has its own page: one hourly schedule column on the left, one checklist for to-dos on the right. The Simplified Planners also include a box for Dinner and a box for Notes. There are also quotes at the top of each day to inspire you!
There is also a Weekly Simplified Planner which is a horizontal layout with lines and a checklist for each day as well as a box for home related things or anything you want, really! There is also a section for “weekly prep” which I think is really nice.
Ban.do agendas are so flippin’ cute. They come in 2 different sizes: classic and large. Each week is laid out in a horizontal blank box layout with fun compliments, quotes, and weekly “to-dos” that are sure to brighten your day! It looks like the large planner has plenty of space for each day so if you have big handwriting or you don’t like to be tied down by lined pages, this might be the planner for you! These planners also come with some sticker pages that are ADORABLE. I’m considering ordering a sticker book just because I love them so much.
There is also a really great bundle going on right now, you can buy a large floral planner and a sticker book for $34!
Lilly Pulitzer just released their new line of agendas and boy, are they gorgeous! I am in love with Lilly patterns and the ones they picked out for their agendas are so cute. The inside is a lined horizontal weekly layout with Lilly patterns galore! These planners also come with super cute sticker pages as well. There are 4 different sizes to choose from: small, medium, large, and jumbo. This is great because if you love the patterns but aren’t a fan of lugging around a heavy planner all the time, the small or medium agendas could be perfect for you! Style + function, who doesn’t love that?!
My seventh and final planner recommendation are May Designs agendas. On their website, you can choose from a plethora of patterns and designs and create an agenda, address book, notebook, fitness journal… there are tons of options. After you pick your pattern and what type of book you’d like it to be, you are able to customize with a year, quote, or monogram for a small extra cost. How cute are some of these designs?? The May Designs agendas are also great if you’re not looking for anything fancy and want to be able to carry it around with you all the time easily. The pages are sewn together so no bending spiral, either! I originally bought this planner for myself last year but found that the boxes inside became too small for my crazy schedule. I still used this planner to quickly jot down assignments and then I transferred them to my Plum Paper Planner either at the end of the day, or when I got home from class. I highly recommend these planners because they are really cheap, easy to carry around, and great quality!
Well, there you have it! A list of some of my favorite and most heard about planners. Hopefully this guide helps you choose the perfect planner for you. Let me know down in the comments which planner piqued your interest and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!