I'm a total digital girl, I have now converted to reading my books and magazines all on my iPad and I track all my events on my Google Calendar. But there is something about smaller tasks and call/meetings throughout the day that I won't remember unless I write them down. I haven't used a day planner since I was in college but decided that I needed one to keep me organized.
Last year I got a Simplified Planner and it certainly has helped. I love that it has kept me organized and it comes with detailed pages by days/weeks and an overview of the month. After using it though, it's not really the best for my needs. The way the pages are, they are broken down by the hour and then a "to do" space "notes" and "dinner" I don't typically need things broken down by time. I actually use my planner as my to do list, marketing calendar and just ideas that pop into my head. My tasks vary throughout the day and I really just need a list. And then when I do have things that have a specific time like meetings or calls, I end up just writing the time and then the meeting name. My whole planner is just one giant scribble of tasks and ideas and having the pages broken down by the hour just doesn't make sense for me. The "to do" space is so small so I just end up writing my to do list on the hours side of the page. I don't do any meal planning - let's be honest, I'm not that kind of woman. I cook whatever is in my kitchen or do grocery shopping that day and it's not something that I need to write about in my planner. So now knowing all of this and my needs, I'm now on a hunt for a different day planner. I did a little poll on my facebook and instagram and with those responses and through my research, here's what I've found for the 4 most popular day planners.
1. Simplified Planner - Since I already talked about it, here's my quick list of pros and cons
-It's a large size so it's easy to write in and lots of space for you to write
-It's pretty so it looks nice on your desk (when closed, not open so you can see my scribble-y handwriting)
- The tabs make it easy for you to find each month
- thick white pages so pens don't bleed through. I even used sharpie for a few pages and although you could kind of see it on the other side, it wasn't too distracting.
-the large size is also a bad thing because it's so bulky I never take it anywhere with me
-Splitting the days by the hour just didn't work for me and it only goes from 7am - 7pm and I actually have a lot of stuff planned after 7pm!
- 9x10 inches
- January - December 2015
- Weekly Pages + Full Month Views
- One pocket inside the front cover
2. I first found Erin Condren through Lauren of ldotcdot who has a great post of how she uses it and what the planner looks like on the inside. I like the weekly view and how it's separated simply by morning, day and night. I also love that it comes with tons of extras like stickers (and you can even customize some stickers for an additional fee), a zip lock pouch which I think is great because I often need to write things down like expenses but I lose my receipts so it would be a great place for me to keep them until I have them recorded. I try to use different pen colors to differentiate my tasks but after seeing how Lauren uses hers and how Erin showed hers in her video, I think the use of stickers and washi tape is genius! I also love that she has so many options for covers and that you can customize it with your name and even photos. And it's even more awesome that this year they created interchangeable covers! I'm leaning towards this one just because I love all the customize-able options!
- 7.25x9.25 inches
- option to choose the remaining months of 2014 in addition to the 2015 year or just the 2015 months
- ranges from $50 - $75
- interchangeable cover
- monthly and weekly spreads
- additional lined pages for notes
- folder, zip lock pouch, stickers, perpetual calendar booklet
- options to customize stickers and other add on's
3. Kate Spade Planner - I saw these at Paper Source and were immediately attracted to them. I like the simple but pretty designs of the covers. Kate Spade is always great at the modern but catchy patterns. I unfortunately don't remember what the planner pages looked like and all the photos I looked at online were terrible at showing it so I don't know if the actual pages to write on are effective to what I need or not. At $36 it is the most inexpensive option and I think a pretty reasonable price. It comes starting August 2014 so if you buy it now you will have a few empty months but that's probably not too big of an issue.
- 9x7 inches
- 17 month (Aug 2014 - December 2015)
- Monthly and Weekly spreads
- Contacts and notes sections
- One pocket inside front pocket
4. The Day Designer was one that was mentioned on my facebook/instagram poll of recommended planners that I hadn't heard of before. When I checked it out, I really liked the designs! I grabbed the photo below from their website but it doesn't look like she currently has that design for 2015 however the current cover designs are still really pretty, just more colorful. I downloaded a sample page of the planner (you can do that here on her website) and I love the "top 3 to do's" just as a reminder of what really needs to be done. And even though the day designer has it split out by hours on one side of the page and to do's on the other side of the page the way it's formatted makes it look like it would be better for me where I might actually separate out my meetings vs my tasks which I don't do now because the Simplified Planner breaks up the to do list into such a small part of the page. The "download" section looks great for any ideas that pop up in my head or ideas that my sister and I have discussed that I don't want to forget about. It doesn't look like this one has any extras like a pocket or additional note pages, which is not necessary, but it is nice to have so I like that about the other planners.
- 9x9.5 inches
- January - December 2015
- yearly/monthly/daily overview