It’s about that time of the year to start thinking about your daily planner. When it comes to keeping my life organized, I use a combination of a digital calendar (Google Calendar) for my appointments and events, and then a daily planner that I use to track my To-Do List and important tasks.
The planner market has really exploded in the last few years. You can find planners in the following places:
(3) Traditional Office Supply Stores (Staples, Office Max, Office Depot)
(4) Craft Stores (Hobby Lobby, JoAnn and Michaels)
When it comes to selecting a planner, these are the 3 things to consider that have made a difference for me:
(1) Size and Portability – Planners come as small as around 4 x 6, or as large as 9 x 12. Consider where you will need to use your planner and how it will fit in with what you already have to carry. If you are lugging your planner to and from work daily, you may not want to purchase the larger, daily models. You could also consider using a larger planner that you keep at work, and one that you keep at home. For 2018 I used an 8 1/2 x 11 planner that included both monthly and weekly pages. It was the first planner that I consistently used from the time I purchased it (around March) until now.
(2) Binding – Some planners are bound like a traditional book, some are spiral bound and some are in binder format. I used a spiral bound planner this year but what I didn’t like about it was that each individual ring had it’s own closure and over time those rings start to wear and tear. and pages and/or the cover starts slipping out. I have found that the binder style planners are a bit heavier (even before you add the pages) and it is harder to write in the pages (especially in those that are smaller than 8 1/2 by 11. When I did use a binder style planner, I preferred one that zipped all that way up that way I didn’t have to worry about pages or things falling out or water damage.
(3) Design – Design really matters when it comes to planners. You have to be sure that whatever is on the cover or the color inspires you and brings you joy. I had already purchased a planner for 2019 (mainly because of it’s binding) but as i started to slowly use it, I wasn’t crazy about the design on the cover.
I went to Michaels recently, where all of their planner stuff was 40% and found a design that speaks to my soul (hello, Glitter + Magic) AND it is slightly smaller than 8.5 x 11, so it will be super portable.
I actually prefer for my pages to be pretty minimal, because you can personalize it using your own stickers, quotes, notes, etc. I also prefer minimal design in the interior of the planner because I like the space to write. Also when it comes to the design you have a few options.
Monthly – These tend to be super light as they only have the 12 months inside of them. Usually one month covers 2 pages.
Weekly – This design has one full week on two pages. Usually Monday – Wednesday on one side and then Tuesday – Sunday on the other side. This is my preferred format because it allows me to set my 3 – 5 priorities for the day. Most of these designs also have the monthly pages included.
Note: Many planners in the weekly format put Saturday and Sunday side by side, reducing the space. I am excited for my 2019 Planner because it includes equal space for Saturday and Sunday. For many corporate-preneurs and and entrepreneurs the weekend is prime time. Some of us need all of that space lol!
Daily – This design has one day per page. These designers tend to be heavier because they have around 182 pages in them. These formats are great for people that use their planner for both scheduling and task lists. You also have more than enough space to do what you need to do.
Also shout out to my bestie Jamila who shared that she likes planners that have a dedicated space for goals!
Here are the popular planner designers:
The Happy Planner: https://www.thehappyplanner.com/ – I’ve seen this planner at Michaels and at Staples if you’d like to check it out in person.
The Passion Planner – https://passionplanner.com/ – Creatives RAVE about this planner. I haven’t tried it yet but I’ve heard nothing but good things.
Day Designer – https://daydesigner.com/ – I tried the daily version of this planner. It was beautiful but too bulky for me.
Full Focus Planner – https://fullfocusplanner.com/?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=url – I have been following Michael Hyatt’s Podcast “This Is Your Life” Podcast. What I love most about this planning system is that it is structured quarterly.
Recollections Planners – https://www.michaels.com/2018-2019-planners-by-recollections-and-the-happy-planner/ia-2018-happy-recollect My 2019 Planner is by Recollections which is available at Michaels. They also have Happy Planners available at this link.
Erin Condren – https://www.erincondren.com/ People rave about Erin Condren’s planner. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.
Simplified Planner – https://www.emilyley.com/collections/simplified-planner I’ve heard great things about the Simplified Planner. The designs are beautiful. My original 2019 Planner was a Simplified Planner.
Franklin Covey – https://shop.franklinplanner.com/store/ – Franklin Covey is the “OG” of the planner business. I have a great Aunt who used to work in corporate that swore by their system. She introduced me to it in High School and it was my preferred planning system until I bought a spiral bound DePaul University branded calendar my freshman year and converted. As an English Major I had to lug around 1,000+ page books and there was no practical way that my Franklin could come along for the ride without my straining my back and shoulders. Anywho, Executives LOVE the system and their planners have been around for years.
At A Glance – https://www.ataglance.com/ataglance/home/
You can find this brand at most Office Supply Stores. I also noticed that they have a collection with Emily Ley (of the Simplified Planners). The same can be true of Target. I’ve seen Day Designer branded planners in their store.
I Am Powerful Planner – http://whoseshoesbook.com/2019 – I actually received this planner last night in a gift bag. I was super excited to find out it was co-created by Christine St. Vil. Christine and I used to write for Black and Married with kids together. The planner is super colorful and has tons of inspirational and motivational content.
Lunar Planner By Modern Women – https://modernmysticshop.com/products/pre-ordermanymoonsplanner2019 – I preordered this book as I am a fan of the Many Moons Book they published this year. This calendar includes all of the astrological events as well as recommended rituals. I’m excited to make this book a part of my 2019 routine. If you Google It, you may be able to find it from another source.
Also, if you’re looking for inspiration to see how you can use your planner check out the following hashtags on instagram:
#bwwpc – This is a hashtag specifically for black women planners. Representation matters and I love seeing how creative black women are in the planning space.
#planneraddict – Over 4 million posts. Once you click on a post click on any of the other hashtags.
If you use another branded planner please leave it in the comments section including comments on why you like it and maybe even a link on where to purchase it.
I hope this is helpful for you. I will be sharing pictures on my Instagram as I move into my 2019 planner. Right now I’m carrying both, but plan to decommission my 2018 planner and put it in archive (on my shelf) on January 1st!