My Favorite Planners for Organizing a Busy Life

I always have and always will be a pen and paper kind of girl.

Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE a good app to help you organize and automate your life. But, when it comes to planning and scheduling my life, I NEED a physical planner. Trust me, I’ve tried to go digital, and I will still put things in my phone I need digital reminders of, but I cannot use that as my sole form of schedule management. So don’t try to convince me otherwise!

There are few things in life more satisfying than a perfectly organized, beautiful planner. And they make them in all shapes and sizes these days. A planner to fit every personality, scheduling need, and organizational type.

When it comes to running your own business and helping others run theirs, it is imperative that you stay organized and on top of your sh*t. If you don’t, you could be costing yourself and potentially your clients’ hundreds, thousands, if not millions, of dollars with a mistake.

Don’t let that happen! Invest a few dollars in an excellent planner and then invest a few minutes each day to make sure those you are on top of your schedule and nothing falls through the cracks. With mid-year upon us, it’s a great time to start planning for 2019! New planner editions start release around this time so you won’t miss a beat.

While the options may be endless, I’m listing my favorites here. I’ve tried out all of these and have pros and cons of each. You need to find what works best for you and stick with it. But remember, a planner won’t work if you don’t use it! So only invest in something that you will actually use.

Day Designer

This is my current planner and favorite of all those I’ve tried so far. But I will preface with; this planner is only for the uber-organized with meticulous schedule planning skills. You must want to and have to use your planner on a daily basis to get the most out of this one.

The reason why I love my Day Designer is each day gets its own page with an hourly schedule (from 5am-9pm!) and LONG to do list. Perfect for those who like to brain dump in the morning. I found with most other planners I was having to resort to using other post its or notepads to write down my to-dos which were messy. With this, everything is in one place, and it’s AMAZING!

It is a little bulky and is not very realistic to carry around all of the time, but it’s perfect for sitting on your desk to refer to throughout the day. And the feeling of checking off your to-do list is fantastic!

One thing that I don’t love about the Day Designer is that the weekends are combined onto one page which means no individual to-do list. Most weekends I actually have MORE to-dos than during the week, so I find it to be a little inconvenient that I can’t write my list like I do other days.

If you have a busy life with a long to-do list, this is the planner for you!

Day Designer– $59.00

Erin Condren Life Planner

I was a die-hard Erin Condren fan until just a few years ago. I absolutely loved the patterns, the customizations, and the freedom her designs gave me. Then, I noticed her layouts weren’t working for me anymore.

But, that doesn’t mean they won’t work for you!

She offers three different layout types: vertical, horizontal, and hourly. My favorite is the vertical. You can use it to customize your needs to whatever it is you want to track. I’ve also tried her hourly design but the days only go from 6am-7pm and my days often go MUCH later than 7 pm so it just didn’t work for me.

Erin Condren planners can be customized in so many ways! You can make them spiral bound, hardbound, soft covers, hardcovers, custom stickers, and more. But be careful, the costs can add up quickly!

Erin Condren Life Planner – $55.00 & up

Passion Planner

Passion Planners are great for the big thinkers, the dreamers, and the goal setters. You have to want to use your planner as something more than just a scheduler to get the most out of a Passion Planner.

Passion Planner, at its core, is an hourly scheduler. You have 30-minute blocks from 6am-10: 30 pm (the latest I’ve seen) to fill in with all of your activities. One downside of having so many hours in your day is you have to write small to fit it all in.

Your To-Do list is broken down for the week into Personal and Worklists and then priority levels. Great for those who plan their week ahead of time.

Each week also has space for reflecting on good things that happened and a blank space for doodles and/or note-taking.

The creators of Passion Planner are very community-based and for every one planner purchased they donate a planner to someone who could use a little extra organization in their lives. A great cause to contribute to.

Another plus is that out of all of my planners, Passion Planner is the cheapest option. So it’s an excellent way to test the waters with a new planner.

Passion Planner– $30.00

Let me remind you, there is no wrong way to plan your schedule as long as whatever you do helps you get to where you need to be on time and helps you complete your to-dos when needed.

The planners that I recommend are planners that have helped me, but there are hundreds of more options out there to look into. If you have a favorite planner, let me know! I love finding new options to help plan my next year!


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