So Many Organized Options

July 29, 2014

I feel like a crazy person for being so concerned about my planner options but here I am. I am very concerned.

I’ve recently seen more than a few other bloggers mention that they were on the hunt for the perfect planner. I’ve seen a few talk about their filofax and Martha Stewart and ARC and all kinds of crazy planners but those are all way too intense for me. I need a planner that someone else has put all the effort into designing for me and I need it to be cute.

What I haven’t seen is any comprehensive list of options for people like me who want a ready-made planner so I thought i’d give it a shot. I’m hoping that this will come in handy especially for fellow teachers or even students looking to get organized and soon.

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I currently have an 18 month Erin Condren Life Planner, but my precious baby comes to an end this December. A fact I was forced to realize when I tried plugging all the dates of my spring semester High School League matches into months that just don’t exist in my planner. I flip to December and boom. The end. “No big deal” I think, “i’ll simply order another.” So I hop on over to the adorable Erin Condren website only to be faced again with the fact that these planners *start* at $50.00. Yep fifty big ones. Last time I ordered my planner (which was the first time) I was a smart cookie and got the 18 month version because it would be cheaper that way in the long run. I suppose this logic holds up but now here I am looking for a new planner that will start in December and unfortunately most planners i’m looking at are academic calendars! Which would have been just fine if I hadn’t been so damn cheap in the first place.

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Now you may be wondering why i’m looking for an alternative to this planner anyway if I refer to it so lovingly, even if it does cost a million dollars. The fact is that it’s just too much planner for me. I feel like i’m not using it properly and most of the time it feels like my crappy hand writing and random jotting down of things isn’t deserving of so thoughtfully a created planner. Also the biggest con, and one of the reasons I really don’t ever use the weekly planners, is that the big honking coil makes it almost impossible to use Monday-Wednesday in the weekly planning section. At least it does for me. It makes my handwriting even worse than it already is and I feel like i’m always fighting it so I just gave up. In theory this is the perfect planner for me, in execution not so much.

So here are some other options that are available:

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Top: Plum Paper Regular Planner Bottom: Simplified Planner-Daily Version

  • I feel like the Plum Paper Planner (alliteration!) is almost identical to an Erin Condren Life Planner with only a few minor tweaks. Unfortunately none of those tweaks remove my unusable left page problem and they also mean the planner itself isn’t as ‘designed’ as EC planners. However it is a much lower price point which is super nice if you’re looking for an EC alternative.
  • The Simplified Planner looks anything but ‘simple’ to me. It is an incredibly detailed daily planner that gives you everything you could want if you’re looking for a day by day with month views. I am not in that market BUT they do make a weekly version that definitely solves the left page problem while still maintaining a level of detail that I like. However once again we’re creeping up into a higher price point. I found this EC vs. Simplified review to be pretty illuminating.

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Top: 2015 Kate Spade New York 17-Month Agenda Bottom: Whitney English Day Designer

  • I really like the print on this agenda. There are 4 different covers to choose from but this one is my favorite for what I would think are obvious reasons. The length and price point of this agenda are also big selling points for me as well as the smaller coil. The week layouts aren’t as detailed as i’m used to but i’m not really sure what I would need more detail for anyway, you know? At first the plainness of this agenda turned me off but the more I think about it the more I like it, maybe my own crappy attempts at handwriting and color coding will actually look nice in this instead of woefully underwhelming like it does in my EC.
  • I ran across a review of this Day Designer and like the Simplified Planner it seems pretty intense, more intense actually. I’m not sure how much i’d need this level of organization but with the year I have ahead of me who knows, maybe i’ll find myself changing my mind about how micromanaged my days need to be.

3Lilly Pulitzer 2013-2014 Agenda

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 Pocket Squares- Large Weekly/Monthly Academic Planner

  • Honestly the only thing I don’t like about the LillyPulitzer planner is that it starts in August. If this were just a 2015 Calendar instead of an academic agenda i’d be stoked. The pages look functional, there are notes columns, and there are sticker pages. I feel like the coil might be a little too big but it looks doable. It’s very colorful like my EC but I feel like the little touches don’t take anything away from the function.
  • This pocket squares planner is adorable. I’m a sucker for all things matryoshka and this got me. Not to mention the size of the planner! It’s almost the size of your standard piece of paper and that much room appeals to me. The size of the Lilly Pulitzer Jumbo planner is also probably what I like most about it. The main con on this planner is that I really can’t see myself spending thirty dollars on a planner that doesn’t have tabs in it. Tabs are pretty big deal breaker for me BUT this planner almost make up for it with the originality of the quotes. I really love quotes in planners because i’m a big lame-o but I hate how cliche they usually are and how blandly positive they are, platitudes aren’t my bag.

So there you have it! My short list of planners that are in the running to be mine. At this point i’m glad I have until December to really find one I want to spend at least the next year with because I think each of these has it’s pros and cons. I want a big planner with usable pages and tabs, is that really too much to ask?

What do you guys think? Am I missing any? What planner are you using and how do you feel about it?

Until next time,
Meagan

 

7 Comments

  1. Reply

    Kayly Nyman

    Oooooh I love the Plum Paper Planner layout! I am one of those people that is still on the hunt for a perfect planner. Ideally, I can have one planner for both my daily life and blog (since neither of which are crazy busy enough that they need an individual!). But so far, I’ve been not too happy with the two I’ve tried. I like the Kate Spade one too. Definitely looking into more – thanks for the links!

    1. Reply

      Meagan Crowe

      Oh man I fear the day that I feel the need for a blog planner as well. I will be too full of options haha. I love the Kate Spade planner but it’s just so small!

  2. Reply

    Meg

    Have you tried searching on Etsy? There are a lot of independent designers that create custom planners. You might be able to find one you like and do a custom order designed with only what you want included.

    1. Reply

      Meagan Crowe

      That’s where I found Plum Paper and the Pocket Squares planners. Other than those I was pretty underwhelmed with the already made options. I found a lot of cool printable options but those are a bit out of my price range once you take the cost of printing into account 🙁

  3. Reply

    Erin

    I wanted the Erin Condren planner until I saw how much it costs. I will be buying her teacher planner when I finally get a classroom of my own.

    I used to buy all my planners at Barnes and Noble, but I go to Target for theirs now. They are simple and not too expensive.

    Have you looked on Etsy? I’ve seen some adorable yet practical ones on there, and you can customize them.

    1. Reply

      Meagan Crowe

      I’ve tried for a long time to just use a simpler planner from Target but they’re never exactly what i’m looking for and I end up losing interest in them and not using them. My Erin Condren is the first planner in years that i’ve used regularly and I think it has a lot to do with how fun and well organized it is.

      I’ll continue my etsy search for something suitable though.

  4. Reply

    Jenn

    I am in love with that rainbow-tabbed Simplified planner, but it’s a little out of my price range and I don’t know why I would ever need a detailed daily planner. Sigh.

    I’ve been using a Moleskine planner this year that I decorated to make more personal. I like that it’s small enough to fit in, say, a jacket pocket if necessary, but I hate that it’s not tabbed. I tend to forget I even have a planner for a week or two at a time because I’m just not excited about it. I may try Target in the future.

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