Ahh, 2017. A time to start fresh, forget all the awful things that dragged you down in 2016. But most importantly, time for a new personal planner! Woo-hoo! Trouble is, there are so many personal planners out there to choose from. If you’re anything like me (and chances are you are since you’re here), you kind of want to buy all of the planners. Well, here’s a bit of advice – find one planner you love and save your money for all the fun accessories that go into planning with it (stickers, washi, markers and pens-oh-my!). If you have too many different planners, you may forget which one you wrote down that thing you had to remember in. Or that important number or address. Trust me, it’s happened to me many, many times.
Here, I have broken down a list of some planners I use (or have used) in the past, and some popular ones I’m aware of, which fall into the following categories: Fashionista, Productivity, Good Vibes, Creative, or if you’re just starting out – the Beginner. I hope this sort of helps you reign in your planner addiction a little bit. I mean, this is the time for resolutions, right? Let’s get started!
These types of planners are for those of you who truly love the art of planning. They are the quintessential combination of fashion meets function. You can have your cake and eat it too. And planning has zero calories! Here are the fashion-forward planners that take the cake!
The Erin Condren LifePlanner is the planner I use on a daily basis. This isn’t to say that it is without fault; I just happen to love how many options it has for customization, and that it is structured just enough to allow room for all the fashionable add-ons, like stickers, page holders, enough room for doodling, etc. But the most fashion-focused aspect of the LifePlanner is that you can change out the covers whenever you feel like it, without having to buy a whole new planner. That’s the genius of this planner. The super hard plastic snap-on covers, and snap-in features (like dashboards). So one day you feel dark and moody? Snap on your black cover. The next day you want it to match your bright pink outfit? Done. Easy. It changes with you. The only thing I don’t LOVE about this planner is its girth. This baby is big. Don’t think you’re going to be carrying it around with you everywhere in your little crossbody bag, because this sucker is more of a backpack size. For me, for the most part, it stays on my desk.
The layout of each week can horizontal, vertical (shown above) or even hourly. I chose the vertical for this year because I find it leaves more room to decorate and plan each day however you want. You can also choose what color you want the coils of your planner to be! I went with rose gold.
The Kikki K planners are always beautiful colors with typically a pastel colored leather and gold accessories. They include the inserts for planning which can be changed out.
Though I’ve never personally owned a Kate Spade, I hear they are exceptional quality. Would you expect anything less from her though? They are usually modern and sleek, sometimes with a cheeky twist. This particular model, the 17 month agenda, goes for around $30 (but at the time of this post was half off!), and is shaped like a medium binder.
I love that it has tabs because tabs are one of my deal breakers. The only drawback is that it isn’t as customizable as some of the others, but lets be real – if you’re getting a kate spade planner, you pretty much want to keep it how you found it, right?
Filofax planners are like the serious businessman of planners. They command respect. They are the timeless classic of the LBD (little black dress) that never go out of style and have been around forever. They are pricey. But the good news is that they are refillable, so if you invest in the nicest outer shell, the inserts are all you have to buy from then on.
Pro Tip for the Filofax – I find the official Filofax inserts to be almost tissue-paper-thin paper quality and frankly, dull. I recommend buying the A5 size inserts from SewMuchCrafting on Etsy and using her inserts instead. The quality of paper is so much better and her fonts and layouts are much cooler.
I mean for almost $400, do I have to even say anything more? Yeah, I don’t have one of these, but I know people who do. Does that count?
One of the biggest trends in planners for 2016 was the explosion of productivity planners or goal-based planners. We saw updates to some planners from the year before, fruition of some Kickstarter campaigns for other planners, and lots and lots of motivational planning accessories. Here are some of the standouts for the upcoming year. Time to set your eye on the prize! Go get ’em, tigers!
Out of all the goal-getting planners, I believe the Volt is the most luxurious. The quality of leather, paper and the layout are carefully well-crafted. Even the binding is thoughtfully considered. But the creators of the Volt are as serious about getting you the results you want, as it is about the quality of their product.
Check out their website for the detailed explanation of how to use it and also their user testimonials. I can’t go back to the site because I’ll probably buy one, and then I’ll have to use it to set a goal of not buying another one too. Drawbacks? No tabs (to me, that’s a drawback). It does give you two ribbons to hold your spot (month and day), but I hate ribbons because I feel like they get in the way. Also, what if I’m in the month of January, but I need to make plans for the month of March? With both ribbons already being used by the day page and January page, I’ll have to stand there flipping pages until I reach the March page which at a busy doctor’s office with two kids pulling on my coat as the receptionist is waiting for me to jot down the follow up appointment, is pretty annoying. I’d prefer tabs. No biggie though.
I actually picked up the Passion after comparing the Passion to the Volt. A lot of similarity, but the the Passion won out on price point alone. I love love love how it breaks down all your dreams into actual, achievable small goals that you set for yourself. It takes the impossible and breaks it down until it is totally possible. And it is half the price of some of its competitors. Drawbacks? You got it – no tabs. What do these goal oriented people have against tabs?!
I also love the “Space of Infinite Possibility” on the bottom right of each week where you can doodle or implement a graphic chart for yourself. I wish I was one of those people who could envision my own infographics and put them down on paper. I know some of you are, so I’d recommend this gem for you type-A personalities!
The Panda planner is another productivity Planner. It has a cult like following and the creator is pretty charismatic. This planner is so productive, it also offers you access to an assortment of free productivity Ebooks. It’s also eco-friendy and not made out of actual pandas or even leather for that matter. It’s weird they chose a panda for their mascot though, right? Like I don’t think of pandas as a particularly productive member of the animal kingdom. They’re like on the verge of extinction because of how UNproductive they are, right? I just picture a panda in some conservation zoo chewing on bamboo like a big lump. An ant or honeybee would have made wayyyyy more sense. Just saying.
The Panda planner is in the mid-range on price of about $26 and boasts science as the basis for its conception. mmm okay. I’m pretty skeptical of this planner for some reason, but it seriously has an amazing reputation so what do I know?
This productivity planner says that what sets it apart from the others is that it is the only one with layouts designed for action. I haven’t the slightest idea of what the hell that actually means, but it sounds fucking awesome.
The Action Day planner is probably the most serious toned one out of the productivity bunch, with not a lot of creative spaces, but with a lot of projection-type spaces. Like you know, to foster action. I bet you Jason Statham has this planner. If he doesn’t, the guy who invented this planner definitely has a screensaver of Jason Statham on his laptop.
Now we’re getting into the planning-will-make-you-happier category. I can’t say I can argue with this, since most of my joy comes from planning and thinking about planning. But these little numbers were designed specifically to bring you happiness and abundance of good things into your life, just by filling in the blanks! Do they work? Do you want them to? Yes? Then yes! Of course they work, dummy!
The Happiness Planner
The Happiness planner just came out with this super cute clutch-looking design that holds A-5 size inserts, which you can get from them, or switch out with your Kikki K or SewMuchCrafting inserts. The look of it alone makes me happy because it’s so freaking pretty.
But there’s more than meets the eye with this planner. The company makes inserts ripe with inspirational quotes and pushes you to think about positive things while you plan out your days.
You focus on what you are grateful for, what you’re excited about, you get the idea. Like I said, you can also use SewMuchCrafting inserts for the A-5 size. 😉
Me and My Big Ideas Happy Planner
What I love about this planner from Me and My Big Ideas, is that it is super accessible in Michaels and online at Amazon. It is inexpensive and gives you plenty of design options.
The inserts truly are “happy” in that you get that “weeeee I’m planning!” feeling because of all the fun colors and quotes and it is just made for feeling good.
Oh. My. God.
Okay, let me start off firstly by saying, yes, this is the DUMBEST shit I have ever seen as far as planners claiming to change your life.
But I want one so bad.
Ok look. There is so much going on with this planner, that you have to just watch this video. Can you just watch this video for me? And then you’ll understand what I mean. Go on. I’ll wait.
Okay, now that you’ve seen this with your own eyes, do you understand why this is awesome? Even without tabs??? I need this pen. Where can I get the microwave pen?! Oh here:
Yeah, so like….will this personal planner make all your dreams come true? I don’t know about that. But apparently, you can put it in the microwave. I’m in!
Some of you creative types prefer the whole less is more attitude when it comes to your personal planners. I get you. I love to doodle and I never met a sheet of planning stickers I couldn’t use. Here are the planners for those of you who love to bounce to the beat of your own drum.
This guy is so minimal, he’s white like a blank white sheet of paper. There’s not a whole heck of a lot going on on the inside either.
Plenty of room for doodles, appointments, affirmations — anything!
Okay, so this journal pretty much leaves the journaling up to you, but it comes with very detailed, very specific set-up instructions if you choose to use it as its maker intended. Here is a video of the dude explaining how you should use his journal.
Pretty detailed and specific. How can this be in the creative category you may be asking yourself? Well, after you see what planning bloggers have done with this specific journal, I think you’ll start to see why.
Look at what you can do! Amazing and beautiful things!
This plain notebook can be used to creatively put together your very own planner, any way you like. You could also use a marble notebook or sketch pad. But the standard book silhouette of the Moleskine complements planning in a nice way. So nice. I promise I have a pretty decent vocabulary.
Ah, where it all started for me. If you love office supply stores like Staples or Office Max (do they still exist?), you’ll understand why I love a simple Day Minder just as much as a complicated Law of Attraction planner. It’s as basic as basic gets, but sometimes that is exactly what you need. Starting small and simple is refreshing. And effective.
There is something so lovely about the bendable plastic cover that is made to look like leather. It’s charming! And you know you can find this bad boy at any office supply store, grocery store or pharmacy around the country at any time. It’s like a really reliable friend. I’ve probably owned at least 200 or so different variations of the DayMinder. Same thing with…
The At A Glances come in the standard office supply store colors, but also have some new, fresh designs to make them more pretty and desirable to us planner crazies. I actually personally own this design and I highly recommend it. The cover material is sturdy but bendable which is great for purses.
The designs are pretty and the quotes are decent, although my 2016 planner in this style included a Bill Cosby quote which was just uncomfortable. Oh well, nothing a few cleverly placed stickers couldn’t fix!
For the beginner planner who still wants to get into stickers and all the fun stuff, I highly recommend the Orange Circle Studios planners. They have this great, fun aesthetic they use. Most of their planners include stickers of their own and a folder or card slots. So they are definitely a step above the DayMinders and At-A-Glances, but still widely available at drug stores and even Sams Club where they have all the books laid out on the table which is obviously the best part of Sams Club.
Nice vertical layout too!
Hopefully this little list will narrow down the search for your perfect 2017 planner. Happy planning! xo