I’ve always been a more type B person, but when it comes to planning, scheduling and organizing my time and life – I couldn’t be more type A. I feel I will never switch to a completely digital schedule – no iPhone calendar has ever felt the same as organizing my life on paper, writing things down and having something tangible and real to plan with. Since becoming a student, I have had even more need to plan my days. I used to be content with my simple Plan Ahead Weekly Planner that was $5 at CVS; it served me well many years when I only had 2-3 things going on each day. Now, in one day I have to schedule in work, school, coordinating daycare pick-ups, study time, errands, gym time, and dinner.
For the last two semesters, I was printing this out that helped me schedule my weeks by the hour and I realized that is exactly what I needed – a planner to schedule in each hour of my life. When I schedule in time at the gym and plan it ahead of time, it actually happens. When I know what I need to be doing to make the most of the 24 hours in a day, I become better at time management. Some parents have told me they have no idea how I manage a full-time college career, working part-time and being a mother to a toddler – and this is how. By managing my time and balancing my priorities. Sure, it sucks to actually have to schedule in that hour or two that I spend just with J every day – just me and him, nothing else. But it helps me manage and balance everything going on in my life and make sure that all my responsibilities get the time they need.
My search for a daily planner began. My criteria were that I needed a daily planner – a page for each day with the option to schedule each hour of my day. I also needed a two-page spread of each month within the daily planner. Anything else was extra.
I fell in love with this planner. It has the ability to plan each day by the hour, as well as a to-do list for each day, a monthly spread, a beautiful design, and quality and durability. On each day is a box to write in what’s for dinner, and the hours of the day start early and end late – just like my life. The $60 price tag deterred me long enough that they ended up selling out before I picked one up.
2. Emily Ley
I was looking for a planner to start in August, so I didn’t go with this one – plus I was still hoping to find one a little cheaper. But it has all the bells and whistles I wanted: ability to schedule your day hourly from 7am-7pm, write in dinner plans, a to-do list, an inspirational quote for each day, and a tabbed two-page spread for each month.
This is a slightly different design than most I looked at -- instead of starting August 2014 or January 2014, you can start using this any time because each month and day is blank. Fill in the month and days on your own, and the graph paper style allows you to plan each hour and also have space for a daily to-do list and whatever else you need to plan each day. For those like me who are schedulers of each hour but still have the creative design like type B – it’s like a canvas to become your own work of art. With a price tag of less than half of the designer planners, it’s more affordable and easier to replace year after year.
This is extremely similar to the seize the day planner, but also allows for a two-year plan. The time table for daily planning is 6am-midnight – a great length of time compared to many other daily planners that are more 8a-8p format.
5. Erin Condren
The main, maybe the only reason, I didn’t choose this one is because it is more of a weekly planner than daily – but it is jam-packed with fun stuff! Folders, the ability to tack in a special invite or list, interchangeable covers, fun colors and quotes and plenty of custom options and goodies included with the planner.
This planner reminded me a lot of the Whitney English design, with some differences of course. It is definitely a gorgeous design, has a two page spread for each month, but is more of a weekly planner. There are three days featured on each page, with several lines to jot in plans and schedule your day.
I fell in love with this custom option from Etsy because of the ability to choose from four different designs – hourly day planning, three days on one page, note pages between monthly spread or blank lines for each day. The design features a tabbed two-page monthly spread as well as a page for each month to jot down notes.
Each page is a daily planner from 7am-7pm, and there is a three months reference calendar at the bottom of each page. There are no monthly pages however, and it does start in January.
This is a great, no-frills daily planner that features four months on a two-page layout, each day set up in hourly format with additional space for notes and projects. There is space at the back to record contacts, annual goals and note pages.
This is a great size for those who want a planner to fit in your purse, and I love the moleskine covering. The hardest part of buying planners online is the lack of pictures though, and that's what deterred me here. It's a beautiful planner, but I can't tell what I'd be getting.
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I ended up getting the orange Seize the Day planner and I'm excited to be able to customize it exactly to my needs, and plan my life in a creative way. Maybe I'll finally be able to use all that washi tape I have in my craft bin...
Do you have a favorite day planner?