I’m a paper planner person, and I’ve had a planner or two I’ve loved in the past but every time I go to get a new one I end up buying yet another within a one or 3 months because the current one is…
- too big
- too small
- not enough room to write extra notes
- paper too thin
- no room for priorities
- too much room for each day
- not enough room for each day
And the list goes on. Now, I know it sounds like I’m picky (I’m very picky) but I’m sure if you’ve ever bought a planner you can relate. If we were all one size fits all, there wouldn’t be literally thousands of sizes, layouts, or styles to choose from. The key is knowing what YOU want in a planner and how to find one that fits YOUR life.
One of my favorite planners was my (red) Moleskine from 2015, my husband bought it for me as a Christmas gift the year before and it was the perfect size, regular Moleskine size and all the days of the week were on one side and the other side of the spread was lined paper for notes, ideas, to do lists. It was lovely! The only downside to this design was there was no monthly calendar overview…just 52 weeks lined up.
Well, they didn’t make it the next year so I was on planner rotation, I like to call it buying one, using for a few months then trying another. I got an 8.5 x 11 Sugar Paper planner from Target that I adored and guess what it had the same layout as my Moleskine just in a larger size. I like this layout because I can write specific day tasks on the calendar but the to-do list is flexible for the week.
And guess what. Sugar Paper ended their contract with Target, so this summer I was on the hunt again for a new planner. I admit that 8.5 x 11 is actually too big for me but the half page ones you see are too small for me. (The struggle is real!) I ended up with the Day Designer weekly spread from Target. It worked but I really disliked the paper, way to thin and felt weighed down with the magnetic bookmarks that coordinated. (Yes, I bought them, you see my cats eat bookmarks for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But these they don’t because they can’t bite and rip out of my book/planner)
I want a planner smaller than 8.5×11, weekly layout, room for daily events & to do lists, paper that can withstand being written on, highlighted over & smothered in washi tape & stickers and it’s a plus if monthly calendars start on Monday not Sunday.
So, after a month with this Day Designer for Target planner I was scrolling Amazon, as one does when they feel the need to burn $50, and realized they sell Emily Ley Simplified Planners! Now, the daily design is simply too much for me. I’d never come close to having enough to write in there but, the weekly that one I *might* like.
I’ll be honest, the pattern on the front isn’t a make or break, I really love all of her designs but I wanted something shiny and gold, enter the navy with pineapple design. (Hello shiny!)
It was smaller than I expected, I clearly have never paid attention to all the images on IG, but even though I thought it was small, it is actually a GREAT size. Like the most perfect size. Just enough for my what I need to get done and log my hours sort of size. Now the calendar spread does feel tight but in all honesty I don’t use it for daily stuff, mostly birthdays, anniversaries, and vacations not like meetings or daily events.
I don’t usually advocate for $50 planners. But honestly after only a few weeks with this one, I don’t see myself trying anything else anytime soon. At least not for the next 12 months and if I’m 100% honest that doesn’t happen very often.
Overall, my suggestion to finding that ever elusive planner peace I know you’re looking for and that I *think* I found for this year at least, is to buy what you think you’ll use & love. The reason I could never get into Bullet Journaling is all the prep work, spacing and drawing and all that. This one from Emily is the perfect size, not too big, not too small, with monthly calendar overviews and room for events & tasks each day. Hallelujah! I plan to write a recap on my Simplified Planner in July next year to tell you all the things I’ve learned, that I love and don’t love.
Try an Emily Ley Simplified Planner Weekly Edition
Try an Emily Ley Simplified Planner Daily Edition
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