Planner Guide

It’s my favorite time of year…time to buy school supplies! I still remember heading to Target every year with my Aunt Minnie to buy new pencils, notebooks, and folders. Would I choose a  Lisa Frank folder or something a little more sophisticated like one with a picture of Jesse McCartney? These were the difficult decisions of my youth.

The most difficult decision of my college years and beyond has been something even more challenging. Which planner will I over-plan my life in this year? I have tried nearly every major planner out there and I even went 6 months just using google calendar. It is time for me to share my knowledge.

Kate Spade and Lilly Pulitzer

I group these two brands together because they were what I reached for as a freshman in college. Their standard planners are fairly similar. They include 2 page full month spreads with 2 page weekly spreads. They’re great for high school and college when you need space for daily assignments. They’re also both coil bound planners which I don’t tend to love, but you may not care either way.

At $22, this Lilly planner is more economical as it’s 17 months and includes stickers. But if you’re looking for something with a little less conspicuous of a front pattern, Kate Spade may be the way to go.

The Day Designer

Are you a woman with a lot on her plate? Do you have 15 meetings per day plus daily, weekly, and monthly goals? Are you superwoman? (Hint, yes of course you are) Then this is your planner.

This is the planner for anyone looking to be successful, organized, and always on time. As an example, I attempted to use this planner and I could not. It was too much planner for me. I could not live up to its expectations.

The Day Designer features goal planning worksheets, two page monthly spreads, a page for every weekday with an agenda and to do list, and a daily Top 3 to help you prioritize your life. It is truly beautiful. It is priced a bit higher at $59, but it is worth it for all that comes within it’s magical hard cover.

I should also mention that Target carries smaller and cheaper versions of the Day Designer if you want to be Superwoman on a budget.

Erin Condren

Every year, millions of women personalize their Erin Condren planners in hopes that pictures of their friends on the front will make them more productive. It doesn’t work, but the planner is still pretty great.

The ability to personalize the inside of this planner is its true advantage. You can choose from horizontal, vertical, or hourly weekly pages. I personally liked horizontal in college, hourly in grad school, and vertical for med school (can’t vouch for it as I am starting this week and have no idea how to plan my life yet). You can also choose your month range – school year vs. calendar year – and add months you may need for an extra charge.

For a starting price of $60 you can make this planner your own and that is a nice option for those of us who can never seem to find exactly what we want in stores.

Creative Year

I found this brand and planner at Michael’s this year and I couldn’t believe the price. A 17 month planner with monthly spreads, vertical weekly spreads, plenty of room for notes, 4 pages of stickers, and a built in zipper bag in the back for important papers and an extra pen that I always need. All for $18. Yes, it is currently on sale for this much so get on it.

There are fun covers with prints or some low key stripes if that’s your style. Each month has a tab making it even easier to plan your life out too far in advance. It’s really my dream come true. I will have to update y’all on how it works for medical school and if it’s what I would suggest going forward. Right now it’s simply planning my workouts.

Google Calendar

I just thought I’d mention that I love google calendar and it’s really how I plan my days and weeks. I use the reminders to set up chore lists for myself that repeat. I keep notes on what I need from the grocery store. When I was working it was how I kept track of meetings. In my opinion, if you’re a single working girl you may just need google calendar and that’s it. But if you’re like me and enjoy a little old school in your life, this monthly planner from paper source is a great addition.

It’s not wire bound, so it slides in and out of your bag easily. It features simple monthly spreads so you can keep track of travel, birthdays, and other events. I love being able to see my whole month in front of me so this is what I would reach for if I wasn’t going back to school. I also love the cactus print and I couldn’t tell you why.

Whatever you choose for your planning needs, just remember that your success is more about you and your determination and less about your planner and how many stickers there are. But more stickers is always better.

Have a Happy School Year!

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