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Choosing Your Perfect Planning System: 2017 Edition!

Choosing Your Perfect Planning System: 2017 Edition!

Okay, I know it’s only November and may seem early.. but this is the best time to start thinking about your planner for the upcoming year! (Side note: how is it almost 2017?!) Most brands have officially launched their 2017 collections for preorder so now is the time to buy to ensure you get your ideal planner before it sells out (and trust me, they do)! I believe the key to starting off a new year on the right foot is being prepared. For me, that means having an effective planning system in place!

Maybe I’m old school, but there is something about a paper planner that I LOVE and cannot give up. I have tried using only my phone/laptop but failed miserably. For those of you who can use a digital calendar alone, kudos to you! I have finally figured out a system that works for me and it consists of both digital and paper planning. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as it saves you time and stress!

About this Post: 

Below I break down some of the various planning systems out there in the hopes it will help you figure out what is a good fit for you! I have tried A LOT of different planners over the years so I like to consider myself a planner expert (ask my friends/family, and they will support this statement ?).

I have physically purchased or used all of the planners I’m featuring in this post at some point in my life so they all come highly recommended. The large featured image of each planner is linked to its shop listing so if you find one you like, you can view its specifications and potentially purchase it.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to comment below this post or send me an email on my contact page! I hope this post helps you find some planner peace 🙂

Let’s get started!

Featured Brands & Where to Find Them:

Choosing Your Perfect Planning System for 2017!

Option #1 – Digital Planning

apple calendar


What I Like About Digital Planning (e.g. phone/tablet/computer..)

  • Convenience – If you are someone who carries your phone on you at all times, then that means you also have your schedule with you at all times & it is compact/portable. This is perfect for on-the-spot planning (how I personally use my iPhone calendar). Being able to sync your calendar across all of your devices is another win.
  • Reminders – Who else has almost missed an appointment but a pop-up reminder came and saved the day? I doubt I’m the only one who will admit to this. I especially love this feature for reminding me of birthdays first thing in the AM!
  • Delete/Edit – I have to admit, not having to erase/whiteout schedule changes is a big pro.
  • Space – It is impossible to run out of writing space because you don’t have to write! You can put every detail about an event right in your calendar (time, address, reoccurrence, etc.) Your handwriting will no longer dictate what size planner you need.
  • Sharing – All it takes is a click of a button to send someone all the info about an event. So simple and easy!

Why It Wasn’t For Me:

  • Although I love all the features listed above, when I tested utilizing only digital planning, I found myself missing my paper planner. When scheduling through my phone, I somehow missed events or tasks. I think this had to do with the fact that I remember things better when I physically write them down and I also found my physical planner to have a better monthly/weekly view than that of my tiny phone screen.

How I Use Digital Planning:

  • Since I don’t always have my physical planner on me, I use my phone calendar to mark off events that come up when I am out and about. This works well for work meetings, classes, or shows. When I get home, I transfer the event from my phone into my physical planner.

Do you use digital planning alone? If so, I would love to hear how you have made it work for you – tell me about it in the comments section below this post!

Option #2 – Horizontal Weekly Planner

  • This format is one of the most common in the planner world.
  • Format: Week divided over 2 pages with sections for each day.
  • Works best for: List makers & task-oriented planners.

Sugar Paper: Weekly/Monthly Planner ($14.99)

Click to Shop: Target.com or In-Store ($14.99)


Sugar Paper: Weekly/Monthly Planner ($10.99)


Click to Shop: Target.com or In-Store ($10.99)

Day Designer for BlueSky: Weekly/Monthly Planner ($19.99)

Click to Shop: BlueSky.com

ban.do: Weekly/Monthly Agenda – 17 Months ($28.00)

ban.do Weekly Agenda

Click to Shop: bando.com ($28.00)


Option #3 – Vertical Weekly Planner

  • Format: Weekdays divided into vertical columns over 2 pages. Columns usually contain divided time slots. Limited space for a daily to-do list.
  • Works best for: Scheduled events/meetings/appointments.

Day Designer for BlueSky: Weekly/Monthly Planner ($24.99)


Click to Shop: BlueSky.com ($24.99)

inkWELL Press: Classic Weekly/Monthly Planner ($44.99)

liveWELL Classic Weekly Planner by inkWELL Press

Click to Shop: Office Depot Online or In-Store ($44.99)

*FYI: There is a horizontal (aka Flex) option available exclusively through InkwellPress.com!

Start Planner: Hustle Weekly/Monthly Planner ($55.00)


Click to Shop: StartPlanner.com ($55.00)


Option #4 – Weekly Overview

  • One of the newer planner layouts!
  • Format: Weekly planning divided over 2 pages – one side for weekday-specific planning & one side for organized lists.
  • Works best for: List makers who also want daily scheduling capabilities.

Sugar Paper: Weekly/Monthly Planner ($14.99)


Click to Shop: Target.com or In-Store ($14.99)

Sugar Paper: Weekly/Monthly Planner ($14.99)

Sugar Paper Weekly Planner

Click to Shop: Target.com or In-Store ($14.99)

Option #5 – Daily Planner

  • This format is harder to come by and tends to be bulkier/more expensive.
  • Format: Each weekday gets its own page including scheduling time slots & to-do list. Sat/Sun tend to share a page.
  • Works best for: People with busy days & varying daily schedules. Detail oriented planners. People who write large.

Simplified Planner by Emily Ley: Daily/Monthly Planner ($58.00)

Daily Simplified Planner

Click to Shop: EmilyLey.com ($58.00)

Day Designer by Whitney English: Daily/Monthly Planner – Flagship Version ($59.00)

Daily Planner by Day Designer

Click to Shop: DayDesigner.com ($59.00)

Day Designer for Blue Sky: Daily/Monthly Planner ($19.99)

Day Designer for Blue Sky 5"x8" Daily Planner

Click to Shop: BlueSky.com ($19.99)

Day Designer for Blue Sky: Daily/Monthly Planner ($29.99)


Click to Shop: BlueSky.com ($29.99)

Start Planner: Hustle Daily/Monthly Planner ($60.00)

Click to Shop: StartPlanner.com ($60.00)

Option #6 – Monthly Planner

  • This format is much simpler and lacks supplemental weekly/daily planning space.
  • Format: Month view over 2 pages. Will sometimes include additional monthly planning pages.
  • Works best for: People with a consistent schedule. Long-term planners.

ban.do: 12-Month Planner ($20.00)


Click to Shop: bando.com ($20.00)


Sugar Paper: Monthly Planner ($6.99)


Click to Shop: Target.com or In-Store ($6.99)

Sugar Paper: Monthly Planner ($6.99)

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 10.50.41 AM

Click to Shop: Target.com or In-Store ($6.99)

inkWELL Press: Monthly Planner ($29.99)

liveWELL Monthly Planner by inkWELL Press

Click to Shop: Office Depot Online or In-Store ($29.99)

Option #7 – Pocket Planner

  • A compact planner intended easily to travel with you!
  • Format: Varies – typically consists of a standard weekly spread in addition to a 2-page month view.
  • Works best for: Those who need their planner at all times & prefer a paper planner to digital planning.

Sugar Paper: Weekly/Monthly Pocket Planner ($7.99)

Sugar Paper Snow Leopard Weekly/Monthly Pocket Planner

Click to Shop: Target.com or In-Store ($7.99)


Option #8 – Wall Calendar

  • This format comes in all shapes, styles, and sizes!
  • Format: Large monthly view consisting of one month/page. Can be displayed on a wall/fridge.
  • Works best for: Families and major month events (anniversaries, birthdays, parties, holidays, etc.)

Sugar Paper: 15″ x 12″ Wall Calendar (2017) // $9.99

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Click to Shop: Target.com or In-Store ($9.99)


Day Designer for BlueSky: “Navy Floral” 15″ x 12″ Wall Calendar (2017) // $14.99


Click to Shop: BlueSky.com ($14.99)


inkWELL Press: Desk Pad Monthly Calendar (2017) // $17.29

inkWELL Press Desk Pad Monthly Calendar

Click to Shop: Office Depot Online or In-store ($17.29)


Option #9 – Binder System

  • The most versatile of all planner systems!
  • Format: This is entirely up to you! There is an insert for every need.
  • Works best for: People who desire flexibility & the ability to customize their planning system.

inkWELL Press: A5 Planner Inserts ($34.00 – does not include binder)

Click to Shop: inkwellpress.com ($34.00 – does not include binder)

Day Designer by Whitney English: A5 Luxe Collection ($89.00 – includes binder & starter pack)

Day Designer A5 Luxe Collection

Click to Shop: DayDesigner.com ($89.00 – includes binder & starter pack)

Start Planner: A5 Fancy Pants Binder System ($98.00 – includes binder & starter pack)

Start Planner: A5 Fancy Pants Binder System

Click to Shop: StartPlanner.com ($98.00 – includes binder & starter pack)

Phew! I’m sure that was a lot to take in but I hope it helps you pick your perfect planner for 2017!

Which planning system in your favorite? Do you stick to the same one year after year or are you going to spice things up in 2017? Let me know in the comments section below!

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