I love goals and organization and productivity, and one of the essential tools to help me accomplish all this is my planner. I know the frustration of having a planner that just doesn’t quite work. Which is why it’s so wonderful when you find one that does work for you!
A good planner will help you stay organized, focused, and be an effective tool for helping you achieve your goals. For me as a mom, a planner keeps me sane! I need a dedicated place to write things down so I don’t go crazy trying to remember all the appointments, to-dos, goals, etc. I definitely use a phone app for appointments as well, but I’ve found I’m the kind of person that just needs to physically write things down for them to sink in.
Before I begin my review, let me just say that I used The Simplified Planner in the daily version for all of 2016. So I’m writing my review based on a year of use, not on a freshly-arrived, never-used planner. I’ve lugged it everywhere, as my husband can attest. I’ve tossed it in my purse, or another bag as I was running out the door all year long. At first I was gentle with it since it cost so much, but after a few weeks that wore off and I used it like normal. It held up spectacularly, and served me very well for all of 2016.
If you’re anything like me, then you want to know exactly what a planner has to offer before you buy it. Every detail, every page. So here is the guided tour of The Simplified Planner. On the inside of the front cover, there is a handy little pocket (it fits a full printed page if you fold it in half). The first page has a place to put your name.
The second page-spread lists planner information on one side, and has an inspirational letter from the planner’s creator, Emily Ley, on the other side.
The third spread has a guide for how to use the planner, as well as tips on simplifying (it is called The Simplified Planner after all…)
The fourth spread shows a yearly calendar on the left page and a list of 2017 holidays on the right.
The fifth spread has space for your “2017 Bucket List” on the left side and a few quotes on the other side.
And then the planner itself begins with the January monthly spread…
…followed by a full month’s-worth of daily pages. Each weekday has a full page per day, while both days of the weekend share a page. The picture below shows the usual daily page on the left, and the weekend view on the right. The rest of the planner has a monthly spread at each tab, followed by the month’s-worth of daily pages.
The back inside cover is simple and beautiful (but no pocket…)
The back cover has the same pretty pattern as the front cover.
- Durable, quality hardcover on front and back with metal corner guards on front and back. This cover held together super, super well. I was impressed.
- The paper is heavy, high-quality paper. I use Sharpie Pens and gel pens, and I didn’t have any issues with bleed-through at all. I also didn’t have a single page rip or tear.
- The spiral binding held up really well. Still in great shape at the end of the year.
- Durable, beautiful monthly tabs. None of the tabs ripped off. Pretty good for a year of daily use if you ask me. I prefer monthly tabs to a ribbon because I’m always flipping forward to plan ahead, or backward to check on my progress. So monthly tabs are a must for me in any planner, and these held up wonderfully.
- Beautiful, clean layout with just enough color to be uplifting without being overwhelming. Lots of clean, bright space to plan and make notes.
- An encouraging quote on each daily page.
- Each daily page includes an hourly schedule section, a to-do list section, a dinner section, and a notes section.
- The weekend page includes a to-do list for each day, and a notes section.
- The monthly view has an encouraging quote, a notes column on the left side, and two mini-months for the month before and after the current month.
- Durable, quality construction, and beautiful design.
- Portable. I stuff this planner in my (medium-sized) purse frequently and lug it around with me throughout the day. (The size is 7.75 x 9″ including the binding.)
- Wish it had another inside pocket on the back cover.
- Wish the binding were easier to use. You can’t flip it all the way around with ease, because of the specific design.
- Wish more cover designs were available. There are four cover design options to choose from so the options are kind of limited, but by no means a deal breaker.
Bottom Line- Would I Recommend It?
Yes!!! …to the right people. The quality of the planner is awesome! But it’s also a daily planner and so it’s fairly hefty with lots of room. (Emily Ley also offers a weekly version, but it looks a little different and I haven’t tried it yet.) The planner’s daily page design is fairly simple, which is great because you can customize it to your needs… but if you’re looking for lots of bells and whistles this might not be the one for you. The planner’s not for everyone, but it’s perfect for me. Consider what you need and want in a planner. Does this fit the bill?