The Post You've Been Texting Me About! Planner Reviews! {And a Giveaway}

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

You people must think I'm a planner expert. Maybe it's self-proclaimed.....that's definitely a possibility. 

So when I found out my friend Emmy from Much Ado About you was closing up shop, I just about lost it. 

Then I put my big girl panties on and decided to start looking for another option. I bought several....because I'm a nerd like that. Then I decided to take mediocre iphone pictures of them all for you to see. 

I have decided on what I'm using next year (even though I'm not 100% in love), and I promise to tell by the end. 

So I have 5 that you'll see here and then there is a 6th option that I didn't buy that many of you may like, but it's just not for me, so I didn't waste my money. 

1st up is a cute little polka dot planner that I found on Amazon for $15. It is an August 2013-July 2014 planner with both a monthly and weekly layout. The front and back cover are made of very thick cardstock. 


It is the smallest of the bunch and the most low key. If you're not that into planners but need a place to jot things down, this may be it. 

The front has numerous notes pages.  

It includes a 2-page monthly spread for each month.

The 2-page weekly spread has a place for appointments and to-dos and also features a section for notes at the bottom.

The back includes a Special Days section, future planning section, and a place for contacts.



Cons:
  • May not last long term due to quality
  • No tabs
Pros: 
  • Small enough to carry around everywhere! 
  • low cost 

Next Up: The Tomorrow planner. 
This is an undated planner with both a weekly and monthly spread. The front cover is shiny like a black patent leather purse, but it's really just a durable plastic. I found this planner here for $32. The ones on the site are prettier than mine! I think they're new! 


The inside cover features a plastic pocket (love that!) and this beautiful phrase: {Draw Your Tomorrow}. 



This is an undated planner, so you would have to write in the dates on the monthly spread.


Below is a shot of the weekly layout. (There are much better pictures on their website).


It also has plenty of notes pages in the back as well as another pocket on the back cover.

Pros:

  • Size is small enough to fit in your purse and carry anywhere! 
  • Undated means you can purchase one at any time and start using it. 
  • Durable cover
Cons: 
  • No monthly tabs (All the months are at the front of this planner....not in front of their respective weeks). 
  • Undated....I personally don't want to fill in all the dates. 

I have a feeling this next one may be it for some of you. It is a Lilly Pulitzer Agenda (Large). You can find it here or on amazon. I personally bought mine on amazon. There are multiple sizes to pick from.

This is a August 2014-December 2014 planner with both a weekly and monthly layout. It has thick, durable cover and a rubber band to keep it closed. 


 Ahhh! Monthly tabs!


The inside cover features a double sided card stock pocket to collect fun things.

It features a page of stickers! How fun is that?!



 It's the most colorful planner in the group!




This planner has the monthly spread both at the front (all together) and then throughout the planner (where you see the tabs) before the weekly layouts for each month. 

It also features a "Dates to Celebrate" section, "Holidays and Horoscopes," and a "Notes" section. 

Pros:

  • Long term planner that you could begin using immediately
  • It's colorful! 
  • Durable monthly tabs!
  • Stickers....I'm almost 30 and I still love stickers. 
Cons: 
  • Thick and not as easy to tote around 
  • weekly layout isn't divided into any kind of sections (that is a personal issue) 
I really love this planner and would probably use it if I liked the way the days were arranged in the weekly layout. 

Next up.....some cuteness from http://www.stephaniecreekmur.com/. This planner is cute and girly and happy. I will give it that. The Stephanie Creekmur planner runs from August 2013-January 2015 and can be found here for $50. This planner features a weekly and monthly layout. 



And I love the inside cover....

The weekends throughout this planner are in a fun pattern (as well as the notes sections). The monthly spreads are found at the beginning of the planner. (not in front of their respective weeks)



The weekly spread simply has open space and a place to the right for notes.



Pros: 
  • It's pretty. 
  • Long term planner that you could begin using immediately. 
  • It is smaller and more portable than the Lilly Pulitzer planner. 
Cons:
  • It's pricey. 
  • There are no monthly tabs! 
  • The months are found at the beginning of the planner....(again, a personal issue)

Then there is always the Erin Condren Life Planner. If I liked the weekly layout of this planner (which means....if it had appointment times) this would be the winner in a heartbeat. This is the planner I don't have pictures of because I knew it wasn't right for me. 

I would HIGHLY recommend checking out this planner. There are tons of people who love it. I just personally cannot stand the Morning, Afternoon, and Evening separation of the days. I need times. It's an issue. 

Pros to the Erin Condren Life Planner:
  • Durable
  • You pick the start date
  • Beautiful designs
  • laminated monthly tabs!
Cons: 
  • weekly layout makes me crazy (again, a personal problem) 
  • a little pricey (but absolutely worth the money) 
I feel like I should also say that I have numerous products from this website including the Jumbo Planner, the Weekly Schedule Pad, the notebooks, the Functional Family System, the Teacher planner, and more stuff that I'm not going to list because I realize I may have a problem....anyways, the point is, check out the Life Planner. 

So my personal planner choice for 2014 is......

The Whitney English Day Designer. You can find it here for $55. 

Now, I want to say that I know full and well that this planner is not for everyone, and I will admit that it is far from my perfect planner, but it was the closest thing I could find. 



 This is a monthly and daily layout planner that runs from January 2014- December 2014. I can't believe I'm picking a daily layout, but it's the best I could find!

This thing is huge (major con) but the cover seems durable. You have to set goals and fill out worksheets before you can even start using the thing (which is sort of my love language).








The monthly layout has a place for you to revisit the goals you set at the beginning of the year. 

And a place for all your big ideas....which I like....since I have lots of Big ideas....like no social media for a year! Who does that?!

This is a peek at the daily layout. I admit it's a little overwhelming, but I love that it has the times in the left hand column and a list of to dos in the right. It also has a place for you to identify your top 3 things for the day as well as a place to record something you're grateful for. 


There is also a place to plan dinner, track your spending, and remind yourself to not forget that special something!


Then, Saturday and Sunday are listed together on one page with a reminder to take time out to do fun things.

Pros: 
  • Extremely well thought out and intentional 
  • Durable
  • Daily layout including time schedule (love those time slots!)
Cons: 
  • It's HUGE! 
  • There are no tabs at all
  • Doesn't start until January :( I'm ready to use it now! 
So there you have it. There they are (minus the Erin Condren....which I'm pretty sure most of you will buy). Do not judge me by the lack of paint on my toenails. (And that's my golden retriever's foot....just in case you were curious. He was not interested in moving for my picture.) I'm going with the giant one....because I'm crazy like that. 





The question is.....what's your pick? Comment below and you just may win it. I'm giving away the 4 I'm not using, but you've got to comment below to be entered into the drawing. I'll draw 4 winners on Sunday, November 10th. Be sure to mention the one you think you'd like the most! 

Happy planning friends. 

43 comments:

  1. I am so excited about The Tomorrow Planner! I had one very nearly identical to this in college. Mine was from Korea and I should have bought two because I have never seen another. Now I know where to find one! YAY!

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  2. Boy, what a tough choice! I love the features in the planner you selected, about all the goal setting before beginning.

    i would have to say that the really colorful planner with the tabs would be my pick..
    thank you for doing all the careful "planning" on picking out these top 5 planners and for all the pics and info you posted about each one. :-).

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  3. I love the goal planning! the daily grateful is something I really need to do more often and it's great to have it right there each day. I've been on the hunt for something that might work for me as well and this looks pretty good. Time management needs to be intentional for wahm's in order to take good care of the family most of all. I really enjoy reading your blog as well, don't get to it very often but it's very inspiring!

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  4. Tough choice…it's a toss up between the Lilly Pulitzer Agenda and The Stephanie Creekmur planner. They both look awesome, I just wish that the The Stephanie Creekmur planner had tabs!! I think I'd go with the Lilly Pulitzer Agenda. I love the tabs and it's just so colorful. It'd be hard to not be in a good mood as soon as you whipped that out to get ready for your day!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  5. I love BIG too! I'm definitely going to try the Whitney English. :)
    And on definitely think I'll try the Lilly Pulitzer Agenda for the big girls. We love stickers here too!

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  6. Im more of the Polka Dot kinda girl but would LOVE to go crazy and do the Lilly Pulitzer Agenda!! I just love all the colors and how crazy insane it looks! Super Fun so that would be my pick!

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  7. I loved the Lilly ..thanks for reviewing these . I have come real close to buyin the Erin a couple of times just couldn't break diwn

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  8. Definitely the Lilly! Seems the closest to Much Ado which I will miss terribly! Thank you for doing all this research!

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  9. Loooove the Lilly Pulitzer Agenda (Large)! This one has "me" written all over it! Goodbye hectic, unorganized schedule.....hello Lilly Pulitzer Agenda!

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  10. Thanks for the review! I have a Life Planner, and the time slots are an issue for me as well. It was the tabs, personalization, 18-month availability, and "cuteness" factor that I chose. I don't mind big, so when my current planner is done, I may give this a try. Maybe by then the Tomorrow Planner will have tabs (or I have been known to create my own with those tiny little Post-it Note page markers). I really like everything else about the Tomorrow Planner though. It's the first I've heard of it, so thanks!

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  11. Awesome review! Thank you for doing it. Of the ones remaining I think I would give the Lilly Pulitzer Agenda a try. I am almost 50 (ugh) and I still love stickers too!

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  12. I have had an Erin Condren for the past 2 years. Although I did like it, I haven't brought myself to get another one yet. I am "plannerless" and quite frankly, I don't like that. Sticky notes on the desk just really doesn't cut it. The LIly Pulitzer looks the most similar to what I like. I might have to give it a try.
    Thanks for the amazing review on the planners!!!

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  13. I have been waiting for this post (along with a ton of other apparently!) Thanks so much for doing the homework on this for the rest of us! I love the Lilly Pulitzer because like you, I want tabs! My husband is a baseball coach at a college, and trying to keep track of his schedule is not easy! Thanks again for doing the review!!

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  14. I love the Lily! Between Scentsy and being my girls PTA president. I need something that could help me organize my dates and time better. I currently use my phone since I never can find where to buy a planner at. ALLISON thank you so much for taking the time ro research to dind the best planners on the market and thank you for thinking about all of us for your giveaways. God bless and thanks for everything you do.

    Armelia Fischer

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  15. Love, love, love the Lilly Pulitzer! Between Scentsy, being on the committee of my son's cub scout pack, karate schedules, full time job, and my husband taking a job out of state basically making me a single parent of 3 every other week - I've got to get some serious organization in this house! And I, like you, am 35 and still love stickers. :-)
    Thanks for the reviews!

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  16. Thank you so very much for doing this review. I am not commenting to enter to win one because like you, I would have chosen the Whitney English. However, I think I might have found another one online that we might like better (tabs AND timed weekly layout). I think I will be purchasing the Plum Paper planner. You might want to check it out. I don't have it in my hands yet, so just going off of pictures, but I think I am going to buy it and check it out. If I don't like it, I will likely go back to the EC.

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    1. Hey Jami,
      We actually have a Plum Paper planner for Addison. We have the student planner, and I'm not a fan. There is nothing specific about it I don't like, I just don't like it. I think it has to do with the paper. I have no good reason not to like it. I just don't. I know that's no help at all. But just wanted you to know : )

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  17. Honestly I can't decide. I have never really used a planner. I'm now finally getting my own office in my house. So a planner is on my list to help me organize. So I'm so Thankful you shared this so I will have a starting point. I will probably try out one of these just because the reviews gives me a place to start. Thank you so much. Hoping It makes my business Stronger. Have A Very Blessed Day Melody

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  18. I like the stephanie Creekmur....except the week starts on Monday and that drives me crazy. It's a little big for my likes if the month started on Sunday that would be my choice! Since it doesn't I would love to try out the Lilly Pulitzer. I'm so planner picky that I've started using an Arc/Leverage/Circa system, I can create what I need, find it online, or pay someone to design it for me and it's the way I want/need it.

    If you need tabs..... you can buy a We R Memories Tab maker http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Doffice-products&field-keywords=we%20r%20memory%20keepers%20tab%20punch&sprefix=we+r+memory+keepers+ta%2Coffice-products&rh=i%3Aoffice-products%2Ck%3Awe%20r%20memory%20keepers%20tab%20punch (also sold at Hobby Lobby) With this you have to buy adhesive "things" to go with it.

    or it's already done for you http://www.amazon.com/Girl-All-Work-Stick-GWO713a/dp/B003SNL9II/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=15N5I9XYWI42P&coliid=I29QHX8QZU3BKZ (sold at container stores)

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    1. Hey Amanda,
      I totally understand. I've thought a million times that I just may have to make my own too! But there are lots of great printable options out there. It's just a lot of work! : ) But I love how you can add and take away whatever you like or don't like. That's a great option!

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  19. I like the flowered, colorful one the best I think but I also love the look of the patent one and the striped one. Stripes aren't my thing usually but the contents are very useful.

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  20. Let me first simply say, 'Thank you'! I really appreciate the time and effort you put forth into doing this research. I know you did not specifically do this for me. However, with my love of all the is OCD holy, I am in LOVE with this post and feel like you are speaking directly to me!

    Now, if I could just get myself to break down and spend $50 on a planner I would LOVE to have the Whitney English planner. I may end up talking myself into that simply because I love all it has to offer. As for the ones you are disregarding my choices in order would be: Lily, Erin, Polka Dot planner, and the Tomorrow planner (in that order). Good call on most everyone liking the Lily!

    Regardless of winning a give-a-way, I will be purchasing one of these. With an 8:00-5:00 job, dance company, embroidery and heat press business, Scentsy, Velata, Grace Adele, a (nearly) two year old, and a LEO (law enforcement officer) husband, I would so use any of these!!

    Thanks again for the reviews!
    Brittany :)

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  21. GREAT review! I LOVE the planner you chose. A close second for me would be the LP one because it is colorful, helpful, and has STICKERS. :) My third choice would be the smallest planner from Amazon because it would be an easy to use Scentsy Family parties planner. Thanks for the help.

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  22. I love the Stephanie Creekmur... and thanks for all your research! I've slowly started looking, but not like you have, that's for sure!!

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  23. I love the Stephanie Creekmur planner - fun colors, diagonal lines, and cute designs :)
    Thanks for all your due diligence on searching planners for everyone!

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  24. I would defintely choose the Stephanie Creekmur planner. I am not a huge "planner" in terms of writing daily itemized lists down, but I do have enough randomness in my brain to need somewhere to put it! That planner looks like the best one as it is a more open feel and I could choose how much or little to write down :) Thanks for the post!!

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  25. I love the Stephanie Creekmur planner!

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  26. Allison...Allison...Allison!! OHMYGosh is all I can say!! HA!!! I love how organized you are...BUT I would have to go with the Stephanie Creekmur one...Simplicity for me Sista!! :) I love the detail you are awesome!! :)

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  27. I think the Lilly Pulitzer Agenda is right up my alley! Love the colors especially!

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  28. I love the Lilly Pulitzer Agenda! The colors, stickers, and layout! However I also like the one you chose, because of the extra stuff you don't normally find in a planner. It's something you can keep for memories as well.

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  29. This is such a hard decision! I torn between the Whitney and the Lilly. Finding the perfect planner is such a daunting task! The Lilly doesn't have times, but it has open lines where I could write the times in and it has stickers! It is pretty, has tabs. The Whitney; oh the Whitney! It has times! And a to do list I can check off! It has an area for goals! I think the Whitney is the winner for me. I am a girl, I have issues, I think I could embrace the Whitney and the Whitney would help me embrace my issues! Thank you for going through so much to evaluate these planners for us!

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  30. Im loving the Lilly Pulitzer! I like EC planners, but always preferred Emmy's. It was a sad day when she closed up shop!

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  31. Ok-I've been searching for the perfect planner for a REALLY long time with no luck. It's reasonable to say that I might be a little too specific in the details that I think are necessary to make a perfect planner but still holding out hope that it's out there somewhere! Of those on your list, I'd say the Lily Pulitzer or Stephanie Creekmur are nice options!--KT

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  32. I love love the Lilly. Very easy for me because the second I saw it I was in love. It is just like me. Colorful, organized, and fun. I love the tabs because I can't live without tabs or labels. The one you picked is also very you and I guessed is because I saw your name written on it ;) very good choices they all are but my fav is the Lilly for sure.

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  33. I like the Lilly Pulitzer. It's colorful, organized, and cheerful. The price isn't bad either!
    I will probably also check out the Erin Condren ones, and my sponsor LOVES her planner from Plum Paper.
    Thanks so much for the information!! You ARE the planner guru! LOL!!

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  34. I'm totally in love with the Lilly Pulitzer Agenda! If it's pretty, I'll want to use it, and that is a super pretty planner. <3 me some organization! :)

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  35. Oh my goodness! I love the planner you picked for you! But if I had to choose between the other 4 my first choice would be the Lilly Pulitzer--love all the colors and tabs! My second choice would be the Stephanie Creekmur--wishing it had tabs. :)

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  36. I love a good planner it helps keep my life from unraveling

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  37. Thank you for your wonderful reviews! I am in love with my MAAY planner that I found out about from your review. I am eager to try a new one next year. It is a toss up between the Stephanie and the Lilly, but leaning toward the Lilly only because of the awesome colors! Gotta have color in my life!

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  38. Thank you for your reviews! I always have a hard time finding a great planner. I think the Lilly Pulitzer Agenda would be my favorite. I love the tabs and who doesn't love color? Thanks!

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  39. I absolutely love colors! they call me "rainbow brite" for a reason so the Lily Pulitzer would be my first pick with the tabs!!!! I also love polka dots too and the size of the smaller one. I have always relied on Outlook for reminders and scheduling, but just decided in the last couple of weeks that I do need more "trees" to help better. My husband accuses me of being a "tree collector" just to see how much I can collect LOL...thank you for your reviews! and your blogs - helps me stay same most days

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  40. I love the Stephanie Creekmur one. I love the colors and tthe the face that is longer term. I don't like changing planners so the longer the better until it just gets too huge. I like the size of this one since it will go everywhere with me . And the striped cover and patterned weekend days- so adorable! Thank you so much for reviewing these. I always have a hard time finding exactly what I'm looking for.

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  41. If you are a new Erin Condren customer and are interested in ordering, you can use my link to save $10 off your first purchase (you’ll get a code via e-mail after you register).

    https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/eringuyton0529

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