Ask Design Mom: Day Planners

September 11, 2007

Ask-Design-Mom Question:

I was wondering if you’ve ever featured fashionable daily planners on your website? My planner is an academic year one so I’m looking to purchase a new one and can’t seem to find something that will contain my to-
do lists and schedule without being huge and bulky. Any thoughts? Thanks, Liz

Design Mom Answer:
Great question, Liz. The search for the perfect planner system is a worthy quest. At different stages of my life, different planners have worked for me. So I’ll suggest a few different choices.

I think a good next-stage-planner-after-an-academic-planner are these desk agendas from Hable Construction. First, they’re gorgeous. Second, they’re not too big or heavy — very portable. Third, they have the same basic features that make up an academic planner, just upgraded quite a bit.

If you’re craving a full on planner system — including training and lots of accessories and refillable binders — FranklinCovey is my go to. Investing in this system is like buying a whole new type-A personality.

For a refillable planner system that’s a little less intense and oh-so-chic, try Kate Spade. You can see her binders here and her refillable pages here.

Lately, a simple book full of lined pages is just right for me. I’m a fan of these notebooks by Cavellini.

On a super budget? When I was at Staples getting the kids’ school supplies I picked up this little number for $1.99. Fits in your handbag. Calendar at front and lined pages. The paper is thin, but for under $2.00 it’s totally doable. Spine comes in navy, brown or green.

Good luck in your planner search, Liz!

top image from getty

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenny Wren September 11, 2007 at 11:33 am

Can I suggest another option(s)?

I love the Circa agendas from Levenger (|Level=2-3|pageid=2387|Link=Txt). They’re inexpensive (especially if you get the one with the clear cover), they’re expandable with the Circa hole punch and the pages can be easily moved around. The clear cover also means that you can design a cover that works for you – pics of the kids, etc. I’m using a Circa notebook but printing out my calendar from Outlook in a trifold format that allows me to see my daily schedule, my weekly schedule and room for notes all on one page. I punch it and put it in my Circa notebook which goes with me to meetings. It’s turned out to be the perfect system for me.


2 BeachysCapeCodCupboard September 11, 2007 at 2:28 pm

Heehee! I have the ones you’ve shown from Staples. I love mine – it does the trick and the price? heehee


3 Anonymous September 11, 2007 at 5:00 pm

Funny that you are writing about planners today. I was just in Target last night and noticed that FranklinCovey now sells their
“FranklinCovey 365″ planners filled with calendar pages there for under $25. They had them in leather & fake leather, several sizes, styles and colors. They even had all the refill pages for about $6 and under. I loved the cherry red and lime green versions. So cute and cheap for FranklinCovey products.


4 spyderette September 12, 2007 at 8:01 am

after looking for a planner i liked for most of january, i opted to go paperless. i love my palm!


5 Jo September 12, 2007 at 10:24 am

I work at a large chain bookstore and we’ve already started getting our calendars for 2008. I usually look over them for a few months before I decide but this year I jumped early for this pretty 16-month engagement calendar from Peter Pauper Press. I like that it has more room on each day than my previous pocket calendar but it is still small enough to carry around in my bag. It has space in the back for notes and addresses. This picture doesn’t do it justice.


6 amy m September 12, 2007 at 3:44 pm

thanks for all the awesome examples. I am always looking for a beautiful place to jot down my schedule.


7 Vote for Fred September 13, 2007 at 8:21 am

I like the Bubble Planner. It uses Mind Mapping instead of lists to keep track of your tasks. Also, it has the disc binding like Circa, so, it’s very flexible.


8 sarag September 17, 2007 at 8:19 pm

I love my momME planner (desk pad style) from


9 Lolly December 8, 2008 at 5:29 pm

I like a planner that I enjoy seeing on my desk, so I have to go with Hable Construction. Theirs are just SO pretty!! I discovered them at sweet online stationery store called rock paper scissors.


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