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Thursday, August 18

4 Life Planners to Get Your Schedule Organized

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I may be compensated for purchases made via these links. Thank you for your support of my blog.

In my neighborhood, today is the first day of school. While I don't have children, my office is across the street from our local high school; so, I get to see and sometimes sit in all the school traffic. For me, this is a reminder that my busiest season is about to start, and it's also time to order my new life planner for the 2016-2017.

It seems to me like I've been using a planner for forever. In high school, the school district used to distribute student planners with all the district holidays noted. There were weekly spreads with room for us to note all of our assignments and extracurricular activity schedules. I continued to use a student planner through college, which was necessary since I worked full-time while going to college.


I fell away from using a planner once I graduated until I bought my business in 2011, and then I quickly realized I needed more than a digital calendar to keep up with all my work and life obligations. Now, I live and breathe by my planner. If it doesn't get written down, it's not likely to happen.

Given that I scheduled my first 2017 obligations back in June, I've been reviewing my 2016-17 life planner options. For me, a planner must meet these requirements:

  • I have plenty of room for daily appointments and notes.
  • There are monthly tabs to make flipping to the monthly overview quick and easy.
  • The planner is small enough and sturdy enough for me to carry with day-to-day to meetings.
  • It has a little color and other fun elements.
I've used the same planner style for the five years, but when I realized it was time to order another planner, I asked my friends about other options just to see what else is out there these days. Here are four popular options.

Passion Planner

The Passion Planner has a slim profile and is bound with a faux leather, which makes it easy for transport. The pages lay flat. The planner has lots of worksheets to help your plan, track and accomplish goals. The planner can be ordered in academic or classic planner version. There is also an undated version so you can start using this planner at any time during the year.

Passion Planner has a pay it forward program; for every planner purchased, they donate a planner to someone in need. In fact, if you can't afford to purchase a life planner, they offer their page layouts and many inserts as free pdf downloads on their website.


Do you want to learn more about ways to use a Passion Planner? Check out Krystal's review on Sunny Sweet Days.



The Happy Planner

The Happy Planner is designed by Me and My Big Ideas, but it can also be purchased in local retail stores such as Hobby Lobby or ordered online via Amazon. It runs 18 months from July 2016 to December 2017. In addition to eight planner covers to choose from, the planner is disc-bound, which makes it easy to add, remove and rearrange pages to your preference.


Creativity planning is encouraged with lots of stickers, clips and themed planner extensions available for sale. This makes it perfect for someone who keeps their planners as kind of journal or scrapbook; they even have a scrapbooking box to help you get started. If you have an arc-style hole punch, you can download and print additional pages or create your own.



Erin Condren Life Planner

This is the system I've been using for years; Erin Condren Life Planners have permanent or interchangeable covers that can be personalized with your name, favorite colors, and photos.

The planner is spiral bound and offered in a 12-month or 18-month option. The weekly page spreads are now offered in a vertical or horizontal layout. In addition to monthly overviews, there are 2-pages spreads of 2017 and 2018 monthly calendars so you can check next year's dates at a glance.
Like many other systems, Erin Condren offers a line of accessories, including clip-ins, pens, and fitness or meal planning journals. You can also order personalized photo stickers as well as matching stationery products.



Living Well Planner

The Living Well Planner is designed by Ruth Soukup, the author of Living Well, Spending Less and Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind and Soul. The planner is hardcover with reinforced corners which is spiral-bound, and it has a front pocket to keep your paperwork together.

This planner has color-code pages to help you keep your life balanced. The planner includes monthly and weekly spreads. It also has pages included for goal tracking, meal planning, and budgeting/expense tracking pages.

The new 2016-17 planner isn't available yet, but you can reserve a copy and it will ship on Aug. 31. Ruth is offering the planner by itself and two different bundles that include her books.



Honorable Mentions


  • Color Crush Planner
  • Kate Spade Planner
  • May Designs


How do you keep your life organized - a planner, a digital calendar, a notebook and pen? Tell me about your system in the comments.


Have you enjoyed this post? Then you might want to follow my Planner Squad board on Pinterest to get more planner ideas.






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