Perhaps you’re a little like me. For the longest time, I resisted using a planner because I didn’t feel I really had that much going on my life. Life was pretty routine…work, family, church, etc. But the older I have gotten the fewer mental balls I can keep juggling around in my head. And a planner provides a perfect place to keep track of all of your life’s to-do’s, want to’s, and doing tasks.
What types of Planners are There
In our recent post, The One Essential Tool to Make the Most of Your Time, we discussed the six basic categories of planners. If you missed it let’s do a quick a review. Generally, a planner will fall in one of these types:
- Personal/Daily Planners
- Home and Family Planners
- Budget and Finance Planners
- Bullet Journals
- Work Planners
- Health/Fitness Planners
Knowing your purpose for a planner will help you decided which type is right for you. Besides a planner is only impactful if you’re using it on a regular basis, right? Through the years, I have tried a multitude of planners. See Mid-Year Round-Up to see a small sampling of the planners I have used in the past.
Favorite planners for 2019
We’re officially in planner season friend. And if you’re still deciding on your perfect planner pick for the new year, I have rounded up my top picks for 2019. Here are our top contenders below (in random order):
- Purposeful Planner
- Happy Planner
- Day Designer
- InkWell Press
- Brilliant Life Planner
- Plum Paper Planner
The Purposeful Planner comes in both a daily and weekly version. I opted to give the daily planner a try as I really liked the layout of the planner pages. The Purposeful Planner is created and designed by Corie Clark.
Opening a new planner is like cracking open the pages of a fresh new book. And my appeal to this planner starts with the cover design. And I’m always interested to see how the planner comes package. The Purposeful Planner comes packaged in a white box. Purchasers are greeted with a note from Corie upon opening the planner box.
- Coiled bound planner
- Sturdy inside pocket
- What’s unique about this daily planner is that it includes big goal planning for things like who are you, where you hope to be in 10 years along with planning pages for bucket lists, monthly menu planning, monthly budget, a master task list for each month, and monthly dreams and goals.
- Daily planning pages include a place for top 3 tasks, daily schedule, brain dump, retail therapy along with a spot for daily prayer and praise
- Each day contains a spot to track your water intake
- And Corie gives suggestions for quick things to do we you only have 15 minutes or less, like wiping down the fridge
- There’s a place to write in your menu for the day and track any health-related items.
While I have been very pleased with the Purposeful Planner so far, I do wish the weekends were not grouped together on the same page. Additionally, I would have preferred the “retail therapy” box to be unlabeled. However, I simply use stickers to cover the label and use it as a place to make other notes or track key events that happened or my overall mood.
The Happy Planner by Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI) is a weekly planner that comes in either a horizontal or vertical layout. This year I’ve been using a vertical layout which has three boxes or columns for each day of the week. These boxes can be used in a variety of ways. In fact, I have changed how I used them several times as I’ve gotten acclimated to the Happy Planner. You could use the boxes to divide your day between morning, afternoon, and evening. Or you could use the boxes to track your work, personal, and blog activities.
- Uses a disc-bound system, which makes it easy to add additional pages to your planner
- Comes in a variety of cover styles, which are laminated that makes it extra sturdy
- MAMBI has lots of additional stickers, inserts, folders etc. that goes along with this planner
- Can easily be purchased in-stores like Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or online
- Comes in three different sizes-mini, classic, and big
- Has both dated and undated planners
- This planner has both 18-month and 12-month versions
- No noticeable bleed through on pages when writing with my favorite pens
Depending on the size you choose, the Happy Planner makes a great on-the-go planner; however, one reviewer had concerned about its durability when carrying it in her bags daily. I haven’t found this to be an issue for me. It slides in nicely in my work bag (which is a messenger style bag so the planner is standing on its side) and my planner shows very little wear and tear.
The Day Designer by Whitney English is a daily planner. She describes this planner as a “yearly strategic planner and daily agenda for creative entrepreneurs, businesswomen, and working mommas everywhere.” This planner comes beautifully packaged.
- Brass finished wire-bound so the planner can easily be folded back upon itself
- Includes planning pages to help you identify your key goals for the year and key steps to reach them
- Year-at-a-glance planning page
- Notes section for each month
- Gold-foiled divider sections for each month
- Daily pages have places to track your schedule from 5AM to 9PM, to-do’s, top 3 items, gratitude, money spent, download, and key things you need to remember
- Inspirational quotes
- Has a durable hardcover that is reinforced with gold corner tabs
- Several cover designs to choose from to match your style or personality
- Can be purchased in either the Academic year, Regular year edition, A5 refillable or the undated Today and To-Do format
Even with the Day Designer being a daily planner, I didn’t find this planner to be too heavy but some may not consider this a good fit for a carry-all planner. A few things I wish were different in the Day Designer are the paperweight and the font size on the planning pages. I found them a bit hard to read for these aging eyes. Also, there’s little customization that can be done with this planner as it is prebound but there are several cover designs to choose from. My favorite being the Blush Confetti.
The Day Designer typically retails between $49 and $59 but if you’re a bit hesitant to fork over that much cash on a planner, a nice alternative is the Day Designer for Blue Sky planner.
The Brilliant Life Planner is created by Beth Ann Schwamberger. This planner is designed for busy, brilliant women from all walks of life. Whether you work full-time, work from home, attending school, or a full-time stay at home mother.
One of the most unique things I discovered about The Brilliant Life Planner, after purchasing my first one back in 2017 was the inclusion of her free planner school with your planner purchase. Beth helps you get started working toward your goals in a series of videos.
The Planner includes:
- Wire bound, easy to write in and fold your planner back on itself
- Goal-setting and project planning pages
- Weekly-layout that includes planning from 6AM-8PM daily
- Weekly plan page to highlight work, personal, appointments, who you need to contact, meetings, and who to encourage
- Last week review page to record your memories, gratitude, progress toward your goals, struggles and stressors and how you overcame (love this feature as it makes the planner like a journal)
- Tabbed divider pages for each month
- 2-page monthly layout with room to write your focus areas for the month
- Durable hardcover that has reinforced gold-tab corners
- Several notes pages
- Habit tracker
The Brilliant Life Planner retails for $58. I found this planner to be aesthetically pleasing but didn’t utilize it as much as I would have liked since I don’t tend to plan my day my specific time slots. However, this would be a great planner for someone who does time chunking.
Powersheets by Lara Casey is not your traditional planner. In fact, you will likely need a planner to use in conjunction with it. Powersheets is a goal planner designed to help you uncover your goals and help you set intentional action steps toward what matters to you.
- Plastic coil bound planner
- Perforated pages that can be added to your planner or placed in key places in your home or office
- Comes in a 6-month undated version or a dated yearly planner
- Monthly tending list to help you identify which areas to focus for the month, week and each day
- Month in review
- Planning pages to help you identify who you really are, what areas of your life need your focus, what things you need to let go, your fears, people you’re grateful for
- Each year the Cultivate What Matters team takes Powersheets user through prep week to help you start your year off right
Powersheets start at $42 and the one-year planners tend to sell out. The 2019 Powersheets launched on October 24 and I am excited for the four different cover designs for the one-year planner.
Inkwell Press was created by Tonya Dalton with a mission to provide productivity tools and trainings that empower you to achieve your goals and dreams.
- Offers several planner options including the daily live planner, coil-free weekly planner, hardcover weekly, A5 inserts, quarterly planners, and meal planners
- Has dated and undated options, which gives you the option of starting your planner at anytime
- Choosing the Livewell 360 disc option allows you to customize your planner to meet your unique needs
I’m excited to be using the Daily Planner 360 inserts for 2019. What I like about them is that the pages are printed on quality paper and they are undated. While InkWell Press has it’s own covers and binder rings, I have chosen to recycle the discs and cover from an old Happy Planner.
Want to give InkWell Press a try? Save $10 on your purchase of $50 dollars or more using this link or check them out on Amazon
Plum Paper Planner
The Plum Paper Planner by Plum Paper offers personalized planners with designs and layouts to fit your unique needs.
- Planners come in 3 different sizes
- Each size planner comes in several layout options including vertical, horizontal, monthly, student, teacher, and grid layouts
- Aluminum spiral bound planner
- You can choose from several different planner covers
- Option to add on additional pages for meal, fitness, and budget planning, prayers and reflections and much more
- Can start your planner any month of the year + can add up 6 additional months to your planner
Plum Paper Planners start at $25 and up depending on your specific customizations. Recently I was lucky enough to win a Plum Paper Planner and it uses the lined column layout. The columns are a bit too narrow in the 7×9 sized planner for my large-sized handwriting. So if you write big you may want to opt for the larger planner to give you a bit more room. However, I do like all of the customizable options available with this planner.
There you have it, friend, my top seven planner picks for 2019. Did your favorite planner make the list? Let us know in the comments what your planner choice is for the new year.
Wanda is the owner and editor of BCW. She's on a constant quest to seek the one who fills this thirsty soul. A lover of God and seeker of wisdom and never too far from a good book. Lover of tech and enjoys helping beginner bloggers set up their new blogs