Patti’s Planner Recommendations

When I had a full time job, I relied on my digital calendar and scribbling on notebooks to keep me on task. My team also had a project manager that kept everyone highly functioning and scheduled our milestone meetings.

Nowadays, my routine is quite different working from home with three kids. A digital calendar just doesn’t work for me. I don’t have multiple meetings and no presentations to be made to top executives but I still have deadlines to meet, the kids’ school schedules to keep in mind and tasks to check off. I finally decided that 2021 would be the year to purchase my first planner.

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I asked for recommendations from my Instagram community for some guidance and the search was on! After a few weeks of searching, I narrowed down to five and breaking them down here for comparison.

*Note: every planner will include a monthly layout so I’ve included a snapshot of the weekly layout because, to me, those are the most useful pages.

Simplified Planner by Emily Ley:



Recommend for: tackling daily tasks and for those who like to see their entire week in a two day spread. Emily Ley also has her own website (here) but when I last checked, everything was sold out for this year’s planners.

Day Designer – Strategic Planner



Recommend for: list makers! and for those with really busy schedules + meetings that need a full page to plan your day.

Day Designer:



Recommend for: similar to the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley, this planner is great for looking at your entire week in a two day spread. list makers will like the daily to-do checkbox and the bottom has sections for extra notes and your ‘Top Three’ things you really want to accomplish that week.

Passion Planner:


Recommend for: those who want to keep on schedule for the day. Parents with jammed pack schedules of activities may appreciate this. Not necessarily for list makers though.

Sugar Paper:



Recommend for: accomplishing goals for the week and not so focused on checking off daily lists. Can also be less overwhelming to help you prioritize what is important to accomplish for the week vs. each day.

The Sugar Paper planner is what I ultimately ordered and love using! It’s kept me on task but doesn’t make me feel like I have a giant list of to-do’s waiting for me because I never accomplish everything on my daily to-do’s! I shared this planner on my Instagram and within hours it was sold out. Hopefully, it comes back in stock soon but if you like this layout, I think the Day Designer or Simplified Planner by Emily Ley, could work for you.

Here’s to a new year of being better organized!


Sweetest Regards, Patti