There are 3 main planner layouts:
My personal preference is horizontal planners but if you’re still trying to decide on a layout, here are some pros and cons to consider for each!
Pros of Horizontal Planners
- Room for writing long tasks without needing multiple lines to write those tasks
- Can split the daily planning space into 2 and still have enough room to write tasks
Cons of Horizontal Planners
- Less planner stickers available that are pre-sized to fit horizontal planners although you can use stickers designed for vertical planners and trim to size like I did when I used the mini MAMBI Happy Planner
- Can be awkward to use with stickers – e.g. an icon sticker can cover multiple lines leaving your planning space a bit of a puzzle to squeeze everything in
- Most horizontal weekly planners don’t have an extra notes section for habit tracking etc.
- Make sure you check weekends aren’t combined (i.e. the space for daily planning split into 2 so Saturday and Sunday have half the planning space)
- Difficult to do time blocking
- Most horizontal planners don’t have hours of the day pre-printed (if you want one where you can choose your own I recommend the Ashley Shelly planner)
Using an Erin Condren size sticker kit in the Horizontal life planner
This could be a pro or a con depending on your personal preference, but horizontal planners tend to have neutral color schemes (black and white)
Who should use a horizontal planner?
- If you write long tasks
- Most vertical planners have 3 or more categories per day but if you only need 2 then a horizontal layout provides a good amount of space, if you rule a line through the middle of the box
- If you don’t like tasks to extend over multiple lines – you want to keep your spread clean and simple
Using the Goal Digger planner for week 30
Pros of Vertical Planners
- If you have short tasks you’ll fit a lot in
- Many options for planner stickers to choose from (especially themed kits)
Cons of Vertical Planners
- It can be harder to find vertical planners that are lined (not good if you write crooked without lines like I do!)
- More prone to wasting space – if there aren’t lines I like to leave a gap between each task so it doesn’t end up crowded. The problem with doing this is that you’ll soon run out of space
- If you have long tasks, you’ll waste a lot of space – most of them you can only fit about 3 words before needing a new line – you’ll probably need to use abbreviations e.g. MP for ‘Meal Plan’ or write really small to fit it all in
- Overall, I feel there’s less functional space for planning in a vertical planner
Who should use a vertical planner?
- People that don’t have many tasks
- If you like using planner stickers & decorating your planner in general
- Bloggers – vertical layouts are ideal for blogging as the workflow tasks for a blog post ‘write draft’, ‘edit’ post’ etc. are short, so they fit perfectly in a vertical planner without wasting space
Something in between?
A good cross between a vertical and horizontal planner are planners with lots of categories to compartmentalize your life. The Plum Paper Me Planner has been my favorite weekly planner so far in the 52 Planners in 52 Weeks challenge!
Pros of Hourly Planners
- Ideal for scheduling – if you’re someone that procrastinates an hourly planner will help keep you on track
- You’re not left wondering what you should be doing next – the day is all planned out for you so if you stick to the plan you know you’ll get it done
Cons of Hourly Planners
- Less planner stickers available that are pre-sized to fit hourly planners although you can use stickers designed for vertical planners and trim to size
- Sometimes you have extra tasks that pop up, if you’ve already scheduled your entire day for each hour it doesn’t leave much room for flexibility
- If a task takes longer than you expect it to, you’ll be whiting things out and it can leave you feeling like you didn’t accomplish much that day
- The hours pre-printed may not work for you. Some people like to wake up at 5am. I’m not one of them. I’d rather the planner start at 9am and go to midnight. I created hourly planner stickers but if you’re having to cover up the hours each week (or white them out using correction tape) it’s going to get a bit annoying and time consuming to set up the weekly spread.
Who should use an hourly planners?
- People that work from home or don’t have a traditional 9 – 5 job for example, if you work for a direct sales company
- People that work a 9 – 5 job that involves a lot of client meetings, deadlines and appointments
- Students for managing class times, extra-curriculars, social events and part-time work
- Buying a planner versus DIYing and making your own (pros and cons)
- How to choose a binding system for your planner (comparison and which one I like the most)
- 60 Facebook groups for planner addicts
- The Process Behind Making a Printable Planner