Thinking about getting a new planner and trying to decide between getting a daily planner or a weekly planner? Before you rush out and buy one, here are some things to consider!
Pros of daily planners
- Daily planners tend to have lots of room to write so you don’t feel like you need to cram things in
- If you’re someone that needs a lot of space to write down every detail to keep you on track a daily planner would be ideal for you
- If you have large hand-writing and simply want more room to write
- Usually undated so you can start planning anytime
- They tend to be smaller and easier to fit in your handbag- great if you’re always out and about
Cons of daily planners
- It easier to get bogged down in the day to day and lose sight of the bigger picture than if you were to plan by week
- Because there’s more room to write more stuff each day, you may end up writing too much then feeling overwhelmed and end up not getting much done
- They tend to have the same layout – a schedule (usually by the hour), accompanied by a checklist, a notes section and then usually a reflection or meal planning space
- Because everything is so spread out you need 7 pages to plan your week and need to flip back and forth a lot to see all your plans
- They can get bulky because you’re carrying more pages
- If planners are spit into 6 monthly planners – it can end up being more expensive to buy multiple planners to have enough to last an entire year
- If you only carry enough pages for 6 months you’ll need to add a sticky note or a note taking space if you’re planning things far in advance
- Most stickers are designed for weekly planner layouts (apart from icon stickers), so if sticker decorating (and decorating your planning in general) is something that appeals to you, a weekly planner layout may be better fit
- They tend to be glue/book bound – I’m not really a fan of those types of books as you usually have to old the page open with one hand while you try and write with your other hand
- They usually don’t have room to write a weekly task list or routines, so you may schedule something to happen one day, but then don’t finish it so you have to re-write it on another day and then you end up taking longer to plan because you’re re-writing things, whereas you can just draw an arrow across the page when using a weekly planner
- They are usually a very structured planner so there isn’t a lot of room to add extra sections beyond maybe adding a sticker to cover a section title you don’t use and adding a hydrate tracking or meal planning sticker
- Can feel ‘wasteful’ if you don’t fill up the entire day
Daily planner recommendations
- Emily Ley Simplified Planner
- Day Designer – stylish + simple + functional structured layout = love!
- A printable from my shop (these are quite popular!)
Pros of weekly planners
- You can see everything that needs to get done for an entire week all at once
- Ideal if you have a lot of things going on and you need to plan stuff around things that can’t be changed e.g. work hours, kid’s extra-curricular activites
- Ideal if you’re managing multiple people’s schedules
- They usually come in a large size (anywhere from A5 all the way up to full page size) so are ideal if you have big hand-writing and like to have a lot of white space when planning (e.g. using every 2nd line when list making)
- If you want an all in one solution – most weekly planners combine checklists, scheduling, meal planning and goal setting
- On the other hand, there are also a lot of planners with very simple, minimalist layouts that you can customise to create your own layout using sidebar stickers, planner stamps, add hydrate tracking, fitness, work stickers etc.
- If you have a lot of projects and things to plan, then a weekly planner would be better suited to you as you can see everything at once (that’s why I tend to stick to weekly planners so I can plan day job around my Etsy shop and this blog)
- They tend to have room in the sidebar for habit tracking – good way to save space rather than re-writing the same tasks out each day
Cons of weekly planners
- Because there are so many different layouts to choose from, it can be quite overwhelming
- Thee planners can come in big sizes so you’ll need a big handbag – they can also get heavy to lug around
- They usually include a pocket folder which is great for storing random stuff… just so long as you remember to empty the pockets regularly!
A weekly planner doesn’t have to have 2 pages per week. I kept it simple with this 1 page weekly planner for week 14 of the 52 planners in 52 weeks challenge: Using a simple, 1 page weekly planner with only 3 sections
WEEKLY PLANNER RECOMMENDATIONS
Too many to list! We are spoilt for choice these days when it comes to weekly planners. My current favourite is the Plum Paper. I’ve also tried all the Erin Condren layouts and the Mi Goals planner. Other popular weekly planners:
- Blue Sky planners – these planners are so pretty and simple (if only they shipped to Australia!)
- Inkwell Press – for a simple, classic planner – they have vertical and horizontal planner styles
- Limelife Planners (they have tons of layouts) and if you want to make custom planner stickers, they even share the sizes of each section of their layouts on their website, plus you can download free printables of their layouts and try them out
- Happy planner – an affordable solution that also uses my favorite type of binding – the discbound system! They also have a ton of cute accessories to go along with their planner. I’m currently loving their deco tape and list making stamps
- Purple Trail – a planner company I don’t think gets enough promotion – they have lots of simple and functional weekly planners – kind of a cross between Plum Paper and Erin Condren
- Week 6: Planning using the Horizontal Erin Condren Life Planner
- Week 17: Using the Plum Paper Vertical Weekly Planner
- Week 3: Plum Paper Vertical Planner – Better than the Erin Condren?
- Week 12: Planning using the Plum Paper Horizontal lined with notes
To enlarge the screen of the video, click the square icon in the bottom right hand corner of the video (it will say ‘full screen’ when you hover your mouse over the icon).
Links mentioned in the video:
Daily versus weekly planners
- Weekly planners come in more layouts
- Daily planners can lead you to get bogged down in the details and spent too much time planning rather than actually doing
- If you’re a bit of a scattered squirrel then a daily planner may have the structure and focus you need to keep you productive and on track
- If you need to keep track of multiple things in your own life, or are juggling managing your family’s schedules as well, I’d go with a weekly planner
- If you’re planning things far in advance then go with a weekly planner as you can get these in 12 month and also 18 month durations. Plus you can quickly flick through the pages to write something in on a certain day, then flick through mountains of paper in a daily planner
Which do I prefer?
Weekly planners. Given that from 9am to 5pm 5 days a week I’m at my day job and have to use work’s digital calendar, it doesn’t make sense to use a daily planner. On the weekends when I have more time to work on my blog etc. I sometimes use a daily planner.
First I note things that have a due date (such as publishing a blog post, paying a bill etc.) and then I add in other things I should get done, want to get done and will do if I have time. Sometimes I allocate these tasks to a day and sometimes I just keep a list to refer to rather than scheduling by day.
I’m trying out 52 different planners this year. Click here to see the planners I’ve tried so far!
More posts to help you choose the planner that’s right for you:
- Planning 101: Need versus want versus wish list planner supplies
- Planner Organization: How to color-code your planner (so you’ll actually use it effectively)
- 130+ functional ideas to use blank notes pages of your planner or an empty notebook
- How to use the monthly notes pages of your planner
- 100 things to put in your habit tracker of your planner or bullet journal (plus free printable habit tracker)
- Favorite washi tape for planning, planner decorating & color coding
- How to make use of blank pages in your planner
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