This post may contain affiliate links and we will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link. Read the Disclosure Policy.
Disclosure: The following product(s) may have been sent to Earn Spend Live in exchange for a review. All opinions are the author’s own.
Emily Ley and Erin Condren are two of the biggest names in the planner market. Both are praised for their cheery designs and useful layouts, but which one is better?
Well, for weekly planners, these two have a lot of differences. Here’s a breakdown of the main differences you need to consider before choosing the weekly planner to get you through the year.
Plastic, Wire-Bound vs. Leather, Book-Bound
The first thing you would notice about these two planners side by side is they have very different covers and binding. Erin Condren’s LifePlanner comes in either a thick, laminated , interchangeable cover or a permanent “leather-like” (which is really just as thick and durable as the laminated covers) and is always wire-bound. Emily Ley’s Simplified Weekly Planner, on the other hand, is a book-bound leatherette. Both will lay flat, but only the LifePlanner covers will flip under.
Another big difference with these covers is that Erin Condren’s LifePlanner covers are offered in a wide range of design options, and most can even be changed to the color scheme of your choice. Emily Ley’s Simplified Weekly covers are offered in four solid colors only and cannot be changed. If you like simplicity in design, then the Simplified Weekly Planner is most likely going to appeal to you more.
$55+ vs. $58
Money, money, money. At the basic level, there’s not a lot of difference in price between these two. However, the price will change for the Erin Condren planner ($55 at the bare minimum) if you choose the 18-month option, add in photos on the front and back covers, choose different coils, or purchase some of their planner accessories. However, simply changing the color scheme of the cover or layout and adding your name will not cost you more. If you choose to go with the Luxe, leather-like covers, you’ll pay a minimum of $65 and that’s without the ability to add customization.
Emily Ley’s is always $58, and that won’t change. It’s only a little bit more than the Erin Condren LifePlanner pre-add-ons, but it is leather. And for leather, that’s not a bad price at all.
If you’re worried about the price compared to the value, then Erin Condren will be the better bargain for you. However, if you want a leather cover and don’t care about personalization, then Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner is a better bargain.
3 Weekly Layout Options vs. One Weekly Layout Option
The weekly layout is the heart and soul of these planners. These are what hook customers and bring them back year after year. That being said, these two planners have vastly different layouts, and there’s a good chance only one will appeal to you. Emily Ley’s Simplified Weekly Planner only has one layout option. It’s a horizontal weekly layout, and each day has two short columns. One has blank lines where you can write down your schedule, but there aren’t any times included so you can do that yourself or use it for something else. The other column is a to do list and a small box for notes. Saturday and Sunday are side by side, so they only get one column each. This is something to consider before you buy it.
Erin Condren’s LifePlanner offers three different layout options. You can choose between the vertical weekly (which separates each day’s column into three parts for morning, afternoon, and evening), horizontal weekly (which has one lined section and one blank box for each day, plus a large notes box for the week), and the vertical hourly (which has time slots in each day’s column, plus a notes column for the week and a small notes section at the bottom of each day). With three different layout options, you can choose the one you think will work best for your needs.
Customizable vs. Not Customizable
Erin Condren’s calling card is the fact each of their planners comes with some form of customization. The covers can be personalized with your name, monogram, or a photo (except for the Luxe covers), you get to choose between three weekly layouts, the coil comes in three colors, and you can even select if you want a neutral or colorful layout on the inside. That’s a lot of control over your planner.
Emily Ley doesn’t offer customization with the Simplified Weekly Planner. The inside pages don’t come in color options, though they’re very simple and clean in design, and the covers can’t be personalized with your name. If you want to personalize your planner, you don’t need to choose Emily Ley.
6×8 vs. 7×9
Size does matter… when it comes to planners. If you need a planner that will fit into your bag and be easy to carry around with you all day, then really consider which of these will be manageable for you. The Simplified Weekly planner by Emily Ley is only 6×8, so it fits in purses much easier than the Erin Condren LifePlanner. The LifePlanner is 7×9, so small purses are pretty much off the table. However, it’s easy to put in your backpack, briefcase, or any other large bag if you don’t mind the added weight.
Another thing to consider when thinking about what size is best for you is the amount of space you need to write. A larger planner means you have more space to write things out. If you like to write a lot or have a difficult time fitting your handwriting into smaller spaces, you’ll be happier with the LifePlanner.
17 Months vs. 12-18 Months
Another important aspect of a planner is how long it lasts. Most planners come in a traditional 12-month duration, either from January through December, or sometime in the summer through the next summer. Emily Ley’s Simplified Weekly Planner comes in 17 months. It starts in August and goes through December of the following year. Erin Condren’s planners are available in either 12 months, starting in January, or 18 months, which is the remaining months of the current year, plus all of the next.
Because both weekly planners can last you a year and a half, you just need to decide if you want a planner for that long or if you only want one for 12 months. If you want a solid 12 months, then Erin Condren is your best bet.
Laminated Tabs vs. Ribbon Marker
Tabs and ribbon markers probably aren’t at the top of your list of concerns, but they are one of the big differences between these two planners. Erin Condren’s LifePlanner comes with laminated, colorful tabs for each month in the planner. This makes it easy to flip around to different months when you need to fill in upcoming dates and tasks. To help you find your current week, Erin Condren includes a snap-in ruler with each planner.
Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner on the other hand, does not have tabs. Instead, it comes with a ribbon marker to hold your current week. The ribbon is the same color as the cover, so everything is simple and cohesive, and it makes it very easy to find your current place. It doesn’t help you quickly find future months, though.
If you want something clean and simple, then you’d like the ribbon marker from Emily Ley. If you find yourself constantly needing to fill in the future months and access them quickly, then Erin Condren should be your choice.
Choosing a winner between these two isn’t easy. There are a lot of factors and they’re so very different. In my personal opinion though, Erin Condren offers more options and control over the planners. Emily Ley’s Simplified Weekly Planner is beautiful and functional, but you don’t have a lot of options.
For the sake of options, Erin Condren is better for college students, stay-at-home moms, and creative types. Emily Ley’s Simplified Weekly is great for high school students and those who don’t need nor want an overly-organized planner.