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Best 2016 Planners

2016 planners
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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.

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Looking for a 2017 planner? Read our 2017 planner roundup here!

When you’re in the game of taking charge of your life, juggling family and friends, creating a career that inspires you to jump out of bed in the a.m., and just generally being the #GIRLBOSS you are, you need an agenda that can keep up.

A good planner is hard to find, and trust me when I say the average ones on the Target shelves will simply not cut it for a go-getter like yourself. In the search for the perfect planner, these are the major contenders you need to consider.


PurpleTrail Planners

If you’re a control freak in love with creative projects, you’ll love PurpleTrail planners. With hundreds of planner covers to choose from, you can absolutely find a planner you love. Plus, you can control just about every single characteristic if you want to. There are two sizes you can choose from, multiple daily and weekly layouts, 13 add-on sections, and you can even dictate the color scheme and layout of some of the covers. It’s the most hands-on planner you’ll find.

Everyone has different priorities and needs to handle those priorities. PurpleTrail planners can help you get just what you need with so much customization. Whether you need tons of room for tasks, a place to track your workouts and meals, lists for shopping, or bill tracking, PurpleTrail will provide it for you.

These planners are also well made. Both the soft and hardcovers are durable, the tabs are laminated, and the paper is thick enough to prevent bleeding ink. It’s made to withstand whatever life throws at it, even if that’s a bag full of sharp objects. If you’re craving a planner tailored to your unique daily needs, then give PurpleTrail a chance. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Erin Condren LifePlanner

erin condren hardbound lifeplanner

The LifePlanner from Erin Condren is a tried and true veteran of the planner world. Each year, it comes back with upgrades to make it more efficient and enjoyable to use. It’s a weekly planner available in three layout options (vertical, horizontal, and hourly), and it’s highly customizable. Erin Condren is all about bright colors, inspiring quotes, and tons of space to journal and doodle throughout the year, so it’s perfect for the visually and artistically inclined.

There are cover options galore with the LifePlanner, and the best part is the covers are interchangeable. If you can’t choose which cover design you love the most, you can buy multiple and swap them out whenever you want! In addition to changeable covers, you can also create your own cover using your favorite photos, personalize your cover with your name/initials/family name. It’s the ultimate in design personalization.

I can vouch for the durability of the LifePlanner. I used them throughout college, and the thick, laminated covers and heavy paper survived bouncing around in my backpack as I crossed campus and jostling inside my large purses while I was out and about. The quality materials hold up in all circumstances. It’s a sturdy size (7.25X9.25 inches), but the weight isn’t too much since the cover is laminated. It’s easy to carry around all day.

If you love bright colors, fun doodles, inspiring quotes, and exciting bonuses included with purchase, then the Erin Condren LifePlanner needs to be on your list. It’s a fun planner, but it provides you with all of the space you could possibly need to stay on top of things in your life.

READ MORE: Best 2017 Planners for Powerful Women


livewell planner

Some planners only offer space to write down your tasks so you can make it through each day; liveWELL offers you way more than that. With a liveWELL planner, you have the gentle guidance you need to set your goals for the year and to track them each month. Instead of only writing down your chores and errands, you have a constant reminder to do what you need to in order to achieve your goals.

liveWELL is a weekly planner. It comes in two layout options: Classic (vertical) and Flex (horizontal). There are also a ton of cover designs for you to choose from. The liveWELL planner is full of muted colors — it operates with a rotating color scheme each month, which helps you keep track of which tasks match with which goal. Plus, it’s just pretty.

The planner is durable, organized, and easy to alter to fit your own needs. For instance, the weekly layouts are divided into sections, but the sections aren’t labeled. This allows you to use the space however you need to use it. I’ve used the three separate colored boxes accompanying each day to track my meals. You might use this space to jot down chores or your workouts or however you need to use it.

If you’re looking for a colorful, organized, flexible weekly planner, then you need to strongly consider the liveWELL. It’ll be impossible to have an unproductive year with this much emphasis on goal setting and life balance.

Day Designer

day designer flagship planner

Weekly planners don’t always work for everyone. Depending on what your daily demands are, a weekly layout might not give you the organization, control, and space you need. If that’s the case, then you need to purchase a daily planner like the flagship Day Designer.

In my opinion, the biggest asset of this planner is the schedule, which spans from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. I know how irritating it can be to have a planner that forces you to scribble activities for the wee or late hours in the margins. Planners are supposed to create a sense of peace and organization in your life, but if you’re trying force the limited space to work for you, then you’re not going find that — which is where the Day Designer’s 12-month daily planner comes in. The expansive schedule takes up almost half of the page, and it has an equally spacious to-do list next to it. There are also places to jot down notes, money information, dinner plans, grateful thoughts, and the three most important things you want to accomplish each day.

Day Designer comes in calendar year and mid-year option. If you prefer a planner that starts in the summer, then the mid-year edition is your best bet. It comes with all the same features, but this round of the mid-year comes with a ton of new cover designs that I’ve personally been ogling.

The full-sized flagship Day Designer is a little hefty: It weighs 2lbs and measures 9X9.75 inches. The size is what allows you to have such an expansive schedule and to-do list. If this is too large for you though, there’s a mini edition that’s just as cute, functional, and organized. The mini has a 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. schedule and all of the other sections Day Designer is known for. It only weighs 1.5lbs and measures 6.6X8.3 inches, so it’s much easier to transport with you throughout the day.

You can’t go wrong with any of the Day Designer editions. The page design is clean, simple, and structured, and after using it for a few days, you’ll find that your life begins to mimic that theme.

Plum Paper

plum paper planner

Lovers of agendas all crave the ability to personalize and custom-make one that perfectly fits their needs. Aside from actually designing and producing your own planner from scratch, the Plum Paper Regular Planner is as close as you can get. Plum Paper has several different planner types available, but the Regular is best for a 20-something woman. When it comes to customization, you can choose between four weekly layouts, 17 different page add-ons, you can add a photo, monogram, or your name, and you get to decide when the planner starts and how long it goes. Talk about control!

The four weekly layouts you can choose between are morning/afternoon/evening vertical columns, hourly vertical columns, vertical columns with plain lines, and a horizontal layout with notes. You can choose to add on pages for extra notes, additional contact pages, and pages to track fitness, monthly cleaning, baby, home management, bills, class planning, wedding planning, blog planning, direct sales planning, party planning, checklists, and to-do lists. You can quite literally make this planner whatever you need it to be.

In terms of aesthetics, Plum Paper is all about sharp lines, clear-cut organization, and bold colors. The cover options consist of everything from sweet and girly to bright, geometric patterns. No matter what your tastes are, there’s bound to be at least one cover that appeals to you.

Emily Ley’s Simplified Daily Planner

emily ley

Image via emilyleypaper

If extra organized daily planners aren’t what you’re life is craving, then The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley needs to be at the top of your list. Each daily page is condensed down to the important things: your schedule, your tasks, notes, and your dinner plans. Without all of the noise often included in other daily planners, you can simply focus on what’s most important, like your family, work, or school.

The Simplified Planner comes in multiple fun, bright covers each year. Everything from summery stripes to gold pineapples to sweet florals are available. They also sport an inside pocket, gold corners, gold wire binding, laminated tabs, and high quality paper that you will absolutely L-O-V-E. You can score your own for $58 either at the beginning of the calendar year or at the mid-year mark for an August start-date.

It’s hard to find a planner that strikes a balance between ample white space and a bright color scheme, but Emily Ley has done just that. The daily pages are kept clean from distractions with only a colored flag and date at the top of each page and a short inspirational quote in the corner. This theme is carried throughout the planner in the monthly pages as well.

The Simplified Planner doesn’t come with goal-setting pages or extra pages for you to track different things. This might seem like a downside, but if you prefer to track your budget on your phone and monitor your diet and movement with a fitness watch and smartphone it’s the best planner for you. It doesn’t do you any good to have a planner with pages you won’t use or to lose precious time reentering information in your planner or smartphone. It’s called The Simplified Planner because it’s meant to help you simplify your life.

 Follow Terra on Instagram: @terrabrown3

Last modified on August 28th, 2018

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