Planner Round Up

This year is winding down quickly, which means I need a new planner in my life STAT.

I’ve had an Erin Condren for the past three years, but I’m just not feeling it this time around. I think my money could be better spent elsewhere (hello Caramel Brulee Latte), and it’s a little too bulky to carry around with me every day. However, there are things I really like about it: I like the full calender spread, and I like a weekly view separated with each day. I don’t necessarily need a daily planner since I don’t have too many activities going on each day, but I do need to keep track of things. I like the stickers that come with the EC planner, but I honestly don’t use them. My favorite thing about the EC is the zippered compartment in the back. I LOVE it, but is that feature alone worth all the money? I think not.

A couple weeks ago I asked about planners on Facebook and got some excellent responses. These were the most popular planners mentioned (in case you’re in the market for a new one, too, and want to look into them a little further):

So which one did I get? None of the above, actually. 

I liked them all, but either the price swayed me away from seriously considering them, or they just weren’t in a style/format that I liked. I was frustrated and internally freaking out over not having a planner for the new year, so I took myself out for a Starbucks drink and a Target run to clear my head.

And that’s where I found it—my new planner. Or I should say, my new planners, because I’m trying to decide between two of them now, and I just don’t know which to pick!

Here’s the first one:

(Mead from Target, $14.99)
Go figure that I’ve searched the Internet high and low and I can’t find this one online anywhere. (Talk about frustrating when you’re writing a whole post on planners and you can’t find it to link to.) It’s by Mead and it’s a weekly/monthly planner. They come in several different designs, and my favorite part is that the cover (which is canvas) also includes a zipper compartment. (I heard angels sing when I stumbled upon it…) It’s definitely not as big as any of the planners listed above (around 6″ x 9″), which is perfect since I can pop it into my purse and it won’t weigh my shoulder down. I have enough crap in there on a daily basis anyway.

This one has: a monthly calender spread (over two pages), and each week has a two-page spread, as well. I love that this still has the monthly tabs and a place for a few pages of notes at the back, too. There’s also a “future planning” spread at the beginning, but it’s sort of stupid (and not worthy of a picture), and I don’t see myself using it. This particular planner starts with November and December (2014), so I could start using it today.

I used to keep my monthly blog plans from Freeborboleta in my EC “keep it together” folder, and this doesn’t have a folder, so I’ll need to figure out another place to store it. (Possibly inside the back cover?) But other than that, I’m thinking this could be a keeper.

And the second contender:

(Sugar Paper, Los Angeles from Target; $9.99)
This one is more…how should I say it…trendy. I saw it a few days after I picked up the first planner (above), and it was on an end cap. The planner is by Sugar Paper, Los Angeles, and I’ve already seen a few blog posts about how they’re somewhat hard to get your hands on, because people are snatching them up so quickly.

Like the Mead planner, this one has a lot of similarities, but a few differences that could set it apart. I like that it has some info pages before the whole shebang actually gets started, though. It kicks off with some a year-at-a-glance, a quick reference page, and a couple contacts pages, which are both helpful.

The rest of the planner includes monthly two-page spreads, weekly spreads, a lot of pages for notes and tabbed pages. BUT, it doesn’t have a folder or a zippered compartment.

I should mention that the Sugar Paper planners come in several different sizes. Four, I think, but possibly five. (This is the same size as the Mead— 6″x9″.) I stood there thanking Jesus that my daughter was a sitter the day I stumbled on them, because I must’ve looked at each for about five minutes (which adds up in time, and any mom knows that you don’t have time to just linger in one place for that long if you have a kid with you). I also really like the covers (they also come in more designs than the one I’m showing here), because they’re modern, clean, and pretty.

Oh, and the price! This one was only $9.99, which is a complete score. But, it doesn’t have that darn zipper compartment. I’m so torn.


So there’s my planner dilemma. I’m trying to pick between the two and I have no idea which one will win. What I do know is that one of them is going back to Target sometime next week. Either way, both planners were under $15, and for that price I think they’re both awesome.

Are you searching for a new 2015 planner? 
Which one do you have your eyes on? 
(And while you’re leaving a comment, 
tell me which one you’d keep if you were me!)


  1. Twice this week I've needed to add sdo thing to my planner for 2015 and couldn't. I love my EC but agree, I just don't know if I can justify the price when there are other good options out there. I do actually use the broken down moring/afternoon/evenining pages which is hard to find. I actually looked at the mead one yesterday but don't love the daily pages. Good luck choosing!

    1. Check out the Plum Paper Designs planner—much cheaper than EC and you can customize the weekly portion (into the morning/afternoon/evening), among other things. It could be a good fit for you!

  2. I used to go through several different planners each year because nothing really fit my needs. This year I made my own! I created calendars in word, added holidays and school dates, gave myself plenty of space for writing, and then printed it at Staples. It cost around $20. This is the first time I've ever used a planner for the whole year!

  3. I saw the sugar paper one in target and loved it. This year was my first year without the EC planner and I didn't miss it. Don't get me wrong, I liked it when I had it, but like you said, it was too bulky and I didn't like that the schedule was horizontal instead of vertical. I ended up buying a Filofax-looking kind of agenda, but that was short-lived. Mid-year I went to to target and bought one very similar to the sugar paper one and I love it. The scheduling is vertical and it's not close being bulky.

  4. I picked up a plain ol' black one from target a few months ago, but stopped using it and don't know where it is even. Ooops. But, I love the Mead one here, because of that zipper pocket. 🙂

  5. I love that you use a paper planner. I am totally electronic (I work for a green company and "Paper bad" is now part of my repertoire), but if something breaks, I'm screwed… I have no advice, but you've inspired me to start looking…

  6. I actually made my own planner this past year and plan on doing it again. I use the arc notebook system from Staples and printed my own pages, making some of them myself, and getting free templates off other people's sites. It's awesome because it is exactly what I wanted.

  7. I like them both, so I'm no help. However, I'm grateful you did this post, because I'm too cheap to buy any of the expensive planner and these are great alternatives.

  8. Oh gosh, I go through the same problems. I have a very specific planner in mind and searched high and low for the right fit. I have to buy online because of the whole Korea thing too 😉 I ended up getting the Plum Planner and I LOVE IT. It is everything I needed!

  9. See, I thought that just having a planner from Target would be fine, but I didn't stay organized with it. but I love my PlumPaper planner. It doesn't have quite as much room as I'd like, but I love the way it's works. It's my thing for sure. The open lines don't work for me. I wish they did though. It kinda sucks paying for a bunch of paper bound together.

  10. I ordered the Whitney English for my 2015 needs and I am in love with it, mainly because of the daily planner. After using my EC planner this past year, I quickly ran out of room to write all that I needed to. I think I paid around 60 for the whitney english and since we live in HI, it's always about the shipping prices that bump up the total. Love the round-up, thanks for sharing!

  11. This comment will be of no use to you, ha ha. I use Google calendar as my editoral blogging calendar and planner. And then I have a plain 6×9 yellow mead notebook for ideas and notes that I feel compelled to hand write. Simple, but it works for me. In your pictures above, I personally favor the Mead one 🙂


  12. I have to use a paper planner. I need something that goes between all of my various gadgets and products. The toughest part for me is that I need a daily planner – otherwise I just don't have the room to keep track of all the information I need. It's how I know I really am spread too thin LOL

  13. I bought the bigger Sugar Paper planner and love it. I can't use the calender part yet but already using the contacts and notes. I like how much bigger the days are from my EC planner. And it was $14.99! I never really used the zipper that much with my EC ones.

  14. Thanks for sharing!!! I am also starting to stress a little about finding a planner….I want to make sure I find one that will work for what I need and I will like it. But I'm running out of time!!! Thanks for the review.

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