Organizing | Planning Tips

[Updated for 2021-2022]: Daily Simplified Planner Review: Clean and Colorful Planning to Simplify Your Home, Life and Mind

Have too many to do’s to fit on a weekly planner? Of all the planner reviews I’ve done, The Daily Simplified Planner may be just the tool you need to simplify and manage your busy life.

I have always been obsessed with planners. I’ve had many different brands and each one suited the season of life I was in at the time. But as life changes, what I need from my planner changes also. I’ve tried my share of different brands and I love helping others find the perfect planner to help them through their current season of life. So I’m always adding to my Ultimate Planner Comparison to showcase the BEST fun and functional planners on the market today.

Today, I’m doing an in depth Daily Simplified Planner review so that you can see its features, how I used it so you can determine if it will work for your lifestyle and help you simplify your life! 

From my PowerSheets Prep Work, I pinpointed what I wanted, and moreso NEEDED,  to simplify my life. I am often guilty of trying to do all the things and half finishing a lot but not completing anything. So I made my word of the year SIMPLIFY and wanted to take action steps to simplify 4 areas of my life (finances, faith, home and blog).

Note: This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.

I started using the Daily Simplified Planner* in 2018 and my best way to say this is it feels like home. I love flipping the page to a fresh start everyday. When life gets chaotic or repetitive or overwhelming, that simple turn to a clean slate is very therapeutic for me. In fact, this planner is the one that made me NEED the daily planner, I don’t think I can go back to a weekly again.

Picture Walk Through the Daily Simplified Planner

First, I thought I would walk you through my Daily Simplified Planner*  in pictures. (Please note, the pictures are from my past daily simplified planners, I will update the pictures as soon as my 2021-2022 planner arrives since the planners just released this morning! However, besides the colors of the covers, tabs and pops of colors on the prep work pages, the current 2021-2022 is the same as the interior of the ones i’ve shown you.)

I love the Simplified Planner covers, doesn’t the cover just make you happy? Want to know what I’m using? Don’t worry, specific pens and products I used along with the Simplified Planner are mentioned at the bottom of this post. If you’re like me, you want to know all about the pens and accessories as much as you do the planner! 


Planner Specifications:

Here are the specs for the 2021-2022 Daily Simplified Planner from their website:

The Simplified Planner is a beautiful, joyful agenda for busy women in all seasons of life. Designed minimally on purpose, its open pages serve as a fresh start every day. We believe margin matters, and our mission is to inspire women to organize, simplify, and carve white space for the good stuff of life. The daily edition covers 12 months (with one day per page and shared weekend pages) and features a gold wire-o binding, a navy inside liner and pocket, 4 notes pages in the front, and luxurious Mohawk Via paper. With your Simplified Planner purchase, you’ll also get access to our NEW Simplified Planner Coaching Video Library with 12 all-new videos from Emily (accessible with your account login)!

Click here to customize & build your Daily Planner Bundle!


  • August 2021 – July 2022
  • Cover: 7″ x 9.25″ (1.25″ thick); weighs 1.7 lbs.
  • Pages: 6″ x 8.75″
  • Thick, 70 lb., pure white Mohawk Via paper
  • Space for schedule, to-do, notes and meals
  • One day per page + shared weekend pages
  • Full month views
  • 4 notes pages in the front
  • Hourly schedule from 6am to 9pm
  • 4 pages of Simplified Prep-Work
  • Monthly Simplicity Tips
  • Simple color throughout
  • NEW colorful sticker sheet design
  • Gold, sturdy wire-o binding
  • Hard cover with gold foil details
  • Protective gold corners
  • Navy interior
  • Pocket inside the front cover
  • Colorful, sturdy mylar tabs
  • Redesigned “Getting Started” insert booklet
  • Navy + gold keepsake box
  • Imported


Packaging, Cover and Binding

This is how my 2019-2020 planner arrived:

The Daily Simplified Planner comes well packaged wrapped in bubble wrap to protect the coil and then placed in a navy keepsake box. I will be keeping the box so I can put the planner back in it at the end of the year so I can put it back on my bookshelf.

This bright, little beauty made me happy from the moment I opened the navy keepsake box (which is how the current planners will arrive too). I love the bright colors and even through the bubble wrap I got all happy! But then when I unwrapped it….voila! Gorgeous! 

The Daily Simplified Planner Review. This year, I got the daily Simplified Planner in the happy stripe cover with a navy dot mini notebook and stickers galore. The cover is sturdy with lovely gold accents and a double gold coil. My planner held up well to daily use last year and I expect this one will do the same.

For 2021-2022 there are 6 covers left to choose from in the daily:

From left to right:

Aren’t they gorgeous?

Bottom line, the covers are all lovely and they seem to be well made. I typically use my planner at home (I didn’t carry it around in my purse or bag) and the gold did not wear off the cover or coil at all. It looks as good as new so I’m pleased with the sturdiness of the cover and hope this one holds up just as well. If you do decide to carry it with you in a purse or laptop bag, I recommend getting a planner pouch to help protect the corners and foil.

Simple, Clean and Colorful

The Daily Simplified Planner* cover is the most colorful part of the planner, the interior layout pages have simple, clean lines with little pops of color to help the day and date stand out.

Inside Pocket and Cover Page

The cover page is simple with a place for your name and just look at those pretty tabs in all the happy stripe and Emily Ley brand colors!!!

2021-2022 Daily Simplified Planner Cover page and colorful monthly tabs

The inside front cover of the Daily Simplified Planner* has a pocket to keep stickers, paperwork or a slim notebook. The title page has space for you to write your name and information. I kept a few sticker sheets* and a mini notebook* and it does fit in the pocket but adds some bulk to the interior when it closes. I think getting a daily stretchy band* and keep the notebook on the outside. I’ll have to update the picture for you when I get it. 


Prep Work

Like the Powersheets, there are some helpful Prep Work pages that creator Emily Ley walks us through to help us simplify our lives, easy steps and things to ask yourself so you can figure out how to”choose what matters” when deciding what projects to take on or how your time is spent. 

Note: the sheets shown from my 2019-2020 planner below and they have not changed. Please consult the Emily Ley website to verify.

There are a couple pages of year at a glance calendars and a list of holidays. Then the prep work begins. First up is a page to analyze the last year and prep new routines for the new year. 


I love this as my routines change quite often. The weekly and daily routines pages help you develop a routine that makes sense in your current season of life. I rely on the routine I’ve figured out to make sure that all the roles I’m juggling get tended to. When my routine changes, I can feel out of sorts until I figure out a new one.

My weekly routines include home tasks like laundry and cleaning, days I have to take kids to soccer practice, the fun things we’ve carved into our week (like family movie night Fridays and dinner out and/or at-home date night Saturdays), and what days I cook versus eating leftovers. I’ve done great figuring out my home and family routine, but I need to also incorporate my blog routine to make sure it all gets done. Simplifying blogging is one of my goals for this year and it might be the hardest because of all that has to be done to run a profitable and successful blog. 

The Daily Simplified Review. The Simplicity Challenge is a list of 30 actionable tasks that should take less than 15 minutes to complete but can make an impact in simplifying various areas of your life. The yearly bucket list is great for big, fun goals for the year for yourself, your work or your family.

Next we have the 30-day Simplicity Challenge which is a list of 30 tasks that are supposed to take 15 minutes or less and will help you simplify and declutter the unessential. Easy tasks we know we should do but forget about doing. I love a good checklist to help me stay focused so this one serves as a quick win action plan, you’ll feel like a load has been lifted when you get these done.

The Yearly Bucket List is your fun page to dream big and get those biggest adventures and goals out of your head and onto paper. 


Notes Pages  

There are 4 lined notes pages between the Prep Work and the August tab. 

The Daily Simplified Planner Review. New this year are 4 lined notes pages in the front of the planner between the Prep Work and the August 2019 calendar.

Still I think I’d need an extra notebook for all my epic lists and GTD (Getting Things Done capture) and now Emily Ley makes mini notebooks* that match the planner covers, I ordered the navy dot to review for you! I am still trying to figure out how I want to use it.

The Daily Simplified Planner Review. The 2020 Daily Simplified Planners have 4 lined notes pages in the planner. I will be using an extra mini notebook shown here in the navy dot cover to keep track of my weekly overview goals and next action lists and a brain dump of important ideas, tasks and projects I don't want to forget.

Here are some ideas of lists and ways to use the extra notebook:

  • Weekly goals and Next Action lists to give me a weekly overview
  • Blog – goal projects 
  • Blog – 12 week year checklists
  • Blog – courses to complete and progress
  • Blog – stats
  • Home – Decluttering, repairs and renovations by room
  • Home – Cleaning and maintenance schedule
  • Home – A Simplified Life* task list
  • Family & Friends – Gift List
  • Family & Friends – Vacation Ideas and Planning
  • Spouse – Date Night Ideas
  • Self Care – Self Care Ideas for bad RA days
  • Self Care – Planning Routine (I consider planning self care because it helps my sanity and mental health)
  • Self Care – Health tracking graphs to monitor my pain and fatigue
  • Self Care – gratitude or health journaling

The notebook is very versatile and can be used for whatever you set your mind to. I will be getting a daily stretchy band* and attach the notebook on the outside. I’ll have to update the picture for you when I get it. 


Planning Pages

Monthly Calendar

The Daily Simplified Planner Review. The monthly calendar fits on 2 pages and has small pops of color, the previous month and next month's calendars at a glance and a Simplicity tip.


The Monthly Calendars has a few lines for notes to add any that you wish. Calendar week starts on Sunday. The design again is simple, clean with a little color on the month’s title. My favorite feature on this calendar is the Simplicity Tip at the top of the page, they match some of the items on the Simplicity Challenge prep work to remind you to do them! Monthly tabs add another pop of color and are laminated so they won’t get damaged. 


Daily Pages


The Daily Simplified Planner Review. The weekday pages of the daily Simplified Planner have one full day per page with an hourly schedule starting at 6am and ending at 10pm, a to do list section and a notes section on each page. Ample writing space for your agenda, to do list, journaling, health and habit tracking and whatever else is important for you to note everyday.

On the left side of the page in the picture above, you can see the weekday page layout. The day, date and “my day”, “to do” and “notes” are in color but all other text is in black. Dates of U.S. Holidays are in red font so they stand out. The header space can be used for a reminder or gratitude about the day. There is space for your hourly schedule from 6am to 9pm, equal space for a long to do list and a section at the bottom for notes so you can write in whatever you like. I like the freedom and flexibility of this notes space. It’s large enough that I can use it for my health and water tracking, meals and some journaling about my day. 

The page size is 7″x9″ so it’s smaller than the Day Designer (daily format) and Passion Planner (weekly format) that I have used previously. I have large handwriting so sometimes I have to abbreviate (simplify) my to dos but I am able to get everything onto a page. 


Weekend Pages

The Daily Simplified Planner Review. The 2019 2020 daily simplified planner pages has Saturday and Sunday sharing a page. Each day has a smaller section for what's happening in the day and to do's and Sunday includes 4 Weekly Prep items filled in that are Emily Ley' s recommendations for what to do to prep for the week ahead.

The right side of the page in the picture above shows the weekend pages, where Saturday and Sunday share a day. The “my day” section does not have hourly time slots like on the weekday pages. In the Sunday header space, there is a prompt and room to write a favorite memory of the week. In the Sunday to do list space, there are 4 preprinted “weekly prep” tasks so that you simplify your week ahead and it runs smoother. I like that having those tasks already printed on the page makes sure that I do them and get a balance between tending my family, home and my self care.

Color Coding my Planner to Match my Goals

I try to color code and track my time  so that I can make sure I get a good work-life balance. I completed the Powersheets prep work at the beginning of 2018 and they helped me analyze my life in 8 different categories: 

  • Spiritual and Personal Growth (red)
  • Finances (orange)
  • Work/Blog (yellow)
  • Family and Friends (dark green)
  • Health (lime green)
  • Home (turquoise)
  • Fun and Recreation (blue)
  • Spouse/Significant Other (light purple)

Since the colors were already laid out for me, I use the same Powersheets colors for tracking my goals and how I spend my time in my planners. I got Papermate Flairs* and the colors matched the Powersheets categories perfectly.  So here is how I color code my tasks in the to-do section so I can ensure that I get a good balance of work, home, family and self care needs. This shows I color coded my tasks to match my goals in my 2018-19 Simplified Planner: 

Simplified Planner Daily 2018-2019 Daily Page Color Coding Tasks

Emily Ley has a Simplified Planner color coding scheme on her free printables library that coordinates with the colors in the planner, her Pilot Precise pen set* (the pens shown in my pictures above) and her color coding*, icon stickers*and flag stickers*. I tried out that color scheme in my planner for 2019 since I just bought all those stickers! It simplifies the amount of color categories I have from 8 to 6 (and holidays won’t be used much) so see I’m simplifying already! Small victory! 

  • Planning (navy)
  • Family (blue)
  • School (turquoise)
  • Home (green)
  • Pink (wellness)
  • Red (holiday)

Time Tracking in the Daily Simplified Planner

The picture above also shows you how I track how my time is spent. I started tracking my time several years ago to help me see where my time wasters were and get a realistic idea of how long tasks take me to do (I’m a chronic underestimator of how long things take me). I’m a stay at home mom and so inevitably, at the end of an exhausting day of mom life, I’d look at my goals or look around the house and think I didn’t get enough done. So I started tracking my time to help me see just what I did all day (there are so many little things that come up right?) and it helped me focus on my accomplishments instead of the unchecked items on my to do list. By focusing on my accomplishments, it gets me super motivated to get things done. 

So here is what I was doing this year to track time…I keep appointments and must do’s with a deadline in my Google Calendar that I share with my family. I look at the Google Calendar the night before and again in the morning to make sure I know what’s coming for the day. I have reminder alerts set to my phone an hour in advance so I make sure I have time to finish what I’m doing, get ready and commute to the appointment. 

I only write the appointment in my planner when it’s done. Because of my health, sometimes optional appointments will get canceled. Because of weather, my sons’ soccer practice might get canceled. I don’t like crossing things out in my planner and since it reflects how my time was spent, I only write it in when it’s completed.

I like to track my time in quarterly increments which worked well in the Purposeful Planner and Passion Planner because they had two lines dedicated per hour. Since the Simplified Planner only has one line, it doesn’t have as much room for quarterly time tracking so I have to be more general on what I put in the schedule section. However, the limited space in the Daily Simplified Planner* is forcing me to simplify yet again and make me rethink my time tracking system and how I can adapt it to meet my current needs and goals. 

Time Blocking in the Daily Simplified Planner

Over this summer, I started simplifying my time blocking system since I am often pulled in many directions having the boys home. Time tracking wasn’t necessary and after doing it so long, I’m finally starting to learn how long my recurring tasks take me to do.

So the picture below shows how I started time blocking, I put a colored sticker at the beginning of each important task change. This helps me see how much time I have to get something done before the next must do has to be done. In the to do list column, I put a sticker next to the must dos. This has really been helping me pace my energy so that I don’t overexhaust myself before dinner has to be made and cleaned up. 

The Daily Simplified Planner Review. I put colored dots and stickers in the "my day" section of the daily Simplified Planner page to signify when a must do has to be done. This helps me see both how long I have to finish it and how to pace myself so that I have energy to cook dinner and clean up at the end of the day.

This shows how my planner looked at the beginning of the day and then I checked things off as I went, both the time blocks and the to dos. 

Daily Simplified Planner vs. Weekly Simplified Planner

There are a lot of differences between the daily and weekly Simplified Planners and I’ll try to highlight them for you here.


As you can see from the boxes of the Simplified Planners, the daily on the left is wider and taller than the weekly on the right. 

The Daily Simplified Planner Review. Size comparison of the daily Simplified Planner in box on the left and the weekly on the right.

The daily Happy Stripe Simplified planner on the left and the weekly blue pinstripe Simplified Planner on the right. The daily is 7″ x 9″ and the weekly is 6″ x 8″. The daily Simplified Planners are coil bound while the weekly Simplified Planners are book bound and lay flat.

The happy stripe daily Simplified Planner on the bottom in photo below is 1.25″ thick while the blue pinstripe weekly Simplified Planner on the top is 0.75″ thick. 

The daily Simplified Planner review. The top blue pinstripe weekly Simplified planner is 0.75" thick while the happy stripe daily Simplified Planner on the bottom is 1.25" thick.


The weekly is much more portable but I love the daily so much I really wouldn’t mind carrying it around on errands or to and from work and school. The daily is still more portable than it’s bigger Day Designer competition. 

Inside pocket and stickers

The inside pocket of the weekly Simplified Planner on top in the picture below holds the sheet of doodle stickers while the inside pocket of the daily Simplified Planner can hold extra stickers sold separately and the sheet of doodle stickers is coiled into the planner. 

Inside pocket and sticker comparison of the weekly Simplified Planner on top and the daily Simplified Planner on the bottom.

Planning pages

The week on a page in the weekly Simplified Planner on top in the picture below versus the daily planning pages in the daily Simplified Planner on the bottom. The daily has extra space on the weekend for the “happy memory from the week” that the weekly doesn’t have.

Mini notebooks and notes pages

I wanted to show you a comparison of how the mini notebooks looked on top of each planner, the daily on the left and the weekly on the right. Both the navy dot and the mint tile mini notebooks are the same size. 

Another big difference between the daily and weekly is the number of notes pages. The daily has 4 and the weekly has 31! I think in that case, I’d use the notes pages in the weekly planner for my project/goals/brain dump lists and use the notebook for daily to do lists if I run out of space on the weekly view.

The daily Simplified Planner* is better if you: 

  • want to incorporate your daily routines into your planner
  • have lots of meetings and appointments and must dos
  • have lots of to dos
  • you like a large daily notes space to track your misc things (meals, health, expenses, etc) whatever you need whenever you need it
  • prefer a coil bound planner to lie flat
  • like flipping the page to a fresh start each day
  • you don’t need a lot of notes or don’t mind an extra notebook to accompany the planner
  • don’t mind the bigger planner if you are carrying it with you or work/stay at home
  • want to build white space into your day and keep memories and small victories in your planner

The weekly Simplified Planner is better if you: 

  • want a portable planner you can stick in your purse. 
  • like having a weekly overview to plan out what needs to be done each day
  • don’t have a lot of meetings, appointments and to dos
  • want to focus on a few key things everyday
  • want all your lists in your planner

Simplified Planner vs. Day Designer

day designer vs simplified planner size and covers

The main question I get is what are the differences between the Simplified Planner* and Day Designer Planners, so I though I’d give you a quick recap here to help you decide which is best for you. This is based on my experience with the daily planners I purchased and as shown (Simplified Planner in 2018-2019 and the flagship size Day Designer in 2016-2017.

Both planners daily pages have ample space for your hourly schedule and plenty of space for your to do list.

day designer vs simplified planner daily page comparison

I think the daily Simplified Planner* is better: 

  • paper quality is better at 105 gsm, bright white and smooth to write on
  • if you want to carry the planner with you to and from work/school (the daily SP is 7″x9″ vs flagship daily DD is 9″ x 9.75″ and weighs 2.5 pounds)
  • you like pops of color in your planner
  • you like worksheets to help you simplify your life (tips, routines, and simplicity challenge)
  • you like open space for notes to track whatever you like 
  • you like extra notes pages (new this year)
  • you like colorful hand drawn stickers 
  • smaller space forces you to abbreviate, keep your list small and focused, in other words to simplify your schedule!

I think the flagship size daily Day Designer* is better:

  • if you don’t mind Day Designer paper is slightly thinner at 100 gsm paper to have more space to write in (regular printer paper is 80 gsm usually as a point of reference)
  • you need a lot of space to write down tasks as they come to you/want space for brain dumps
  • you need a bigger planner that you can leave on your desk or at home
  • you prefer minimalist daily pages (gray font with gold tabs)
  • you like worksheets to help you set meaningful goals and break them down to get them done
  • you like dedicated spaces on your daily pages for top 3 priorities, menu, what’s due, gratitude, dinner, etc.
  • you don’t need many notes pages 

You can see pictures inside and check out my full Day Designer review here.

The Best Pens to Use in the Simplified Planner

I did an ultimate pen test and tried to figure out the best pens to use in the Simplified Planner. The photos will be uploaded later in a separate post but I did want to give you the results of my pen test here.

The paper quality in my 2018-2019 Simplified Planner* was 70 lb Mohawk Paper (105 gsm) and is the same in the 2019-2020 planners according to their website. I think the paper quality is comparable so my pen test should be accurate.

I tested each pen with a colored dot which is what I usually do for coloring coding, the color name written and a squiggly line to see how it would bleed (run all the way through the paper so you can see what’s written) or shadows (where you can faintly tell what is written or that something is written).

I tested the following 9 brands of pens to figure out what the BEST pen to use in the Simplified Planner is. There are a combination of Emily Ley’s brand pens, gel pens and felt tip pens and one brand of highlighters.

Gel Pens, Metal Tip

  • Papermate Inkjoy Gel Pens, retractable, 0.7mm, 10 colors in pack
  • Pentel Energel Liquid Gel, 0.7mm, metal tip, 5 colors in pack
  • Zebra Sarasa Gel Pens, 0.7mm, 10 colors in pack
  • Pilot G-2, 0.7mm, 4 colors in pack

Felt Tip

  • Papermate Flair Felt Point Pens, Medium, 12 colors in pack
  • Staedler Triplus Fineliner Pens, 10 colors in pack
  • Sharpie Pen, Fine Point, 10 colors in pack

Fine Point

  • Pilot G-2, 0.38mm, Black only
  • Emily Ley Pilot Precise v5, Extra Fine, Rolling Ball pen, 7 pack 

Rollerball Point

  • Emily Ley Gold Dot pen with .7mm tip (website recommended to use Pilot Precise V5 RT liquid ink for refills)


  • Zebra Mildliner Highlighters, 15 colors in 3 packs

If you like a gel pen, metal tip…

I wanted to love the Papermate Inkjoys* and I did initially because of the wide variety of colors and the bold look. I don’t know if I got a bad batch, but they started looking like they were running out of ink even though I could see there was plenty of ink left in the barrel. So my next recommendation is the Pentel Energel’s*. These babies are smooooth when they write. I love the black needle point* which I used for years and the colored Energel’s are nice too. Even better is you can order refills* for your favorite colors or use the refill in the Emily Ley Gold Dot pen I talk about below.


If you like a felt tip pen…

If you like a bold look and a medium point, the Papermate Flairs* rule this category. They come in sooo many beautiful colors for all your color coding and doodling needs. Just as bold as the inkjoy’s, the colors shadow on the back of the page some but the dots I colored do not leave any indentation on the other side of the page.

Because of the felt tip, the Papermate Flairs aren’t as smooth when writing as some of the others but this is a good choice if you like to feel the scratch of the pen on the paper. The tip is solid so if you are heavy handed, you’ll need this type of point instead of a flexible tip that’s bendable.

If you like a felt tip with a flexible fine point,  the Staedler Triplus Fineliners* are my favorite. Now, I must warn you, if you have a heavy hand like I apparently do, you can and will bend or wear down the tip on these. I have worn down my black and blue Staedler and bent a few of the tips on my Sharpie pens so they aren’t good for me with daily use but I had fun testing them out for you! 

But if you aren’t heavy handed, I prefer the Staedlers over the Sharpie pens because they seem to shadow less onto the other side of the page, come in a huge assortment of colors and the colors are more vibrant. The Staedlers are great for writing, color coding, doodling and coloring details in small spaces.

If you like a fine point…

The Emily Ley Pilot Precise v5 pen set is my favorite here. I love the extra fine point and there are enough colors to have a variety without an overwhelming selection. These are fantastic for writing, color coding and outlining doodles but I wouldn’t use these to color. These are the ones that I am currently using daily and will continue to use. I feel like they are less inky than the medium point pens so there is less shadowing onto the other side of the page. 

If you like a rollerball pen…

I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I like the Emily Ley Gold dot pen*. I’m typically not a fan of rollerball pens but this one writes smoothly and is a bit heavier and wider than the other pens I tested so it’s actually easier for me to write with. And can we just say, I just love the box it comes in with the magnetic closure. It would be a perfect gift for the pen lover or teacher in your life! You can use as is or refill with the Pentel Energel ink* (which is one of my favorite pens) and I’ve heard others on Instagram do. 



I only tested the Zebra Mildliner Highlighters* so far since they seem to be an extremely popular choice among planner fans like me and come in a huge assortment of colors. They are dual tipped highlighters, one side has a broad tip for highlighting and the other a fine tip for writing and coloring.

The pastel neon pack shadowed the least of the 3 packs I tested but that gold/orange highlighter matches the gold in the Simplified Planner perfectly! But I just gotta love the bolder colors and love the fine tips so you can actually write notes or color doodles you want to highlight in your day.

These are the best pens to use in your Simplified Planner! Click To Tweet

Favorite Supplies Shown/Purchased

* The Simplified Planner* (Daily Happy Stripe).
* Emily Ley Happy Stripe Pilot Precise Pen Set*
* Emily Ley Gold Dot Pen*
* Emily Ley Mini Notebook in Navy Dot*
* Emily Ley Variety Sticker Set*
* Emily Ley Flag Sticker Set*
* Emily Ley Icon Sticker Set* 
* Emily Ley Color Coding Sticker Set* 

FREE Simplified Planner Printables

I love that Simplified Planner gives you free printables* to test out their planner pages and other fun and simple printables to help you simplify your chaotic life. Here are some of my favorites available to download: 

  • Daily planner page
  • weekly planner page
  • brain dump checklist
  • brain dump quads
  • brain dump graph paper
  • blog planner
  • meeting notes
  • packing checklist
  • party planning
  • family meeting notes
  • baby chart
  • class list
  • spring cleaning checklist
  • sunday checklist
  • password tracker
  • borrowed items
  • go to meals
  • gratitude list
  • devotional
  • holiday shopping list

there are a few more I didn’t name but there’s a lot to help you simplify various areas of your home, school, work and life! 

Simplified Planner Coupon Codes and Sales


I love helping you save money on awesome planners so I try to keep track of launch dates, coupon codes and sales I hear about so you can get the best deal!

Grab the $10 off your first order coupon here! 

Emily’s books and bundles* – I have read Grace Not Perfection and enjoyed it. Great reminders to fit grace in the midst of chaotic mom life and I’ll be reading A Simplified Life this month in conjunction with my prep work in the 2019-2020 planner. 

11th Annual Birthday Sale*!! Enjoy 30% off almost everything, no code needed! July 2, 2019- July 4, 2019 11:59pm EDT.

Black Friday Sale usually held at the end of November

The Bottom Line Review

Truth be told, when I first started using this planner, I thought it was too small to be able to track all my random ideas throughout the day. I was coming from larger planners where I had more space to write, time block and track how my time was spent in quarterly increments.

But what I realized the more I used the Daily Simplified Planner* was that it forced me to abbreviate and you guessed it, SIMPLIFY my planning process and routine. As it turns out, it does have enough room to keep up with my daily needs and the little notebook can keep track of any overflow that doesn’t get done or for longer-term projects. Realistically, there is enough to do space for what I could possibly accomplish in one day. And it’s also teaching me to leave more white space so I don’t overplan and overexhaust myself.

I thought I would miss a weekly view to map out my week but I have liked using the mini notebook as my weekly overview for my menu plan, next actions on each of my personal goals/projects and my blog goals. If that doesn’t work, I may use the weekly pinstripe for my weekly overview. Either way, I love my Daily Simplified Planner too much to give up using because sometimes I like a weekly view. 

I love the Daily Simplified Planner for the ways it’s helping my simplify my life. I love the Prep work like the Simplicity Challenge for 30 ways to simplify my home, mind and mom life. Some easy things I haven’t thought of doing, some quick wins, and some things I procrastinate with and just need to do. I love the Looking Back and Looking Ahead pages as I think it’s important to see what worked, what didn’t and what you want to improve on. This is the sort of exercise I like to do weekly as well as part of my planning routine. 

I love the clean lines and pops of color in the Daily Simplified Planner. I love the large notes space where I can track and journal what I want when I want. This planner is small enough that you could carry it around in your purse or work bag but it might be a little heavy.

I like that the weekend pages have a space for a favorite memory of the week. But I do wish that Saturday and Sunday had a dedicated page and I have mixed feelings about the preprinted Weekly Prep tasks since I tend to meal plan and grocery shop on Monday or Friday. I’d rather have that space available to write what I need.

This is a great life planner that works in conjunction with a goal planner like Powersheets but if you need something that will help you identify and track progress towards your goals, then this is not it. There is not much in terms of goalsetting, unless your goal is to simplify and then the Daily Simplified Planner* is a great start! 

Bottom Line: I highly recommend the Daily Simplified Planner* by Emily Ley. It i is a simple, clean and colorful planner that helps me simplify my busy life, home and mind. By color coding my tasks and blockign my time, this pretty little powerhouse is an effective time management tool to help me focus on my goals and get more done so I can have more fun! The more I use it the more I love it! If you want to see how the Simplified Planner stacks up against other planners on the market, be sure to check out my Ultimate Planner Comparison post and download a free chart to help you decide. 

Subscribe to my Planning and Productivity Newsletter and get the FREE Ultimate Planner Comparison Chart so you can see a side-by-side comparison of 11 of the most popular life and goal planners to determine the best planner for your needs, lifestyle and planning type.
How to Color Code in a Daily Simplified Planner to Focus on Your Goals. Color coding how your time is spent and your daily tasks can help ensure you achieve the work/life balance you desire and stay focused on the goals that are most important to you. See how here.

If you need a daily planner to help you simplify your life so you can get more done, then the Simplified Planner is a great option for you. I am a work in process when it comes to simplifying. I tend to overcomplicate things as I atempt to simplify. But the Simplified Planner* keeps me in check and allows me to use it how I need it when I need it. Be sure to use the coupon if it’s your first order and see how you can start simplifying your life today! It’s time for me to start that Simplicity Challenge prep work so I’m ready to dive into this planner with a fresh start! 

Pin for Later

See how the Daily Simplified Planner can help you simplify your chaotic life so you can get more done and have more fun! Check out my thorough and honest review of the Daily Simplified Planner including tons of pictures, how I use it for goal setting, time tracking, time blocking, how it compares to the Weekly Simplified Planner, how it compares to the daily Day Designer and what the best pens are to use in it.


How Time Tracking in a Daily Simplified Planner will Help You Get More Done. Time tracking helps you see where your time is wasted and where efficiencies can be gained so that you can get more done and consequently, have more fun! Time tracking does not take long to do but can be a simple tool to optimize your time management.

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  1. I loved your blog on the planner. I am a retired senior citizen and am very active in clubs, knitting, crocheting, needlepoint. I am wondering what you think of the disc planners. Have your reviewed them?
    I need to get a new planner for 2020 and am not sure whether to get the simplified planner or daily planner.
    Thank you in advance for your generosity

    1. Hi Betty, I have a Happy Planner disc planner that I got in 2018 to review but I haven’t done it yet. I like the concept of the disc planners, they are really easy to add/take out pages (much easier than the ring binders since I have bad hands from Rheumatoid Arthritis) and i have been tempted to try one. I like that they are lightweight and highly customizable and they are a great option. Just like the coil bound planners, I do worry that the discs will scratch my wood/glass furniture, so have to put it on a doily/placemat to make sure it doesn’t scratch.

      If you need to add pages to your planner to keep track of your projects or notes, then I’d suggest the disc bound planner or the simplified weekly since it has lots of notes pages. If you have very busy days with lots of meetings and appointments, then the daily is great. Feel free to let me know if you have more questions!

  2. Wow it seems like you covered all of the aspects of both versions thoroughly. I found one point relatively familiar, when you mentioned “that you were guilty of trying to do all things and half furnishing a lot and but not completing anything.” That was me! I always felt unfulfilled. No matter how busy I stayed. The planner I used was not helping, because it did not provide any guidance or monthly simplicity sessions on how to better use my planner. Please no one get me wrong some people don’t need any one that, and thrive in with rush. But in my season of life, and getting older and stress already talking a toll on my body. Stress was something I didn’t need. Emily Ley’s Grace not perfect (when it came out), changed my world. That’s when it solidified that this was the brand for me. They ran at my pace, for my season of life. I had two moments during your review where I was like “Maybe our stories and our journeys are different”, but we are in this for the same reason. I’m not try not to point anyone to buy something that they are not interested in, but I remember my first SP. When I saw the box, and that each day was on one page, and how peaceful Immediately. When I get the other planner, I feel overwhelmed. Recently I spoke to this wonderful lady who was purchasing her first SP, like many she was also an EC used for a long time. She told me that she felt so overwhelmed by her planner, and the pressure and need to use stickers. “She just wanted a planner and her pen”.

    I would call this an extensive Review, because you covered it All. This would be perfect for someone who is looking for a planner, and someone who is not familiar with the planner. I get those questions all the time.

    Thank you it was amazing.

  3. Hi I’m looking for hints and tips on putting together my very 1st my husband and I can get our finances and life together.where it should be.and on track.

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