Planning Tips

Dapperdesk Planner Review 2020 – Best Daily Planner for Working Moms (and Dads)

Need a professional daily planner with a full page for every day, even weekends? My planner review series isn’t complete without this 2020 Dapperdesk planner review, I’ll show you why this is the best daily planner for working moms (and dads).
Dapperdesk Planner Review 2020. Peek inside the planner with tons of pictures, see the pros and cons and find out what makes this the best planner for working moms (and dads). A truly classic, elegant and no frills planner to manage both your personal and professional life. #dapperdesk #emilyley #planner #plannerreview
{GIVEAWAY ALERT: Be sure to read all the way to the bottom of the post to enter to win a 2020 Dapperdesk for a few days only!}
I used to work outside the home for the first 12 years I was a mom. It was a busy time with three small boys, and a stressful job that caused my health to worsen.
We felt like we were completely in survival mode and in the blink of an eye, we already had nearly a teenager. It was hard enjoying just being present we were so busy juggling home, work, kids school and activities and any semblance of family life.
Even though I finally chose to stay home with my boys in 2013, I have since then been pursuing my work from home dreams with this blog. And starting a business from scratch in the stiff competition of online entrepreneurs is no easy feat.
So I’ve always been working and trying to earn money in some capacity while maintaining my CPA license requirements in case I ever have to return to working outside the home. So I can understand and empathize with the constant guilt and busyness of the moms that work outside the home, the passion and desire for a work from home situation earning money doing something I truly love so I can be more present with my family and have a better quality of life and the pure exhaustion and simple joys that come with being a stay at home with babies and young kids.
Keeping track of everything we need to do is hard and this Dapperdesk planner review will show you why I think this is the best planner for working moms (and dads) who like simple, minimalist design to keep track of your busy schedule and to dos every day and especially weekends when life is even busier getting ready for the week ahead.


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Picture Walk Through The Dapperdesk Planner

First, I thought I’d show you inside the Dapperdesk Planner* in pictures. The planner is classic with clean lines and no frills so it won’t take long to show you the beauty of it’s simplicity. I bought the Dapperdesk Planner 2020 in the Sky Blue Cover. 

Dapperdesk Planner Review 2020. The Sky Blue Dapperdesk planner by Emily Ley is a gorgeous, classic, elegant and professional looking planner. It's simple, minimalist, and purely functional style makes it the best planner for working moms.


Please note that I took the Dapperdesk straight out of the box to photograph so it does not lie flat yet. After some continued use and leaving it open to break the binding in, the planner will lie flat. 


Dapperdesk Planner Features

Here are the Dapperdesk Planner features as described on the Emily Ley Website: 

Our Dapperdesk Planner is designed minimally on purpose and comes in two solid-color cover options for the ultimate polished look. Its open pages serve as a fresh start every day. Dapperdesk covers 12 months (with one day per page) and features a leatherette bookbound cover, 17 lined notes pages in the back, a ribbon page marker, and luxurious Mohawk Via Vellum paper. With your Dapperdesk Planner purchase, you’ll also receive monthly coaching (with videos!) from Emily, via email.


  • Product: 6″ x 9.25″ (1.25″ thick), weighs 1lb. 13oz. 
  • Pages: 5.75″ x 9″
  • Leatherette (vegan leather)
  • Luxurious Mohawk Via Vellum paper
  • Navy striped ribbon page marker
  • One day per page
  • Hourly lines from 6am to 9pm
  • To-Do List section on each page
  • Notes section on each page
  • List of 2020 yearly holidays in the front
  • Yearly calendar view in the front
  • Monthly spreads in the front
  • 17 lined notes pages in the back
  • Keepsake box



Dapperdesk Planner Packaging, Cover and Binding

The Dapperdesk Planner review 2020. The Dapperdesk planner comes packaged in a white keepsake box stamped with gold font. The Dapperdesk planner cover is made of a vegan leather with a suede-like feel.
The Dapperdesk planner comes in a white keepsake box with gold font. 
The Emily Ley website describes the Dapperdesk planner cover as made of a “leatherette (vegan leather”). It’s soft, smooth and luxurious. It has a simple gold embossed logo and year. On the back cover it has “Dapperdesk by Emily Ley” embossed in gold. I like the simplicity of the front and that the brand identification is on the back. That gives it more of a professional look.
I had the blush pink in 2019 and the sky blue for 2020. The light covers do show some smudges but it wipes off easily with a lightly damp cloth.
The navy is their standard that they have had both in 2019 and 2020. The darker color does look the most professional and would be a great option for men too.
The Dapperdesk planner binding is a softcover book style. It seems you need to break it in some, leaving it open to get it to lie flat. Once it’s broken in, it does lie flat. 


Dapperdesk Planner Size – Chunky but Portable


The Dapperdesk Planner Review 2020. The sky blue dapperdesk planner is 6" x 9" with a 5" x 7" navy dot mini notebook on top.

Dapperdesk Planner Review 2020. The Dapperdesk planner is a book bound planner and 1.25 inches thick. It's a chunky book that will look great on your desk or bookshelf and without fear of the coil getting snagged on something or getting bent when you throw it in your purse or work bag.


The Dapper planner is 6″ x 9.25″ and 1.25″ thick so it is a nice chunky book for those of you who like chunky books like me (“I like big books and I cannot lie..”). If you add stickers, you’ll increase some thickness to it. There is no pocket in this planner to hold extra papers. But you could get a sticky pocket to put on the inside or attach a lovely mini notebook to the front with the navy Dapperdesk stretchy band.


Dapperdesk’s Minimalist Style 

The entire interior of the Dapperdesk planner is in a classic, elegant black (or really dark gray) font. This makes it more professional also and less distracting if you like simple design. You can always add color when you want to with stickers and highlighters for color coding. I like that it’s a blank canvas so you can customize it for your need and mood.
The key to this planner is minimalism and simplicity and we can see how every decision in the design is to make this more simple so you can focus more on what’s important.

Dapperdesk Planner Paper Quality

I love the Dapperdesk planner’s paper quality, a 70lb Mohawk Vellum via paper that is luxurious and dreamy to write on. It’s not a stark bright white, the paper has a hint of ivory for that classic look and feel.
My favorite pens shadow through some but not enough to bother me. You can see in the photo below that the black type from the other side of the page is slighlty visible under my super bright professional studio lights. The planner already weighs 1 lb. 13 ozs so if the paper was any thicker, it would be pretty heavy to carry around! I’ll sacrifice some shadowing for the convenience of portability. 

Dapper Desk Planner Title Page, Holidays Page and Year at a Glance Calendar

The Dapperdesk Planner Review 2020. The title page of the Dapperdesk simply states the planner name and calendar year. There is blank space to write your name, attach a business card if you wish.

The title page in the Dapperdesk Daily Planner has the calendar year and brand info and a blank space to write your name if you wish. It doesn’t have a “write your name here” line but again that is for simplicity sake. And you could write your name or attach a sticker label in if you really wanted to.
The Dapperdesk Planner Review 2020. The holidays and year at a glance calendar are the only pages before the monthly calendars and daily planning pages.
The U.S. holidays are printed on one page and a simple January- December year at a glance on the other.
There are no other prep work or goal setting pages before the planning pages begin.


Dapperdesk Monthly Calendars are All Together in the Front

The Dapperdesk monthly calendar has weeks with a Sunday start and shows only the days in the month.
To keep it simple, it does not show the last days in the previous month or the next few days in the next month ahead to fill in all the boxes. It also does not have a mini calendar of the next or previous month you see on a lot of other monthly calendars. Each box is a 1.25 inch square.
The Dapperdesk Planner Review 2020. The monthly calendar layout in the Dapperdesk planner. The monthly calendars are a Sunday start and all 12 months are together in the front of the planner.
I always want monthly calendars to start on a Monday so that the weekend is together and the work week for many starts on a Monday. So I wish this monthly calendar view started on Mondays.
There is a sidebar where you can write notes and goals.
All 12 monthly calendars are in the front of the Dapperdesk daily planner together. They are not spread out between the months. I’m not sure why they did it this way but all I do is keep a pretty paper clip or page marker on the current month if I want to flip back to it.
As I’ve mentioned in many of my other planner reviews is that I keep all my appointments and day specific tasks in my Google Calendar online. So I don’t copy them into my monthly calendar over again and I just put them directly onto the daily planning page in the morning when I’m planning my day.
As a result, I have used the monthly calendar pages for other tracking purposes such as:
  • Small victories and happy memories
  • Gratitude 
  • Items decluttered tracker
  • Health tracker (water, what I ate, exercise/steps)
  • Top 3 priorities per day
  • Bills and expenses
  • Goal tracker 
And for work specific uses:
  • My blog’s profit plan/12 week year plan (my current method)
  • Work deadlines, projects goals and action plans
  • Expense tracker including mileage and meals


Dapperdesk Planner’s Daily Planning Pages – A Full Page for Everyday! 

The Dapperdesk Planner Review 2020. The Dapperdesk planner daily planning page layout has space for your schedule from 6am to 9pm, to do list space for 16 tasks and a big, blank notes section to record whatever you need. The best part of the Dapperdesk is you get this same great planning page for every day of the week, even Saturdays and Sundays!



Ok, here is what I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE about the Dapperdesk planner…a full page for everyday including weekends. I don’t know about you but weekends are typically busier than weekdays between kids’ sports and family activities, having 3 meals a day somewhat prepared/figured out and catching up on cleaning, laundry, meal planning and grocery shopping to make the week ahead easier. I also like to track the happy memories I want to remember in my daily pages and do a bit of journaling yes, I need a full planning page for Saturdays and Sundays. 

The Dapperdesk Planner Review 2020. This is my favorite feature of the Dapperdesk planners by Emily Ley....a full planning page for Saturdays and Sundays. For people whose weekends are just as busy or busier than weekdays, the Dapperdesk planner is perfect for busy moms with lots to do on the weekends to manage their personal and professional lives.

And the Dapperdesk Planner delivers and gives us the same simple daily planning pages everyday including Saturdays and Sundays. The format isn’t any different than the weekdays so you can keep your planning and productivity groove going all week long. 


Each Dapperdesk daily planning page has two columns. The left side for today’s schedule from 6am to 9pm. And the right side is for checklist space in the to do column to write in up to 16 tasks. There is a large notes section on each day as well so you can write in anything you need for that day whether it’s personal or work related. I like that the space is large enough for journaling and you can customize it however you like for your needs as they change. 


Notes Pages in the Back of the Dapperdesk Planner

The Dapperdesk Planner Review 2020. There are 17 lined notes pages in the back of the Dapperdesk planner.


There are 17 lined pages in the back of the Dapperdesk planner. I need a lot of notes pages in my planner so this has a good amount. I use them for all kinds of lists and trackers to help me get ideas out of my head and onto paper for stress-free productivity

  • Home – Decluttering, repairs and renovations by room
  • Home – Family & Friends – Gift Ideas, budget and list
  • Home finances – monthly budget and expenses
  • Home finances – bills due tracker
  • Home finances – savings tracker
  • Home finances – debt payoff tracker
  • Family & Friends – Vacation Ideas and Planning
  • Family & Friends – Best of the month memories
  • 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
  • Self care – Bible reading tracker
  • Self care –journaling prompts and affirmation prompts
  • Fun – monthly or seasonal bucket lists
  • Fun – reading challenge ideas, books to read and tracker
  • Fun – books read and mini reviews


Here are some ways to use the notes pages for work and blogging: 

  • Work – meeting notes and project action plans
  • Work – Goals and job expectations
  • Work – Achievements to remember for performance evaluations
  • Work – inspirational quotes to help you stay on track for your professional goals
  • Blog – resources and courses to complete and progress
  • Blog – Google analytics, social media stats and email subscriber trackers
  • Blog – small victories and achievements to remember


Why is the Dapperdesk Planner the Best Planner for Working Moms (and Dads)?


Here’s the quick recap of why I think the Dapperdesk planner is the best planner for working moms and dads:

  • the cover is more professional looking with a solid color and minimal gold accents, the cover is understated, classic and elegant. The navy blue cover with gold accents is great for working dads.
  • the inside daily planning pages similarly are all black font and no colors or vibrant designs. Minimal and elegant with enough space for all your meetings, to dos and notes you need to keep track of during your day (like your accomplishments and wins for your next status meeting or performance evaluation with your boss)
  • you can use it as a daily record of your business and professional growth, with enough space for journaling, visualization or affirmation exercises to record in the notes section
  • a full daily planning page for Saturdays and Sundays are essential for working moms when you’re trying to keep track of kids’ activities, sports schedules and all the cleaning, laundry and errands you have to catch up on and be ready for the week ahead.
  • lots of notes pages to keep track of meetings, goals, and project plans. 
  • can easily be used on it’s own to keep track of everything going on in your personal and professional life or use it just for work in order to stay focused on work while at work. 


My Favorite Dapperdesk Accessories

I really just use a pen and highlighter in my Dapperdesk planner. I’m using my 2019 Dapperdesk as my blog and business planner and when I’m in it, I’m all business and focused. So I don’t decorate it much. Here’s what I use with my 2019 and what you see pictured above with the 2020:


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
  • 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!


Pros and Cons of the Dapperdesk Planner 

Here’s a quick recap of the pros and cons of the Dapperdesk Planner if you are still trying to decide if it’s right for you and your life/workstyle: 



  • more professional appearance for work or meeting with clients
  • the hint of ivory to the paper gives the interior a classic and elegant look
  • minimalist design to the planning pages helps me focus on tasks at hand without distraction from stickers, quotes or embellishments and I can add color coding when I want and need it 
  • one page per day layout for every day of the week, including very busy Saturdays and Sundays! 
  • a good number of notes pages
  • would be great for a blog/business/work/profit planner
  • book bound planner looks great on your bookshelf and I love big, chunky books! 
  • easy to carry without worrying about damaging coil 


  • corners of the cover get dingy and worn from daily use since it’s a soft cover and corners are not reinforced 
  • monthly calendars are all together in the front of the planner 
  • I’m not a fan of the ribbon they chose for a bookmark but you could probably easily remove it and use page markers instead


Dapperdesk 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! Dapperdesks typically sell out so you’ve got to grab them while they are available because they don’t print more until the next calendar year launch! 

Grab the $10 off your first order coupon here!

What’s on sale right now! (Emily’s books, dry erase magnets and 2019-2020 planners)* – I have read Grace Not Perfection and enjoyed it. Great reminders to fit grace in the midst of chaotic mom life and I’ve read and kept A Simplified Life in my desk. I’ll be journaling and writing those tasks in my weekly Simplified Planner notes pages so I can make sure to get it all done!

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

2020 Calendar year planner launch, September 4, 2019 at 10am EST! They usually have great giveaways and Facebook and Instagram lives leading up to the launch. Some great bundle deals, and let’s keep our fingers crossed for free US. shipping on orders over a certain amount.

Black Friday Sale usually held at the end of November


The Bottom Line Dapperdesk Planner Review

I think the Dapperdesk planner is the best planner for working moms as an all-in-one planner to keep track of home and professional life or if you want to use only for your work/business/blog like I do. It’s very classic, understated, minimalist and elegant. It’s all form and function and no frills. The all black font and down to business format helps you stay focused on the tasks at hand without getting distracted by quotes, stickers and embellishments. 

The full planning page for Saturdays and Sundays may be my favorite feature of the Dapperdesk planner. Weekdays are busy but weekends are even busier and I know moms will appreciate that extra planning space on weekends too. I love books and book bound planners since they sit well on my bookshelf and desk without having to worry about the coil scratching my furniture’s surfaces or the coil getting damaged or snagged on things when I carry it in my purse or laptop bag. 


The Dapperdesk Planner is a classic and elegant planner with a simple, minimalist style to keep track of your busy personal and professional life and is really the best planner for working moms and dads.



2020 Dapperdesk Planner giveaway

I’m giving everything away in the photo above over on my Planner Giveaways page. So head there to get all the details and to enter to win!

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