Organizing | Planning Tips

The Best Planner Reviews to Help You Get More Done in Less Time

Don’t waste money on another planner that doesn’t work for you. Check out my incredibly detailed planner reviews to pick the perfect planner so you can get more done in less time.

The Best Planner Reviews to Help You Get More Done in Less time. Simplified Planner by Emily ley planner review, Day Designer planner review, Purposeful Planner review, Passion Planner review, Plum Paper planner review and Powersheets goal planner review included. Daily planner reviews, weekly planner reviews, goal planner reviews and digital planner reviews so you can develop a planning and productivity system without the stress!

I have a passion for planners and trying them out in different ways to get more done so I can achieve the goals that are most important to me. Rheumatoid Arthritis gives me less energy and more unpredictable health days, so I rely on my planners to have all my to dos organized so that I can maximize my efficiency and productivity and get more done in less time with whatever energy I have.

I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing these planners and my planner reviews include:

  • Planner specifications
  • Tons of pictures walking you through the planner
  • Examples of how I used the planner
  • How I color code and time track in the planner
  • How I use the planner to achieve my goals
  • How the planner compares to its competition
  • Best pens to use in the planner / favorite supplies used
  • Free printables that the planner company offers (if applicable)
  • Sales and coupon code info (when possible)
  • Where to buy the planner
  • The bottom line review (who the planner is good for, what makes it unique, what I like, what I don’t like, whether I recommend it)

Ok, so ready to see all the planner reviews I’ve done so far and the ones I’m working on? Let’s dig in and find your perfect planner to help you crush your to do list and achieve your goals! Here’s a better look at the ones we’ll be looking at and looking into….

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Daily Planner Reviews

day designer vs simplified planner size and covers

By daily planners, I mean that they have a monthly layout and a day on a page (most planners have Saturday and Sunday share a page unless otherwise noted).

Daily Simplified Planner by Emily Ley: Clean and Coloful Planning to Simplify Your Home, Life and Mind _

Dapperdesk by Emily Ley: The Best Daily Planner for Working Moms (and dads) – classic, minimalist and professional. Only available in calendar year versions but Saturday and Sundays have their own daily planning page!

Day Designer Planner Review: Manage Your Busy Life and Get More Done

Erin Condren Daily Petite Planner Review – The Best Portable Daily Planners

The Purposeful Planner Review: Beauty Meets Function to Organize Your Hectic Life


Weekly Planner Reviews

How to Bullet Journal in a Passion Planner for the Perfect Planning Solution

These weekly planners have a monthly overview layout and one week on 2 pages format.

Erin Condren Life Planner Binder Review (first picture above)

Passion Planner Review and How I Bullet Journal in it for a perfect planning solution (shown above)

Plum Paper Planner Review and How I Bullet Journal in it

Weekly Simplified Planner Review – Simplify Your Life AND Your Schedule

Living Well Planner Review* – coming soon! An undated planner.

Mindful Productivity Planner Review* – coming soon! An undated planner.

Inkwell Press Planner Review – see #5 in the ultimate planner comparison for a summary. Full review coming soon!

The Happy Planner Review – see # 8 in the ultimate planner comparison for a summary. Full review coming soon!

Goal Planner Reviews

These goal planners help you pinpoint goals that are important to you and break them down into manageable steps so you can achieve them. The Powersheets and Erin Condren goal setting journals are companions to daily or weekly planners. The Best Self Journal and Recollections goal planner have daily and weekly spaces to incorporate your goal tasks into your schedule.

Powersheets intentional goal planner – by Cultivate What Matters (shown above)

Erin Condren Petite Planner Review Goal Setting Journal* – coming soon!

The Best Self Journal Planner Review* – see # 10 in the ultimate planner comparison for a summary. Full review coming soon!

Recollections Goal Planner* –  see # 11 in the ultimate planner comparison for a summary. Full review coming soon!

Digital Planner Reviews

I’m an avid paper planner but lately I’ve been trying out these digital tools to plan and manage tasks. Here are some of my favorite digital planning resources:

Google Calendar – for keeping track of appointments that I can share with my family and time blocking my days/weeks

Trello – for my massive to do lists and checklists. I love being able to  create boards with different topics nd check things off! As I complete them.

Asana – for project management especially for a team of people who need to work on the same project


Erin Condren Planner Reviews

simplified planner reviews

Simplified Planner Reviews + Everything You Need to Know about Simplified Planners Before You Buy

Why You Need a Planner for Stress-Free Productivity and to Get More Done in Less Time

Passion Planner notes pages are perfect for keeping your bullet journal collections. Here I have all the things I want to do to make our house into our dream home, one of my biggest goals of the year.

In Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity* by productivity expert and best selling author David Allen, he teaches us that in order to be stress-free, we need a planning system where we can capture all of our ideas, tasks, and projects in one place. Only then can we efficiently decide what the next action is we should be taking at any given time and not have to worry about what we’re forgetting.

Whether it’s a paper or digital planner, he advocates fine tuning the planning system that works for you. A planning system that can:

  • Process information as it comes in (whether via email, papers, or learning from books, articles)
  • Split up your to do lists by time frame so you know what needs to be done next and what can be saved for later
  • Split up your current to do lists by context (calls, computer work, errands, etc) so that you can batch together similar items and get more done in less time
  • Make lists for future projects and ideas so you don’t lose them and can find it when you need it.
  • Setting up a weekly review process so you can see what went well during your week and what needs improvement

I feel more focused when I follow his guidelines and less worried about forgetting something important with all the gazillion things running through my head that I want to do for my health, my family and my blog. Getting Things Done* is a fantastic productivity resource and one that I reread so that I don’t lose sight of its valuable lessons.

Recommended Resources for Getting More Done in Less Time

Recommended  books, timers that you can set to help stay focused and a bullet journal to keep track of all your ideas if your planner doesn’t have enough space:


Best Pens for Planning

I belong to lots of planner Facebook groups and follow lots of planners on Instagram, and one of the most popular question is what are the best pens for planning? Pens and planners go hand in hand. I bought all these pens just so I could find the answer (and it gave me a totally awesome excuse to buy all. the. pens).

Here are what I think are the best pens for planning depending on what you’re looking for:


Best Black or Blue Overall: Pentel Energel RT Liquid Gel with a Needle Point Tip

Doing a weekly review in the Passion Planner of how your time was spent and how you can improve upon it next month.

This pen writes so smoothly, is refillable and comes in 3 different tip sizes: the bolder 0.7mm (shown above), a 0.5mm or a fine 0.3 mm. I like the needle tip because it does not bend like the flexible tip Sharpie pens or Staedlers and for heavy handed writers like me, I need that stable tip so I don’t ruin the pen.

I LOVE that it’s refillable and if you don’t need a gazillion colors to choose from, the Pentel Energel’s are my favorite.

Best Colored Pens: Papermate Inkjoy Gel Pens

powersheets goals using papermate inkjoy gel pens

If you like an inky, bold, vibrant look to your writing, then Papermate Inkjoy Gel Pens are worth checking out. Some people say their pens skip, but mine never have. I have the 10 pack and the colors coordinated well with my Powersheets goal planner colors (shown above).

Because they are very inky, there may be some shadowing on the other side of the paper, which means you can tell there is writing on the other side. The pens don’t bleed completely through the paper but if shadowing annoys you, then you might want a less inky and finer tip pen.

Best Fine Tip Pens: Pilot Precise v5

I love fine tip pens, especially for smaller planners. The Pilot Precise extra fine 0.5mm tip is what I have been using with my Simplified Planner which is on the smaller side. I mostly just use black or blue, but they do have some color variety also if you like to color code your writing. This Pilot Precise v5 pen set matches the Simplified Planner color scheme* and are the pens I was using, but you can find other Pilot Precise pen sets on Amazon*. The turquoise pen is my favorite color!

Subscribe to Get my FREE Ultimate Planner Comparison

If you want to see how the planners compare to each other, pros and cons and what makes them unique be sure to subscribe to my newsletter and get a free Ultimate Planner Comparison chart to download. Then I send you periodic planning and productivity tips and tools to manage your busy life in my newsletter. 

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.


Follow me on Instagram to see Planners in Action

Follow me on Instagram at @momssmallvictories so you can see how I use these different planners to manage my busy life.  

I truly believe that planners are an essential tool for managing your busy life, health, work and family. Take the time to figure out which of these planning systems will work for you so you can get more done in less time and without stress! I hope these planner reviews help you decide which will work best for your lifestyle. As always, leave me a comment or send me an email at tanya{at}momssmallvictories{dot}com if you need help deciding which planner is best for you or need a first time buyer coupon code (available for some of these)!

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