Need a new planner?
I hope everyone is having a good week! I can’t believe it’s a brand new year already, I for one and certainly pleased to see the back of 2020. I have a very fun post today, all about planner shopping, and the best places to buy your next planner! I know, it’s January and it’s a little late as most people have already moved into there new planner. But I know I have a habit of swapping and changing planners through-out the year, so there’s no harm in the post being up a little late right? If you remember this isn’t the first time I’ve done a post like this! Click here to read my 2017 version!
Planners, Planners and yep you guessed it more Planners
Going off the back of my last post planners come in all sorts of shapes, sizes prices, colours and formats these days, the planner world has grown so much since I joined around 7 years ago. I’ve seen trends change within a week to a few months, what was popular last week heck that changed yesterday! It’s so hard to keep up with the growing changes of the planner community these days but one thing that hasn’t changed… Our need to plan our lives in so many different ways and our need to find “Planner Peace” which in itself is a whole new blog post. So a whole three years after I wrote my first version of this post let’s see which Top Ten hit my list for 2021 and if anything changed much.
1. Passion Planner.
Now please don’t shout at me! I know Passion Planner is seriously struggling with there third party shipping company and with the global pandemic against them shipping globally, but Passion Planner is currently becoming a must-have planner in your stack. I don’t personally use a weekly planner at the moment although I do have the Undated A5 version which I guess being undated means well I could start it at any time, I’m not one of those that can just start a new planner any month are you?
Passion Planner claims to be more than your average planner, it claims that it’s a paper tool that can help break down your life into short term and long term goals and help bring those goals into a longterm current routine. Now the weekly obviously comes dated or un-dated for those who aren’t picky like me as well as an academic and also comes in three sizes, Small, Medium and Large. Small is A5 Size, Medium you would use the standard vertical style stickers inside and large is a whopper size! I guess your comfort in the size would depend largely on how you want to use it and also how big your handwriting is!
The Passion Planner is without a doubt a great way to map out your life, with its own road map to see where your life is going, what you need to work on etc etc. Covers to these planners are soft durable faux-leather and every year they have a bunch of new designs and colours. They have also recently brought out the New Faux Leather Hardcover too.
Prices for the weekly’s start at £23 and go up to £27 and they have an annual sale (which I’ll come back to at the end of the next section!). If your lucky you can sometimes find these planners on Amazon if your in the UK like myself and don’t want the additional shipping and customs charges which are hit and miss.
2. Passion Planner Daily.
The Passion Planner Daily, now what can I say. This I’ll start from the beginning. Having a daily planner scared me at first wondering if I’d actually use it is the main thing or if it would be a fad for a month then miss a week then pick up etc. Hold up! Passion Planner has FREE printable versions of ALL there planners, I know right! madness! So I actually printed off three months worth of daily inserts and punched them into a ring-bound planner to try before I buy the actual bound planners.
Yep, you guessed it I was sold! I found these daily planners for me not to plan out my day but to use at the end of each day as a memory planner, dump my thoughts and assess my feelings from the daily. It became a habit to fill this in daily and helped me focus on things I needed to do and overcome. So I bit the bullet and purchased 4. – I’ll come back to that.
The daily planner is designed to cover a little over 3 months with 93 un-dated layouts, yes you can start at any time and no I waited till January 1st! I just can’t start a planner on a weird day! They come with 4 monthly layouts just in case you do start halfway through a month, with the exception I believe of the black version. They all have a bright green ribbon, now I for one am currently using the Champagne version and this is insanely bright green and doesn’t match in the slightest so I’ll be sorting that out soon and coming out, personally, if I were Passion Planner I’d stick to a more general neutral colour because they stick out like a sore thumb, to be honest, it’s not that bad if you have the forest green version.
Anyway, The Passion Planner Daily has the usual Roadmap inside, yearly overview and self-check in’s too! It’s a really good memory planner I think and that’s what I’m using mine for. So price point they start at £19 and go up to £23 and usually its buy 3 get 1 free, so that’s really good if you’re wanting a whole year.
The downside. I’ve never purchased directly with Passion Planner until November and I can’t lie my experience was far from great. So I shopped in there “thanksgiving early sale” with the promise of delivery before Christmas in fact I actually purchased on the 19th of November, my shipping label was created on the 30th November and it didn’t reach DHL until the 11th December, now bare in mind cut of internationally was the 1st! So needless to say I wasn’t going to get it before Christmas, which kinda sucked as Daz had purchased them for me for my Christmas present. Now it’s January 13th and still no sign of them at all! nothing has moved on the tracking since the 16th December and basically, no one knows where they are or if they’ve been returned due to DHL deciding they wouldn’t move goods between Germany and the UK. I’ve of course reached out to Passion Planner with my disappointment I have received a full refund and told to keep them if they ever turn up. But who knows! Further looking into this shipping issue it seems without covid happening this happens every year! Not a great look on Passion Planner and it seems there are literally hundreds of customers in the same boat.
I hope they get the shipping issues sorted maybe one day I’ll try again, thankfully I’ve managed to pick up some daily planners through Facebook selling groups and eBay so all is not lost for me this year. But I still recommend these planners immensely!.
Yep, it’s Filofax, no matter who you ask about a brand of planner most people automatically think of Filofax, It’s still incredibly hard not to, the brand has grown from strength to strength over the years. For those who don’t know, Filofax was founded in the UK in 1921! That’s 100 years next year wow! They were significantly popular in the 1980s when it was regarded as the “must-have” accessory, that was until the electronic organizer was released.
Filofax’s organisers are traditionally leather-bound and are famous for there six-ring loose-leaf binder system. Their name originates from the abbreviation “file of facts”. For me, I don’t actually currently own a Filofax at all! (Insert shocked face) I know right! I sold my Saffinano Personal size about two years back it’s just too small for me!
With that said they still own a good chunk of the planner community being the ever-popular six-ring, planners across the globe love to chop and change there inserts. I really do recommend their planners, they’re good sturdy and very well made and certainly live up to every day carry. Sadly for me, my tastes change like the weather which is why I don’t own one and don’t have one.
Filofax planners can be purchased from there website in a price range of £25 right up to £355 – I may add there certainly in 3 years since I last visited the site they have more deluxe planner styles available now, personally for me I would not spend £355 on a planner I’d really need to know why it was worth that amount up front and not purchase and dislike.
4. The Happy Planner.
The Happy Planner was designed to inspire your daily planning is what they claim! They are customizable disc-bound planner systems, that literally come in hundreds of designs in three size choices, mini, classic and big!. Primarily the Classic (medium) is the most favourable and has several layout options, Vertical, Horizontal and Dashboard layouts. The Vertical style again being most popular for its similar style or some will argue “ripped off” from Erin Condren Planners just taller boxes.
Which every Happy Planner you choose the disc system means you can easily add and take things away from your planner and even buy larger rings to make your planner chunky! Happy Planner sell a whole array of note papers, extension packs to plan your budget, wellness and even a wedding!
You can literally change anything in and out of your planner, they even sell the disc bound punch which means you can add things easily.
Whilst Happy Planners are easily accessible in pretty much every part of the globe their price tag comes in pretty cheap too, although their accessories aren’t always as generous. I have a few different styles, happy planners, I use a mini-wellness to track my food intakes to track what sets off my IBS attacks, I use the classic notebooks to jot stuff I need to do down in and I’ve been known in the past to use them as a weekly planner and a memory planner. I do like the Happy Planners but they’re not planner peace for me, the Arc system annoyed me the pages get caught and can sometimes rip.
One thing I am a fan of with Happy Planner is their sticker books, whilst some say £20 can be expensive I’ve picked up some at really good half that price discounts and I use them across all my different planning systems and to be honest they are really good value when you put in perspective of a weekly kit can cost you up to £14 on Etsy.
Happy Planner never made the list in 2017 for simply my dislike for the arc system but over the past few years there popularity has increased a lot so that’s why they are in at number four.
5. Aura Estelle A5 Wide Cloud.
Aura Estelle is a Canadian company that hit the planner world by storm in 2020, although they’ve been around since 2018 they really went crazy last year with there new planner size A5 Wide. Aura Estelle claims they embody the dream of a more sustainable world together they want to weave fashion and function into peoples lives to help people live their best and most organised life.
AE for short, grew popular last year with there brand new sizing of an A5 Wide planner called the cloud! It became the most wanted planner of the year and people were literally crawling the website, Facebook groups in search of these planners, each time they were released they would literally sell out within seconds. Then they finally did presales – which is when I picked mine up too! (Yes I brought 2!). It was literally the only chance I could get to actually get my hands on one.
As well as A5 Wide Clouds, AE also stock there own A5, B6, Personal Wide, A6, Pocket and HB Weeks planners all of which are all handmade. I’m pretty sure I’m right in saying all of there planners are premium Vegan Leather (that’s faux leather between us #eyerollmuch). What makes these great? They’re a unique design, and they’re fully compatible with standard A5 Hole Punches YAY!!!!
They come in various colour options and also hardware colour options too, I can vouch for the two I have, Black Cashmere with silver hardware which is my everyday weekly planner and I also have a Rose Quartz with silver hardware (I’m not one for gold rings sorry). The only thing I will say is the Rose Quartz is a very very pale pink and will easily get marked if you’re wanting to put your planner in your handbag and use it as an everyday carry.
So what else is great… being A5 Wide AE also sell there own vertical inserts which oh joy! Are the same as Erin Condren inserts with the exception of the monthly there a little different. I’ve been in my AE since June 2020 and I’m not moving out anytime soon.
Cost-wise, the actual planner is around $79 and doesn’t come with inserts they are additional, now I picked mine up in a preorder which came with inserts so ordering two planners with the inserts actually gave me 3 years worth of inserts so I’m set till 2023 haha. I did pay around $90 each and I got customs on these planners when they reached the UK which was totally expected. But oh so worth it. They may be expensive but the way I look at it is they’re a shell and if you look after them they will last you years!
6. Plum Paper Planner.
Plum Paper has again been going strength to strength with there personalised planners for the last few years. I’m still yet to get my hands on one of these planners to actually make a decent review but maybe in the future. They are a stationery company based in San Diego, CA, USA. They initially were a wedding stationery company but it wasn’t long before they had their own line of planners and notebooks.
Now Plum Paper planners come in three sizes being A5, 7″ x 9″ and the huge 8.5″ x 11″ and can be customised to your needs. On a quick glance, it looks as if you can pick your outer pattern cover along with the option of adding a monogram, quote or name to the front of it too. Then the next section you can choose what you’d like layout you’d like your planner to be and this is where it’s interesting there are absolutely loads of different layouts to choose from. What’s more your then able to add customised texts to your pages this is limited to a few sections but still, I’ve not seen another brand offer this. Then you can choose the colour scheme of your planner and currently, they offer three options or at least they do whilst I’m doing this post. I’m going to add here that whilst I’m writing this I’m on their website looking at options and at this point, I’m literally blown away with the options you have! I’ll continue…
Well next up is the option of binding and you can choose to have metal coil binding which is similar to the Erin Condren, Disc Punched which is similar to Happy Planner or none and when it comes you can punch it yourself! Then you can choose your start month and the number of months you’d like inside. Once you’ve chosen that you can add your own special holidays and special dates if you wish to on the monthly pages this is a really nice personal touch I must say. Finally, the last section is where you can add all different sections to your planner from meal planning, business planning to creative and more their is loads of options.
Price does depend on what you add to the planner but for a 13-month planner with the wedding section and 10 additional dotted notes pages at the back the total came to $39.75 so I feel this could be a really good fair priced planner. I can’t comment on shipping etc as I’ve never ordered with them.
7. Foxy Fix Notebooks.
Foxy Fix is based yep you guessed it in America again, We seriously have a lack of planner manufacturers here in the UK. Based in Idaho all the Foxy Fix planners are made in their own leather studio. Foxy Fix Notebooks come in rings, strings and notebook covers and prices start anywhere from $20 for a simple pen holder.
The one thing I will point out here is this planner shop is 100% genuine leather which has natural markings such as scars, light wrinkling, marbling, colour variations and other natural range markings. Foxy Fix was popular as a Travellers notebook back in 2019, I have around 6/7 different foxys and in the past, I’ve had the rings too though I didn’t get on with the size I had so sold them on. The planners sort of keep their value depending on the type of leather and what size you originally post but are quite easy to sell on if needed.
Each Notebook or planner is handcrafted and therefore becomes a truly custom planner of your choice in material and colour and added extras to the spine and letting or designs to the front of the planner/notebook. They average around 30 business days to ship your order which does depend on the amount of customization you’ve requested. There are also 8 different sizes from Micro to A5 to choose from.
Coming from the US you will incur customs charges as standard with all orders from Foxy Fix, I personally love mine and though I don’t use them often they are a good solid investment.
8. Moleskine Planner.
Moleskine is still quite a popular brand albeit more popular with business planning and business people who work in office environments. They have various options of day to day, weekly and monthly planning to suit anyone’s need.
Most of Moleskine’s planners are hardbound I’m still yet to try one out but I have seen there wedding planner which I was gifted by a friend. The paper is yellow! nooo!!! that’s the wedding planner so I can speak for the actual planners I’m afraid.
Cost wise they vary when on sale from upwards of £12gbp and I do believe they are an EU Company but I’m not 100%.
9. Sugar Paper Planner
Sugar Paper Planner is a planner all the way from Sunny Los Angeles. They are a classy style planner which is inside its own cover and hounds an o-wire binding.
Now Sugar Paper Planner appeared on my list in 2017 with only a few options of their planner. I’m pleased to see that there are an array of choices for the planner now including different colours a few pattern choices and a fabric option.
I cannot claim to have ever seen one of these planners in the flesh so can’t get you my full opinion I can only tell you, from what I know and what I’ve seen about the planner.
They claim the planner itself is “extra-thick paper”, no idea how thick this is something missing from the site. Its size is a 7.25″ x 8″ planner which is a decent size and they even have a small spiral planner now. Again depending on what you require. It is a twelve-month planner with the usual weekly week to view and monthly layout.
I believe you can also have it personalised. Cost-wise they are $28 up to $36 and I think personalisation is an added-on cost.
10. Erin Condren LifePlanner Spiral Bound.
2020 was a massive year for the planner world and in fact the entire world with Covid19. Erin Condren the founder made a huge mistake in 2020 which didn’t go down very well at all in the planner community and ended a lot of peoples connection with the brand because of her actions, which I don’t need to go into here but if you google it I’m pretty sure you’ll find out why.
With that said they are still one of the top ten trending planners around. Made in the USA and shipped globally through fed-ex and sometimes DHL, The company is going from strength to strength despite the errors of its Founder.
EC is known for its layout options of the ever-popular vertical and hourly and less popular the horizontal layout. As well as it’s fun themes yearly of neutral and the colour editions of each planner. Now back in 2017 on my post I expressed that a lot of peoples drawbacks were the fact it was spiral bound and you couldn’t add and take away things with great ease, however, in 2019 EC brought out the binder version. Yay! But hang on it comes with one MASSIVE issue. The standard ring set up IS NOT the same as a normal ring system, of course, it isn’t it’s a business move to make people purchase their version of a punch. Which I may add is very flimsy and totally pointless in having and a direct rip off of Filofax’s original punch.
I’ve always been Team TC Vertical and in 2020 I purchased the binder version for the remainder of 2020 and for 2021, My story is this… I work for the National Health Service here in the UK and I cannot and will NOT condone what Erin did herself and no amount of apology will make up for that, so since I had several issues with my order (which they were all put right and ended in me not having one but three planners). With what happened I didn’t feel right in continuing in an EC so long story short I sold the entire lot. BUT on the back of that one may ask why I still plan in my wedding EC planner and that simply is because my wedding was ruined in 2020 by Covid19 and quite possibly again in 2021 and at $60 a pop I can’t afford to replace a third time and not only that but no-where sells what I’m looking for like literally zilch (wedding planners is a massive gap in the market for anyone who makes planners!!! – get in touch with me I’ll gladly help!). So yeah I’m still using my 24-month wedding planner.
Pricing… well… they are only available to purchase customization direct from Erin Condren’s website, which as they are an American company, you’ll expect to pay a hefty $25 (£20 GBP) shipping to the UK. The Planner itself is anywhere from $55 (in the range of £45 GBP) Without customisation. You can purchase the planners without customisation on Amazon Global and also now and again pick them up on eBay. There is also the cost of Custom’s to consider when ordering outside of the USA, I do know that EC now charges all customs and VAT upfront so there are no extra surprises once delivered through fed-ex, In all retrospect, you can expect to pay around £90-£100 for a custom planner, shipping and customs – personally, I’d of paid it before but not again not unless something drastically changes with the ethics of EC herself.