Top 6 Planners to Keep Any Mom Organized

What kind of mom are you?  Paper planner momma or electronic planner momma?

It’s a new camp of mommy-wars, and it doesn’t end there.  If you are in the paper planner camp, specifically which paper planner are you?  An Erin Condren Groupie or Day Designer Doll?  I totally just made these wars up, but once you actually dive into the world of planners, you will realize there is a distinct club among each one with private Facebook groups and endless YouTube “unboxings.”  And I won’t even touch on the Filofax camp…that’s a whole other post!

Now is the perfect time to run through the list of top 6 planners to keep any mom organized.  With back-to-school, comes a roll-out of new planners!  I realize not everyone grabs a new planner each August.  Some wait until the start of the new year, but regardless of when you need a new planner, now is a great time to scope out which brand you want to try!  Many sell-out just as soon as they are released so “planning ahead” is key – pun intended.

And yes, this list is totally based on my opinion, but I do have experience being a paper planner addict for years.  Stalking the FedEx truck for my Life Planner in 2011 and calling far too many stores throughout the U.S. until I found the Day Designer with the black and white stripe cover that was sold out online just last year.   I’ve tried many and polled other friends who use the others.  I’m in the Facebook groups, watching the YouTube videos, and reading the organization blogs…in the planner trenches now reporting back!

Top Planners

In no particular order… Well, alphabetical because one must be organized when discussing planners…

Day Designer by Whitney English

Price :: $59.00
About ::  The Day Designer is a daily agenda created to keep the working professional, business owner, busy mom, and generally over-scheduled person organized.  Each month is tabbed with a monthly layout, but the uniqueness comes in the daily layout featuring four sections – top three to-do list, running to-do list, an hour by hour schedule, and gratitude section.
Customization Options :: None except for the three cover options that change every year
What’s New This Year :: Smaller size.  There is also a less expensive line available in limited quantities at Target {pictured below on left}
Pros ::  Full page for every day with a double column: one for schedule and one for to-do lists will keep you very organized, simple, professional look
Cons ::  Cost and the size of the planner is rather large and thick.  Hard to throw in purse.  May be too detailed for someone who doesn’t like running to-do lists or busy schedules.


Used By :: Houston Moms Blog Contributor {yours truly} Chelsea

I chose the Whitney English Day Designer after using the Erin Condren Life Planner for years because I loved the daily spread of to-do lists and hourly schedule all on one page. I’m a list maker through and through, so although a bit bulky and not for everyone, this planner just gets me!  I use the weekly planner version from Target {pictured above on left} to keep my family and nanny on track with activities and the daily agenda {the original Day Designer, pictured above on right} as my personal planner.

Kate Spade Agenda

Price :: $30-$36
About ::  A beautiful 17 month agenda with several cover and size options that are sleek, but playful.  Exactly what you’d come to expect from Kate Spade!
Customization Options :: None
What’s New This Year ::  Covers often change throughout the year
Pros ::  Price, available in two different sizes, fun covers
Cons ::  No customization options


Used By :: Houston Moms Blog Contributor Breonna

Okay – obviously, it’s Kate Spade which is an essential part of my life. Real talk.  I like the tabs, the cute quotes, the monthly view PLUS a weekly view. there’s a great section for notes as well which helps me keep a wish list and track things to do on a long-term yearly scale.

Life Planner by Erin Condren

Price :: $50-$75 + Add-ons
About :: Known for it’s bright colors and endless possibilities for customization, this planner has a serious cult following!  Just receiving your box is a treat with surprise items included like free gift tags and personalized labels.
Customization Options :: Endless!  You can customize the cover and purchase add-ons to make the planner uniquely yours including pen holders, attached notebooks, labels, and stickers.
What’s New This Year ::  Now available in both vertical and horizontal weekly layouts
Pros ::  Good size, compact enough to fit in purse, many ways to customize, bright, happy, and fun to order and open
Cons :: Cost, some find the bright colors, tabs, and stickers not as professional as other planners, but that’s really a personal preference.

erin condren planner

Used By :: Houston Moms Blog Contributor Kristy

I’ve been a Life Planner girl since it came out. My favorite features have been that I can customize my cover, that it has a monthly at-a-glance spread, and it has weekly, vertical day organizers. Every day is organized into three sections, leaving me plenty of room to fill out my individual days. I love the bright colors and themes throughout the planners and brand, too.

May Designs Planner

Price :: $23.00
About ::  The super popular {and Oprah favorite} May Books can be turned into a monthly planner with a monthly overview layout and weekly spreads.
Customization Options :: Cover only.  Choose your cover design and add your name or monogram.
What’s New This Year :: More cover options available
Pros :: Can add your name or monogram on the cover, many covers to choose from, light and small so easy to have in purse!
Cons :: Soft cover, not much detail on pages, small spaces to write


Used By :: Houston Moms Blog Contributor Amy

I chose the May Designs planner because I needed something to keep track of my personal life {I already use the Erin Condren Teacher Planner for work-related tasks and dates}.  I love that it is lightweight, can easily fit in practically any purse, and that there are so many personalization options.

Plum Paper

Price :: $31-$35 + any add-ons you choose
About ::  Plum Paper stands out because of it’s lower price point, endless add-ons to make it truly yours, and the fact that you can start your planner at any month!  You can really pick and choose the sections that will work for your life.
Customization Options :: Cover, sections, and various weekly section options
What’s New This Year ::  New cover designs and new tabbed sections that can be added including home, blog, baby, and direct sales.
Pros :: Great customization options at a lower price point than similar planners
Cons :: Lack of daily page layout


Used By :: Houston mom of two, Sarah H.

I did some planner research for quite some time after deciding my cute generic Target planner just wasn’t working out.  I found a planner designer I loved and really wanted to take the plunge; however, they were sold out, and I just felt guilty spending that much on a planner.  A few things drew me into the Plum Paper planner: the cost was lower, I could personalize the front, and I could custom label the rows on the weekly pages.  I love that the planner has a month at a glance, a place to make a”focus” list for the week, notes pages for each month, and to do list pages for each month.

Simplified Planner by Emily Ley

Price :: $58.00
About ::  Emily Ley is a boutique lifestyle brand established in 2008 by Southern Mama, Emily Ley.  The Simplified Planner was created to be a “simple” way for busy moms and women to manage their day-to-day.  This planner is similar to the Day Designer in both size and the fact that it has a page for every day, however it’s brighter with less going on per page.
Customization Options :: None except for the three cover options
What’s New This Year :: New cover designs, smaller size
Pros :: Daily layout, clean look, matching accessories available including a brand new collaboration with MayBooks
Cons ::  Price, quickly sell-out at each release date, no customization options


Used By :: Houston mom of one, Sara T.

I enjoy using this planner because it provides a page per day, which allows me plenty of room to fill it up with work appointments, baby appointments, and social engagements! The day page also contain areas where I can jot down what I want to cook that day – which helps me meal plan for the week. It also has a section on the day page for a to-do list, which for a type A planner like me, comes in super handy to plan out my day. It also has a full calendar for the month which lets me get a snap shot of what my month will hold without flipping to the day pages. I recommend this planner for the multi-tasking mommy and mommies-to-be!

Now the big question remains :: Which planner will you choose?

Still didn’t get enough planner talk?  You can watch my Life Planner reveal vlogs here and here and read more about the differences between the Life Planner and Day Designer here!  #trueplannerdorkrighthere


  1. I’m pretty partial to the Life Planner myself! I tried the Simplified Planner for 2015 and it’s been fine, but I don’t think I need all the space it provides even with O in school, and being on the school board and the board of the mother’s club. I’m switching back to EC for 2016!

  2. I used to love EC but now I am a Plum Paper girl. I love the idea of Whitney English so I will probably look to her’s and Plum Paper the next time I get one! There is something great about getting a new planner! So fresh and clean!


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