The Planner Showdown

I don’t know about you but I am busy and I have tried my absolute best to get the hang of digital calendars…but I just can’t! I am very tactile and I love a pretty planner. So, I went on the search for a nice planner that could work for my photography business and my duties as a mom and homemaker.

I was so happy when I came across these two amazing planners that I could hardly decide which one I wanted…luckily the decision was made for me. The Emily Ley Simplified Planner was sold out. So, I got The Day Designer by Whitney English and used it for the remaining half of the year and then Purchased the Simplified Planner for the following year. My little planner loving heart was so happy.

Planner, Simplified Planner, Day Desinger

As you can see both Planners are adorable and they now both have more cover choices but these are the original covers. Pictured is the 2014 Day Designer and 2015 Simplified Planner.

The Day Designer, Simplified Planner

The Original Day Designer cover is very telling of Whitney’s style and so classic.

Planner, Simplified Planner, Day Desinger

The Day Designer has a 2 page spread for the yearly “at a glance” I loved this because I could write down recurring things such as quarterly taxes and business fees.

Planner, Simplified Planner, Day Desinger

The layout of the Day Designer is amazing and I love the Monthly tab pages. They are made out of a thicker card stock and have a spot for notes front and back. I used the notes area to write down my money coming in and out and things I needed to purchase. This helped me so much because I am very visual.

Another great part about the Day Designer is the top 3 section. This gives you a place to choose your top 3 “to dos” so that you can make sure you get them done. The main schedule is hourly from 5am to 9pm and then has an equal amount of places for “to dos”. The main daily pages also include a place for (Due, Dollars, Dinner and Don’t forget) and at the bottom it has ( Download and Daily Gratitude).

To be entirely honest I did not really use these to their full potential. I used the Dollars for amounts spent and received until I could put them into my tax spread sheet. I wish that the schedule was in 30 min or 15 min increments…but understand space is an issue.

The Day Designer, Simplified Planner

The weekend is combined on one page and still features the top three “to dos” but that is it for the weekend. I really missed the To Do section on the weekend as I usually had quite a few. I ended up covering up the schedule and created my own to do section. then if I had an appointment or a session, I just wrote the time in and highlighted it.

From what I understand the “download” section is pretty much for any notes you may have…though it really threw me off for a while. I love the idea of having a “gratitude” section but when I did not fill it out, I kind of felt bad.

As you can see from the above picture, the tabs were kind of bent, this is because they actually stick out past the cover pages and thus has no protection. For someone who keeps their book on their desk this is not a problem, but I bring mine with me everywhere.

Planner, Simplified Planner, Day Desinger

Again a very clean and classic back cover. Each corner is protected with gold plates and the gold strap is for holding your place…but I never did use it.

Simplified Planner,

This cover makes me so happy! I just love the bright colors and the simple stripes. Again, it is sort of a mut point now as both companies offer different covers now.

Planner, Simplified Planner, Day Desinger

I was super bummed with the year at a glance section at first but have since found that I can still write my 3 or 4 recurring events and that I do not really miss the bigger one.

Simplified Planner

As you can see the Simplified Planner has more room in the schedule with 30 minute time slots but the time has gone from 7am to 7pm….Now that I own two businesses an am raising a toddler I find that my day starts long before 7am and goes well past 7pm. As much as I would love it to go from 5-9, I am not willing to give up my 30 minute time slots. I also feel like there is better use of space on the to do side as well. The notes is still plenty big enough and it has more room for dinner. This is great for jotting down recipe ideas as well.



Planner, Simplified Planner, Day Desinger

The weekend page is still split but looks slightly different from The Day Designer. Each day gets 3 to dos…which I still find is not enough and the schedule is split into am, lunch and pm. Each has 3 lines. I do like this set up a little better and think it is a good use of space. The notes section gets used quite a bit with more To Dos.

Then if you look at the bottom corner you will see Weekly Prep..the Mom/Housewife in me LOVES this spot! It really helps me prepare for the coming week. Oh and I can’t forget..there is a spot for a happy memory from the week.

Planner, Simplified Planner, Day Desinger

As you can see this also has the gold corner protecters the main difference is that the tabs are flush with the cover so they stay nice and pretty. It also comes with the gold strap on the back and I still do not use it.

Okay, now I am going to give you my 100% BIASED opinion.

The Day Designer

I was so in love with this planner and had I never heard of Emily Ley I would be happy for the rest of my life. This planner is amazing and came with BEAUTIFUL packaging…and I am all about packaging. The pages turn very easy, which I love. My main concern was the 1 hour time blocks and that I felt like I had a lot of wasted space on the daily pages. I love that the month tabs are thick and have space for more in depth notes. The weekend set up was not my favorite..but I honestly do not think I will be happy until I get my weekends in two separate pages.

The Simplified Planner

I was so excited to try out my Simplified Planner but was pretty disappointed when it showed up in just a clean plastic slip…There was not nearly as much time and thought put into packaging and I am still pretty bummed about it. At first I totally regretted my decision to switch planners. The year at a glance was too small, the monthly tabs were just added to regular pages and thus were very thin and I did not like that the day was from 7-7  AND the pages are not easy to turn at all. Now, months later I realized how much I don’t mind some of those things. I still do not like the monthly tabs BUT the fact that they are colorful makes up for that. Pages are still hard to turn but I can deal with it. Again, I do not love the weekend page but I am still holding out for a 2 page weekend. Things I love about the Simplified Planner are the 30 minute time slots, I feel like I use the entire page, my tabs do not get messy, Holidays are included on the Month at a glance page, Weekly prep on Sundays.


Personally I do not think you can go wrong with either planner and I feel they are both well worth the is where I get very Biased. I absolutely LOVE all things Emily Ley. I follow her on Instagram and Facebook and fell in love with her as a person and creator/business owner. She inspires me when she openly shares about her struggles and he love for God. Her posts make me want to be her best friend and bake her cookies…I don’t bake cookies. This is not saying that I do not like Whitney English, I follow her on Instagram as well but I just feel like I click more with Emily.

Does their personality really matter? Nope, but as a photographer I fully understand creating a relationship with clients and Emily just so happens to have caught my attention. So, as for me, I will be sticking with the Simplified Planner…even if The Day Designer comes out with my dream 2 page weekend pages. I am a firm believer in brand loyalty and I have found a brand and creator that I love and want to support in any way I can.

I hope this was semi helpful for you.

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