How to Choose a Planner for the New Year

Reported by Maria del Pinto

2016 Daily Planner Collection and Review
2016 Daily Planner Collection

In choosing a Planner for the New Year, there are a lot of considerations you have to make in how to choose a planner that is right for you. There are so many choices out there, so I thought I would give a brief review on some of the planners I own to give you some insight into just a few planners.

2016 Daily Planners - Spiral Bound Planners Review
2016 Daily Planners – Spiral Bound Planners Review

The first thing you need to consider while shopping for a planner is what style you like and can work with. There are many types of planners, however below is a list of just a few:

  • Spiral Bound Planners
  • Disc Bound System
  • Binder System
  • Hand Sewn Planners
  • Midori Style
Spiral Bound Daily Planner vs. Non-spiral Bound Planner
Spiral Bound Daily Planner vs. Non-spiral Bound Planner

Additionally, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself when considering a planner:

  • Do you like a plain planner or a fancy planner?
  • Do you want a customized planner or not?
  • Do you like tabs or not? Do you like your tabs laminated? Do you prefer them to stick out beyond the cover or not?
  • Do prefer a planner to lay flat or not?
  • Do you like ring binders vs. spiral binders? (The metal spiral allows to book to lay flat which makes it easier to decorate and write in)
  • What quality of metal do you prefer the spiral to be made of?  What size of spiral (these do very according to the size of the planner and any add-ons you may request for the planner).
  • Do you prefer the disc bound system and the ease of customization that they offer?
  • Do you like diary style planners?
  • Do you want the ability to customize your planner?
  • What types of covers are you attracted to (card stock, leather, plastic, etc.)?
  • Do you prefer a horizontal or vertical weekly layout?
  • Do you prefer a Monday or Sunday start on your weekly layout?
  • Do you prefer a month on two pages or all on one?
  • What size squares do you want on your monthly pages?
  • What type of paper quality do you want in a planner?
  • What size do you want your planner?
  • What is the ideal weight you would like in a planner?
  • What are the ideal dimensions you would enjoy in your planner?
  • Do you want a colorful planner or a simple black and white planner?
  • What are you going to use the planner for?
  • Do you need an inspirational planner or one geared to a specific purpose?
  • How much are you willing to spend on a planner?
  • How portable do you need your planner to be?

As you can see, there really are a lot of variables involved in choosing the perfect planner. Personally, my biggest consideration is what I intend to use the planner for.

I purchased each of my planners for a specific purpose, which is why they vary so much in price and style. I have found that I prefer my pages to lay flat while I write, so most of my planners afford me the ability to do that.  for those that do not, I use clips or elastic to hold the plages in place.

I personally love planners and already have six of them for 2016. Currently, I am lacking a “Hobonichi” planner but I have high hopes that I will get one soon. Hobonichi Planners are great for those of us who are list makers. In the mean time, I will do a short review on the ones I have right now over the next few weeks. So I invite you to come back to this blog to read my brief informative overview of each planner and see some of the details each planner offers.

Note:  By the way, CHA is coming next week, so leave a comment below and let us know what types of products you are interested in having us search the show for to bring to you on the website in the coming months!

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CC Contributor

CC Contributor


4 Responses to How to Choose a Planner for the New Year

  1. Avatar
    Miste Anders-Clemons January 6, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

    I have discovered that I am a “Planner Addict” and was doing everything possible to downsize by planners to only two this year. I just wanted to let you know that I really wish I had read your article before purchasing my planner just so I could have taken all of those factors into consideration. In spite of that I think I did pretty well for myself and I have the Leonie Dawson 2016 Creating your shining year workshop and planner and monthly planner from Target all are spiral.

  2. Avatar
    Ann in PA January 6, 2016 at 6:15 pm #

    I am interested in a binder type planner. Have not bought one yet, as I am undecided on how the different covers will hold up over a year of wear and tear. (constantly being moved from a briefcase, or purse, to desk)

    • Avatar
      Maria Del Pinto January 7, 2016 at 1:15 am #

      Hi Ann, the advantage of the binder type planners is that they can be used from year to year (depending on the quality of the binder and materials it is made of). I have an old Filofax that I have been using for years. I also love that the binder type planners make it easy to switch binders (if you own more than one binder) to suit my mood or outfit. They are so versatile and easy to customize.

  3. Avatar
    Deena March 19, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

    Well, finally… someone with all the right questions! After reading this article, I think I’ll be able to go check out one of the craft stores and make a planner decision… I know I need a planner, but it’s getting hard to choose just one… I don’t have time to use multiple planners… at least not at the moment… thanks for all the great info!