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The Simplified Planner vs. The Day Designer

I have been using Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner for several years, and I have seen it evolve over that time. However, this past year I decided to try out the Day Designer by Whitney English. I thought I would write a bit about the two, and what I ultimately decided to do for this year.



I started out with the first Simplified Planner in binder form, and I loved it. I blogged about it here a few years ago. I bought my second Simplified Planner in the gorgeous turquoise, and I actually still use it today to go along with my planner. Though the binder was too big to carry with me to appointments, it works amazing as a hub for all of my home and business papers. It is perfect to keep on my desk with business forms, lists of blog post ideas, notes, plans for upcoming designs, etc.

Shortly before Emily Ley released her spiral bound Simplified Planner, I heard about The Day Designer. I really loved the clean black and white stripes, and I had several friends that used it so I thought I would give it a try. The Day Designer is specifically designed for Entrepreneurs, it has lots of extras. There are worksheets in the front, and lots of extra boxes on the daily planner pages. Each day has a “Today’s Top Three” for your top “To Do’s” as well as an hourly schedule, to do section, daily gratitude, download section, and boxes for due, dollars, dinner, and don’t forget.



However, as I used the planner throughout the year, there were several things that I didn’t feel totally worked for me. For me, it seemed a little busy for my needs. I think for a lot of creative entrepreneurs it is probably perfect, but for me it was just a bit too much. I never used the front worksheets, because I felt that Lara Casey’s power sheets worked a little better for me. I left a lot of the little boxes on the daily pages blank, because I didn’t have a specific use for them, and though I was initially very excited about the ‘Today’s top three” section, I found that I didn’t like having my to do list separated on different parts of the page. Another silly thing was that the pages were cream, instead of white…and my white loving heart really wanted those crisp white pages.

I think the Day Designer is an amazing product for business women, and I love the sleek black and white stripes, but I was feeling ready to head back to my Simplified Planner.

I looked at pictures, debated and even chatted with some friends who had used both. Ultimately, I decided to go with the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley. I have been following Emily Ley for years, and I adore her heart, if you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I have a passion for simplifying, and living intentionally, and I love that she shares that passion. The biggest reason I decided to use the Simplified Planner…is because it is Simplified! Other planners that I have used or looked at seem to have lots going on, and though all those “extras” might be helpful to some women…for me it was just a distraction. I LOVE the clean, simplicity of the Simplified Planner. The daily pages are crisp, clean, and white, and all they have listed is the hourly breakdown, a “To Do” section, a dinner box, and a notes section.

I think both of these planner are created by amazing women, and that they both have great features. The simplicity of the Simplified Planner is what I truly love and need, and I am excited to dive in for 2015! I would love to hear what kind of planner you use! Leave a comment below and let me know!



images from Emily Ley and The Day Designer
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Amanda A

For several years, I had used the Moleskin monthly pocket planner. Because I work two jobs and neither of them is based at home, I needed something that I could carry easily with me. Then this past year, I started using Google Calendar for work appointments, and then once I learned how practical it was, I now use it to keep track of my personal schedule, work schedule, and even Bible reading schedule! I love that I can’t misplace it (as I’m prone to do) and I can access it on my phone, tablet, or either work computer. Maybe one day I’ll have an at-home office that has a desk with space for a pretty planner. :-)


I love that you mentioned the cream vs white pages. I purchased the gold/white striped Day Designer and ended up giving it to a friend for the same reasons you chose the SP. It was a bit too cluttered for my taste and it had cream colored paper… I love bright white paper! I have seen some Day Designers that do have the white paper and I really, really wish the Simplified Planner had a longer time range on the days. My schedule never stops at 7pm. So glad you wrote this blog post… I was wondering about this since I noticed you switched over for 2015. :)


Yes! I kind of felt silly mentioning the color of the pages…but it really was one of the things that I wanted to change.


We use Google Calendar for some business things, I love that it is free and that you can share it with other people. Emily Ley will be releasing a Simplified Planner app at the end of this year! Super excited about that!

I love having a planner, and I love the idea of a planner, but I don’t use them as effectively as I want to! It’s hard to justify an expense of I don’t even use a cheap planner well. Inspiring to hear how you do it!

Cara Cobble Trantham

Thank you for helping me pick one!

Kay Beckman

I use a calender! I really need a good planner.

Lisa Blackman

I love this planner!

Laurie Cannon Griggs

I love the colors and the clean lines. ..planner envy

Megan Christine

I would love to win this! Such an awesome planner

In my first year of home schooling my freshman daughter. This planner would be such a blessing!

Amber Kemp

Oh how I would love this! Stylish & will help me be an organized mama

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