Day Designer Planner Review

I have a “thing” about planners. Andrew makes fun of me because I’m usually tempted to buy a new one long before the old one has run out. I love the newness, the crispness, the feeling of starting afresh. I’m also really tempted by pretty pictures of beautifully decorated pages filled with neat handwriting. 🙂 

Pre-James, weekly layouts were my jam. I liked being able to see my entire week at once, and since I used it primarily for work and my then-job as a company accountant was very cyclical and didn’t require detailed planning, I didn’t need a whole lot of room for writing. But then along came my current job billing and overseeing the financial status of about 200 grants at LSU, and along came James, and I found myself needing a lot more daily space.

In a startling coincidence (my husband finds this suspicious), Day Designer was having a sale on their daily planners a couple of weeks ago (normally $59, on sale for $30) and I bought one. It shipped really quickly, and I’ve been using it for twelve days now. I really like it a lot. It’s kind of hefty at 9.75″ x 9″ x 1.5″ and 2.1 pounds, but I generally carry everything but the kitchen sink to work with me anyway, so it doesn’t slow me down.

I chose the Black Spotty design, which surprised me a little because I’m normally a floral lover, but something about the black and white with minty accents appealed to me. It does look a little like a Dalmatian. Maybe I’m related to Cruella de Vil.


I’m also a big fan of the daily layouts: divided in half, with hourly timeslots from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the left side and a to-do checklist on the right. There’s a quote on every page (I have to admit I don’t always read it, but when I do it’s usually pretty good), and space under that for “Today’s Top Three” and a little grid for “Due,” “Dinner,” “Dollars,” and “Don’t Forget.” I could probably do without that and just have it for additional note space, but it doesn’t really take away from the planner’s functionality and occasionally I do use the Don’t Forget space. At the bottom is a place for notes and another for “Daily Gratitude,” which I really, really love. Like many people (especially mamas), I don’t have time to journal as much as I’d like to, so incorporating some journalling elements into the planner is a brilliant touch.


I use this planner for both my personal and professional lives, so to keep things organized I bought color coding dots and assigned everything a color: yellow for work meetings/events, green for personal and baby appointments, orange for work tasks, and pink for personal tasks/reminders. I’m sure there are prettier colors out there, but these were Amazon Prime. 🙂 [By the way, “party bouncers” refers to bouncy castles/water slides for my son’s first birthday party, not beefy guys in black tees, although that would be pretty awesome at a first birthday party.]

The monthly spreads are on two pages and have nice big boxes for writing, a notes section, plenty of header space for doodling/scribbling, and – something I love – little flags on holidays.


This planner is big and minimalistic enough that if you wanted to make it super pretty and decorative, you totally could. I would love to, but I don’t have the extra time. Maybe in a couple years.

Two nitpicky things that I don’t like about the Day Designer planner: 1. I wish it were printed in black instead of grey, because I have bad eyesight that’s getting worse and sometimes the grey lines are really hard to see in dimmer lighting, and 2. I wish it came with a snap-in bookmark that would make it easier to find the current day. I’ve been using a paperclip on the top of the page to mark my day, but it creases the page which frustrates my persnickety soul and doesn’t really look cute. I know that other planner sites sell bookmarks that you can snap into the o-rings, so I might eventually buy one to use with this planner.

Those are really all of the negatives, though. I love, love this planner. I really think it might be The One.

For the next six months, anyway.

Happy planning!


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