Fashion,  School School School

My Favorite Planners

Sorry for the quietness around here. We’re finally back at school, and for all the planning I did for THAT, I neglected to do enough planning for here on the blog so I could have some posts scheduled. I knew I wasn’t going to have time this first week to write new content, but I guess I just couldn’t bring myself to actually admit it and plan for it.

My bad.

But we’re back today with the last of the Back to School Week posts! Which is, ironically, about planners!

I’m very picky with my planners. If I don’t like it enough, I simply won’t use it. There have been years where I’ve gone through 5 or 6 in the quest to find something I like enough to keep me organized. And so I’ve gathered here what I have, over the years, narrowed down as the best.

At least for me.

Now, I prefer my agendas to be yearly rather than academic – the academic planners worked for me while I was in high school and college, but as soon as I hit grad school, I feel like the yearly format (Jan-Dec) simply work better for me. I guess I have more to do in the summers now! But all of these options do have an academic option – except the Lilly Pulitzer, which is actually an August-December of the following year format, so works as an academic planner anyway.

Agenda <3

First, we have the Vera Bradley agenda. I used this one a few years ago (in a different pattern of course), and was astounded by how well it held up over the whole year. The pages inside are nice and thick, so I could use my favorite gel pens without worrying about bleeding or transparency, and the set up is great, with weekly/monthly pages that have lots of space to write under each day. That said, they have seemed to have changed these a bit since I used them – mine had a hard cover protecting the spiral binding so that it didn’t get all squished and warped by catching on things in my backpack. So I can’t speak to how well the binding holds up anymore, but based on my experience with the next planner, I wouldn’t be hopeful.

Second, we have a Lilly Pulitzer planner. I used this for about six months last year (again different pattern – I just picked my favorite of the new ones), and I loved the set up. It was pretty similar to the Vera Bradley in almost every way actually… except the stickers it came with were nicer. That said, I was disappointed with the binding. Within a few months of floating around in my backpack the spiral loops ended up all squished and janky. I ended up having to switch out for a new planner over the summer. Now, that said, I’m very hard on my planners, so if you’re someone who keeps theirs in a purse, or, well, isn’t as rough and tumble with their stuff as I am, this is totally a great thing.

Third, we have the one I’m currently using this year, a simple Moleskine. It’s plain, black, and boring, yes. But the setup on the inside is SO GREAT, particularly for me because I keep all my planning together in one thing – blog and personal. This Moleskine doesn’t have a monthly view, but the weekly is pretty fantastic. Why? Because there’s a whole lined page next to each week for notes and other stuff. I use the living daylights out of this feature. Grocery lists, blog post ideas, to do lists, you name it. It’s awesome. It has also held up tremendously well to the beating it gets hanging out in my backpack – the lack of spiral binding is a huge plus. In the end however, I must admit that I’m missing my pretty patterns and colors, which is why I think for next year I’m going to try something new, which I’ve also included in the collage.

The Kate Spade planner seems like it would be the perfect lovechild of the Vera Bradley and the Lilly Pulitzer planners – with a covered binding so that it would hold up better. The only question is going to be if, come December, I feel like spending $40 bucks on a planner is worth it for the visual appeal, or if I should just bite the boring bullet and buy another Moleskine because of how perfect the functionality was.

Do any of you have a perfect planner? What’s your agenda of choice?

Come visit me at!


  • jenn

    oh I’m soooo specific about my planners! In college I found a mead planner that had the best layout in the world. It started with the year as a monthly calendar (so I can lay out all my big planning for the semester), then it had the year by week…..but on the one side it had a large (mainly empty) page for notes while the other side had each day listed out. It also put a line down the middle of each day so that you could separate out your “work” and “life” plans. The best part was that it came in a fun color and it always had cute little doodles on the pages/covers. I loved it and I used the heck out of them for two years…. and then I could never find it again. I still look for it during the back to school time….. it’s kind of sad actually.

    Just to make this long comment longer- I’m currently utilizing a bullet journal. It’s pretty amazing. Here’s how to make your own:

    • Magpiemakingdo

      That sounds seriously like the perfect planner. My goodness… If you ever find it again, give me a heads up because I’ll be allllll over that! Also I really like the bullet journal idea – I’ve never heard of that before. I’m not sure I could use it as my full planner, mainly because I have weddings and stuff booked years in advance and I like having them in a traditional calendar to keep track of gigs. But I feel like I could easily adapt it to take the place of those full pages in my moleskine…

  • bluchickenninja

    I use a Filofax. Its good because instead of having to buy an entire new planner every year I just need to get new inserts. You can also get loads of custom inserts for it on etsy so you can set the planner up how you want it. Only problem is they can be expensive. I have a really simple black one which only cost £25 but some of the fancier leather filofaxes can be up to £100.

    If you are looking for help on choosing a planner you might want to take a look at and is quite good if you want to see how you could use a planner for school.

  • Misty Venne

    ohmygosh, who doesn’t love a good planner??!!
    My favorite (albeit expensive) is the Erin Condren Life Planner.
    Holy geez, this thing is packed with amazing ways to plan out your entire year/6 months.
    The newest thing with them: you can order interchangeable covers (since it’s so hard to narrow it down to just one).
    all completely customizable…
    Saw you through Sara’s #tinygalaxies posts on instagrams (my most favorite earrings too!!!)

    • Magpiemakingdo

      That sounds pretty great – I might have to check that out! The interchangeable cover thing would be a big selling point for me… I get bored after a while. Also, welcome, and thanks for checking me out! Sara’s stuff is seriously the greatest, isn’t it (and she is too!)?

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