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I love using a paper planner in addition to my digital calendar, and it has taken me many planner purchases to decide what was the best fit for me. I am going to show you the differences in my weekly planner and daily planner and share the reasons why one may be the best fit for you!
Several years ago, I realized that my digital only calendar just wasn’t working. This was partly triggered by a job change, where I lost records of personal appointments when I moved to a new company with a new digital calendar platform. And partly due to my husband and I having regular moments where we didn’t know quite what was going on in our family schedule due to consistent forgetting of sharing calendar appointments with one another (mostly from my end).
I have found that using a planner to write down my appointments and my to do list has made me so much more organized and has helped me keep my husband more aware of the activities I plan for us (along with our weekly Marriage Business Meeting!)
There have been a number of planners tried in our house. I have bought planners on a whim from Target. I used the Erin Condren for a year and enjoyed that. But the planner I have had the best outcomes with has been the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley.
I have consistently used the Simplified Planner for 3 years and tried both the weekly and daily styles. And I can say that both versions worked well for me during that stage of life, but for my current stage, I need a daily planner.
DAILY PLANNER VS WEEKLY PLANNER: WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU?
I actually started with a daily planner and then switched to a weekly planner (and have now switched back to daily) because I really liked a few key features about it.
PROS OF A WEEKLY PLANNER
Week at a Glance
Being able to see my week in full was such a benefit for me. When my husband and I would sit down at the start of the week to see what was upcoming, I could just flip my planner open to one page and we could go through and discuss the whole week in just a couple of minutes.
I could easily see if my week was getting too full, which is something that happens often as I am a classic ‘overcommitter’. But I have learned that I can’t sustain an entire week of late night events so being able to easily tell that my week was filling up was a big help.
Looking at the week in full also helped me meal plan better. I could map out what we were having for dinner each night and see that there would be some nights that we would be able to just do leftovers which made things easier on me. I do miss that part of my weekly planner so much that I made a meal planning guide for myself to mimic all of those features. You can download that meal planning guide here!
One of the other great things about the weekly planner is that it is MUCH smaller than a daily version. I tried carrying the daily version around in my purse to take back and forth to work and just got tired with how much heavier my bag was.
But the weekly version is a lot easier to tote around, and the Simplified Planners are hard cover so it doesn’t get damaged sitting in my purse with God knows what else is in there.
CONS OF A WEEKLY PLANNER
While being able to see the full week at a glance is a pro, I did miss all of the writing space that my daily planner offered. I love that the Simplified Planners have space for a to-do list right next to the schedule for each day. But I don’t like to keep a separate planner for both work/and personal, so my merged to-do list can get a little long, and I frequently run out of space in my weekly version.
This is more specific to the Simplified Planner, but on the weekly version, there is a column for you to write out your appointments, and while the daily version has the times next to each line, there just isn’t room for that in the weekly planner. Which isn’t terrible because you can just write them in, but my handwriting takes up way more space than a size 10 font. And we already discussed that space is at a premium in these planners!
Overall, the weekly version worked out best for me when I was working in an office and having to commute each day. I was able to carry it from home to work with no problem. I did ok on space because I was better at transferring my work tasks to my digital work calendar and we had a lot of project management systems that kept a work to-do list for me, so my planner was able to stay mostly focused on my personal to-dos.
I would recommend a weekly planner vs a daily planner if you work outside of the home and you don’t want to keep track of both a personal and a work planner. This would also work well if you rely heavily on a digital calendar and don’t need a ton of space in your physical planner and just want to write down the highlights of your week.
Pros of a daily planner
So Much Writing Space
In a daily planner, there is so much space to write out all of the things you need to tackle or think about in a day. In the Simplified Planners, there is a pretty good sized space at the bottom of each day dedicated to “NOTES”. You can use this for whatever you want. Habit tracking, meal planning, actual note taking, or just doodling!
Since I work from home, I end up writing a lot of notes from my work calls in this section since I keep my planner open on my desk all day and it is usually the first place I go to jot down a quick note. If I am proactive in the morning, I will write down my 3 big goals for that day in the notes section so they are big and bold and help keep me focused.
I also love that I can keep all of my todos on one page and I have yet to run out of room in a single day of my daily planner.
I do love that I can write down everything coming up in my day in my daily planner. I have started finding a lot of success in time blocking and it is really easy to keep track of those blocks in a daily planner. I like to highlight (or use Washi Tape) to call out certain blocks in the day and make sure I have time to get everything done.
This has been fantastic for my productivity and I love that I can preset my blocks around my already scheduled meetings.
CONS OF A DAILY PLANNER
So I think the size is a pro and a con for the daily planner. I love getting to write all the things in it, but in no way to I want to carry that bad boy everywhere I go. My daily planner sits on my desk in my home office and that is where it will stay.
I would recommend a Daily Planner to anyone who likes to take things day by day. If you like to keep EVERYTHING in one place, the daily planner is certainly for you. Big bonus if you are able to keep that planner in one place where you will see it daily (like a home office or on your kitchen counter). You will have plenty of space to keep track of all appointments and deadlines for you, your husband, and your kids with no problem.
I have loved getting to switch back to a Simplified Planner Daily Planner and it is nice to be able to keep track of all the things I have knocked off my to-do list each week.
The monthly calendar layouts in the daily version are pretty valuable since I like to be able to see upcoming holidays, trips and showers so I can better plan for those.
So do you think a daily or weekly version is your best fit? Let me know in the comments below! And please share this post so that others can figure out the layout that works best for them in this daily planner vs weekly planner debate!