Recommended Planners

For those who get overwhelmed with the available multitude of planner offerings at your local store, we've compiled a list of some of the more popular planners that can be found today. Many of these planners are used by members of the D*I*Y Planner community, so if you still need advice on picking the best planner for your lifestyle, feel free to post on our forums.

  • Day Runner 'Classic' (North America only): The Day Runner company makes excellent (and sometimes pricey) planners that are often a great fit for professionals because of a wide range of cover options and a large selection of templates with an emphasis on project management, finances and other big business needs. Often the first choice among organisational geeks, especially those with corporate aspirations. Unfortunately, their website is currently buggy, unfriendly, and you have to live in the U.S. to order a catalogue (booo!). Day Runner also has an upscale 'Pro' series (but be careful of the number of rings -- see below).
  • Day-Timer 'Desk': Planners meant for everybody else, including students, coaches, on-the-go moms, fitness buffs, etc.. Available in a wide range of covers and with quite a variety of 'looks and feels' (e.g., beach, sunset, mountains, sports). While they don't manufacture as many 'professional' templates, they do have quite the range of planner styles, shapes, sizes and levels of quality, as well as a number of 'non-professional' templates like ones for journalling, counting calories, managing diabetes, American Heart Association activity logs, etc.. Free catalogue at the DayTimer.com website. Note: the Day-Timer Desk size has seven rings for its pages and some models may only be available in the 5.5"x8.5" size.
  • Franklin-Covey: We would be remiss not to mention Franklin-Covey and their North American and European websites. The 'Classic' size is the one for 5.5"x8.5" or A5. They do have quite a number of interesting planners and refills on their website, though, so go check them out. Note: the Franklin-Covey Classic size has seven rings for its pages.
  • Filofax make a wide range of good quality planners and accessories. Covers range from student to executive, and templates range from basic calendars to project management, finances and other big business needs. Although rare outside their native Britain, they do offer an excellent mail order service. (Be aware: shipping costs can be prohibiting.) Note: the Filofax 'A5' size has six rings.
  • Mead (North America only) makes some decent-quality planners for about $10-15 USD. They also produce the At-A-Glance templates and planners, which are much cheaper than those of Day Runner (which Mead also owns), but still of good quality. These are the ones you're likely to find in your typical local department store stationery aisle.
  • Beware of super-cheap department store and Dollar/Pounds shop models: the vinyl often breaks apart easily at the corners and seams, creating an edge that can rip your fingers to shreds. Get the best quality you can afford; you can always 'upgrade' later, should your usage warrant it. (Many of the forms found inside the cheaper planners can be tossed out, as they have the consistency of toilet paper, the smell of formaldehyde, and the English of a low-budget Hong Kong martial arts film.)
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