● Graduate of Slippery Rock University
● 15 years in the communications field
○ Currently Vice President, Client Services at The
Motherhood (an influencer marketing agency)
● Former Ellevate Pittsburgh chapter president
● Blogger at PRetty in Pittsburgh
● Planner enthusiast since about the fifth grade
● Monthly: More big picture (think longer-term projects & goals)
● Weekly: Monday through Sunday all at a glance (my pick!)
● Daily: It’s all about the details and focus on the day at hand
● Custom: Configured completely to your needs (you choose the layout)
● Blank: Start January 1, April 13 - a blank slate lets you start fresh whenever
● Specialized: For specific interests (i.e. teacher, mom, health tracking, etc.)
● Mini/pocket or regular size
● Hard or soft cover
● Spiral vs bound
● Shop the brand directly or retailer (i.e. Target, Office Max)
● Wall calendar or desk pad (in addition to or instead of a
● Personalized with your name/info
● More events vs more to-do or goal driven
● Your desk size
● Your commute if you have one (are you bringing it back
and forth or will you use it it one place?)
● Your budget
● HOW you will use it
● Rifle Paper Co.: Beautiful covers, simple design. Less bells and whistles. I’ve used the last two years.
● Simplified: A classic/“OG” in the planner world. I’ve written about these before and used both her daily
and weekly versions – available on the Simplified website and the cheaper version at Target. These are
beautiful and well made, and super efficient. Has a lot of good resources on her social media/website
● The Day Designer: This planner is near perfection, and I’ve happily used it in the past. A fan favorite.
● Erin Condren: Another OG. These are so customizable and fun. Perfect if you have very specific needs.
● Blue Sky: A basic, more practical version. There are several different versions of this - including Day
Designer and Cupcakes & Cashmere.
● KAHOOTIE Co.: A blank slate. Start any day but downfall! You have to fill in all the dates. Don’t mess it
up like I did.
Other Suggestions I’ve Received:
● The Happy Planner: Not one I’ve used before but a few people I know have raved about this one.
They have an original and a Target version. I wasn’t super impressed with the layout.
● Lily Pulitzer: This was also recommended to me. Has the fun covers with the signature Lily look,
but the website isn’t showing me the actual week. So I cannot confirm this is any good.
● Agendio: Another recommendation, this one is cool because it’s completely customizable (kind of
like Erin Condren).
● Papier: More options for goal setting and productivity. Nice covers.
● Passion Planner: More goal setting and inspiration. They also have a quiz to see which planner is
best for you!
● Appointed: They have a top-bound planner with a beautiful layout. The top has a space for notes,
tasks, and priorities. A 2023 contender!
● Ink+ Volt: I have their beautiful dashboard desk pad which sets priorities for the week.
How I Like To Plan: Weekly, by task
● Weekly Planner for bigger to-dos, dinners,
fitness and meetings/events/appointments
● Google Calendar synced to personal, work so
events are also digital
● Phone reminders for those minute tasks that
are important but shouldn’t take up room in my
● Good old fashioned word doc for alllll my tasks
to keep track of everything (updated at least
one time per day)
● To-doist for my grocery list
● Alexa and Siri to tell myself to add things to
my reminders and grocery list
● Google / Apple / Outlook Calendar
○ Bonus points: color code your calendar
● iPhone reminders + notes
● Microsoft “To Do” list built into the Outlook
● Apple Pencil for the iPad
● Voice integration (syncing with Alexa/Siri)
● Don’t force it. If a planner is not working out, abandon it
● Don’t have TOO many places for your plans: To-do lists on scratch paper,
notes on your phone, a planner and Google calendar are probably overkill
● Streamline: Condense those lists and events into a few places only
● Reassess: Evaluate how you’re planning either at the beginning of the
calendar year, academic year, quarterly or monthly to see how/if you need
● Sync, sync, sync: Put your personal and professional tasks and events in
one place so it’s easy to see all at a glance. There is truly no separation,
but you CAN set boundaries
● Don’t work for the planner, the planner works for you. If you are
spending too much time overhauling your to-do list, you’re doing it wrong
● To save money, buy your planner at off times, use browser extensions like
Honey to find discount codes, and take advantage of Black Friday/Cyber
● Google planners to get served ads for them and explore new brands
● Go into the store to touch and feel them, to get a feel of how they look and