The Learner Observer

Hi, my name is Thalita and I make lists. No, but seriously, it’s a problem. If I don’t write things down, it’s basically guaranteed that within minutes (or the next toddler tantrum, so… minutes) I will forget them. I’ve always enjoyed writing things down, but in the last two years, it’s become an actual necessity. Yes, motherhood made me do it. I won’t call it baby brain, it’s just mom brain. There are too many tabs open at all times and I can’t keep up! That’s why I need a good day planner to write things into. I tend to keep an ongoing list of “stuff not to forget when I go to…” in my phone, but for everyday things, work stuff, scheduling, etc., I prefer to write it down. So I’ve compiled a list of my favourite day planners to share with you because I feel like you’d appreciate this.

I’ll break down pros, cons, cost, and show you as much as I can about the layout of these so you can make your best decision! Let’s go!


The planners I have tried:

1. Day Designer (Daily Flagship Planner)

There are a couple of versions of this (fairly well known) planner. They aren’t known to be cheap, but they are known to be super functional, so that’s a bonus. The Daily Flagship Planner is the more well-known option.

Overall Dimensions: 9″ wide x 9.75″ tall
Price point: Regular price $75 CAD, but currently on sale for $52.50


PROS: Each page allows you plenty of space to write down lists, schedule your day, practice gratitude, plan dinner, etc. There’s room for everything here! It also comes with space at the beginning of the planner to set goals and intentions for the year, and it’s very high quality (super thick paper included!).

CONS: You can’t see the week ahead all in one spread, which means a lot of page flipping, and it’s a little heavy because of all the pages. It’s on the expensive side, at over $50 USD, though it’s currently on sale here!

2. Day Designer (Weekly Vertical Planner)

This is the one I personally am using this year. After EXTENSIVE research online and in person, this had pretty much all of the features I deem to be necessary for a good planner.

Overall Dimensions: 8.5″ wide x 10.25″ tall
Price point: Around $50 CAD


PROS: Spiral bound so it lays flat, less expensive than the original Flagship Planner, shows the entire week (weekends included), space for to-dos (daily, weekly and monthly), gratitude, notes, and looking at the week ahead, room for setting intentions and goals for the year. I bought mine here.

CONS: The paper isn’t as thick, but I use felt-tipped pens and they don’t bleed. That’s the best I can do for cons. I just love this thing!

3. Eccolo 2018 Planner Agenda

This is the planner I used last year, and I’ve gotten lots of questions about it. I really did like it, and it was very well-used! It also lasted the whole year being dragged around everywhere and still looks great. This is a great planner for someone who likes point form planning and takes lots of notes!

Overall Dimensions: 8″ wide x 10″ tall
Price point: $22 CAD

PROS: Not spiral bound, but lays flat. Weekly planner with room for notes and a to-do list. Lightweight and easy to toss in a bag. It’s also inexpensive, at $22 CAD.

CONS: No lines! This drives me a bit crazy because I like lines to keep everything, well, straight. Also, not enough room for daily things. I was always pouring over into the notes section.


4. 17 month BAN.DO Large Spiral Agenda

I had this planner a couple of years ago and I liked it. It was a fun planner. Because stickers and colours! So if you like fun, check this one out!

Overall Dimensions: 8.75” tall x 10″ wide
Price point: $35 CAD

PROS: It’s colourful, has great fonts and quirky details like highlighted little quotes at the bottom of every page. It’s also colour coded (tabs) – yeah, this planner is all about colour!

CONS: Again with the no lines! That just drives me bananas.

5. Moleskine Hardcover Large Weekly Planner

I used this a few years ago and it was perfect for me at the time. I didn’t have kids, so I didn’t have as much to remember, and I didn’t have to carry around a humungous purse filled with snacks and diapers and toys, etc. All that to say, this is the most compact planner of the bunch.

Overall Dimensions: 5″ wide x 8.25″ tall
Price point: $25 CAD

PROS: Very lightweight, compact, has a pocket in the back for small things, like receipts, maybe? It also has an elastic band, so if you do have any loose paper in there, things stay together. It’s a really cost-effective, basic planner.

CONS: Oh my gosh, NO LINES! Also, the spaces to write in the daily planner portion is tiny, but like the Eccolo, there’s a whole page for notes on the other side. But the lines are also very small, so everything feels super tight and awkward.


The planners I have not tried (but researched a lot!)

1. Waste Not Paper Weekly Planner

Not a super popular brand, but I really liked the layout of this one, plus they have really pretty covers. Oh, come on… as if you don’t judge a planner by its cover, too!

Overall Dimensions: 8″ wide x 10″ tall
Price point: $38 CAD

PROS: Weekly planner WITH LINES! I like that it’s vertical like the Day Designer Weekly Planner, and there’s a lot of space to get all of your daily tasks in. There’s also a small section for notes and all 7 days of the week are included.

CONS: No room for anything else (ie: to do lists). It’s a really simple grid pattern, so you have to get creative with how you want to separate things, which I think some people would like.

2. The Happiness Planner

Not so much a day or weekly planner, but definitely something I think could be worth having for those of us who thrive on setting goals and intentions consistently, not just once a year. It also allows you to practice gratitude, which I’m all for!

Overall Dimensions: 6.5″ wide x 9″ tall
Price point: $63 CAD

PROS: So much goal setting and intentionality in this planner. It really is about improving yourself and feeling better, not just making lists of things to get done. There’s space for meals, gratitude, jutting down good things, and what you’re excited about. They also offer additional printable pages!

CONS: This could feel overwhelming as something to do daily. I feel like this planner would also be a time commitment, which is probably fine for a lot of people. Probably not moms of small kids! It’s also on the costlier side at $63 CAD.


3. Undated Minimalist Planner

Attention fellow Bullet Journal quitters (I tried it for a few weeks, WAY too much work): this may be the perfect planner for you! This planner has no dates, which means you can start using it anytime and comes with the dotted grid style seen in many bullet journals.

Overall Dimensions: 7″ wide x 8.5″ tall
Price point: $15 CAD medium, $17 CAD large

PROS: Undated, so if you don’t feel like you can keep up with planning every single day, or don’t want to be restricted by a January 1st start date, this is great. It also has spots for goal setting each month, a spot to add your daily schedule, and a full week’s view on two pages, which lay flat because of the spiral. Major pro: price ($15 CAD) and comes in a larger size ($17 CAD).

CONS: This could be difficult for people who are overwhelmed by all the tiny dots. There’s not a ton of room for writing things, so you have to be pretty tidy, and no dates means you can sort of forget all about a day planner and never use it if you’re not already accustomed to using one.

4. Passion Planner

I’m just adding this one in thanks to the reminder from my friend Julia. I’ve never tried it, but I love how it lays out the week, provides space for monthly reflection and had blank space for doodles or whatever you want to write/draw.

Overall Dimensions: A4: 8.27″ wide x 11.69″ tall –  A5: 5.83″ wide x 8.27″ tall
Price point: $25-$35

PROS: Lined, has an hourly breakdown for every day, the paper is super thick, it comes in two sizes (A4 and A5), personal and work to-do list spaces, and there are multiple colours for the covers. They also come undated if you’d like to start using this anytime of the year. 

CONS: This is quite similar to the one I chose (Day Designer Weekly Vertical Planner), so I can’t really find any cons! This seems like a really solid planner if you like the hourly breakdowns and weekly view!

And those are my top 9 for 2018! If you want to pin this for later, here’s your chance! And if you have questions about any of the planners I’ve used, ask away! And also tell me: what’s YOUR favourite planner?

Happy planning, goal setting, resolution making, or whatever you happen to be doing today!




  1. Reply

    Julia at Home on 129 Acres

    January 1, 2018

    Have you ever looked into a Passion Planner? I’ve used it three years in a row and I find it helpful for goal setting and planning on a multi-year, yearly, monthly, weekly and daily timeframe. Plus you can see a whole week in one spread and there are lines!

    • Reply


      January 2, 2018

      Oh yes, I’ve heard of the Passion Planner! Someone recommended it to me as well, and it looks great. I can’t believe I forgot to mention it in the post! I may just have to add it in!

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