I’ve wanted the Emily Ley planner for years – every since I saw the rainbow cover! Unfortunately the planner is quite expensive so every year when Black Friday sales would roll around I’d check but the planner would either be sold out, or still very expensive. Emily Ley had a 30% off birthday sale around the 4th of July (when most planners go on sale) so this year I decided not to wait and finally got a copy. I also bought the Simplified Planner daily version and the Dapperdesk planner which I’ll be doing separate review posts for.
- Size: 6.5″ wide x 8″ high (16.3cm wide x 20.5cm high)
- Sewn binding (there is also wire bound available)
- Dates at a glance page
- 2 page Monthly calendar (starts on Sunday)
- 2 page weekly spread (starts on Monday)
- Colorful inside pages
- Lined notes pages
- Simplified to do list pages
- Yearly prep
- Bucket list
- 1 Sheet of functional planner stickers
Price: $50 USD plus shipping. This is how much everything in my order cost, including shipping (prices in USD):
Let’s take a closer look!
To enlarge the screen of the video, click the square icon in the bottom right hand corner of the video (it will say ‘full screen’ when you hover your mouse over the icon).
Mentioned in the video:
Helpful downloads for your planner:
- 50 Expenses to track in your planner (and different ways to track them)
- Pen Brands Comparison (and my favorite pens for each brand)
- Highlighter Brands Comparison (And My Favorite Highlighters for Each Brand)
The planner comes in a gift box which means it arrives in perfect condition… but shipping to Australia was very expensive due to the extra weight.
Love love love this cover. The rainbow colors are so bright and crisp and the gold edges will protect the corners from getting scuffed.
Approx 0.7″ thick (just under 2cm thick)
One sheet of coordinating rainbow stickers are included. There is a pocket folder at the front but it’s so small it will only fit a few sheets of stickers.
Tips & Dates at a glance
At the front of the planner are some tips / instructions pages
Along with a dates at a glance calendar and USA holidays list.
Something unique about this planner is the simplicity challenge page which has a useful list of reminders for things we often forget to do like purge your purse, clear computer clutter, backup photos etc.
There is no divider pages for the months, no monthly planning or notes pages either.
However, this planner does have something that most sewn bound planners don’t – tabs!
Starts Sunday (not consistent with the weekly spread)
USA holidays are pre-printed on the monthly calendar (they appear again on the weekly spread too). Each month has a different simplicity tip.
Unfortunately it has one of my pet peeves – split boxes on the monthly calendar. I’d white out the diagonal line and restart the dates in the empty boxes on the top row – that way every day gets an entire box.
Related post: My 10 biggest planner pet peeves
There are 6 different colors used throughout the planner. Each month has a color printed spine to help find it easier. On some of the later months this spine creates a wide margin between the edge of the sidebar column and the page. Just my personal preference but I’d prefer normal tabs and a wider page size for all months.
The boxes for each day are 3.2cm wide x 3cm high. (approx 1.5″ x 1.5″). The lined sidebar is 2.9cm wide (almost 1.25″ wide).
The weekly spread has the same rainbow colors (love the coordination). The spread starts on a Monday though, which is not consistent with the monthly calendar.
The line spacing is 5mm
I’m not loving the pre-printed Sunday prep tasks. They take up too much space and I’d rather add my own tasks to the planner.
There are 13 double sided lined notes pages at the back.
The line spacing is 6mm (slightly bigger than the weekly spread).
I didn’t do a pen test of this planner as you can already see the ghosting of the pre-printed ink on the backside of the pages. I was very disappointed and expected the paper quality to be better given the price of the planner.
The tabs are an extension of the page and have colored laminated tabs. They’re not sturdy but they are protected by the hardcover.
There is 1 ribbon bookmark.
There is no pocket folder at the back.
Pros of the Simplified Planner
- Really pretty rainbow colors with bright color printing
- Sturdy hardcover and bookplate corners to prevent the cover from being damaged
- Multiple cover designs to choose from
- Sewn binding or wire binding
- Choose between calendar year or academic year
- Color printing throughout the planner on all of the pages
- US holidays are pre-printed on the monthly calendar
- Coordinating rainbow accessories such as planner stickers
Cons of the Simplified Planner
- Due to the binding style, pages at the front and back of the planner do not lay flat unless you hold the page open
- Monthly spread starts Sunday but weekly spread starts Monday (not consistent)
- Expensive international shipping
- Only 1 ribbon bookmark
- Pre-printed Sunday prep list on the weekly spread take up space
- Only 1 pocket folder which will only hold a few sheets of paper
Would I use this planner?
I like this planner… but it’s expensive. I actually prefer the Emily Ley and At a Glance collaboration planner (see this post for a review). The colors are the same in both planners and the paper is prone to ghosting in the original Emily Ley and the collab planner.. so I don’t really see the point in paying more for the original Simplified Planner unless you wanted a larger page size.
Emily Ley have quite a few sticker sheets to choose from – most of them rainbow or gold foil with a mix of functional and decorative stickers. I decided to buy a mini sticker book to check the quality. The sticker book is about 4″ wide x 5.5″ high.
If you want to see all of the sticker sheets, I did a flip through in the video (scroll back up to the top of this post). There is 1 sheet of most of the stickers, and multiple sheets for some of the more frequently used such as meals, mood and fitness.
The color printing is great quality but the sticker sheets are already starting to come lose after flicking through the planner only a few times. There is no elastic band on the cover (like the MAMBI sticker books) to hold it all together after they tear off. Some of the stickers coordinate and others don’t fit the style at all. E.g. these stickers:
Some of the sheets are nice, but not enough that I would buy this sticker book again. There are sticker sheets with all functional stickers but they’re so expensive so I won’t be buying more. Plus I can just make my own.
More planner reviews
- Purple Trail Weekly Planner Review
- Musboeken Feeling Plantastic Discbound Planner
- Happy Planner Color Block Weekly
- Best pastel highlighters for planning and bullet journaling
- 7 Color coding mistakes to avoid in your planner or bullet journal
- How to make lined note paper DIY planner insert refills in Photoshop (quick and easy step by step tutorial)
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