If you’re on the hunt for the perfect planner and don’t want to drop a lot of money on a planner (plus shipping), some planner companies will let you try their planner layout for free!
This is not a sponsored post – I’ve just been doing a lot of online shopping…err…research into different planners as part of the 52 Planners in 52 Weeks Challenge and ended up with this list that I thought would be helpful for fellow planner addicts 🙂
- Habit tracker
- Bill due checklist from the budget planner kit
- Planner Covers
- Checklist planner insert
- Various types and sizes of planner stickers
- And plenty more 🙂
I’ve ordered their layout C planner to try later on this year for the 52 Planners in 52 Weeks Challenge. They have free downloads for each of their layouts (of which there are many!) in various sizes including:
- 7 x 9″ (this is the planner size I ordered and is the size most spiral bound planners such as Plum Paper and Erin Condren come in)
- 8.5 x 11″ (can be printed at A4 if you live in Australia like I do – see this post for printing tips)
- Personal size
The free downloads do include a copyright / watermark overlay but it’s small so it won’t really get in the way when planning 🙂
3. Commit 30
This planner is ideal if you’re trying to build a habit. They have a printable to track your progress of forming a habit, as well as a 2 page weekly spread. The design is simple, minimalist and non-gender specific.
The week starts on a Monday and features hourly planning (unlined) from 6am to 8pm although the layout is flexible if you just want a planner that has 3 sections to plan each day (could be a good / cheaper alternative to the Erin Condren).
One of the features I like best about the layout are the 3 boxes at the bottom of the daily spread which could be used for:
- Top 3 most important tasks to get done
- Meal planning – lunch, dinner, snacks
- Blog post planning & social media
- If you’re in college and assignments and exams due that day
- Cleaning tasks
- If you’re a mum, for noting your family’s schedule e.g. kid’s soccer games
The sidebar has a work to do and life to do section to help you maintain work life balance (although I wish it was lined!) and the weekly spread has lots of space for note taking.
They also have and undated planner so you can start planning anytime or only need to use a planner occasionally.
If you like a day to page layout, try the Day Designer. The planner is expensive but you could always print the daily planner printable you can download for free from their website, take it to your local office supply store and have them bound it into a planner for you. I shared free printable planner covers in this post.
Originally founded via a Kickstarter campaign, the Passion Planner has grown in popularity in recent years. While their planner layout is not ideal for me (the lines are quite small and it’s an hourly spread which doesn’t suit my planning style), it would be an ideal planner for a student, full time blogger or if you work from home.
This was a new find – love this layout and think I’ll try it one week for the 52 Planners in 52 Weeks Challenge. Love the structured task list at the top of the page, weekly meal plan on the left sidebar (you could always use a header sticker to cover this up and turn it into an exercise planner (if you needed more room than they provide in the bottom right of the second page of each week), most important task for the day, school assessment due etc.)
The minimalist black and white design also means colorful stickers will look great 🙂
At first I didn’t like the fact that there weren’t lines separating each day – then I realised that was a good thing. Narrow columns is one of the main reasons I rarely use vertical planners – I find I can fit so much more in and the weekly spread is much neater when using a horizontal layout.
Some of the ways you could use the blank space:
- Brain dump & mind mapping
- List making (I’m thinking either split the space in 2 and plan work and personal, or turn it into a grid with 4 boxes – must do, should do, if I have time and delegate)
- Workflow e.g. for blog posts
- Storing sticky notes with weekly routine tasks that can be moved from week to week such a cleaning tasks
Another recent find – the Plans Things planner is similar to the Passion Planner. I love the boxes at the bottom where you can choose any type of lists you like, the top 3 goal setting in the sidebar and the fact that the planner space is lined (ideal if you have messy hand-writing and are prone to writing crooked like I am!)
This planner features a day per page layout and crams a lot into the page with space for hourly planning, health, prayers, brain dump, retail therapy (that could be dangerous having that on each day’s spread!) and menu planning.
Emily Ley has both day to a page and week on 2 page planner printables. Her planners feature a minimalist, simple, neutral colored design with a subtle pop of color!
If you you’ve found a printable you like but it’s not in the size you need, do not fret! See this post for a step by step tutorial on how to print any printable at any size you like.
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).
Still can’t find a planner that works for you?
Want to learn how to make your own printables? Click here!
- How to make a planner bookmark (DIY Page Markers Tutorial)
- How to make planner printables (advice from a planner addict that’s made over 4000 printables)
- How to make a DIY Erin Condren Planner Cover for less than $2 (plus free printable cover)