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If you spend any time on Pinterest, you must have seen all the “planning” pins, and maybe you are interested in jumping on the planning bandwagon. Let’s suppose though that you are not interested in shelling out several dollars for your initial planner, especially if you are not sure that the planner’s format or layout will work for you?
Then, I suggest you find inexpensive ways to take advantage of comparable but less expensive planners made available by top planner designer brands in order to “get your feet wet”, so to speak, or to try out a planning system to see if the format is the right fit for you.
That’s what I did when I decided on this Day Designer planner because I was interested in trying out a weekly layout that had an hour by hour format. I had been using my Mini Happy Planner for blog tasks because it was portable, had a weekly layout and a monthly view. I could easily pop the planner in my purse, if I needed to take it with me. That worked fine for awhile but now my blog tasks and activities or To Do List have since doubled.
In addition, my new blog tasks now require that my tasks need to be a lot more structured and time sensitive; so, I needed a format that would help me set up tasks connected to specific times of the day. The two choices I looked at were the Day Designer and the Erin Condren Hourly Format which are both great options.
However, since it is the middle of the year and I am still not sure if the hourly format is what I need, I purchased this DayDesigner planner by Blue Sky at Target. I decided I would also list a few other supplies for anyone who is basically starting from scratch and wants to get started without a huge cash layout. The sum total of my purchase was under $20 not including taxes.
Day Designer Planner for Blue Sky (“Spotty” Cover; dimensions 6″ x 8″) $11.99
Da yDesigner Magnetic Bookmarks $3.99
Page flags (Target Dollar Spot) $1.00
Pencil Set (Target Dollar Spot) $1.00
Black Pen Medium with/Stylus (Target Dollar Spot) $1.00
(Optional) 3 Gold Paper Clips (Michael’s) $1.99
Here’s what I think are the pros and cons of this planner.
- Great layout or format, will help you get used to the system before investing more money, lines are college ruled and time slots are based on hourly portions
- Hardboard cover is sturdy and the Day Designer has beautiful cover patterns especially in their Flagship planners.
- Get started right away
- Smaller personal size with 6″ x 8″ planner, but you can also purchase a larger daily planner at Target for $29.99
- Dollar spot items were surprisingly of better than expected quality. The medium point black pen wrote fairly smoothly. (My preference is a fine point)
- Metal on coils on planner and stylus pen is thinner, cheaper, and may not bear up under rough handling
- Planner paper is thinner 50% PCW recycled paper, may bleed through, difficulty turning pages ( Original Day Designer brand has 160 gsm paper)
- Lines may be too small for some individual’s handwriting
- Sticker possibilities may be limited due to formatted pages.
Closeup of the stationery supplies and Day Designer hard cover.
Close up of Magnetic Bookmarks. They come 5 to a package, so they cost roughly $.80 each. The patterns on the bookmarks are patterns available as covers on the original Day Designer.
Close up of the interior of the layout and how the magnetic bookmark works in your planner. You can also see the metal rings that serve as the binder for the planner and the metal corners that protect the corners of the planner.
This image shows the comparison in size of the Day Designer to the original Erin Condren planner. It’s about 1.5 inches shorter all the way around as well as half the thickness. It also begins in the academic year. The Xyron tool, of course, I included as an optional item you might be interested in including as part of your planner supplies and tools. (Note: For full disclosure, this Teresa Collins Sticker maker was provided by the manufacturer.)
This is the whole “under $20.00 kit”, and I will be thrilled to share my review of how the hourly format works for me in a future product review update.