Day Designer Review: The Ultimate Goal Planner
Why I Choose to Plan
In the words of someone much wiser than myself: if you fail to plan, then plan on failing. I mean, Ben Franklin knew his stuff!
And guys, this seriously couldn’t be more true. I remember the days of owning a calendar (not even planner at this point), writing a few things on the month overview, still having important papers falling out of it, and losing the whole thing around the three-month point.
Who can relate with me on that? I’ve lost so many planners.
If you’re new to the planner game, it can be overwhelming to know what you need in a planner. It’s taken me years to find the planner of my dreams (and one I won’t lose). I’m super stoked that I found Day Designer and I’d be lying if I said I’m not a little obsessed!
If you’re ready for order in your life, maximum productivity, and to become an ultimate goal crusher, check out the details of my personal favorite planner.
Introducing Day Designer
The Day Designer planner was born out of chaos, dysfunction, and a hefty stack of scribbled to-dos. In 2010, a fellow Whitney was tired of feeling overwhelmed but couldn’t find a planner to fit her needs. So, she did what few had the idea to and created her classic “today and to do” form.
Each year, when Day Designer launches their new planners, they stick with their original form to help users find balance in goals and productivity. That means consistency year-by-year! Day Designer is one highly organized planner. It drives users to finish each day more productive and grateful than the previous.
When It Arrives…
Everyone likes to receive mail, there’s just something special to it. But when your signature blue Day Designer package arrives, prepare for the best unboxing experience in your planner life!
My husband suggested I record my own experience (you can enjoy my ridiculous excitement in the video at the end of the post) after witnessing me staring at my package too giddy to open it. I’m now officially a #plannernerd.
Once you flip open the outer package, you’re met with a beautiful gold-foil stripped interior with Day Designer logo. But there’s more! Inside you’ll find the gorgeous shiny white box. You feel so elegant pulling out the drawer housing your bubblewrap covered planner. I mean this really does feel like opening a gift.
Side note, the superior packaging is too beautiful to throw away, so I’m repurposing mine for pens, stickers, and washi tape.
Anyways, after you’ve finally arrived at your Day Designer planner, take a minute to appreciate how much love this company has for you to experience a well-designed life.
I Mean, Just Look at It
As stunning at the unboxing is, that isn’t how the Day Designer helps you achieve productivity. Even on the title page, you pick “My Word for the Year” to start off planning with goals in mind.
The first pages you’ll come to is the “Self-Assessment: Where Am I in Life?” and “What Is Important to Me?” Only if we understand where we are in life, can we know where we are heading. These pages help identify your values, passions, and strengths. It’ll require an honest look at what is most important to you and if your actions align with that or need to change.
Then you’ll move on to actually setting goals in “My Goals: what is Important to me?” A great addition to this page is that you’re not blindly grasping at goals you want to achieve over the next year. Sections in self care, relationships, personal development, resources, and vocation help to focus in. Personally, I like to start with my 1 year goal, then move upward from there, breaking it down into 9, 6, and finally 3 month goals.
And why I like to work backward is on the next page “My Plan: What Steps do I Take to Get There?” the theme of breaking down the large goal into bite-sized pieces continues. Now, you’ll set monthly, weekly, and daily habits to achieve those goals set earlier.
You can even check out this list of 14 habits you could include in your daily routines to actually stick to your goals!
The classic month overview is fairly standard in the Day Designer planner. Personally, I like it left with lots of blank space, since too much on this page detracts from the quick glance I like. However, some users fill the space with monthly goals, bills, or exercise programs.
This planner also has a Monday start, which can be hard to find in other planners. Why is a Monday start beneficial? It’s because this allows the weekend days to be grouped together instead of split. Trips, conferences, or weekend warrior projects are much easier (and cleaner) to schedule when weekends are grouped.
Daily Layout & Notes
Finally, my absolute favorite part about the Day Designer planner: the daily page layout! I’m not even kidding when I say I’m obsessed with the design.
Each day gets its own designated page with the exception of Saturday/Sunday on a single page together. Since each day has so much room, you can plan each day to the fullest.
The planner starts with the date, quotes for inspiration, and “Today’s Top Three.” Then you can slide over to fill out the 4D section: Due, Dollars, Dinner, and Don’t Forget. Day Design has provided a 5A-9P time blocking section, which is crucial for planning what my busy day looks like. Next to that, is a 17 item to do list complete with checkboxes! No more random to do lists scattered about. And last, notes and daily gratitude sections at the bottom.
How wonderful is that, to have all your daily goals and schedule organized onto one page?
Since the weekends share a page, Day Designer has included a section at the bottom to fill out what next week looks like. This is especially important if you weren’t able to accomplish something on your list from the previous week and it needs to be moved to next week.
Related Article: Time Management for Work-Life Balance
Is It Worth the Price?
The Day Designer comes in at a hefty $59 for the full-sized and $49 for the mini edition. Whew! I was shocked a planner could be so much. And I’m not here to convince you that a $59 planner is necessary. But while the price might be more than you were expecting to pay, I fully believe the Day Design planner is worth every penny.
For one thing, it’s made from quality products and able to withstand being toted around in a backpack or purse all day. Also, the pages are thick enough most pens don’t bleed through to the next. And the real shock for me, I can customize a planner on other sites to be as functional as the Day Designer planner but would cost an even higher price!
How to Get the Most of Your Day Designer
If you want to make the most of your Day Designer planner, I highly suggest heading over to their blog. They have a massive collection of tips on how to utilize the planner for your specific needs.
No planner will be perfect for everyone. For example, if the dollars section isn’t doing it for you, FayeCreates has customizable stickers just for Day Designer!
Remember too, that Day Designer is a tool to be used. It alone won’t make your life more productive or achieve your goals. But used correctly with some hard work you’re sure to have a spectacular year!