If you are out shopping for a new planner to fill your life with, you’re probably coming across many different types of planners. Yes, there are many different combinations of layouts, dates, bindings, and more to help bring you closer to your perfect planner. Wondering just how many options there are?
For the purpose of this article, we will focus on different paper planning options. Still interested? Well then keep reading!
Different Types of Planners
The vertical layout is a very popular layout in the planner community. It’s aimed toward list-makers who get a thrill off of checking or crossing things off of a to do list. There are different ways that planners create their vertical layouts, but the general theme is a column for each day across a weekly view.
Horizontal layouts are geared more toward writers, or people who have larger handwriting and can’t fit their tasks into the day without scrunching it into a vertical column. People who tend to write longer phrases and sentences (yes, I do this sometimes) for their daily tasks might find more comfort with getting a horizontal as well.
Hourly layouts are like a more efficient vertical layout. It comes with scheduled time “blocks” where you can write in appointments and other things. If you keep a lot of appointments or your day is usually scheduled from morning til night, an hourly layout may be your go to style.
Though, don’t let the hourly time frames scare you. There are many new planner people out there showing how they use their hourly planners without abiding by the time blocks.
Daily layouts come with an entire page for each day, everyday. Because it’s literally 365 pages plus some, these planners can probably be pretty thick when you get them. They come armed with sections for writing in appointments by the hour, getting your to-do list task situated, and other extras that come personalized for each different planner out there.
If you are someone who tends to need to do a lot everyday, all day, then opting for a daily planner might be your best bet.
Generally, most types of planners come in a weekly planning style. It is a simplified daily planner without becoming only a monthly planner. You get small carved out section for each day of the week that usually spans over 2 pages. Some come equipped with a sidebar for notes or any other tracking. Each planner will have it’s own unique addition, but overall, they are all set up commonly the same way.
Perhaps the thinnest planner of them all would be a planner primarily for monthly spreads. Most of them only come with 12 monthly calendar views. There are a few out there that will sprinkle in some notes pages whether it be between the month or stockpiled in the back of the planner. But there isn’t too many differences with monthly planners aside from whatever personal flair the company adds to it.
There are planners out there that only contain a couple months to each planner book. They give you 3 months per book to make for easy on-the-go planning. They do this mainly to prevent the planner from being too big and thick to carry around. I have only come across quarterly planners that are made up like daily planners, but there may very well be weekly quarterly planners as well.
These types of planners are set up for 6 months at a time. A lot of goal-oriented planners will have this type of format so that they can be more detailed with each individual week and monthly setup. They can be setup for either daily or weekly planning, and have many extra pages to help direct you and keep you on track and focused according to the purpose of that planner.
Mini planners are usually around 5 x 8 inches in size. They fit into purses and bags easily and are generally easy to carry around. Mini planners are generally made for people who are always moving and on-the-go, but also work well with people who either don’t like doing heavy planning and just want general overviews. Or, they don’t have much to plan but do want to keep track of certain things.
Classic / Medium / Standard
Planners that are 7 x 9 or around this size are generally considered the “standard” in the planning community. So most planners will come in this size only or have the option for this size. They aren’t hard to carry around, but are definitely a bit bigger than their mini counterparts.
Most of these planners are about 8.5×11, sometimes a bit bigger or smaller, depending on the company. They come with a lot of room to write in and more space to get in more of your tasks and ideas. But they definitely aren’t on-the-go friendly. If you don’t mind carrying a college-equivalent sized book around and need the extra space, this might be a great fit. It’s also a perfect fit if you need a lot of room to plan but don’t necessarily NEED to take that planner with you.
Start Date Options
Most planners usually start with the standard calendar year which is January through December and are commonly only 12 month planners. These planners are great for individuals who like to keep one year in each planner.
These planners start in July/August and follow the school calendar. They are perfect for students who want planners specifically for helping plan the schoolwork, homework, and projects. Or anyone who just likes to start fresh in the middle of the year.
Depending on which company you buy from, there may also be new planner launches that happen in July and some that happen in January. If that’s something you care about, you can buy your new planner according to those dates as well.
Choose Your Month
There are some companies who allow you to customize when your planner starts. If it’s a couple months past January but haven’t quite made it to July, these types of planners are made to start when YOU need them and are perfect for those that just want to dive in on the spur of the moment.
Monday or Sunday Starts
Given that planners are not solely for individuals on one continent, there are different types of planners that have Sunday starts and planners that have Monday starts. Some planners start the monthly calendar on one day and the weeklies on a different day and that can confuse customers. So be sure to really look into the planner you choose so that using it won’t confuse your regularly.
Or, set your own dates with an undated planner and just write them in yourself. The perfect way to start a planner whenever you want to and however you want to. Don’t be afraid to skip days in this planner since you can still use all of the pages without guilt. Perfect for those who don’t plan constantly every week, but would like to have a planner when they deem it necessary.
Coil / O-Rings
Coiled planners are one of many types of planners. They are easy to fold over and keep all your pages together with little to no hassle. Coiled planners do not allow you any flexibility in re-arranging pages in your planner without ripping them out permanently.
There are ways to insert extra additions to your planners by means of coil clip accessories. If that is something that doesn’t bother you or rather, prefer, than coil-bound planners are a great fit for you.
Disc-bound planners bring a world of customization and personalizing options with the flexibility of moving around pages in your planner. They work very similar to coil-bound planners but allow you more freedom in adding and removing accessories without needing to purchase coil clips or uncoiling and recoiling your planner.
Ring-bound planners are binder-type books that you can open and close to add and remove pages from your planner. Perfect for switching out to-do lists and adding in clean blank pages for a new day. They can be decorated and customized like any other planner and don’t require commitment in personalizing.
Book- or Hard-bound planners are made to resemble books with their flat spine. Absolutely NO option to add and re-arrange pages (though things can be done). Whatever comes in that hardbound planner is what you will be stuck with for the longevity of it.
These books are great for simple individuals who don’t care to overdo on customization or even decorative planning and just want an option that’s minimal and can easily fit into their lifestyle.
Interested in ultimate flexibility? Bullet journals are the most flexible types of planners you’ll come across in the planning world. A concept created and developed by Ryder Carrolls, you simply get a notebook and fill it with everything you need for your day-to-day planning. Make it as simple or complex as you desire!
Lastly, travelers notebooks are very popular types of planners that are just as flexible as bullet journals, but come with a little more room for creativity and customization. Similar to a ring-bound planner, but instead you use inserts created for whatever you want to put in your planner. Inserts are available in all types of categories, sizes, styles, and more and are easy to change in and out much like a ring-bound planner.
This is a pretty basic overview of what types of planners are out there. Although I’m sure there are a plethora of planners I didn’t get to (or probably just haven’t heard about). So that’s where YOU come in! Did I miss anything in what types of planners are available in the planning community? Be sure to share your thoughts below!
Anyways, thank you for joining me and you enjoy the rest of your day. Toodles!