A passion of mine is planning. I love to plan. More specifically, I love to test out different planners/agendas.
Do you know what I’m talking about? People call them “Planners” but I call them “Agendas”. You know, the calendar book where you write down everything that is scheduled and everything that needs to happen so that you ideally don’t forget anything important?
If you aren’t on the agenda-train, hop on real quick. It’s life changing once you’ve developed the habit of writing everything down! If you hate writing stuff down and operate solely on technology, this post isn’t for you. We’re talking paper here, people. Paper and pens, flipping pages, stickers, colored pens, sometimes paper cuts…ah, the good life.
Different seasons of life call for different planning styles, and there are so many great agenda options to fit whatever phase we’re going through! For my busier seasons of life, I tend to go with a highly-detailed agenda. My slower seasons call for a simple format.
In this post, I will compare my top four favorite agenda brands so that you can start 2020 off right – organized AF. You’re welcome. While there are so many other agendas I have tried, these are the four brands that are worth going back to.
RIFLE PAPER CO.
Let’s start out basic with Rifle Paper Co. They make a fantastic spiral-bound, simple format that is perfect for those who want flexibility in what they write. No hourly layouts here – just lines to write in what you will. Sizes come in Regular and Large.
My choice for: The slow season. It’s great being able to write in only what I need.
You’ll love this if: You love organized simplicity. You aren’t super creative with your agenda. Too much color on your pages is distracting or stressful. Or, you like to add stickers or little doodles, but not a full-fledged piece of art.
Downside: The choice of covers can be pretty limited. Typically, Rifle comes out with a few different options each year. If you’re not a fan of the patterns, you’re out of luck until next year. This makes it tough if you’re wanting a consistent agenda every year – however, there has only been one year in the last three or so that I have not loved their options. You can also DIY a cover OR you can use stickers to personalize the cover into something more to your liking.
Paper color: A relaxed and wonderful balance between too white and too creme. By far my favorite paper color.
(I didn’t have a picture of my old Lilly, but here is Koko in our Korean apartment with the artwork from my Lilly agenda on our wall!)
Lilly Pulitzer was a favorite of mine in late college and while living in Korea. While the format is basic, the agenda is just so FUN. The colors and designs scattered throughout the pages means you can write in black pen and still have an exciting agenda. Do you lack creativity? No problem with a Lilly Pulitzer. Sizes come in Large, Medium, and they used to have a Small but it’s not currently on their website. If you’re wanting a pocket-sized Lilly, I would sign up for their emails so you can be notified if more agendas are stocked! Spiral-bound is your option for these.
My choice for: The slow season.
You’ll love this if: You love color. Color doesn’t stress you out. You want your agenda pages to be colorful but you don’t necessarily want to do it yourself.
Downside: Similar to Rifle, Lilly can be limited on covers. They are also pretty bold with color. If you’re more subdued, this isn’t the agenda for you.
Paper color: Very white. Shockingly white. This bold white fits the bold colors!
Papersource has so many options! They sell other brands, such as Lilly Pulitzer, but for this post, I am talking about Papersource products sold by Papersource. Papersource is a great place to go if you want some options. Monthly view? Yep. Weekly view? Yep. Daily view? Yep, yep, yep! These agendas come in Small, Medium, and Large and have spiral or hard-bound options. Occasionally, the hard-bound will also be lay-flat. This means that when you lay it down, it actually lays flat instead of annoyingly popping up. Great for those who are left-handed!
My choice for: Variety. Whether you are wanting a monthly view for planning ahead (great for budgeting), or a daily view for the nitty gritty details of hectic seasons, Papersource will have an option for you. The pages leave plenty of space to decorate until you’re blue in the face.
You’ll love this if: You like options. You want to decorate your agenda with stickers and fun pens OR you want a very simple, colorless page so that your writing is the focus.
Downside: The pages are pretty dull. Efficient, but lacking in color. So, if you hate being creative or using stickers but you want a fun-colored agenda, I’d steer clear of these or enlist an employee’s help at Papersource! Seriously, it’s their job to help you be creative…which they love. Don’t be shy!
Paper color: Depending on the agenda, anywhere from a soft white to a creme.
Erin Condren is a great option for designing exactly what you want (or close enough).
For the spiral-bound agenda, there are so many covers to pick from…AND they’re interchangeable. You can apparently upload your pictures to make your own cover online as well. Agendas also come in hard-bound, which has options for covers but are not interchangeable. You get to pick whether your pages are in black/white (neutral) or color, and whether to personalize the cover. Note: EC can be confusing to navigate due to the numerous options. For this post, we’re talking about Lifeplanners, which are most similar to the other agendas above.
You can pick from three layouts – Vertical, Horizontal, or Hourly.
Vertical – A great simple layout that allows you to be artistic with stickers and fun pens. Great for those who want free reign.
Horizontal – Similar to Vertical, but with lines. Great for those who want creative space but also structured lines.
Hourly – Perfect for the hectic season. There is room for creativity, but not too much room. (This is the version I use right now!)
My choice for: Those who want to decorate their agenda. Busy or slow seasons of life. Pretty versatile.
You’ll love this if: You want options to personalize your agenda. Great for those who enjoy decorating their agenda.
Downside: The spiral binding is a bit large. This is awkward if you get this agenda next to another spiral-bound book. Shouldn’t be a problem unless you are rough with your agenda – I would recommend an agenda like this or a hard-covered spiral-bound agenda. The other downside is that there are A LOT of options in this brand…too many if you are prone to decision paralysis.
Paper color: In my opinion, not as bright white as Lilly, but definitely still white. There isn’t any “off” white going on here. The color is growing on me.
There is SO much that goes into picking an agenda, more than I could possibly put into this post. If you have any agenda questions, please let me know! I would love to talk through your agenda needs and help find a great fit for you. Seriously. This is my (odd) passion, it won’t be annoying at all, I promise.