If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love my Day Designer planner. I talk about it all. the. time. They probably get sick of me tagging them. But the format of the Day Designer has been so beneficial to me. It helps me keep my priorities straight, so I want to share the love.
I’ll be honest; I’ve experimented with other daily planners. But I always come back to the Day Designer. And the reason I do so is because of this Top Three section.
This area helps me in two ways. First, it forces me to pick, out of all the things I might want to accomplish in any given day, the three most important ones. These are the things that are going to make the most difference in my life. For example, it’s not likely that I’m ever going to put “Sweep the floors” in that Top Three section. While I love having freshly swept floors, the kind that feels good under bare feet, an activity like that isn’t going to move me from where I am today to where I want to be in the future.
Secondly, the Top Three has its own section from all the other To Dos that might end up on my list, like sweeping the floor. The Top Three is right at the top of the page. I can’t miss it. And because the Top Three is separate from all the other tasks, I know what the Most Important Tasks are so I’m going to get those done first before I tackle the other things on my To Do list.
Having the Top Three has made a massive difference in my productivity levels. There are some days I don’t use my planner. And I still get stuff done. It’s just not the important stuff. It’s not the activities that are going to make a big difference in my life or my family’s life.
But when I plan, with intention, the Top Three things, those are the days that I really build momentum and move the needle forward on my goals.
I also appreciate having the 4 D boxes, as I call them—Due, Dinner, Dollars, and Don’t Forget. I don’t often use them, myself, but I think it’s great to have the ability to track all these things in one place. It’s also a neat feature for memory keeping. Depending on what you put in the boxes, you can look back on your meals, your workouts, your spending habits, writing habits, reading habits, really any habit you want to track in the Don’t Forget box.
The other thing I love about the Day Designer is the classic, sophisticated black and white aesthetic of the page design. It’s clean and elegant. There’s a place for everything you might want to make a note of and there’s even a reminder to practice gratitude.
Because I am such a fan of the Day Designer, and because I own all the daily options, I thought it would be helpful to you if I wrote a post about them. There are a few layout options across the daily planners, so hopefully, this will help you decide which layout might work best for you.
Day Designer Ultimate Daily Planner Review
First up is the original Day Designer daily planner layout. The mini is 6.25 x 8.3 inches. The Flagship edition is the largest of all the options at 9 x 9.75 inches. They have the same page layout with just a few minor differences. These planners are available at daydesigner.com. There are different cover options to choose from.
Both of these planners have an inspirational or motivational quote. They have the Top Three area and the 4 D boxes. Due, Dinner, Dollars, and Don’t Forget. At the bottom of the page, both sizes have a Notes section and a Gratitude section.
Where these two layouts differ is in the hourly schedule. The Flagship, which is the larger size, runs from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm. The mini runs from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Note: The other thing I appreciate about the DD is the amount of writing space between the lines. I tend to write on the large side, so I enjoy having plenty of white space in which to write. There is roughly 5/16 inch or 8mm between the lines. It's the perfect size.
In these planners, Saturday and Sunday share a page. Because I run on a typical Monday-Friday schedule, this works for me. My weekends usually don’t have activities tied to a specific time, so I ignore the hourly schedule on the weekends and use the lines to make a To Do list. If individual weekend pages are a deal-breaker for you, you might want to look at Day Designer’s A5 planning page.
A5 Daily Planning Page
The next daily layout option, also available from daydesigner.com is the A5 ring-bound inserts.
Again, this page has the Top Three spot. But instead of the 4 D boxes, there are five lines, with symbols, for Workout/Health, Dinner, Due, Dollars, and Don’t Forget. This layout does not have the inspirational/motivational quote at the top.
At the bottom, you still have a Notes and Gratitude section, but you also have a place to track your water and food intake.
The hourly schedule on the A5 planner page runs from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm. The lines are about 6mm apart or roughly, 1/4 inch.
Undated pages come with the starter pack, but you can purchase dated pages in the Day Designer shop if you prefer. And Saturday and Sunday are on separate pages.
The Flagship, the Mini, and the A5 planning options are available at daydesigner.com.
Now we come to the line of daily planners that are part of the Day Designer for Blue Sky collaboration. If you like a little pop of color in your planner, this line might be your thing.
There are two size options. One is 5 x 8, and the other is 8 x 10.
First is the smaller 5 x 8. You’ve got the Top Three, and an hourly schedule that runs from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm, the To-do list, a Gratitude box. Instead of a notes section, there’s a box called Tonight. You could use that for dinner, general evening plans, something to look forward to, or events that take place after 8:00 pm. The weekend layout combines Saturday and Sunday on one page. And instead of a Top Three, it has an area for you to list with intention three things you look forward to doing. Don’t forget to plan a little fun in your weekend.
Last up is the 8 x 10 edition. This layout is a bit different from the smaller one.
It’s a 3-column format. The entire left column is the daily schedule running from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm BUT with 1/2 hours increments. Some people will like being able to plan in smaller increments than one hour so if that’s you, here’s your answer.
The second column is the Top Three followed by a To Do list underneath, and the Tonight box at the bottom.
The 3rd column is the quote, followed by a substantial Notes section and underneath that, the Gratitude box.
And because I’m super geeky like that, I also measured the space between the lines in the Day Designer for Blue Sky planners. Both editions give you roughly 6-7 mm or about 1/4 inch of writing space.
The Day Designer for Blue Sky planners are available at Blue Sky, Target, Office Max, Staples, and Amazon. There are different cover options as well as different color interiors but the layout is the same.
The one I use most is the Day Designer mini. I do love the classic black and white design. The Flagship is a bit big and bulky for my taste.
But I also really like the planners from the Blue Sky line. Sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of color on your planner pages. So I have a hard time picking a favorite; that’s how I come to own multiple daily planners each year.
This post has centered on the different layouts of the daily options. But if you have other questions about the Day Designer planners, you might be able to find the answers in the other Day Designer posts I wrote. This one is about the Flagship. This one is about the Mini. And this one is about the A5 Luxe planner.
I love my Day Designer so much, and it has been such a great tool in my life, that I want everyone to try it. And all of these planners are available in an academic year format (in addition to a calendar year format) that starts on July 1.