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For those who don’t know me, one of my favorite things is my planner. Not only does my planner keep me happy, but it’s the reason why I am able to manage such a tight schedule. I remember in High School my teachers would ask to see my planner because they were surprised at how neat, organized and colorful it was. Looking back on it, I would say my planner is the reason why I did so well and was able to stay so active and involved.

One of the first things my freshman year roommate and I bonded over was a planner. We actually showed up to school with the same one. We both used it in different ways but loved it just the same. When the end of the year was coming, we knew we had to start picking a new one. If you want to see the process we went through check out The Complete Guide to Choosing a Planner that Dani wrote. In the end, Dani picked the Get to Work Book and I picked the Emily Ley Simplified Planner. In this post, I am going to talk about the supplies I use, how I use it and overall review it.



  • EL Planner Flags- Perfect for tagging special occasions, dates to remember, ect.
  • LePens- These pens do not bleed through and come in a variety of colors, perfect for this planner. One thing I love is color coding and these pens make that so much easier.  
  • Frixon Highlighters– Again, like the pens, these highlighters do not bleed through, come in multiple colors AND my favorite thing about them is that they come with an eraser.
  • Thin Simple Washi Tape- The planner comes with a daily scheduling and this is great for filling in time slots. Also, as  I said above, I LOVE color coding. I have assigned each class a thing washi tape color. Any time that color pop ups, I will know it has to do with that class.
  • Thick Simple Washi Tape- If I want something to really pop off the page, I use this to write on.
  • Decorative Washi Tape- Incase you can’t tell, I LOVE washi tape. I use the decorative tape on all the pages with special occasions, holidays or important days to remember.
  • Calendar Stickers- To add a bit of color to any reminders or plans that I think will help it stand out.
  • Sharpie- To write over the washi tape that I use for scheduling my classes.

How i use it & REview

11880980_1137901826223758_1706990654_nSo I am going to be honest, what you see above it not actually a true representation of what happened on August 20. Heck, I haven’t even moved in yet, so there is no way I could have started my classes. BUT I made this to test all my ideas on how I will use my supplies. Let me just say, after creating this sample page, I fell even MORE in love with this planner.

Let me tell you why, each page will look different depending on my day. My color coding and washi tape gives my day a splash of color that will keep me motivated. Crazy thing: the more organized and up to date my planner is, the better I am able to focus and work. I have seen many complaints about the paper being too thin in my planner BUT with the pens that I mentioned above, it is not a problem at all. One unique thing I love about my planner is that every day has a quote. I wake up and take a look at it and it gives me motivation for the whole day. On top of that, it gives out “tips” about upcoming holidays. Such as, “Mother’s Day is in one week.” This gives me no excuse as to why it should sneak up on me and I forget.

7 Tips for an organized planner

  1. Color Coding- A great way for your mind to separate tasks and provide a lot of color.
  2. Highlight or Cross Off- Once you finish a task, it is important to cross it of or highlight. Not only does it psychologically help my brain feel more accomplished, but it helps me see the things I still need to do.
  3. Use Washi Tape- Washi Tape will become your best friend if you let it. I could go on and on about how much I love it. Not only does it provide patterns and more color but it helps separate, put emphasis and breakdown what your eyes are looking at.
  4. Plan Ahead and Update Frequently- As soon as you know something is occurring, track it in the planner. Nothing feels better than to see your whole week of events planned out right before your eyes.
  5. Keep it Open and Visible-  Since you spent so much time keeping your planner updated, make sure it is in a place where you can refer to it frequently. That way you do not miss or forget to do anything that you have already written down.
  6. Avoid Using a lot of Post-its- I am not going to lie, I love adding a sticky note here and there in my planner but I always have to be careful. Too much of it, and it will distract from the important tasks AND it can fall out with out realizing it. So in most cases, it is better to transfer information straight to your planner.
  7. Personalize It- This is YOUR planner, so make sure you make sure it represents you. Since it is full of your daily/ weekly life, make sure this is something that you will be happy to reference. You can personalize it with drawings, stickers, washi tape, color, ect.

I know I jumped all over the place in this post but I blame my flustered brain since I am packing for school, finishing up work and preparing for the new school year. But to sum this all up, I LOVE my Emily Ley Simplified Planner. I can not wait to see how it will turn out during the school year, but I have a feeling it is going to be great. At the end of the school year I will write a more in depth review of how I enjoyed using it for school.

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Emily Ley Planner: Review and Tips
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5 thoughts on “Emily Ley Planner: Review and Tips

  • August 20, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I love my planner but have always felt the pages have something missing, this one looks great though!

  • August 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    I’m a sucker for planners, and I love how you’ve organized yours! 🙂

  • August 20, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Great tips! I love planners/calendars and anything where I can write lists and to do stuff. I need to get some Washi tape. I’ve never used it before, but it would be great in a planner, so thank you for the idea.

  • August 20, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    I love planners. I love browsing planners at Staples and Barnes and Noble. I love buying planners. I love imagining how I’ll use them. But I suck at using them… lol. I need to fix that and be organized. I also need to have better handwriting. Yours looks so nice! Almost like a font I could download!

  • August 21, 2015 at 2:52 am

    Love this! You are so organized!!.. and you live a very active life. Wish I was this organized during undergrad! In school now, but with a child, its so hard to get everything done ! Color-coding helps so much! Thanks for sharing 🙂


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