Planner Comparison Through the Years

There are so many planners on the market, it’s hard to pick just one (I mean, you have to keep it around for a whole year!). I realized this week that for the past three years, I’ve bought a different agenda. Since it’s my last year needing an academic planner, I’m doing a round-up and comparing my favorite and least favorite aspects of all three. This year I bought Lilly Pulitzer, last year I chose Plum Paper, and my freshman year I used May Designs. Here’s what I thought:


Lilly Pulitzer – Junior Year

Price: $17 – $36 (w/o tax)

Pros: The designs on the cover AND on the interior are so bright, colorful, and cheery. Each month you get a new quote to make you smile or inspire you. That is by far my favorite thing about this planner.

On top of that, Lilly Pulitzer agendas are surprisingly inexpensive; the price varies based on size and whether the spiral is covered or not. I went ahead and purchased a covered spiral, and I think it’s worth the money. It creates a sleek finish that isn’t there with an exposed spiral.

Cons: These agendas are 17 month planners, so you could never use one in its entirety. They run August – December of the next year. You would either miss the back of your old agenda if you bought a new one in August or the front of your new one if you purchased the next one in December. If someone understands this, I would love to know… To me it seems like it’s a way to avoid having to create two separate academic and regular planners (one that runs August-July and one that runs January-December).

Overall: I obviously have not actually used this planner yet, but I think I am really going to like it. Everything about it just makes me smile and that’s why I bought it. It is a great value and with free shipping and a free gift (a set of four multi-colored pens), I am more than happy with my purchase.

Planner Comparison: Plum Paper

Plum Paper – Sophomore Year

Price: $39.75 (w/ shipping w/o tax)

*I purchased the regular planner – not the academic planner.

Pros: You have 4 different formatting options for the inside pages. I chose hour-by-hour planning, and I loved it. It was highly useful and made me very organized. When I first picked it, I was worried my schedule wouldn’t fill it up, but in the end, it did, and I loved it!

There are pages for notes at the beginning and end of each month, which also helped to keep all of my thoughts and important reminders in one place.

After a year, it still looks the same as it did 12 months ago. There is virtually no wear and tear. The protective cover on this agenda was definitely a worthy addition.

Cons: First, it is the most expensive out of the three agendas.

Second, with the hour-by-hour layout that I chose, you only have 3 spots to write what you have to do daily. I have way more than 3 ‘to-do’ items a day. This was by far the biggest negative I found.

Overall: While using this planner, I truly felt that it kept me the most organized I’ve ever been in a time when I was the busiest. Everything was clearly laid out on the pages. There was room for quickly jotted side notes. Plum Paper offers a strong planner option.


May Designs – Freshman Year

Price: $29 (w/ shipping w/o tax)

Pros: The cover designs are so fun! And the choices are plentiful. May Designs fits a lot of different styles and offers the most exterior customization to your planner. They do preppy, retro, classic, girly, nautical, graphic, artsy… EVERYTHING.

One unique touch they add: if you purchase an academic planner, it comes with an adorable ‘design a life you love’ page, where you have space to fill in your goals for that year. The page includes goals for work, family, social, personal, etc.

Cons: After a year in my backpack, the cover was warn from rubbing in between my textbooks, leaving the design faded and splotchy.

Another cover issue: they’re not hardcover, which is definitely just a personal preference for me. On one side, not being hardcover makes them daintier and in a way cuter, but I need a durable planner.

Overall: I will be buying from May Designs again. I know that my May Book took a beating in my backpack, so I’m going to get a stay-at-home notebook for blog post ideas next time. They’re too adorable to pass up.


Is it fair to claim a favorite before I’ve even fully used one of them? Right now, my analysis is that Lilly Pulitzer wins out for my favorite based on looks. Plum Paper wins for functionality.

It’s a huge debate. Who creates your favorite planner? What do you love most about it? Just because I’m graduating in 2016, doesn’t mean I won’t need a post-college 2017 planner!

5 Must Haves for Every Blogger (Excellent Gift Ideas)

Nope, it’s not must have blogging techniques or design elements. I have no blogging tips today; it’s stuff for you! A list of real world items you should have to help you improve/connect with/ embrace your virtual hobby. Let’s take a look vv

Must Haves for Bloggers - a plan

1. A plan… If you’re starting to get serious about blogging, it always helps to have an editorial calendar and an idea of where you want to take your blog. Blogging is so flexible and allows for a lot of creativity and exploration, but losing focus all together can cause trouble. Sarah Morgan from xoSarah recently released The Badass Blog Planner: Your guide to defining your purpose, creating clarity, and building a year of killer content (pardon my language; I swear it’s what it’s called), and it looks like a really intense, valuable planner! I haven’t purchased my own yet, but when I’m back into the swing of things, I fully intend to. If it seems like too much for you, buy a regular planner to jot down post ideas and dates in.

Our Story

Jan and I met in August of 2012 at our school’s Purple and Gold football game. He was new to the country – just having arrived from Slovakia for a 10 month foreign exchange program. He was an instant hit among our group of friends; everyone loved him, and I just remember thinking he would make one girl very lucky.

I continued on in my previous relationship for about a month after his arrival, and when it finally ended, our acquaintanceship quickly escalated.

I had the opportunity to share my last homecoming with him, a trip to Florida, my senior prom, and everything in between. He became my best friend and the best part of me. We spent every minute of the last 7 months together, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

In the back of my mind, however, there was always the sad reality that it wouldn’t always be that way. And now, as school has ended and graduation is complete, I’m left alone in the old Praire State as he finishes his program with a trip around the country.

It’s been four days since I’ve seen him, and I already can’t stand it. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him…

I was so lucky to be able to spend our last days together in Chicago. I would do anything just to go back… Six more months before I’ll be in Slovakia.
Dreaming of December…