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The Simplified Planner

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A close-up look at the Simplified Planner and how it keeps me organized, without all of the frills.

I am a planner addict, in case you couldn't tell. I LOVE planners, and I truly feel like I'd be lost without mine! I've been hearing about Emily Ley's Simplified Planner for quite some time (it's one of the planners my busy mom readers seem to be most interested in!), so I shamelessly contacted the folks at emilyley.com and asked for a planner to review, and they sent one to me. So here is my honest review of this simplified (but still gorgeous) planner. Since I homeschool, I wanted to review the Academic Daily Edition for 2016/2017.

Simplified Planner - how I'm simplifying EVERYTHING and staying organized!
The Simplified Planner Cover

First, I have to say that I love the colors. LOVE them. Just looking at the stripes made me happy when I pulled it out of the box. Then I noticed that the design of this planner is actually named “Happy Stripe.” Then I decided that I needed another cup of coffee because my observational skills are sad this morning.

(Quick note about the image above: remember the whole black dress/gold dress online debate that went viral? The text box on the planner of the cover is gold, and so is the text inside, but when I took this picture it looked black in the photo. Two of my kids insist that it's black, but it's not. Weird, right? Does it look black or gold to you?)

Simplified Planner - how I'm simplifying EVERYTHING and staying organized!
Inside Cover – there's a really sturdy inside pocket on the front cover, and check out those beautiful colored tabs on the right! There is some glare on the tabs (sorry), but they arrived in perfect condition and seem to be really sturdy).


Simplified Planner - how I'm simplifying EVERYTHING and staying organized!

This is the cute yearly spread on the inside pages of the planner. I haven't finished mapping out our school year yet, but I'll be hi-lighting school weeks and vacation weeks in different colors. I also underline weeks that I'm taking off of work (unfortunately, those are few and far between). There is also a handy page of major holidays immediately following these calendar pages.


Simplified Planner - how I'm simplifying EVERYTHING and staying organized!
Bucket List – this is a super cute idea, and I love that it's so simple! I used a Purposeful Planner last year, and while it's awesome and there are tons of planning pages included, I just didn't have time to fill them out! This Bucket List page is a great way to keep track of my goals for the year – especially my homeschool and work goals.
Simplified Planner - how I'm simplifying EVERYTHING and staying organized!
This is the monthly spread page – I LOVE the font! It's so cute! The pineapple is adorable, too ( there's an explanation on why they include the pineapple on the front page of the planner). Fonts can make or break a planner for me – I need something cute to look at that doesn't take up too much space, so I feel like this planner hits exactly the right note of being cute without the clutter.
The Simplified Planner - gorgeous, simple, and perfect for people who don't like clutter!
Daily Page Spread – again, I'm a huge fan of the colors, and this daily page is exactly what I need (and why I'm using this as my planner this year). I've found that other daily pages on the planners I've tried require me to add a to-do list, which takes up valuable page space, and add my own dinner notes, etc. This page is perfect for me because it has My Day (I get up at 4:30 to work, but I can just fill in the time above 6am if I need to), a To Do section, a Dinner section, and Notes. Under Notes I write out my top 3 priorities for the day.

That's it! Can you tell I'm a fan of this one? I have several planner reviews coming up, but this was my favorite so I wanted to review the Simplified Planner first. This is definitely an excellent choice if you're a minimalist, or even if you are crazy busy and need to keep track of things without getting too overwhelmed. I think this has just enough space to meet my needs without getting chaotic.


  • beautiful colors
  • beautiful fonts
  • smaller size (according to emilyley.com, it's 6.75 x 9 inches – 7.75 x 9″ including binding)
  • simplified format
  • bucket list planning page
  • great year spread
  • thick, high-quality paper
  • weekend prep pages


  • no customization ( I don't really mind this at all)
  • no extra planning pages (if you love filling out lots of planning pages, this planner may not be for you)
  • only a few note pages

How I'm using this planner: The To Do List is perfect to keep track of daily cleaning tasks, work To Dos, homeschool projects, and more. The Simplified hourly spaces make it easy for my favorite way of staying organized – sticking to a time blocking routine. After I've filled in our appointments and commitments, I'll block out 4 hours for work, 1 hour for exercise, several hours for school, 2 hours for quiet time in the afternoon, meal times, and other major activities in the day.

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