Do planners recommended for people with ADHD actually help more than other planners for someone with ADHD? 

Let’s find out!

Today we are reviewing the Essential Daily Planner. This planner comes in three sizes, 5×8 ($15.95), 7×9 ($17.95), and 8.5×11 ($19.95). I am reviewing the 5×8 version. They all are cream paper with wire-o binding and come with a snap-in ruler with sticky notes.

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I used the planner for three weeks and here are my thoughts. First, for me, the 5×8 is too small. Or my handwriting is too big. I made an attempt to write smaller and a few different ways to make a to-do list in the top section. I also moved items around to see how they would work in different spots. I think my week two and three worked much better than week one. 

I do like how simple and clean the layout is. There’s nothing to really distract you. The monthly overview is simple and has enough room to fit a few items. As with most planners, there is a notes sidebar on the month. There is no dashboard. It goes right into the weeks. The weekdays are split in two, the top half being a blank to-do section and the bottom is times from 7 am to 8 pm.

One thing I did not like is the time section. I thought I would but when I had things on the half hour, there wasn’t really a spot for it. The hour has a line and the half-hour gets dots. It was a struggle when I had something at 8 and 8:30. The 8:30 item got squeezed on the dots.

The other thing that really bothered me and would probably stop me from using this planner is each week has a mini month for the current month and next month. I don’t need both and it takes up precious space on the Saturday/Sunday column. I’d rather have the space for additional weekend space. I hate planners that don’t give room for weekends because that’s when I do ALL the things! I peeped the larger sizes and they have the mini calendars next to each other and a weird space below them. I don’t know why they wouldn’t put them on the bottom of the page and make Saturday/Sunday bigger?

Overall, it’s not a BAD planner. The 5×8 is a good size if you need to carry it with you. The best part is the simple layout and it’s not too distracting. Although I think the weird mini planners in the larger size would annoy me with that extra space below them. 

The limited space, especially in the 5×8, means you gotta make choices. What do you really NEED to do? This is helpful for someone like me who thinks they can do EVERYTHING and it all only takes 15 minutes! I’m never late but I have other difficulties with time. I think things won’t take as long as they do. 

It would also be good if you do time blocking. I used the time section to mark off my work hours but you could also do that with tasks. I do not do time blocking. I have tried in the past and I usually end up doing whatever I feel like for however long instead of following the blocks.

Each of us with ADHD is different. While this was not the planner for me, maybe it will be perfect for you! What are your thoughts on this planner? Do you think it would be a good one for you?

If you want the Essential Daily Planner, head over to my YouTube and watch my video on it because it will tell you how you can win it!

Categories: Planning


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.