How do you decide what planner is right for you? Picking your planner is a big deal because you are gonna be with it for a year!

The struggle is real. And with launch season upon us, it can be hard to figure out what you need. Or want. Which can be two very different things.

There are many planner brands and this guide will focus on Erin Condren’s Life Planner but the concept can be carried over to other planners. The sizes and layouts may be slightly different but you’ll know what to look at when launch time comes around. You’ll know what you want and not panic buy something you won’t use and love. 

Where do you start?

There are three main things to consider when picking your planner. 

  1. Layout – are you a weekly or daily person?
  2. Size – 7×9 or A5
    1. If you choose A5 do you want a coil or rings?

Let’s start with size because the size you want or need may change the layouts available. For example, Erin Condren does not offer a true vertical or hourly in an A5 but other companies do. 

Most 7×9 planners are on a coil and you can’t really add to your planner. The larger size is great if you need more room. It’s also perfect if you leave it on your desk or counter. It can get a little bulky to carry around. Although with the vegan leather folio, you almost want to show it off!

A5 can be on a coil or rings. With rings, you can add different inserts or get your own punch and add whatever you need. If you write large or have a lot to put in your planner, A5 may be too small for you. But if you want something to carry in your purse? The A5 coil would be perfect. A5 rings, depending on the folio you get, may also be a good size to carry around. Some rings folios can get quite bulky.

Ok, got your size figured out? Great!

Now, what do you need? Are you a weekly or daily planner? There are pros and cons to each. A weekly layout will allow you to see your entire week at a glance but you may not have room to fit everything you need in a day. A daily gives you plenty of space but you lack that weekly overview.

Weekly planners include vertical, horizontal, and hourly. With EC, the A5 does not come in hourly. New this year is the compact vertical. Other companies do have A5 hourly and vertical layouts. And if you get rings, you can grab all the different inserts to try!


This is the EC flagship. Available in the 7×9 coil. Each day gets three boxes. You can organize them however you need. Examples would be morning, afternoon, evening or work, home, to do. If you have kids you could do kids, work, home. It’s very flexible and can be changed daily or weekly.

Compact Vertical 

The new kid on the block this year at EC for A5 fans. Each page is divided in fours and has what looks like 12 lines per section. Monday through Thursday is on one page and Friday through Sunday with a notes section on the other side. It looks a bit like a cross between vertical and horizontal. This would be great if you have a lot of tasks instead of meetings or appointments. It could also be a content planner. There are a lot of possibilities with this layout! You can also get to-do or hourly washi and personalize each day as you need!

picking your planner


The traditional planner layout, at least in the US. Each day goes across the page. All horizontal layouts have lines across while some will include a blank box on one side of the day. Horizontal is great for memory keeping or tracking your fitness. 


Another traditional layout. Perfect if you have a lot of appointments or meetings. It’s also great if you like blocking out your time. The biggest drawback is if your day doesn’t line up with the preset times. 


New this year in the EC daily duo is the note page after each Sunday. You wanted it and they listened! This page is great for weekly planning, list-making, brain dumping, or even memory keeping! Plus it keeps each day on the same side every week. Monday will always be on the left and Tuesday on the right. It does put Saturday and Sunday on different pages but you get a blank page next to Sunday every week.

If you are getting an EC this year, this handy chart will help you see what options are available in what size, layout, and design. It makes picking your planner a breeze!

picking your planner

What planner(s) are you getting come launch day (or later this year if you don’t need the July start)? Let me know in the comments! 

I plan to get the A5 Agenda Daily Duo for the July start. 

For a January start, I think the A5 coil compact vertical would be perfect for my work planner. And I’ll stick with the 7×9 vertical as my content planner. 

Using this guide you’ll have picked your planner before launch day. EC Insiders will have early access. Not an Insider? Sign up today with my referral link and you’ll receive $10 off your first purchase! I will receive Insider points if you order.

Photos from Erin Condren website.

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.