Life Hacks

Need a New Planner For The School Year? Consider This Before Buying!

The best contenders in the planner game, dissected for your convenience.

The most significant purchase I make every year is a new planner. I know, I sound annoying, but seriously. I always purchase a new planner in July/August, because that’s when all the big sales and new lines are launched- okay, maybe I am a little neurotic for knowing this.

The research in the weeks leading up to a new planner purchase is extensive, but necessary. Without my planner, I am nothing. So, I can justify being picky and having specific criteria I look for.

Luckily for you, I will share with you my 2017 reconnaissance so you don’t have to go through the painstaking review I did.

ban.dō

new planner

ban.dō is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle company that designs clothes, accessories, agendas, and more. Personally, I’d love to sit in on one of their staff meetings because judging by their social media and products, it seems like they have a grand ol’ time in the office. Their products mix sass with functionality and prove that office supplies and organization can be exciting and pretty, too.

Their millennial pink-clad website uses on-trend language and makes me want to peruse it for hours—which I do.

we’re gonna let you in on a little secret: the 2017–2018 ban.do agenda is not just your average planner. oh no! it’s also an art gallery, a cheerleader, a top secret document, a personal assistant, and a best friend. –ban.dō.com

What’s goin’ on:

ban.dō’s agendas come in three sizes: classic, medium, and large—the classics are case-bound and the medium and large styles are spiral-bound. They all come with sticker and note pages, and include year, month, and week views.

What sets them apart:

As I mentioned, ban.dō serves some sass in its products. The pages are adorned with witty messages and funny drawings, but still leave ample space for your life. The company’s designs for the agenda covers feature holographic print, with messages you won’t see from anywhere else like “I AM SUPER BUSY” and “I DON’T WORK HERE.”

new planner

Why I love:

ban.dō wins my heart because they incorporate trends as well as give you what you need out of a planner. I want everything on their website (@shopbando, *wink*), and I credit that to their designs and affordability.

My critique:

The one and only critique I have here is that I wish that ban.dō had brick-and-mortar stores. This is entirely selfish; I just couldn’t seem to find a flaw so I’m digging here. Could you imagine how ethereal a ban.dō store would be?

Where to purchase:

Nordstrom, Paper Source, and the ban.dō website. Many independent retailers carry their products, too—click here to find a ban.dō near you.

Price:

Unlike a lot of other lifestyle brands out there, ban.dō keeps its products affordable. Agendas range from $20-$32.

Psst! Check out their #omgbandoagenda hashtag on Instagram.

Erin Condren

new planner

It’s a bizarre transition to go from working 12-hour days in the apparel industry to becoming a stay-at-home mom of TWO. I developed a case of cabin fever and began searching the internet for career opportunities I could do from home. –Erin Condren

When she first started out, her one-woman show was based in her children’s playroom and had a tight budget. She started out small, producing note cards for her friends as birthday cards, hostess gifts, et cetera. Condren credits her friends with spurring her to start selling her creations in 2004, and she never looked back.

Her best-selling product is the LifePlanner. This completely-customizable organizer is truly whatever you want it to be.

What’s goin’ on:

On her website, you can begin customizing your LifePlanner by choosing the cover design you’d like. From there, choose the page layout, color theme, and calendar layout. The final step of the design process includes choosing a coil color (for binding), a colorway (customize the front design, if you desire), and adding your name to the cover. How cool is that?

What sets them apart:

The ability to fully customize every aspect of your LifePlanner is something that you will not find anywhere else, from any other company.

Why I love:

I love LifePlanner because you can completely make it your own. You might be the only one in the world with your design!

My critique:

They are on the pricier end of the planner spectrum—but you’re paying for the personalization. The price is justified, but dropping $60 on a planner isn’t feasible to most students.

Where to purchase:

Her website.

Price:

They start at $55 with basic customization. Some customization options rack up additional fees—be wary of that!

Lilly Pulitzer

new planner

A brand typically associated with resort-wear and Southern style, Lilly Pulitzer’s agendas are also something worth talking about.

What’s goin’ on:

Lilly’s agendas feature the same signature flashy, bold prints that her clothes are known for. They come in three different sizes (medium, large, and jumbo), and are all spiral-bound. Agendas all come with sticker and note pages, and include year, month, and week views.

What sets them apart:

Lilly Pulitzer’s prints are truly one-of-a-kind. All the pages in the agendas are so beautiful and feature watercolor doodles and patterns—so cute.

Why I love:

I always feel super fancy when I have a Lilly agenda. I don’t know why—maybe because they come from a successful fashion line? I’m not sure. But I do like the unapologetically-girly look they have.

My critique:

This is relatively minor, but I never liked that there were constant plugs for their clothing line incorporated in to the planner’s design. For example, they will take up a whole line of the planner to mark the release of “Lilly’s Spring/Summer Resort Line.” Again, not a huge deal, but I would rather do without.

Where to purchase:

The company’s website, Paper Source, and sometimes independent bookstores/retailers carry these agendas.

Price:

These agendas are priced at $22-$35, depending on the size you choose.

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Not looking to invest much money in to a planner or need one right away? Target is the answer! I mean, I’ve found Target is the answer for most things, but they do have great planners at a low price. This past year, I purchased a Mead planner from there and absolutely loved it. Additionally, Brit + Co. just released a super cute line of office supplies there, planners included!

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Journalism/Editorial Intern for Metiza. University of Oregon graduate...