2014 Calendar Comparison

There are so many type of calendars available, it can feel a bit overwhelming when trying to pick out a suitable one for yourself.  My love for calendars and planners developed in middle school when it became necessary to have one to keep track of my school assignments.  Over the past two decades I have tried out many different kinds of agendas and in most recent years have settled on a Filofax as my planner of choice.  As a calendar lover, however, I am always on the lookout for interesting agendas and over the past year have come across a few different styles and brands I find noteworthy.  I thought I would share my 2014 calendar picks with you!

OJ_OLJ_12-21-2013_01Some like to keep it small and simple when it comes to their calendars.  Here are some of my top picks in this category:

Every year since I was about fifteen I’ve had a Mary Engelbreit Day-To-Day calendar on my desk.  This small, easel style day on a page calendar is a great way for me to enjoy Mary Engelbreit’s whimsical illustrations and uplifting messages on a daily basis.  This style calendar where you tear off a page every day is available in many different variations from cute animals, to sports trivia, and much more.  At just about $10 it is an affordable option if you’re in the market for something fun and personal to keep track of the date.

I only just recently learned about the company May Designs, which offers customizable notebook style planners in an affordable price range.  For $22 I purchased a non-dated weekly calendar May Book, which I customized to suit my style.  With over 300 covers to choose from, you can truly make this darling planner your own, especially if you opt to add a monogram.  They also offer a dated version as well as other kinds of record keepers, including a meal planner, calorie & exercise journal, wedding & bump diaries, and more!  You can even order a blank journal with different types of pages.  It’s slim and lightweight, but still large enough for room to write.

I have used and loved Moleskine notebooks over the years for a variety of purposes.  The Moleskine Soft 18-Month Weekly Planner is a great option for the person who prefers a non-fussy calendar.  It comes in two sizes, 3.5″ x 5.5″ ($16) or 5.25″ x 8.25″ ($20) and includes year and month-at-a-glance calendars in the front, a handy timetable and travel planning pages, and a week on a page calendar with space to make notes.

OJ_OLJ_12-21-2013_02I’ve become a big fan of a couple of organization blogs this year, both of which offer their own print-at-home planners for purchase:

The iHeart Organizing Daily Planner comes in a standard 8.5″ x 11″ printable size.  You can purchase the instant PDF download file at blog owner Jen’s Etsy shop for $13 with meal planning and $10 without.  The planner comes with a colorful cover sheet, two-page monthly calendars, and two-page weekly spread calendars.  For $4 you can also order a custom cover page printable from a choice of fifteen colorful options with your name on it.  Jen also offers other printables for sale in her shop, including budget planners, contact sheets, and more for $3 each.

The A Bowl Full of Lemons The Rainbow Planner is available in either an 8.5″ by 11″ or A5 (5.75″ x 8.25″) size.  You can purchase the planner through blog owner Toni’s webstore for $15 upon which you receive an email with your downloadable printable PDF file.  The planner comes with a cover (which you choose from four options), month on one page and week on two page calendars, as well as a daily task organization sheet, a notes page, and directions for double-sided printing (which is very handy!).  You can also purchase add-ons such as a financial kit, tasks kit, cleaning kit, and weekly organizer ranging in price from $5 to $7.

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The costs of these print-at-home options does increase when you consider paper, ink, and binder or notebook supplies necessary to house your planner.  I purchased 98 bright 32 pound paper from Staples (#1) in a ream (500 sheets) for $17 to print out both planners on high quality paper that wouldn’t bleed through with double-sided printing and marking with pens.  I also chose to punch the planners using an M by Staples Arc System Desktop Punch (#2) that cost $43 so that I could fit each planner into a Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery Discbound Notebook (#3) that I paid around $25 each for at Staples.

OJ_OLJ_12-21-2013_03As a planner fiend, I personally prefer full size organizers that offer me lots of space to write and come with beautiful covers and bindings:

I have become quite the Erin Condren fan over the past few months.  Her designs are playful, vibrant, and uplifting!  I decided to purchase one of the classic Erin Condren Life Planners (specifically in the style shown above called Zen Gems) to try out as my video and blog planner for 2014.  The baseline price is $50, but increases once you add your name and/or photos to the cover, as well as additional add-ons such as custom calendar stickers, special pens, matching notepads, and more.  My Life Planner ended up costing $96 when all was said and done!  Although it is definitely on the pricier end of the calendar spectrum, it is a beautifully made planner that I believe would suit many different kinds of calendar lovers.

Receive $10 off your first purchase when you sign up for the Erin Condren website (which means you receive the occasional email on current promotions and new products from them) by clicking here.

As I mentioned earlier, I am personally a Filofax fan and have used and loved the same Filofax A5 Finchley Organizer as shown above for the past few years with great success as my personal planner (sadly this model is no longer available).  I shared an in-depth look at my Filofax earlier this year, which you can find here if you are interested.  What I like about this beautiful leather binder is that it is fully customizable.  I can purchase a wide variety of inserts for it to suit my own needs.  I currently use three types of Filofax calendar inserts, including the A5 Month on Two Pages, the A5 Day Per Page, and the A5 Full Year Horizontal Planner.  As for accessories, I use the A5 Zip Lock Envelope and the A5 Ruler/Page Marker also available from Filofax.

OJ_OLJ_12-21-2013-05There are many other brands and small businesses that sell inserts that fit Filofax and similar binder style planners as well.  One of my new favorites is Charlotte Victoria’s Etsy shop, CharlottesWeb86, where she sells one of a kind Filofax Dividers and Filofax Today Markers like the ones shown above that she creates by hand.  She also offers them in the pocket and  personal planner sizes and you can contact her directly through her shop for custom orders.   You can also purchase ABFOL’s The Rainbow Planner (shared above) in the A5 size and print, cut, and punch it to fit in your A5 size planner.  There are so many more options available to customize this type of organizer!

Check out the video below if you’re interested in a closer look at these products as well as my thoughts on each one:

My hope in sharing my top picks for 2014 is that I can in some way inspire you if you’re in the market for a new calendar.  Or, if you’re a planner enthusiast like me, perhaps you just enjoy seeing a few of the myriad options out there.  I also wanted to share my love for beautiful calendars with you by hosting an accompanying giveaway to this post.  Since so many of you have used my Erin Condren referral link that gives you a $10 credit for your first purchase (see link under my Erin Condren blurb above if you missed it!), I had enough credits to cover ten $100 ErinCondren.com gift cards!

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The ErinCondren.com Giveaway will run until Saturday, December 27, 2013 at 6 PM CST.  The giveaway is open internationally (you can find information about Erin Condren international shipping costs here).  All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.  There will be TEN winners!  Each will win a $100 ErinCondren.com gift card like the one pictured above.  You can enter the giveaway by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below.   I’ll announce the ten winners on THIS blog post and contact them directly, as always.  Good luck!

*** GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED ***

Congrats to Erin, Katalin, Margaret, Stephanie, Caroline, Anna, Darcia, Paula, Skylar, & Amanda on being selected as the winners of my ErinCondren.com Gift Card Giveaway!

The Poll Results for *What type of calendar do you prefer to use?* out of 3802 entries:

Full Size Organizer – 73%
Small & Simple – 18%
Electronic – 5%
Print At Home – 4%
I don’t keep a calendar – 0%

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties.  If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.

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*This is not a sponsored giveaway.   All prizes were purchased using my Erin Condren referral credits.  This post contains affiliate links.  All opinions are my own*

64 comments

64 thoughts on “2014 Calendar Comparison”

  1. I used a Filofax Metropol personal in Kingfisher (which is a turquoise) this year but I’m switching to a A5 Cuba zipped in Chili (a dark red) for 2014 to better suit my evergrowing needs (especially work-related). I really enjoyed both the video and the blog post, the Mary Engelbreit is darling!

  2. Love this vid! I used to yes an 8.5×11 a Day Planner. I love using my iPhone as it all connects to my MacBook and iPad, but I still use a paper organizer too. I bought the Arc by M at Staples last year and love it!

  3. That’s really lovely to give away your credits in the form of gift cards for your subscribers, Jen. It is especially nice for your international subbies because it goes a long way towards an Erin Condren purchase that may not have been possible otherwise, due to the high shipping costs. So again, thanks for the chance to try out Erin Condren’s products.
    Have a magical Christmas with Don, Winnie and your family and happy calendar planning in 2014!

  4. I received my life planner 2 weeks ago and can’t wait for January to come! You may have mentioned this in one of your videos,do you assign a certain time to write down in your planner or do you use throughout day? I am hoping to be better this year with calendar habits. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  5. Thank you Jen, this is a lovely giveaway and very thoughtful of you. I love your videos and blog – great ideas. All the best for Christmas and a happy, peaceful new year.

  6. Hi Jen,

    This is my first time posting a comment. I recently found your vlogs and have been watching different ones from the past year. Your Filofax organization one inspired me to get organized myself. I lived in a world of post its with my to do lists. I’m using your idea of putting my to do list on the page a day calendar in my Filofax. I’m excited to start using my new system in 2014. Thank you for sharing your ideas. I look forward to seeing more!

    Hilda

  7. I have been waiting for this…excellent video!!!;) Thanks Jen!! I love bowl full of lemons much better than I heart calendar. Bowl full of lemons was much better for daily use….I found. 🙂

    I would LOVE to try erin condren’s!!! 🙂 Thank you for the feedback and opportunity!!

    Merry Christmas!!!
    k

  8. I ordered an Erin Condren planner in October from your recommendation. I’m obsessed! I also got a May Designs planner for my Stepdaughter that’s in college as part her Christmas. I really love that you do all the foot work so I can sit back, watch a lovely video and end up with great ideas for things to try or gifts for others. Thanks for the blogposts and links as well. I would love to see a video in 2014 on your Filofax/EC planner and how it’s all working out for you.

  9. I love planners and organisers {UK spelling!} too. I used to use a Filofax all the time, until I 2004 when I stopped for a few years and switched to using the calendar on phones & outlook etc. But I always missed the actual process of writing things down and referring back easily, so I’ve been using one (or two!) again since 2010. I have an aqua Finsbury in A5, that contains my life, and a slimline black personal size that I use just for work. I don’t know how people survive without one!

    Thanks Jen for this fabulous giveaway… all your giveaways this season have been so generous! You are such a sweet person. I wish you, Don and Winnie a wonderful Christmas… Much love from our (UK) house to yours!

  10. Love the video jen. I love planners although I’m not that organised. I seem to like thinking about using them more than using them! I love the Erin planner its gorgeous. Quite bulky for on the go but I guess you could have a smaller one too. Would love to see how you use them together in the new year- could you do a video on it to give us all inspiration? Have a great Christmas and make sure you take a good break over the holiday period.Xxxx

  11. Bonjour, je suis fan de vos vidéos et surtout de votre esprit ! J’aime que vous aimiez (lol) l’esprit de partage, de Noël etc et votre organisation. Je suis maman de 4 enfants et mon foyer est le plus important dans ma vie. Bref ! (lol) Quand je regarde vos vidéos, cela me donne le peps pour organiser ma maison malgré le fait qu’il faut recommencer encore et encore avec des enfants. Je rêve d’une maison comme la votre ; eh oui, en France, c’est rare ( pas la même superficie de territoire … Trop petite la France et en même temps diverse… 😉 ). Allez Happy holidays et je vous souhaite le meilleur ! Gros bisous

    1. Thanks for watching! Organization & picking up is something we all have to keep on top of every day to maintain a neat space, and I can imagine the effort increases quite a bit with children to look after! Wishing you & your family a very happy holiday season 🙂

  12. Hi Jen! Yes please do an updated 2014 calendar video :). I use the Franklin Planner “Her Point of View” compact size which is very similar to the Filofax system. I’d be interested to see how your two smaller notebooks (project management and OrganizedJen) continued to work for you and if you plan on doing those again or switching them to the Erin Condren planner.

    I’m a recent subscriber, and I have so enjoyed your videos! You have inspired me in numerous ways…I wish I could list them..but let me just say thanks for the motivation Jen!!!! Merry Christmas, Beth

  13. Hi Jen,

    This was a great video! I think Toni’s planner would be better suited as a family management binder, or as a way to manage a blog or YouTube account.

    I personally love my Filofax, I’m currently using a Raspberry Chameleon in Personal size. I have just switched out from my A5 Calypso and Finsbury to see if I can downsize a little. I’m currently using Filofax inserts however there is a lot of buzz in the community about DIYFish inserts. Fish has designed her out called Life Mapping System and she sells them on her Etsy store. At first I was a little confused by the system, but after downloading just one month it is a great system where everything is spread out. I’ll leave you some links to Fish and to a couple of people who have done some good reviews, just so you can see the genius of it!

    Philofaxy and My life All In One Place have hundreds of free printables for Filofax that cover all kinds of things too.

    Your warmth and kindness always shines through! Best wishes!

    I hope you don’t mind the links, but I thought as someone who liker her planning this would interest you 🙂

    DIYFish website. Fish has a link to her Etsy on there as well as her YouTube
    http://www.wondereland.com/diyfish/category/blog/

    Carrie Harling : Showing the LMS on her blog
    http://www.carieharling.com/?paged=2

    Nadine on her YouTube channel showing how the DIYFish inserts work
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMBtvZLYXb0

  14. I love your top calendar picks. I have a DayTimer Malibu planner in plum that is very similar to your Filofax Finchly, and I love it. It was a gift from my son. It would be great to see an updated planner organization video and blog post for 2014. Merry Christmas!

  15. If someone loves the Martha Stewart Discbound Planner system, but need to save a little – Staples offers the “M by Staples™ Arc” Customizable Planners, Tabs, and other accessories that fit the same (exactly interchangeable i believe).

    Maybe invest in the nice design of Martha Stewart and use the M by Staples™ Arc filler paper and tabs.

    Staples this week has a 15% entire in-store purchase – exclusions apply (check their website under coupons). If you want the more colorful Martha collection, you can still save a little.

    I’m really excited to put my planner together!!!!!!!!

  16. Thanks so much for the giveaway Jen! I purchased an EC planner for a friend because I thought she deserved it. I thought I should save money myself and bought a 2014 Martha Stewart Planner instead, although I thought the EC was absolutely gorgeous! I hope the gift cards don’t have an expiry date?

    Btw I have an organizing blog which I’d love for you to check out! 🙂

  17. Hi Jen
    I love your You Tube videos!
    I just wanted to let you know of another planner similar to the EC that I have found recently. It is the Simplified Planner, and it can be found at http://www.emileyley.com
    I have not bought one yet, as they are sold out until February, but I’d love to hear a review on it sometime. 🙂
    It looks amazing!

    Keep up the good work!
    Merry Christmas
    Tammy Shineldecker

  18. Just had to say that I love your websites and videos. I also love Mary E. I have every teapot and cut/saucer set! Along with books, calendars, magazines, etc. that I’ve collected through the years. If you don’t have any of her books in your collection, I think you would enjoy collecting a few. Can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2014. Merry Christmas!
    Donna
    http://www.mylifeonestoryatatime.com

  19. I loved this video so much!! I’ve been torn between getting the A5 or another type of planner. Your videos are always so wonderfully edited and a pleasure to watch. Thank you for the giveaway!
    Merry Christmas!

  20. I currently have a Filofax Domino A5 size but heard about Erin Condren from one of ure vids and fell in love! I love organizers and planners and hers look fab. I’m currently on maternity leave…still waiting for baby lol due in Jan….but don’t need such a formal planner this year as I’m not at work. Still want to try and stay organised though and her planners look great. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to win such a generous voucher prize and also for sharing ure link for an introductory offer. Wishing you, Don and Winnie a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year xxxx

  21. I really can’t decide what organiser to go with next year! I have a mini metropol FiloFax that’s great for keeping in my bag, but can’t decide on a full sized planner. I’m thinking I might invest in a full sized filofax with accessories to boot. I figure f I spurge on the purchase I’m more likely to keep using it to justify the cost – and that will really help to get me organised in 2014!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  22. I use an A5 binder from Russell and Hazel (Staples has some by Martha Stewart now). I have dividers I made with scrapbooking papers and plastic page protectors. I divided into ‘to do’ (soon), ‘to do’ (eventually, mainly house projects) ‘work’, ‘crafts’ (scrapbooking, photo management etc), and ‘shopping’ (we live in a rural area so shopping of all kinds for the city). In 2014 I’m adding a calendar in to keep track of small daily to-do’s. I use a decorative elastic band to keep it closed and slid my pen and marker onto.

    I have a wall calendar on my fridge (for monthly at a glance) and my smartphone (for portability) for appointments.
    Thanks for sharing your calendar reviews. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  23. Jen, you’re absolutely wonderful! You’re such a generous soul and we all love you for it! Happy Holidays! Thank you! <3

  24. Hi Jen, I subbed 9 mos ago or so cuz I needed help organizing myself. I purchased a simple Staples spiral planner, cuz frankly the budget was tight, and I was afraid to spend too much on something I wasn’t sure was going to work….I must say this is so Generous of you to think of your subbies so often. I can tell I would truly love winning one of these planners. After finishing this post I will re watch your last Filofax video. I remembered that I liked those little magnetic page holders, I want to go find some of those. Looking forward to an organized new year…. May the blessings you share with others, continue to bless you

  25. I was so excited to see this post and the video! I have already purchased the printable rainbow planner and am loving it!!! Thanks for sharing Jen!

  26. Hi Jen, I just wanted to say thank you to you for helping me get organised. I have always been and prob will always be naturally a very disorganised person but I knew,with things taking off so well on YouTube etc and all the plans I have, that I had to find a way of getting organised. I tried several ways but none worked for me and then I saw your video about a year ago on your filofax. I decided not to make a rushed decision as I had with other ‘systems’ I tried but spent til about 3 months ago really thinking it through. Looking at exactly what I needed, how that could be achieved ,watching your videos and doing research for ideas and inspiration. Then whilst filofax was on sale I purchased a beautiful raspberry finsbury a5. I have been using it this last 3 months and have never felt so organised. I have even posted videos on my YouTube channel of how I made my own dividers on my Cricut machine, and have even uploaded and scheduled for the first week of January an update of my finished filofax – couldn’t have done that before as wouldn’t have known what I had done, should have done etc lol! I’ve made a lot of use of the free printables and info from one blog in particular that is huge amongst filofax fanatics :-). The philofaxy blog, as it’s called, has lots of free printables, amongst other things, and I thought it may be of interest to you and your viewers. There are two main web pages with lists of free printables. The first is just regular type ‘filofax’ pages and then the second page has more unusual but really useful pages. All free. I have also added another set of links along the same lines as philofaxy blog. The guy who writes this blog is a contributor to the philofaxy blog and has a lot of free printables on his site too.

    I don’t know if I am telling you so etching you already know as the Philofaxy blog and Facebook page is huge within the filofax community and there is so much useful and fun info on both via posts, photos and videos.

    Anyway Thanks again Jen for the inspiration, Happy Holidays Amanda

    Regular type of filofax pages, free printable – http://philofaxy.blogspot.co.uk/p/diary-inserts.html
    More unusual pages again free printables – http://philofaxy.blogspot.co.uk/p/files.html

    Another usual page of free printables from a philofaxy contributor – http://mylifeallinoneplace.blogspot.fr/p/free-diary-pages.html
    And his more unusual pages – http://mylifeallinoneplace.blogspot.fr/p/other-free-inserts.html

    Please note that as the second links are from a contributor to philofaxy there may be some overlap in the printables on the two sites

  27. I use to just have big month at a glance calendars, but after you mentioned the Erin Condren LP in October, I went to their website and investigated. I love the life planner and wonder where its been? It’s perfect for organizing my busy life and managing my goals. Thank you so much for introducing me to EC. Her planner and your organizing tips are so motivating!

  28. Thank you for the chance to win Erin Condren products. I have not yet tried them but they look interesting. I do use the Arc/Martha Stewart binders from Staples as my teacher planner and other planners and it is the one system I’ve loved and used the longest! This is my first comment on any of your blogs, etc. Just want to say I’m out here watching and really enjoying your work! Thank you and Merry Christmas.

  29. I’ve been watching your planner videos for a while now.
    I find it so hard to stay organized, but hardly know where to begin!
    Thanks for all the tips and tricks!!
    Merry Christmas!!

  30. I am so lame, I have always used a month at a glance calendar on our fridge for our family. My hubby and I also sync calendars on our phones but for the most part everything that we do goes on that calendar. Our daughter plays on multiple sports teams so I find it helpful to have it all there where we can see what’s going on each day/week. My husband coaches one of her teams and we maintain that calendar through shutterfly which is very helpful in keeping the team organized. I rarely do a daily to do list, I just know what I need to do I guess, unless it’s something out of the ordinary, I don’t feel the need to write it down anywhere. I actually have found it overwhelming when I’ve made long lists and think, wow, I’ve got a to going on! Lol!

  31. 2014 has to be the year I get it together. Today I started making a to-do list for Christmas 2014 as I refuse to be disorganized again next year. I would love to have a calendar system in place and will certainly be working on that. Thank you!

  32. Thank you for posting your blog!!!! I am determined to get my life organized for 2014…Thank you for the chance to win. You rock!

  33. Great blog post and video, Jen! I’d love to see how you’re planning on using your A5 Filofax for 2014 in conjunction with the EC LifePlanner. Thanks for your generosity and Merry Christmas!

  34. Hey Jennifer,

    My goal is to purchase a leather binder to use as a planner, but for now I use the Better binder from Staples. I love the versatility and the different color options. I buy calendar inserts from Avery and make my own pocket dividers from card stock. I am the type who likes to switch things out depending on my mood, so this system works great for me.

  35. You are so generous to have a giveaway with all your referral money. I use a Franklin planner in the classic size for work and for family life and my kids I use a two-page monthly spiral calendar with a week on two pages. I usually buy it at Target when they start selling school supplies n the summer.

  36. I typically use a wall calendar for quick, at-a-glance type items, like bill due dates, birthdays, travel, and appointments. I like small day planners for more detailed things, like meal planning, projects, and classwork. Of course, when I do use a day planner, my appointments and travel plans are listed in there too. 🙂

  37. Very informative video and coordinating blog post, Jen! After seeing your reviews, I ordered the Erin Condren Life Planner. I just got it in yesterday and started working on it today! Eeeekkkk! I LOVE it!!!

    Thank you! 🙂
    Jill

  38. Thank you so much for posting the video comparing the different planners. I was unsure of how big the A5 was and was really interested in the Erin Condren planner also.

    I am SO bummed I missed this giveaway!!

  39. Jen,

    I have to say that you’ve completely inspired me to try to be a planner person again this year. I tried every year while in college. I would purchase a planner at the beginning of the fall semester, add all my assignment dates after receiving my syllabi and then NEVER open the planner again.

    I’ve spent the last 3 weeks watching all of your videos, along with other planner people on Youtube and I purchased a planner from Plum Paper and used your referral link to purchase stickers, etc.

    Thanks for all your hard work! I would love to see an updated video on how you’re using your planners for the new year!

    1. I don’t do anything particularly special, really. I start projects as they come to my awareness and work to complete one before starting another.

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