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Day Designer vs Simplified Planner: Side by Side Comparison

Day Designer vs Simplified Planner: a face off for the title of Best Daily Planner. Who will win this battle of the ages? Read on for side-by-side comparisons, pen test, and more!

Day Designer vs Simplified Planner side by side comparison. Who will win as the all time best daily planner?? #planning #plannerlove #dailyplanner

As a daily planner, I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally put these planners side-by-side to help you figure out which one is best suited to your specific planning needs.

Both of these planners were purchased directly from the websites: DayDesigner.com and EmilyLey.com.


The Battle Begins…

In the gold corner, wearing the “Coming Up Roses” cover peach and white floral design with gold detailing, is the Day Designer 2020 Daily Planner weighing in at $59.00 +tax and shipping.

And in preppy rainbow corner wearing the “Pink Pineapple” cover with pink, white, and gold detailing, is the 2019/2020 Daily Simplified Planner weighing in at $58.00 +tax and shipping. (This is the same design as the new 2020 planners.)

These are NOT purchased through Blue Sky, Office Depot, or Amazon. Planners purchased through other sites may vary in their design and paperweight. Make sure to compare the product details thoroughly so you know what you’re going to get!

Day Designer vs Simplified Planner
Round 1: Product Details

StatsDay DesignerSimplified Planner
Planner Dimensions9" x 9.75"7.75" x 9.25"
Thickness1.5"1.25"
Page Size7.3" x 9.5"6" x 8.75"
Paper Weight90gsm (24lb)70lb (196 gsm)
Total Weight2.5 lbs1lb, 14oz

Decision Time: This is a really tough decision to make. I feel like it really comes down to what you are looking for in a planner.

On the one hand, Simplified Planner is perfectly portable. It can fit into a large purse or book bag, no problem. The size doesn’t take up too much room on your desk, making it easy to leave open and folded back to a daily page or wide open to the current month.

If you have small handwriting, love to jot down simple to-do lists and appointments daily, and always have you planner with you: Simplified.

On the other hand, Day Designer is a roomier planner. With a larger planner you get bigger monthly boxes, more to-do and timed lines in your daily layout that are more spaced out. The bottom line is that there is just a lot more room for all of your plans and your big, loopy handwriting.

If you have big, loopy handwriting, write down everything in your brain, and are looking for one giant planner to use for business, family, personal growth, and everything else under the sun: Day Designer.

Round 1: Split Decision

Day Designer vs. Simplified Planner

Day Designer vs Simplified Planner
Round 2: Cover & Exterior Design

Coil
Both planners have a gold wire-o binding with a diameter of 1.5 inches.
Simplified has 17 loops, and Day Designer has 18.

Detailing
Both planners have gold foil and gold metal detailed edges
Both also include a pocket on the interior of the front cover (neither has a pocket in the back)
Both feature a coordinating color on the inside pocket that varies by which design you choose

Cover Options
Both offer colorful color options with gold detailing in feminine florals and bold patterns
Day Designer currently offers 11 cover design options with 1 sold out at the time of this review
Simplified offers 6 cover designs with 1 sold out at the time of this review

Decision Time: The exterior design of these planners is very similar. However, Day Designer came out on top because of the variety of cover options currently available.

Round 2: Point to Day Designer


Day Designer vs Simplified Planner
Round 3: The Paper

Day Designer has bright white vs off white in the Simplified Planner.
Simplified definitely has a heavier, more substantial and smooth feel to the pages.

Day Designer states the paper weight is 90 GSM on their site, which translates to 24lb paper.
Simplified Planner states their paper is 70lbs.

Let’s take a look at the pen test.

Day Designer vs Simplified Planner Pen Test 1
Pen test on notes pages
Day Designer vs Simplified Planner Pen Test 2
Back of pen test notes pages

Decision Time: The paper in these planners performed very well. Each planner’s paper takes pen and pencil equally well. There’s minimal shadowing and no bleed. However, there is a bit of shadowing on each planner from the highlighters.

Sharpies bled through the Day Designer at the end where the ink pooled, and shadowed but did not bleed through Simplified. I don’t know who uses Sharpies in their planner, to be honest. If you do, stop it.

This really came down to the paper weight. Simplified has a heavier paper with a rich, buttery texture.

Round 3: Point to Simplified


Day Designer vs Simplified Planner
Speed Round: Interior Layouts

Interior Color

Day Designer continues the gold detailing on the interior layouts with gold monthly tabs. The page layouts are all printed with a light, low-contrast gray ink.

Simplified has a distinct preppy rainbow color scheme with navy, blue, green, yellow, light and dark pink tabs. This same colors are seen rotating through monthly and daily layouts. Pages are printed in a darker gray ink.

Decision Time: Whether you choose a neutral or colorful design comes down to personal preference. Both of these planners are beautifully styled with a lot of white space to fill up. Without a ton of color and design on each page, your plans and deco will take center stage.

Each planner scores 1 point.

Simplified Planner monthly layout
Simplified Planner Monthly Layout
Day Designer Monthly Layout
Day Designer Monthly Layout

Monthly Spread

Day Designer features a Monday Start monthly calendar, neutral/gray layout, with holidays noted with a gray flag. Since this planner is bigger, the boxes are larger and slightly rectangular rather than square.

Simplified Planner has a Sunday start monthly calendar, black and gray layout with square boxes, and colorful logo and month/year.

Both planners have a notes column on the left hand side of the spread.

Simplified also adds a Simplicity Tip and two mini-calendars for the previous and following month in the top margin, where Day Designer leaves the top margin blank.

Decision Time: Simplified makes better use of the margins in the monthly spread and has added convenience with mini-calendars. However, choosing a Monday or Sunday start monthly calendar might a the game changer for you.

Point to Simplified Planner


Weekday Daily Pages

Both planners have daily spreads for weekdays, Monday through Friday.

Both planners use a vertical layout with a timed planner and to-do list.
Day Designer: 5am to 9pm, 17 to-do lines with square check boxes
Simplified: 6am to 9pm, 16 to-do lines with circle check boxes

Simplified line spacing is the same as a college-ruled composition notebook.
Day Designer line spacing is just slightly larger than college-ruled but not as large as a wide-ruled notebook. It seems to fall right between those two sizes.

Simplified features a wide notes space at the bottom of the page, measuring about 2-1/4x5in.
Day Designer features a top 3 list, boxes for due, dinner, dollars, and don’t forget, a daily gratitude box in the lower right corner, and a notes box that measures approximately 1-1/4×5.

Day Designer vs Simplified Planner Daily Page Comparison

Decision Time: While both planners have a simple, classy design, Day Designer makes better use of the space without feeling like a worksheet. My experience with Simplified is that most of the time the notes section goes unused.

Point to Day Designer


Weekends

While the daily spreads in both of these planners have a similar layout, the weekends layouts are very different.

Both planners have Saturday and Sunday on a single page.

Day Designer has a vertical layout with a top three to-do list and timed daily planner from 5am to 9am for each day. At the bottom of the page is also a small weekly spread to make notes for the following week

Simplified has a split horizontal design with Saturday on the top half and Sunday on the bottom half. Each day has 10 lines titled “My Day” and a to-do checklist. Sunday also has a prep list including meal planning, tidying up, writing tasks for the week, and filling your “tank.”

Day Designer vs Simplified Planner weekend page comparison

Decision time: The vertical design of the Day Designer page might work for some people, buy my guess is that the majority of planners enjoy a more flexible schedule on the weekend, and therefore need a place for a longer to-do list.

The Simplified Planner’s horizontal weekend layout gives you a little more flexibility to write in your own appointment times under “My Day” and add a separate to-do list for Saturday and Sunday.

Additionally, with a daily and monthly planner in your hands, it is more efficient to transfer appointments from the monthly directly onto the daily pages without the extra step of a small weekly layout. So, that part of my Day Designer usually ends up with washi tape or just empty space.

Point to Simplified Planner


Extras

Quotes and tips
Day Designer features a unique quote on each daily page
Simplified features a Simplicity Tip on monthly pages, and Sunday prep list each Sunday

Notes pages
Day Designer has four pages for notes in the back.
Simplified has four pages for notes in the beginning.

Front pages
Both planners have a title page with space for name and contact information
Day Designer also features a word for the year box

Each planner has introduction pages that share information about the company, a “how to use” page, and holiday dates page

Simplified has a single page dedicated to mini-calendars (just the numbers) for the year.
Day Designer has a two page spread featuring small calendars that you can write on plus another page to list birthdays and important dates

Simplified includes their 30-day Simplicity Challenge as well as three annual planning pages: preparing for a new year, ideas for new routines, and my yearly bucket list
Day Designer includes 6 annual and goal setting pages including a self-assessment, what is important to me page, goal planning, steps to goal planner, ideal month, and ideal week.

Accessories
Both planners come with two pages of coordinating stickers
Day Designer comes with a snap-in ruler

Point to Day Designer

This was so close, but the additional goal setting pages and snap-in ruler swung my vote.


The Final Decision

Let’s take a look at the stats:

 Day DesignerSimplified Planner
Product Details
Exterior
Paper
Interior Color
Monthly Spread
Weekday Daily Pages
Weekend Pages
Extras
Total55

WOW! After eight rounds our competitors are neck and neck. Which planner will win out in the end?

Day Designer vs. Simplified Planner

Tie Breaker

While these planners are very similar at first glance, we have seen some big differences that could make it or break it for you.

Only YOU have the power to break the tie. Here are your tie breaker questions to help you make your final decision:

  1. Sunday start or Monday start monthly?
  2. What is more important: More space to write or portability?
  3. Which cover design do you like most, and is it in stock?

Where to go next?

Made your decision?
Find Day Designer and Simplified Planner online to place your order

Not quite what you’re looking for?
Check out the planners that will help you crush your goals this year

Need some help making your planner look lovely?
Find pen recommendations and lettering guides here