I have been using the traditional Day Designer for the last year and totally loved it! This year, I had every intention of ordering a 2015 Day Designer but missed the deadline to preorder and kept getting bested with the following shipments. I tell you, rushing to the online order only to find that "Sold Out" sign has been driving me crazy. Just when I was close to my breaking point, Whitney English announced the Today & To-Do which was a slimmed down version of the Day Designer! I ordered immediately and have been using it for a week now! I know I have a lot of planner-obsessed friends out there, so this review is for you! ;)
StylE - OVERALL WIN
Colors - WIN
I have to give it huge props on the style charts. It's available in three muted colors - Pearl Ghost (white), Sea Bliss (mint), and Blush. See examples of the colors here. I went with the "Pearl Ghost," but the mint and blush look just as good and aren't too flashy. People always say they want a thousand options when it comes to colors and patters, but I prefer a few well-thought out options. I think these colors balance having multiple options with a beautiful, clean design.
Size - WIN
The Today & To-Do is 7.5" wide and 8.5' tall. For reference that is roughly 1.5" shorter than the Day Designer in both dimensions. You wouldn't think giving only an inch and a half would make such a big difference, but it really does! That difference means it's easy to carry in a purse, doesn't give a work out every time it's picked up, and doesn't take up nearly as much space on a desk! If I have the choice, I won't be going back to anything larger.
Material - WIN
The subtle raised texture on the front and backing is one of my favorite parts of the overall design. That combined with the gold finishings are the extra details that make it look "finished" without being busy or over complicated. I've already said it once, but I'll say it again, I LOVE the design of this mini planner!!
Price - Overall LOSE
Five years ago I would have laughed in your face if you told me I would ever spend $70 on a day planner, but I guess times have changed friends. The Today & To-Do's cost is $57 plus $13 for shipping for a total cost of $70. This cost is pretty much what you would pay for the 2015 Day Designer itself! I thought there would be a decent price break for this simplified version, but it was a disappointment when the difference was only $2. Now, obviously I still purchased it so I believe it was worth it, but that doesn't make me happy about it. :p
Pages - Overall WIN
Thickness - DRAW
Regardless of whether I picked up a $10 planner at Target or spent $70+, I have always wanted thicker pages! For the most part, pens will not get bleed through, but it would be nice not to see ANY "shadow" of the previous day. Again, I recognize that thin pages keep it light weight and reduce bulk. I'm sure I would complain if the pages were thicker as well. This is why I gave this subcategory an overall "Draw."
Content - BIG WIN
The reason why I LOVE the Day Designer is the reason why I LOVE the Today & To-Do. The below sections are the reason I can manage a full time job, run a photography business, volunteer 10 hours a week, and ya know, have a personal day once in a while! Each page includes:
- The "Today" of the "Today & To-Do." This is an overview of the day, hour by hour, from 7am to 7pm. This is a great scheduler, but I'm often working until 9pm or later. A few extra hours in the evening would have been helpful.
- The "To-Do" of the "Today & To-Do." This is a LONG section with task boxes so that a "to-do" can be easily checked off when completed.
- Today's Top Three. It's great that there is a place for this separate of the regular to-do list. For people who like to do it all, it's nice to have a place to break out the highest priority.
- Due. This mini section is a great reminder for various due dates throughout the year. For me, this mostly saves me from paying late fees on VA sales tax every month!!
- Dinner. For those of you that plan dinners for the week, there is a place for it!
- Dollars. I think most people keep track of their dollars outside of their planner but I'm sure it is nice to have if you need a reminder for budgeting or other. I have found it most helpful if I receive a check instead of credit card payment and can't record it in excel right away (say if I'm out on a shoot or traveling). It's helpful to have a place to jot down the name, date, and amount. If I cash it before getting home, I have the information I need for my income recordings.
- Don't forget. If you need a reminder for one big thing outside of the "Today's Top Three," this section seems like the catch all for those must-do items. I use this all the time, but there is definitely overlap between the "Today's Top Three" and the "To-Do" list.
- Download & Notes. I'm the kind of person that is always having random ideas (good and bad). I love having a place to jot it down, get it out of my head, and get back to whatever task I was originally working on. LOVE/NEED this section.
- Daily Gratitude. This has nothing to do with planning a day but how sweet is it to write down something you are thankful for everyday?? Love that this planner includes it even if there is limited space!
There are a few main things that the Today & To-Do does not have including:
- No monthly overviews, just yearly. I haven't missed it since I've always used Google calendar, but if you NEED a monthly overview in your planner you may be better off with the Day Designer or other planner.
- Non-dated. The Today & To-Do is non-dated, but has a place to write in the date. I can see where this feature would be nice for someone who doesn't need a planner every day of the week - for example, someone who doesn't use their planner on the weekends. For me, this is more of an annoyance since my planner is an everyday, always kind of thing.
- No worksheets. The last big difference I've seen is not having the worksheets at the beginning of planner, like the Day Designer has. These are great for goal setting and keeping the big picture in mind. I appreciate those worksheets but haven't missed them either.
The Today & To-Do is a smaller, bare-bones version of the Day Designer. It focuses on, you guessed it, the today and to-do. I give it a huge overall WIN because it includes only the necessities and therefore maximizes what a person needs to be organized and minimizes bulk! The omissions are perfectly reasonable and are a good balance for a small, easy to use day planner.