Organized + Stylish

By Kate Riley January 3, 2011

Happy New Year !  Don’t you just love January?   January always brings the promise of great things to come, the chance to turn the page and start fresh.  Be it resolutions made, a checklist of personal goals, or simply a commitment to be “Better, Stronger, Faster…” (name that 70s TV show!)  
Yesterday I removed all that garland that was dried to a crisp and gave everything a good dose of clean.  Nothing like starting the year with a clean slate, clean shelves, and countertops, right?  And there’s nothing like posting a brand new calendar in the kitchen and cracking open a brand new daily planner too.   
Despite the march of technology, the smart phones and the online organizing tools, I’m still completely old school when it comes to my own daily planner.  In this modern world when so much is typed, I actually prefer the ‘chore’ of writing something down.  I say it’s a lost art, like the handwritten heartfelt ‘Thank You’ note.  I always say to anyone wanting to book me for anything, “If I don’t write it down, well darlin’, it just doesn’t happen.”  So every year, I look for a new planner that is stylish enough to put on display when penciling in those commitments.
Today I’ve invited my good friend Cristin of Simplified Bee to share her picks for the best (and chicest!) planners.  I had the immense pleasure of rooming with Cristin when I traveled to NYC last fall, and we quickly became friends.  Cristin has impeccable taste in design and is also a professional organizer, so who better to share the best planners for any gal-on-the-go who seeks to be both organized AND stylish!  
Take it away Cristin!
“Keeping a day planner is an essential time management tool and one that will help get 2011 off on the right foot.  By logging appointments, schedule and important dates in a daily planner, you can reduce stress by knowing that you aren’t forgetting anything.  When kept up-to-date, a planner allows you to find needed information quickly, prioritize effectively and schedule appointments immediately.
Even though there are several great online calendar options, I enjoy writing down our household schedule in a good old fashion day planner.  Today there are so many beautiful and chic options available in a variety of colors, prints, sizes, functionality and price.  
Here’s my list of favorite planners for 2011:
Known for her fun, vivid Palm Beach inspired prints and patterns, Lilly Pulitzer offers a chic collection of daily agendas for 2011. This useful and unique planner features a 17 month agenda {August 2010  through 2011} and is complete with weekly & monthly calendar pages, dates to remember, contacts and notes.  A large version {6 3/4″ x 8 7/8″ is $24.95 and includes stickers.
human braiding hair

Kate Spade knocks it out of the park again with this stylish,  miniature pocket organizer. This six-ring binder crafted in sturdy cotton canvas with smooth cowhide trim features pockets for credit cards and a snap closure.  I love that it can be used year after year by simply updating the refills.  The dated refills for 2011 are simply adorable too.
lace front wigs
San Francisco’s Sarah Pinto offers a series of colorful, preppy Weekly Planners for 2011 to help you organize your busy schedule.  Not only are these 5 x 7 sprial bound planners stylish, they are also eco-friendly and made in the USA with recycled paper.  These beauties are economical too at $25! Sarah Pinto is also running a special that gives you a planner + notebook + postcard set for a total of $40!  
planner 2010 Pinto2
This Home Office Edition planner by momAgenda also gets my vote.  The spiral-bound  17-month planner  is functional as it is beautiful.  Families can easily track in a week-to-week format appointments, activities and important dates  for mom and up to four kids. It also provides monthly with handy tabs, note pages and two folders for loose papers you don’t want to lose. And my favorite detail, it can be personalized!
planner 2011 momagenda
Known for her preppy, monogrammed stationary, Lucite trays and playing cards, Dabney Lee doesn’t disappoint us in the daily planner department. Her fill-in planner is perfect for anyone on the go!  The planner measures 6.5″ x 8.75″ features 62 fill-in style pages and is non dated so you can start your planner any time of the year.  By selecting your favorite style swatch and monogram type and color, each planner is unique. Love that!
planner 2010 dabney lee
This compact, durable 365 Ring-bound Undated Planner by Franklin Covey is also on my list of best planners for 2011. Available in several stylish options this12-month, undated weekly planner lets you start planning any time of year without missing a beat.  Great for throwing in a purse, the planner’s lightweight binder features wipe-clean coated canvas, a pen loop, handy pockets and a snap closure.  And at $19.95, it’s a steal!
planners 2010 franklin covey
These fresh and simple pocket planners by Dozi are the perfect size to throw in a purse. And at $11.50 they would make great new year’s gifts for family and friends.
dozi pocket planner
The Life Planner by Eric Condren has been my personal favorite for a few years now.  It just screams fun. And every year it just gets better and better {laminated covers, zip-locked pouch and personalized gift labels} 
planner 2010 Erin Condren
Not only is it functional {year & month at-a-glance and weekly views broken into morning, day & night}, but it offers endless design options. Erin features several design options, but she allows you to select your own color, add your name and a logo or picture.
Happy 2011 and happy organizing!”

Thanks so much Cristin for your list of Favorite Planners for 2011 !   Wanna see which one I’m working with this year?  The Dabney Lee!  It came the other day, beautifully packaged and personalized with my name.

kates planner

How sweet is my hub to take my subtle hint?  (I mean my series of emails with specific links and personalization choices . . . .)  I’m quite sure he knows one of these will keep me sane, and as a result, he’ll be better off too. *wink*

What’s your best organizational tool for 2011?



  1. I love the one with your name on it – but then I’m all about a spiral bound note book :)

    I just use a pretty notebook, one that will fit in my purse. It’s not really a planner, per say, but more a place to jot down my to do lists, ideas for projects or products, or even a place to make notes to myself to keep everything straight. Writing it all down really does help, so I guess I’m old school, too {Just like the Six Million Dollar Man – lol}

  2. I’m on my SIXTH Mom Agenda ~ LOVE them. Although all those other preppy choices sure are beautiful and I will definitely look through them after the kiddos leave for school ~ so fun!

  3. I use the Mom’s Plan-it. I get it at barnes and Noble each year after christmas (1/2 price) It has a calender/ shopping list and to do list each week. Helps to keep me on track.

  4. The agenda’s look great, but I think I’m with Gina on the notebook thing. I recently got a smart phone so I’m still in awe. It really is great for lists, especially grocery lists, because I usually forget to bring the paper that I wrote the list on. (I’m still working on my organizational skills)

    By the way, I nominated you for a Stylish Blogger Award! To accept, just visit my blog and pass along the award.

  5. I am going to check these out..I didn’t like the brand X one I purchased last year..I think these are adorable..thanks for this post!

  6. I agree with you wholeheartedly about writing things down…it is a lost art–just like thank you notes! :) As much as I’d love a fancy iPhone, I know I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my schedule b/c I wouldn’t be writing everything down. I bought a tiny planner for “on the go,” but I don’t think it’s going to do the job. I LOVE the Mom Agendas pictures, and the Dabney Lee is definitely also going on the list. Lovely!

  7. I am a planner geek and I love this post! While most of my life is technology driven, I must have a hand written planner in my purse at all times! I don’t use the calendar on my phone at all and people think I am nuts! I love picking out a new one to get my year started. Great post!

  8. Hi Kate! I have gone completely electronic with my schedule! I send hubby reminders via my phone. For the kids I do have a couple of calendars I use so they can see their sporting events & practice schedules. I am still a paper & pen gal & believe that everyone needs their own set of stationery to write a proper thank you. A quick text to someone telling them that you received the gift is good, but should always be followed with a written thank you!! After this post, I am tempted to go “old school” on my calendar. So pretty!!! hugs, Cathy

  9. I went completely electronic last year in my calendar. It was a really hard transition and I still sometimes long to have things in writing. These organizers look so beautiful…makes me want to go back. Thanks for sharing.

  10. The best tip is like you said, out with the old and in with the new! I do love this time of year. I just did a complete makeover of my little closet and it feels great to see it organized and cleaned out. Maybe I’m just OCD like that, but I love it! :)

  11. I found your blog this winter and I LOVE it!!! I even shared it with my sisters and my niece and we are all hooked! Thanks for all the projects you share….they are amazing….I love doing things myself. I also use a little day planner. I am a Mom of 2 and a substitute teacher and I am lost without my planner. I even have the secretary at the school grab it for me when she asks me about subbing dates! Unfortunately I am on a tight budget so mine is from Barnes and Noble with my discount card but it’s a 17 month planner…it fits in my purse and has the perfect amount of space along with a pocket in the back. I agree with your choice…anything with your name or a monogram is just too cute to pass up. Really looking forward to all the projects you have to share in 2011

  12. I always have the best of intentions when it comes to my agenda, but inevitably I slack off. Hoping this changes in the year ahead!

  13. I am going to Barnes and Noble this morning to look for a new planner! They usually have a good selection! Thereare so many great ones! Some very artistic!

    Happy New Years!

    Art by Karena

  14. Oh, I am usually this way. Finally made the leap to electronic planner, but after seeing those I wish I had just gone out and purchased one of those Kate Spade’s! I still have to do the paper thank you cards though :)

  15. Oh, I was just looking at leather planners on Etsy, but these are so much cuter! Thanks Kate and Cristin for the great ideas!!

  16. I’m a write it down kinda gal as well! My hubby thinks it’s silly that I get so excited to open my fresh new calandar each year and write down the coming events. I love it! While in University, I always had a smaller planner to keep track of assignments, exams etc but now I just use the calandar.

  17. We use a desk calendar….the type that lays flat on the desk and sits in front of your computer screen. I have everyone’s schedule on it….seem to be the only thing that works for us. I do also carry a small purse calendar as well. Love all the styles you’ve shown:)

  18. For now, I’m sticking with paper. My academic year planner (surprisingly cute and very few pennies, found by chance at Target last fall) is working really well.
    But, I also have a master spreadsheet list containing tasks to be done each month of the year. This serves as my repeating reminder for things like birthdays and Property Tax payments.

  19. Hey I thought I was the only fossil still carrying a paper planner! Its good to know I’m not alone..but it does seem as though I need to kick up my style a notch.

  20. Thank you Kate for the sweet introduction and having me guest post today. I can’ wait to hang out with you in 2011…. Here’s to being “better, stronger, faster…”


  21. They are all so pretty!!!
    However, I would liked to mention my all time favorite: Moleskine Weekly Notebook. I have most of my work schedule on my smartphone, but I love to carry my Moleskine around to jog down ideas/phone numbers that I can’t store in my phone immediately. I also use it to store business cards and movie ticket stubs on the day I receive them. Looking back my Moleskine from past years bring back so much memories!!!

  22. so pretty and stylish!! i’m with you on this, i would rather write it down!! i don’t think i can switch to electronic organizing… if i don’t write a note or put in my calendar, then i forget to do it!!

  23. CG, I hate to be “that” girl, but I have to say, I pretty much can’t live without my BlackBerry. I put absolutely everything in it. Prior to that, I was a dedicated Franklin Covey enthusiast….but now that my job requires me to have a BB, I can’t live without it!

  24. After reading this post, I did my own post on my love affair with my day planner. I’m happy to know that I’m not the only one who needs to write things down. I would love for you to stop by – – to see how long I’ve been using a day planner. Thanks for bringing up the old memories. Sally

  25. I am the same way. I just have to stick with the old school way of writing it all down. Love all of these p,anners. It makes it so hard to choose just one!

  26. I’m a written planner geek too, and think it’s such a personal choice. I myself always go for a Moleskine monthly, but I’m super picky about it! There were years where I literally went through many many planners, looking for the right one.

  27. That is sooo funny! I JUST bought a Lilly journal today… I loved the planners at the target but the spaces are just way too small for my handwriting :) I did find another cute planner with larger lines at Marhsalls for a really good price :) I MUST carry my journal and planner everywhere I go!!! Il most without my todo list!

  28. I’m with you, Kate and cherish my day planner! I could not live without it. I like to write actual things down the old fashioned way myself. I am completely lost without it! Cristin has some fun choices. That was very sweet of your husband to take your hint!

  29. Last year I switched back from electronic to good old paper and I’m SO HAPPY with my decision. This year I picked up a cute weekly planner at my Barnes & Noble. It’s small enough to fit in my purse but large enough to write in several appointments for each day. And it has a matching elastic band to keep in closed. My only regret is that it does not have a built in pencil holder. Long live the planner!

  30. I am trying to embrace the calendar on my Blackberry, but we’re … in negotiations right now. LOL

    I love the More Time Moms calendar – have had one for at least the last 6 years. Loads of room, great stickers (although I make a ton of my own), lots of room, sturdy paper, etc. When a good friend had her daughter 5 years ago & suffered from horrible postpartum depression, I got her one, collected birthdays & other important dates from her husband and mom and “did” her calendar for her. One less thing for her to worry about, and it’s become her annual birthday/Christmas gift. Check it out at http://www.moretimemoms dot com.

    My daily lifeline is from Plan Ahead, measures 3.5″ x 6.5″ & was $3.97 at WalMart. It has 4 sections, monthly and weekly calendars from August 2010 to December 2011 & is great. Old school, but every time I try to go electronic, it just never works out.

    Both my calendars are color coded to the nth degree for my stuff, DH, DD, different schedules, birthdays & anniversaries, volunteering, trips, DD band, riding, etc. but the thrill of an organized calendar is …. happiness indeed.

  31. hi ladies! great post! i received the kate spade planner as an xmas gift from some dear friends and i have to say – i am in love with it!!!!!

  32. There’s something about a day planner that I love. Especially when they’re pretty like the one’s Cristin picked out! (: Great way to stay organized!

  33. I share your sentiment on having to write everything down! Despite my smart phone and Outlook at work, each year I still order a personal planner for my purse, work calendar and home calendar so I can write EVERYTHING down!
    Great blog – I’ll definitely be visiting regularly. Please check out my blog also!


  34. These are adorable, but I wish there were more options that are NOT spiral or ring-bound. Those types are just about impossible for lefties to use. I always end up with a plain black pocket planner.

  35. I too am a need to write down stuff although I do use the calendar in my iphone as well for the pop alert as a backup. This year I am trying the Moleskine colour a month daily diary planner, I’ve wanted one since I saw it featured somewhere but at $40 it was more than I wanted to spend but with the 50% after Christmas pricing I decided to give it a shot.
    Not as pretty as the ones you featured but something different I wanted to try.

Leave a comment!

Keep the conversation going! Your email address will not be published.*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)