Here they are, from left to right, three planners which may or may not be Christmas gifts (in case any potential recipient happens by): Planner Love from Franklin Covey, the Happy Planner from me and My Big Ideas, and a planner from Kate Spade.


Planner Love has the best binder, refillable, made from leather, and containing many pockets and things.


Planner Love also has my favorite pockets and dividers and such, and there are several different design packs to choose from.


There are monthly calendars with a traditional grid.


Then each week has a two-page spread of horizontal boxes. I’m not wild about this page style. There are notes pages and both weekly and monthly master task lists, so I suppose these pages are just for appointments and deadlines, and why shouldn’t they work?


The Happy Planner is full of encouraging words, and has a monthly recap sort of page.


Weekly pages have grids dividing each vertical day into horizontal boxes. There is a sidebar which can be used for all sorts of things, and bits and pieces which seem more decorative than a divider.


There are also specialized pages for other purposes, which I like a lot. Frankly, I haven’t so far found them all that useful, but I like the idea. A lot.


The designs are cheery and modern, which isn’t necessarily my style, but they’re attractive anyway. The binding is flimsy and seems rather unstable. However, I have seen videos of women taking the pages out to do their planning (and stickering) and then putting them back in again, with no apparent tearing.


The Kate Spade planner is bound, not refillable, but very chic.


The days are made up of lines, not actual boxes, but it’s much the same as the Planner Love’s horizontal format.


There are notes pages, too.


The pages, decorative or functional, are not interchangeable. The spines/bindings/coils are completely incompatible. The grids are not similar enough that a sticker designed for one will fit in another.


In other words, if you plan to take up planner crafting, you have to choose a format. You can’t hop around and share decorative items with users of other planners.

So which should you pick? If you care a lot about the binder or binding, Planner Love is best, especially if you care about refillability.

Kate Spade’s is certainly chic, and could be your best choice if you like to look glamorous in meetings.

The Happy Planner has the greatest variety of decorations and accessories. If you’re in this for the fun, you may want to go with it.