Monday, October 6, 2014

EMILY LEY: Simplified Planner Review

Will you look at that beauty?! In case you missed the #fflovephotoaday post on my Instagram today, my bestie got me this amazing, amazing planner that I have been lusting after for months! Honestly, we are not helping each other's planner addictions (I got her some Kate Spade stationery & a Royal Blue Calipso - it's soooo pretty! I'm so jelly). It's our birthday soon (Halloween :D) so we thought we'd spoil ourselves/each other. We tried to wait until then but we were just so excited when we both got them in the mail.

Our boyfriends don't understand us and even make fun of us at times, but at least we have each other. And our gorgeous planners. Honestly, there will be no planner shortage going on for years now. Oh well. I'm more than satisfied with this Simplified Planner at the moment & as I haven't gotten 2015 inserts for my Filofax yet, I may become a one planner gal come 2015. I know, shock horror. But I thought I'd formally 'introduce' my new baby & give a brief review of my first impressions and whatnot.'s a long post. A really, really long post. Don't say I didn't warn you.

This is the 2015 Simplified Planner by Emily Ley (amazing, amazing woman btw) in the original Happy Stripe design. It is quite big. Like, really big. It's even bigger than the large Lilly Pulitzer Agenda and here is a comparison with my Personal Sized Orange Metropol Filofax.

But I actually love that it's big & it feels so nice to hold. The gold strap keeps it all together & seriously, it's just so pretty to look at. To be completely honest, I've been more a fan of spiral-bound planners than the ring-bound. I love the way they fold over & just the feel of them... Am I making any sense? And just look at those gold corners. Looooove.

I will mention this though - I'm not sure if it's because the package got a little damaged on its way here, but the spiral bound was a little out of place, making it hard for me to turn the cover & pages easily (without tearing it). I did try to push the spiral binding back into place and it has gotten a bit better but I don't think it's just mine. I've read a few reviews about it being a little stiff and whatnot. But seriously, cute design trumps a minor issue like that for me.

The cover is hard but I found the dark bits like the navy box in the middle are prone to getting scratch marks. It's not actually the deep nail marks & imprints but the light scuff marks. You can kinda see it in the first image at the very top. So I guess it's a good thing we decided on this one instead of the Navy dotted one.

We were constantly on the website, trying to decide which of the 3 gorgeous designs to get. The pink key design was cute as well but I finally decided on this one & I have no regrets. But seriously, Emily should come up with a way for us to have the best of all 3 worlds (p.s. we still keep stalking the website & drooling over the images but now, of course, I'm completely FOR the Happy Stripes :D).

There was a brief moment when Mon was also persuaded into getting this planner but she said she wanted the Calipso to use as a wallet instead. Since the shipping for this was quite pricey, on top of the planner, which was pretty pricey itself ($58 USD), I thought I'd add in a bunch of Kate Spade goodies as well because I was just so grateful! And I'm glad she loves all of it 

And can I just give a huge shoutout to Emily here? I mean, right down to the details, everything is just so adorable and so her. Look at the design of the order slip & the little card with the picture of her and her family. There's probably one in a million chance that she's actually reading this, but if she is, congratulations on your amazing success & twins! Not to mention the adorable Brady.

Another great thing about this planner is the pocket on the inside. It's made of cardboard that seems sturdy enough to last me through the year, holding my little bits & bobs. There's also this simple yet elegant & adorable cover page for your name and any other information you want to put. There are also a few pages inside about Emily's story & how the planner came to be, as well as tips & advice on how to use the planner efficiently.

And would you just look at those tabs?! They're a little thinner than I expected. If you own or have seen the Lilly Pulitzer Agendas, the tabs on this one don't seem as 'sturdy' as those - although since they're both basically made of paper, they're not too strong to begin with. But they are covered in plastic so they'll most likely get me through the year. I'm not really one to abuse my planners so it's really no big deal. And now that I've brought up the Lilly Pulitzer Agendas, I thought I'd just say that I prefer this 1 year planner to the 17 month agenda that they have. I found that I was constantly on a mission to find what day we were on because there were just so many pages before it.

And of course, there is the basic year at a glance calendar, which again is simple yet nice to look at. I love that she offers so many free printables on her site & I've printed a lot off for myself such as the Blog planning & Recipe ones. I'm sure she'll eventually upload the 2015 ones as well so subscribe to her blog to stay updated (I certainly did :D) She also included a Bucket List & 2015 Holidays page in this planner which will come in handy - although there are a few American holidays... I actually love knowing them so I don't at all :-)

And the planner begins! The good thing about the Lilly Pulitzer agenda was that they had a page full of stickers & I would have loved for this one to have the flag stickers in them but you can purchase them separately from the site. Again, no biggie because I have more than enough stickers & washi tape to use and decorate my planner.

So here is what the typical week day would look like. I probably should have mentioned that this is the daily planner. The weekly one is also available and is understandably thinner than this. However, that one is only available in the navy polka dot one. Anyways, as you can see, each day has an inspirational quote at the top, the day split into hours from 7am-7pm, a to do list, a little notes section & a section for dinner as well. I'm not entirely show how useful the dinner section will be for me since I don't cook for kids or my family and basically just eat whatever's in my fridge (lately it's been granola & yogurt with a side of Pringles) so I might use it as an extra notes section. I'm thinking of maybe using it as a Blog section to brainstorm topic ideas, note things to photograph, posts published & scheduled, etc.

One thing I noticed was getting quite a bit of negative feedback (because I just spend my nights scrolling through the site over & over again... Yes I'm a sad individual) was that the weekend shares a page. That means Saturday & Sunday is not divided into hours but just am, lunch & pm. I actually don't mind it too much at the moment, but I'll keep you updated on that once I actually start using my planner. I think once I start uni again, this may also become a teeny bit of a problem for me, but we'll see.

The Sunday section is actually a little different in that there is a checklist in the 'Weekly Prep' section, which replaced the 'Notes' section. You may not be able to see it properly in the image but there are: Plan meals for the week, Tidy up for a clean slate on Monday, Write tasks + appointments for the week & Fill you 'tank'. Enjoy what matters most. I actually don't mind this as I would probably find these quite useful but that's something thing to keep in mind if you're thinking of getting this planner.

Another thing I absolutely love, love, love about this planner is that the monthly calendar comes before the daily every month. The Lilly Pulitzer agenda had that too but it also had an additional section of just months, which I thought was handy at first, but became a little too much to handle. Also, although you can customise & print your Filofax inserts to be like this as well, it doesn't work as 'smoothly' since Filofax usually makes & sells the weekly/daily & monthly inserts separately.

I also love that it has the previous and next month printed at the top just for reference & that the holidays are all written in the cute flag style on the actual dates. And I know this is just a tiny thing, but I love the little coloured pineapple that matches the tab colours. That one little coloured detail just completely changes the entire page while keeping it on the down low. As you may remember my new favourite word, it's a 'muted' cute & elegant combination. And of course, there's a little quote at the top as well.

Again with the small details, but the font used throughout the planner is so nice to look at. It's not the (forgive me, Times New Roman lovers) boring, old Times New Roman style or any other boring font like that, but it's just so...cute! I mean, Times New Roman has its benefits, especially when writing formal letters and such, but this is a planner! Something you'll use every single day for a whole year (probably every year for the rest of my life). Might as well get one that's nice to look at, right?

Finally we've come to the back of the planner. It's just the same Happy Stripes design with the signature Emily Ley label. I read about the story behind the Pineapple & have just come to admire the brand and Emily herself even more. As always, the navy & gold combination is perfect, adding a touch of elegance to a happy, colourful planner. That combined with the gold corners, the slightly 'glittery' gold strap & the spiral bound makes this planner perfection down to a T.

Based on just looking through this planner & not having used it, I'd recommend this planner to the busy, busy bees, especially those chasing after kids on a daily basis. But it will also most definitely be suited to students & business people and anyone in general really. However, it's not as 'portable' as smaller planners or Filofaxes as it is quite large so it might be better used as a 'home based' planner. Also, as I briefly mention earlier, it isn't cheap. $58 for a planner but trust me when I say it's a sturdy one that will get you through the year. I am willing to commit myself to this planner for an entire year without buying any more (although we'll see how long that actually lasts :P) I'll also try to do an updated post on how I like it in the new year to let you know more.

As always, a super, super long post from me but at least it had lots of pictures of my gorgeous new planner, right? I just can't get over how cute it is & can't wait for 2015 to come! I already thanked Monica over & over again, but I just wanted to give her another shoutout. Mon, I know you're reading this because you're my bestie & I make you, but thank you so, so, so much! You're my sister from another mother, basically a twin because we have the same birthday (& year!). I'll love you forever & ever! (sorry Kal...I love you too!)

And for all my loyal readers, thank you for all your love. I know it seems like I say this all the time, but I'm honestly so grateful to you for everything. And I really do want to give back all you've given me (I may or may not be hard at work on a sneaky little giveaway so stay tuned!) Be sure to let me know if you yourself have a Simplified Planner, intend on getting one or any other planner that you think I'm might be interested in... Not that I need another one... But I do love just looking through images of pretty planners... I know you do it too :P

p.s. I'm also doing the #fflovephotoaday challenge (kinda) so don't forget to follow me on Instagram for more planner photos (aka planner porn :P)

Love Always,
Anna Banana ♡


  1. Oh my goodness, you are killing me. This planner looks amazing!! Oh, I love it. Planners are my mom and I's biggest weakness. A office supply store is my dream. *happy sigh* anyway, lovely post! <3

    ~Jess //

    1. Haha thank you! It's gorgeous, isn't it? Call me crazy but I just can't stop staring at it! I totally understand. My friend & I are always stalking the stationery stores & planner websites. Thank you again! xx

  2. I love your post and I just received mine yesterday I have the navy with gold polka dots, im dying to decorate the inside with gold washi tape and various stickers but I have not seen anyone as of yet with a decorated planner but oh well im different have you seen the Hobonichi im in love with it im thinking about using it with my Emily Ley

    1. Yay! The navy one is so gorgeous and you should decorate it however you want to make it completely & only yours :-) I've seen pictures of the Hobonichi but I'm not entirely sure what it is... But I hope it works out for you! Thanks for reading xx