Because "failing to plan is planning to fail."

Blue Sky Day Designer Planner
Credit: Courtesy of Blue Sky

The end of a semester or school year always meant one thing for me—time for a new planner. I'm a big to-do-list-and-calendar-on-paper person, and after being thrown around in a backpack or purse constantly, my planners can get pretty beat up.

Recently, I went hunting for a planner to start a new season fresh and organized. I had friends in school who would spend too much money on planners and calendars, getting them personalized with their own pictures on the cover and way more sections inside than they would ever need. While I'm all for splurging on things you use all the time that last, like a great work purse, I know my planner will expire at the end of the year and I'll have to buy a new one. So even though a planner is an investment in how organized your life will be, it's doesn't have to be an investment that's super expensive.

I had been keeping my eyes out for new planners, but some were too expensive or complex, while others just weren't the format I wanted. I stumbled upon the Weekly/Monthly Bookbound Planner by Blue Sky for only $15.99. It had everything I was looking for without giving up style.

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The planner is made by Blue Sky, and while I got mine in-store, you can shop their various styles of calendars, notebooks and planners online. (Attention teachers: Blue Sky has planners specifically made for you!)

Blue Sky pairs with brands like Nicole Miller and Dabney Lee for designs, but my planner is part of the Day Designer for Blue Sky collection.

While I've gone the $5-planner route, this book-bound, faux leather planner not only looks more mature, but it will hold up better than a flimsy, cheaper model as well.

When you first open it, the planner has a section dedicated to your "big picture" goals and how you can reach them by "designing your days" and "staying on course" with the help of your planner.

Blue Sky Day Designer Planner Big Picture Goals View
Credit: Courtesy of Blue Sky

Even if you don't write down your long-term hopes and dreams, it's a well-intentioned few pages that the creators of this planner made, and it's nice to see that just by getting your day-to-day schedule organized, those big picture goals will be easier to see and achieve.

Blue Sky Day Designer Big Picture Goals Second View
Credit: Courtesy of Blue Sky

This planner is separated both monthly and weekly, which is the organization model I normally look for. I like being able to look at the entire month for bigger events and far-in-advance planning. With the monthly sections, I can see which weeks I might have birthdays, vacations or big work assignments due so that I never miss anything or have overlaps.

Blue Sky Day Designer Planner Monthly View
Credit: Courtesy of Blue Sky

So while the monthly calendar serves its own convenient purpose, the little daily boxes aren't big enough for everything that may arise that day. That's why I like having the weekly sections as well. Each day of the week has its own space with a to do list section (with boxes you can check off!).

Let's say that on my monthly page, I have "Leslie's Birthday" written on July 11. If I flip to July 11 in the weekly section, not only do I have "Leslie's Birthday," but I might have "Dinner at 7" or "Pick up flowers" — things that wouldn't have fit on the monthly page — written down, too.

Blue Sky Day Designer Planner Weekly View
Credit: Courtesy of Blue Sky

Another great aspect of this planner is the compact size. I bought the 5''8'' version because I like having a planner that can fit in any size purse, but there's an 8''10'' option if you write larger or like a normal page size.

Whether it's for college or the working world, your planner is something that you will look at and carry around every day, so you might as well love it.