Is a Daily or Weekly Planner Layout Better or Right for Me?

Is a Daily or Weekly Planner Layout Better or Right for Me? - Hemlock & Oak

How do you choose a weekly or daily planner? 

Having previously used a bullet journal, someone in our H&O Community Group recently asked the following question: which one is better - a weekly or a daily layout? Crystal K. (@ck_frankenplanner) graciously provided an extremely comprehensive answer and agreed to let us share it on our blog. Without further ado, here it is:

When it comes to whether a weekly or daily planner layout is better, it’s truly a very individual question. Neither is better per se, but each one has unique features that could make it work better for you! Below are some suggestions that you can use to help guide your decision-making!

Deciding on a weekly or daily planner: methods

    1: The Copy Method

    This method would work best for those who have already used planners or bullet journals, and that would prefer to continue using their new planner in a familiar way.

    • download the printable version of each layout (weekly and daily) and flip through them to become familiar with the way they are set up
    • print a week from each - this will provide a close approximation of what the layout will look like physically
    • copy a week from your bullet journal or current/previous planner into each layout
    • examine the unused or cramped areas
    • think about the process of copying out your existing - do any of the following thoughts below resonate with you?

    “The dailies have several skipped days, and a few full ones, but the process was delightful. My natural handwriting fits perfectly. I’m happy to create an index at the back for the blank pages so you can fill them in when you need extra space.”

    “The weekly looks much fuller with a few cramped days. It looks well used. I did have to squish my natural writing to get everything to fit in the assigned slot, and the minutia is blocking out the critical items. It feels a bit stifled and I’m a little annoyed.”

    Or vice versa: The daily is mostly a sea of blank pages that annoy you leaving you feeling incomplete. Your natural writing is small and compact and looks minuscule on the page.

    The Dream Method 

      This method would work best if you are looking for a change or just starting out with a layout from H&O:

      • write out everything you dream of tracking in a planner
      • decide if all that should be in one book
      • what decorations (if any) do you aspire to include?
      • if you want to get a little abstract, think about how you view time and then align with the format that fits you best
        (those who view time as moving away from them tend to prefer weekly layouts and those who view time as a static thing they are moving towards tend to prefer dailies - however, this is certainly not definitive and there are exceptions!)

      Going through these exercises could be insightful and help you make a really customized decision for yourself! You can then experiment with both layouts, and look to places like Instagram for inspiration!

      And here’s Crystal’s personal opinion:

      “My personal planning situation is the undated weekly with a day on 2 pages insert and a notebook to use as a commonplace book. It's absolutely delightful. I crave both chaos and order so it took me a while to decide on the ideal system for myself.

      I have my weekly as an at-a-glace highlight reel that is as calm, focused, and analytical as my brain is. I have the booklet to journal my little heart out, recipe test, doodle, and plan the minutia of my existence in a way that is as cluttered and bouncy as my brain is. I have my commonplace book to collect all the data that intrigues or delights me, and then I get to decorate it!

      I also prefer to only decorate my dailies the day of and only on the left side so I never have to write on bumps. The key for weeklies is to scatter the stickers and things and not always put them in the exact same spot. That way they create a ripple not mountains and a pencil board smooths most things out.

      Good luck with your choices! They are both lovely formats.”

      bullet journal painting artwork layout

      Above: Crystal's beautiful watercolour artwork in the H&O bujo.

      So, what will you be using your planner for? Work or school, hobbies or keeping track of everything going on in the busyness of life, or is your planner a creative outlet that grounds you? 

      As you go through the exercises above, and especially The Dream Method, there are a few other prompts that you can keep in mind. For instance, if your planner is mostly used for work, do you require the space of a daily to keep track of important meeting notes and to-dos? Or perhaps you would be better served by high-level overviews and time blocking, with the more intricate details recorded on notes pages or a separate notebook?

      Do you want to fit in time for a new hobby in an already super busy schedule, or do you want to keep detailed track of progress as you record information about each day that you work on something new?

      Thanks again, Crystal, for taking the time to share this with the H&O Community! See her wonderful Undated Weekly spread in action in featured at the top of this article.

      Reading next

      Hemlock & Oak Bullet Journal (Notebook) Review - Hemlock & Oak
      How to Add Monthly Tabs to your Planner - Hemlock & Oak

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