Choosing your planner: free-form or structured?

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This is the second post in my series on helping new planner users. You can find the first post in this series here.

In this post I’ll walk you through the three main types of weekly planners and help you decide which level of free-form vs. structure will work best for you.

I recommend a weekly planner for most people starting out using planners (as opposed to a day per page or month-only view) because it gives a balance of detailed daily planning with ease of forward planning. There are a few different types of weekly planners to choose from.

The most free-form is the open planning format, like the Hebdo Planning or the pocket size Sapa X. The open format allows you to write in appointments, tasks, notes and anything else you need. Some people work well with this format, but others need more structure to their days to plan their time.

Hebdo weekly planner

Hebdo weekly planner


Scholar day

Hebdo’s daily space in use

A weekly planner with timed daily columns allows you to do time blocking and see your schedule alongside your categorized task lists so you can see what you need to do and when you have time to do it. The Trinote and Minister (and pocket size Business) planners have timed daily columns and weekly lists space. I recommend this format for busy people, so you can see when you are able to fit everything into your schedule.

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Trinote format in use

If you have more lists and notes to write each week, the weekly notes page in the Space 24 or pocket size Space 17 gives you plenty of space to write.

Space 24 weekly planner

Space 24 weekly planner


Space 24 day

Space 24’s daily space in use

To sum up:

  1. An open format planner allows you to write in whatever you need in the day spaces.
  2. Timed vertical daily columns allow you to do time blocking and fit your tasks into your schedule.
  3. Weekly notes pages give you more space for lists and notes each week.

If you would like any advice or help choosing which planner would work best for your needs, feel free to post a comment here or email me at

There are more posts in this series coming up soon! If there is any particular topic in using planner you would like me to cover, please let me know.

Happy planning everyone!

One thought on “Choosing your planner: free-form or structured?

  1. I’d been going through the same dilemma regarding using a notebook as a planner because it had more ‘freedom’ as opposed to the ‘structure’ of a planner. While loving the space and not having to worry about lots of blank space in dated pages, I was all over the place with no continuity, which is what planner structure gives me. A separate notebook for journaling, notes and doodling will satisfy the part of me that craves the freedom of a notebook, but my life must be managed with a planner.

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