The Catholic Daily Planner – A Review

Can you believe that summer is nearly over? I can’t! This has probably been our busiest summer ever! So many great opportunities, pool time, and then lots of work to set up lesson plans and schedules for the kids! As we settle into new routines, it’s a great time to consider those planning tools we use to help us steward the gift of time!

Today, I want to show you around The Catholic Daily Planner, owned by Hillside Education. There are several things I love about this beautiful planner and it meets a few very particular needs I have which I’ll share with you. Before I walk through my own planner, I want to share the options you have when ordering The Catholic Daily Planner.

    • Small – 8.5″ x 5.5″ (I have the planner in the small size and that’s what is pictured in this post.)
    • Large – 8.5″ x 11″
  • COVER: Choose your own cover – there are 14 choices!
  • ADD-ONS: there are several add-on options which you can choose from including menu planners, lesson planner, journaling pages. (Some configurations limit the number of add-ons you can choose so check the website!)

The price for this planner starts at $35 for the small and $40 for the large and may increase depending on the number of options you add.

Before we start, I just want to remind you that the tan planner cover and gold discs are mine – they do NOT come with this planner. I ordered an unpunched planner which means I received the floral cover you see pictured above and below and the inside of the planner – nothing else. That left me free to punch my planner how I liked! (I just didn’t want you to write and ask why your planner didn’t come with the tan cover and gold discs like mine!) Order your planner in the configuration that fits you best!

(As part of this post, I will share with you all of my planner supplies that I used alongside my Catholic Daily Planner.)

Following and living the liturgical year is foundational. In fact, I believe it’s essential in rebuilding culture. Finding a good tool to help in navigating the liturgical year has always been important to me! And that’s where this planner comes in. I can’t wait to show you inside the pages of this planner, which acts a liturgical guide in some very unique and visual ways which I really love! This planner indicates the liturgical year for both the Ordinary Form (which follows the current calendar) and the Extraordinary Form (which follows the 1962 calendar). I love using this planner as a way of anticipating the seasons and beautiful rhythms of Holy Mother Church and living that out in my home.

And there is another reason I use this planner. I love volunteering my time at our parish. It brings me such joy! I act as an administrative assistant and DRE (which is to say that I help Father organize classes for the Sacraments and assist with beautiful Sacrament days, but Father does all the teaching – so my role is really, well…administrative). In order to carefully balance my volunteer time, which must come after the time I give to my primary vocation as wife and mom, I’ve always mapped my days out in a planner as a way of carefully stewarding. There are, as you can imagine, quite a number of things and details that go along with those responsibilities, and part of balancing my volunteer time so that it doesn’t usurp my time as wife/mom/home educator means I need a place for notes, lists, etc to land…so they can wait for me and for when I have time. Enter: The Catholic Daily Planner. This is my planner for those needs.

As I mentioned, I have the small size Catholic Daily Planner from in the unpunched/loose paper option, but I wanted to share some links to find the other supplies I used in building my planner in case you’re interested in those:

The Amazon links are affiliate links – thank you! They cost you nothing, but if you make a purchase by clicking one of my links I may earn a small commission. Having said that, The Martha Stewart line is available at Staples and if you’re uncertain about which size you might prefer in the line – Junior or Letter – or if you’d like to look at the different color options, going to Staples is definitely the best way to see the Martha Stewart for Staples line! It’s one of my favorite organizing and paper product sources!

I love the flexibility of the discbound system, and for my needs especially, as a church secretary/DRE, I love having the ability to add papers when it’s helpful. For example, we just had Confirmation so I could add some papers and lists that had to do with Confirmation right to my planner using my arc punch. This option isn’t for everyone, but it’s been a great fit for me in some areas!

Each planner – regardless of the configuration you choose – comes with your choice of cover. There are 14 to choose from.

In the above picture I wanted to show you how the discbound system works. The binding system is literally – a disc. If you use this planner system you’ll need some kind of punch that punches your paper in a specific way so that paper fits over the discs and stays in place. There are a variety of punches out there for the discbound system, but I struggled with a cheap one for a long time, and I finally splurged on a punch that works well and will punch more than one paper at a time.

To add your pages, just gently push the paper onto the discs. It works exactly like any other binding system after that – turn and flip the pages as needed! Be careful not to overload your discs (or you might need to purchase larger discs – everything else like your covers and interior pages – can stay exactly the same). The flexibility of this system is that you can move pages around, add, and subtract (which you can see in my picture below).

NOTE: my Catholic Daily planner is the small version and that fits the Martha Stewart discbound notebook and accessories in the JUNIOR size. If you prefer the large version of the Catholic Daily planner and would like to use the Martha Stewart discbound system, the same accessories and notebook are available – just choose the LETTER size.

Above you can see a page I added to my planner – this is our church calendar which I build in iCal and print. Punching it to fit the discbound notebook allows it to live alongside my month in my Catholic Daily Planner. You could do the same thing with a 3 hole punch planner system.

The Martha Stewart discbound checklists were perfect for me to add monthly tabs to this planner.

I wanted a top-tab, as opposed to tabs that can be affixed to the right side of the planner pages (just personal preference).

One of the reasons I chose this option is because the checklist actually extends down into the planner and provides a place for me to leave lists and reminders. These checklist pads actually come pre-punched so they’re easy to add to your discbound planner.

Let’s start walking through the specifics of The Catholic Daily Planner.

The Catholic Daily Planner starts out by offering several pages of prayers such as the Morning Offering, The Angelus, the Memorare, and many others.

Following that is a short, but very informative section giving an overview of the liturgical year. This is so helpful for understanding the different designations of Feast and Feria Days and the seasons for the year.

After that there is a 2 page overview section that is a great place for future planning. (not pictured)

Each month starts off the same way – 2 lined pages come before each monthly spread. I know my picture (above) shows “April,” and I don’t want that to be confusing. This planner runs from August 2018 – July 2019, I just happened to photograph April. 🙂

Let me briefly explain the colored strips because you’ll see them throughout the pages this planner. The strip matches the liturgical season for that month or week. The amber colored strip represents white, but the other liturgical colors are represented. So, as you see the different pages, note the colored strip. I find that such a helpful visual!

The monthly spread provides the same colored strip designation (in the center) for the season. There is an overview of the month and its Feast Days. I love the beautiful blue fleur de lis symbol for Our Lady’s Feast Days!

The weekly pages follow the monthly pages in the planner. This planner is in a horizontal layout for each day. You’ll find plenty of room to note your plans. Each day notes the readings for the Mass of the day (for both forms), as well as the mysteries of the Rosary recommended for that day of the week.

Note that the color strip in the center of the weekly page designates the color for the Sunday of that week. Not often, but sometimes, there is a difference between the liturgical color for Sunday depending on the Form (Ordinary/Extraordinary). In those cases, the Ordinary Form Sunday color is on the left, and the color for the Extraordinary Form is on the right. Such attention to detail!

I just wanted to show you a sample of some of the other liturgical richness in this planner. Above is violet and it is the Second Sunday of Advent. The small icons in the planner are visual clues to the liturgical season – note that only 2 candles are lit for the 2nd Sunday of Advent.

Above: the color strips are Rose because it’s the 3rd week of Advent. The O Antiphons are printed in this planner for you, making that devotion a breeze to integrate into your day as part of preparing for the Divine Infant.

The planner wraps up with a helpful key on the last page.

So much liturgical information has been included to help us live out the liturgical year. And I find it so helpful that Michele included a key which includes an explanation of symbols, colors, and abbreviations.


I mentioned that I use this planner in an administrative way, which is one of the reasons I wanted to use it with the discbound system. I knew I wanted to be able to add, remove, and move pages around with ease. One of the things I use quite frequently are the simple lined pages that fit in the planner.

I keep notes and lists here, and if something pertains to a particular liturgical season (for example, Lent plans), I can move my paper right up to the season of Lent in my planner.

I like keeping a place holder in my planner that allows me to flip to the current week with ease. I used what I already had on hand, which happened to be this Inkwell Press gold ruler. But, I also love this Martha Stewart ruler which is meant for the discbound system and snaps right in.

I keep a handy clear pocket in my notebook for notes that are awaiting…ahem…me to type them up into some more coherent form.

And, it’s worth mentioning that the Martha Stewart discbound notebooks have a pen holder, which I love!!! One package keeps everything I need together!

My pen of choice is the Pentel Energel Tradio in .5. which writes smoothly every.single.time. It doesn’t bleed through any of my planners, and it dries super fast – no smudging in your planner. The Tradio brings a really comfortable barrel to the game. In truth, I prefer a click/retractable pen (which Pentel does make)…BUT…let’s just say that the unfortunate effect of a retractable pen being clicked open and closed inside the pocket of Mommy’s purse for an extended amount of time by a bored 5 year old in need of some kind of kinesthetic activity is…not pretty. And so. Having identified that as a potential pain point for myself and the 5 year old, I found a capped pen. And I’m really enjoying it! I’m always embarrassed to see how much I can say about A PEN!!!! So let’s move on!

Those little checklists!!! They’re super handy all over a planner like this that needs list upon list! They actually come as a set of 50 with a little gum adhesive to hold them all together at the top, much like a pad of paper. The entire pad would add too much bulk to a little planner like this, so I pulled off 10 or so of the checklists just because they’re so handy to keep close.

I don’t like carrying planners around with me with the exception of this planner. I love how compact it is so that I can slip it right in my bag with ease! It comes to Mass with me, and to the church office when it’s a work day.

*** I know you’re going to ask, so…I’m carrying ***

  • Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Tote in Vanilla – purchased at Poshmark at a bargain. #neverpayfullprice
  • Felt purse organizer in large, beige – I’ve always wanted to try one of these, and I confess, I’m loving it!

And that’s it! That’s my Catholic Daily Planner!

Happy Planning!

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  1. I would use this planner to better plan my homeschool year. I like to integrate the Liturgical Year with my teacher planner so I always know what feast days we can celebrate and what books we will read that day, etc.

  2. Love the planner. I am a newer Catholic and would love a resource like this planner to help keep me up to date and involved in my faith.

  3. Thank you for your review! I had no idea she had some of these features, or that you could get it I punched.

  4. I love Michele’s planners! Thank you for sharing your thorough review – I’ve never seen a discbound planner before. What a clever idea!

  5. We’re just getting settled after another move, and I’m gearing up to plan out our homeschool year. I was just thinking that I need a good planner, and I’ve had my eye on Michele’s for a while now! Thanks for the thorough review and the chance to win!

  6. I would love to get my hands on this planner! Unfortunately, money is tight right now so I wasn’t able to get it even though I was really interested in it. Your review has encouraged me to get one next year I hope!!

  7. Coming from a non-liturgical background, I think a calendar like this would help me to see the year and the progression and to give me a space to prepare how we can observe as a family.

  8. Thank you so much for the chance. I’ve had my eye on this planner since last year, but with one kid in college and homeschooling a special needs middle schooler, Mom treats are always limited. This planner would be great for my family’s stewardship at our parish. And with Confirmation in the spring!

  9. Thank you for sharing how you use this planner. I love that the liturgical year/colors, and feast days are already included in the planner.

  10. I love The Catholic Daily Planner, and I particularly love that it includes both the ordinary and the extraordinary forms for the Liturgical year and feast days! It’s beautiful and very well done! I use it to plan feast day celebrations as well as a reference. It has SO much great information!

  11. Thank you for the contest! I’m hoping to win this gorgeous planner for our 2018-2019 school year!!!

  12. I’d use this instead of my large target one and I think I’d love trying to incorporate more feast day celebrating.

  13. This is a great review. I’ve used the Catholic planner in the past. I love how you personalized it with the disc binding and the Marta Stewart accessories.

  14. Thank you for this review. I’ve used catholic planner in the past. I like to see how you’ve personalized it with the disc rings.

  15. Just wondering if the pockets in your Felt Purse Organizer are sewn closed or are a few left open? I was reading reviews on Amazon and many don’t like it because it came with the pockets open on the bottom so that everything was falling through to the bottom of the purse. Perhaps that was a design flaw which MK has fixed with newer organizers but I just wanted to be sure because there wouldn’t be any point for me to purchase one of these if the pockets are not sewn closed.

    Thanks so much for your blog, Jennifer, which I always eagerly read and enjoy. You’re an inspiration especially for your posts concerning our faith but also for your organization skills in so many ways.

  16. I’m just about to look up for a Catholic Daily Planner! Then your post pop into my email, well I am very excited to know there is another Catholic Daily Planner besides Blessed is She planner. Thank you for sharing!

  17. I think you’ve sold me on wanting this planner!
    2 questions though, you said this planner follows the EF and OF calendars, but what about the historical calendar? I ask this because I currently use the Tan books planner and they include a Historical calendar in their planner.
    Also, when it comes to the mysteries of the rosary listed, are the luminous mysteries included or no?

  18. Thank you for this review! This planner looks like just the right item to assist me in continuing to deepen my faith everyday, so much information and resources all in one spot! Love it

  19. Beautiful planner and would be just perfect for our homeschooling Catholic family and tracking who serves at church and when.

  20. I think your review was amazingly thorough and helpful, and I really want to connect more completely with my faith. This looks like a beautiful and practical way to do so. Thank you for sharing!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  21. I think my comment disappeared, so I’m going to try to re-create it. I wanted to thank you for such a lovely and detailed review of this planner; I am working to reconnect with my faith, and having a planner that provides so much information about the Catholic Church year would be really helpful and amazing in that process. Thank you for the opportunity to enter this giveaway, and thank you for a truly lovely write-up.

  22. It’s lovely!! The litugical colored strips down the middle are unique and so pretty!! If I won it, I would use it for home-school planning

  23. This looks like it would really help us stay focused on the Church as we transition into full homeschooling this year!

  24. Have always loved Michele’s planner! This one is especially lovely. Thanks for the chance to win, Jen and Michele 🙂

  25. I love that you make everything so beautiful! I enjoy reading Your blog (and instagram) and love that I can feel your energy! So positive and loving!

  26. I really like this planner. Thank you for taking time to review it and share your the punching. I love that it can be added to.

  27. I’ve been using Michelle Quigley’s planner for years. I have been loving the look of the new disc planners…I think it’s time to have both. Thanks for showing us your ideas.

  28. This planner is so beautiful! I’ve been wanting to purchase it for a while. I totally think it looks gorgeous in those gold discs you added too!

  29. Am I the only one who was bummed by this planner? I thought for this price point, it should come in a box or at least a little tissue paper. It came slapped/wrapped together in a postal bag. I thought the paper quality was thin and poor for the price point. It sticks together all the time and it takes me several tries to get it to turn just one page. The printing on the calendar was so light that I can barely read it. I got the lesson planner/meal planner upgrade and thought that was a joke. The lesson planner is lined paper followed by a grid. The prayers in front are nice but most Catholics should know most of them. I’ve gotten way nicer planners for free from my insurance agency.

    I thought the quality would be comparable to Erin Condrin since it’s in that price point but really, this is worse than most drug store ones. I hate to be such a downer. You did a nice job of presenting it and it looks way better in the binder with the tabs you added. I am soooo bummed I got this for my planner this year 🙁

  30. Thank you so much for sharing this. Absolutely! Additionally, it provides daily reinforcement of Catholic virtues and inspires goal setting toward a faith based life.

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