I recently decided to get a good planner, too. I want to carry my schedule and tasks with me, and have the household tasks at home. My Palm Pilot died a couple of years ago, and I'd been using little cheapo calendars to stay on track for school (I'm a college student), but I felt I need more than that. I looked high and low, hoping to find one that was similar to my favorite planner - one I had back in the '80's, which I loved and refilled for probably the whole decade. It got stained with ink and I had to toss it.
Unfortunately, when I went looking this time, I couldn't for the life of me remember what kind of planner it was. I knew it was a "Day Something" but NOT Day Runner... Couldn't find anything but Day Runners in the stores, but I did find a Filofax on sale, so I bought it. It's really nice and smallish ("Pocket" size), because I'm trying to downsize my purses, so it'll fit with my wallet and makeup and nook.
Wouldn't you know, almost immediately after buying it, I came across a site for Filofax "fans" where someone mentioned the type of old planner I had! It was a "Day Timer." Their site: http://www.daytimer.com
. The thing I loved about Day Timers was that the refills were spirals that just slipped inside the covers, and they have lots of choices for format (2 pages per day, 2 pages per week, etc.). They make looseleaf types, too, but I preferred the spiral-bound. I can't begin to say how much I really loved the cover - it was so durable, had lots of pockets inside, and closed with a slip-tab. They make covers now that you can put a PDA into as well. With my new Filofax, I now have looseleaf type. But there are lots of ways to use it, so hopefully I'll make it work for me.
There's a site where people can either design their own planner templates or download others' for free: http://www.diyplanner.com/
A variety of planner brands is covered there.
As for purse, I just got a new Ameribag "Healthy Back" bag which has lots of little pockets and distributes weight better when on your shoulder than a regular bag does. It's expensive in leather (also comes in canvas and nylon) but the reviews all said that people got many years of use of it, so the cost seems worth it. You can't find inexpensive bags made out of good leather very often, anyway. This leather is really thick. So far, I like it: it fits my Filofax, nook, wallet, and makeup bag perfectly, with room for my little collapsible umbrella, cellphone, and ID/MetroCard holder. I got it from L.L. Bean