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In the age of smartphones, tablets, laptops and smartwatches, it’s tough to tell someone you missed an appointment simply because you forgot. With so many ways to schedule events and set reminders, it has never been easier to stay organized. Yet for so many of us, writing things down the old-fashioned way in a daily planner is still the best way to set milestones, achieve goals and remain on track. It’s also kind of therapeutic.
Studies have shown that people retain information better when writing versus typing. That means writing down your flight info in addition to adding it to your digital calendar will give you a better chance of remembering your takeoff time. Using a daily planner is also better for visual learners who like to be able to plan out their week, including their workload, social activities, meal prep, exercise routine, goals and more. Plus, there’s something very satisfying and even motivating about ticking off a completed task in your planner.
What To Look For In A Daily Planner
Identify what you want out of your planner. Are you just looking for a place to map out your day, or do you want a planner that doubles as a spot to set goals and intentions? Does color-coding or adding stickers help you, or is your planning method of choice a little more basic?
Also, consider where will you be using your planner. A leather-bound book looks beautiful, but if you want to carry your planner with you at all times, a more lightweight binding may be a better option. If your planner will be staying put, maybe a desktop calendar is more your style.
Be aware of the date. Some planners run on a traditional calendar year, while others opt for the academic cycle. There are also planners that allow users to fill in the dates, which gives you more flexibility both in terms of overall use and for when you forget to jot things down for a few days in a row. The current date may dictate what type of planner you want to start using.
How We Chose The Best Planners
Planners are a deeply personal item and not a one-size-fits-all product. We’ve included several designs to help fit every user, from the minimalist to the student, the office pro to the goal-setter. All the planners are designed to help users stay on track and improve their organizational skills. Each planner on our list comes highly rated by satisfied customers, with several of them boasting repeat users year after year.
1. Panda Planner Pro
Get help realizing your goals in an effective and timely manner with the Panda Planner Pro. More than just a daily planner, the Panda was designed with a scientific approach to productivity and happiness using a specially created system to help users plan and realize their goals. Each page includes features like Morning Reviews, Schedule and Task Notes, Priorities, and End of Day Review, as well as pages for weekly and monthly reviews to ensure you’re staying on track. Each Panda planner comes with several ebooks, including “How to Crush Your Goals” and “A Billionaire’s Guide To Productivity,” as well as a video course that teaches users how to improve their productivity.
Image courtesy of Amazon
2. Rocketbook Fusion Smart Reusable Notebook
Keep your schedule in two places using the Rocketbook Fusion Smart Reusable Notebook. Fusing the art of the written word with the technology of today, the Rocketbook is an innovative notebook that allows users to handwrite their notes and appointments and then quickly and easily upload the information to Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, box, OneNote, Slack, iCloud or email using the free Rocketbook app, which will transcribe the information. The notebook includes 42 pages that give users the options of writing on grids, lines, a task list, a weekly and monthly calendar, and an idea section. Customers can choose from several colors as well as between an Executive or Letter-size notebook, and all Rocketbooks come with a specialized Pilot Frixion Pen.
3. Maalbok Weekly & Monthly Planner
Plan your week at a glance with the Maalbok Weekly & Monthly Planner, which comes with ample space for writing notes and appointments for each day of the week. Featuring monthly tabs that make it easy to quickly find your spot, the Maalbok is kept securely fastened with an elastic closure. The Maalbok comes with 21 ruled pages that can be used for diary entries, notes, doodles and more. We also like that the Maalbok comes with a storage pocket for loose papers and quick reference sheets for holidays, contacts and more.
4. Lemome 12-Month Planner
FOR OLDER STUDENTS
A great option for teachers or mature students, the Lemome 12-Month Planner is designed with monthly and weekly pages to help you keep track of the entire year. It includes sections for scheduling due dates and assignments at a glance. An 80-page notes section provides ample flex space for projects, note-taking and journaling. We also like that the weeks run from Monday to Sunday to reflect the school week. Calendar stickers for a visual element are included and the Lemome also features important reference dates, a contacts section, time zone information and an inner pocket for loose notes. The Lemome has an elegant faux-leather cover that is environmentally friendly and will look professional for upper-level students.
5. Power Place Daily Planner
Keep your goals front and center when planning your day, week, month and year using the Power Place Daily Planner. Like the Panda Planner, the Power Place includes several sections to ensure that users are staying on track with not only their daily to-do lists but their long-term goals a well. In addition to weekly, monthly and yearly review sections, each daily page includes space for Goals, Notes and Ideas, Top Priority, Tasks, 24-Hour Schedule and a Daily Review. The Power Place is made with vegan leather and 100 percent post-consumer waste recycled material.
6. BooQool 2020 Planner
BEST FOR DOODLING
Plan for the year with the BooQool 2022 Planner, which features weekly and monthly sections to keep you organized from January to December. This professional-looking planner is spiral bound to make it easy to lay flat when open. Each date has a large section for notes, and months are easily distinguishable by hard tabs. Like the Malbook, the BooQool Planner also comes with 21 ruled pages for flex space and includes a two-sided inner pocket and blank label that makes it easy to organize your planner. Meanwhile the extra-thick pages are great for those who like to color-code with markers, and the pages are ink-proof, acid-free and designed to be resistant to damage from light and air as well.
7. Lemome 2022 Planner – Weekly, Monthly and Year Planner with Pen Loop
BEST TABBED PLANNER
When you need to access a date in your planner quickly, tabs can definitely come in handy. This Lemome planner not only comes with color-coded tabs so that you can easily flip to any given month of the year immediately, but they come in sticker form with their own attached calendar so that you can put them precisely where you need. The planner also comes with an elastic closure to keep pages from opening in your bag, and a loop so that you can always have a pen within reach as well.
Lemome 2022 Planner - Weekly, Monthly and Year Planner with Pen Loop
8. Blue Sky 2022 Daily Planner
BEST HOURLY TRACKER
It’s all fine and well to know your monthly and daily schedule, but what about those times when you need to break up your day by the hour? That’s where Blue Sky’s 2022 offering comes into play. The sheets help you to organize your overall schedule as well as your hourly commitments or goals, further helping you to stay on track and on task as you go about your busy day. Add in space for goals, to-do lists and a few inspiring quotes, and this is one of our favorite, on-budget picks.
9. Clever Fox Planner
Set your goals and align them with your monthly and yearly schedule by using the Clever Fox Planner. The 12-month non-dated calendar is designed to help users increase their productivity and figure out what they’re passionate about. The planner includes sections for users to outline their short and long-term goals in various areas of their life and figure out how to fit these goals into their schedules. The planner comes with a quick start guide that will help users understand how to best utilize the planner and reach their goals. Available in several colors, the Clever Fox planner includes a pen loop, a small sleeve for loose papers and a band to keep it closed when not in use. The journal comes with three bookmark ribbons so that users can easily flip between their daily goals and their long-term projects.
Related: The Best Productivity Planners
10. The Happy Planner Daily 12 Month Planner
Life can change fast, so if you don’t want to commit to the strict layout of traditional planners, a Happy Planner can come in handy. The planners include monthly and weekly spreads to help plan on a dime, but the disc-bound system allows you to interchange pages on a whim. You can also purchase a ton of accessories to go with it, from appointment stickers to fitness and budget trackers, to idea lists, making this one of the most customizable options on the market.
11. Blue Sky 2022 Weekly & Monthly Planner
Add important dates to the large month-at-a-glance section or fill out more specific plans in the weekly section to stay organized and on budget with this wallet-friendly pick. There’s also room for contacts, notes and reference pages, plus this one comes with six bonus months to keep you on track without having to wait for the new year. In a hurry? The wire binding on the Blue Sky planner makes it easy to lay the planner open for quick reference.
12. Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Writing Set Pen
BEST SMART PEN
Moleskine has no shortage of daily, weekly and monthly planners that have thousands of loyal fans. The company is one of the most recognized names in planners and journals thanks to their affordable, high-quality books that are available in several styles, colors, and limited-edition sets. If you’re looking for the comfort of a traditional Moleskine book with some added tech, we like the Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Writing Set Pen. The USB rechargeable smartpen works with all Moleskine notebooks and planners. Users simply make their notes or sketch out their day in the blank notebook included (or purchase a Moleskine planner) using the rechargeable pen. When they want to digitize their info, turn on the free Moleskine app to transfer it all into a digital form.
13. Smart Daily Planner 2021-2022
BEST FOR DAILY GOAL SETTING
If you’re the type who needs a little help in the goal-setting department as well as guidance in organizing your busy schedule, this smart planner offers the best of both worlds. The 52-week layout includes monthly sheets for a more generalized overview, but there are also pages for daily schedules that include gratitude affirmations, healthy habit trackers and goal-setting prompts. It’s also worth noting the pages are printed on bleed-proof paper, so you can put your favorite pen to paper with full confidence.
14. Field Notes 56-Week Planner
If what you really seek is a place to jot down all of your appointments and maybe color-code the odd reminder or two, this American-made, basic planner has you covered. Get organized on your own terms with the undated pages, jot down random musings in the ample extra space, and carry it around with you easily thanks to the slim design. The thick cardboard covers are stylish but minimalistic, and the inside design allows you to see up to a week’s worth of events when the book is open flat.
15. reMarkable 2
OPEN ENDED TECH JOURNAL
The reMarkable 2 digitizes writing to allow users to easily keep track of their notes and make digital files with minimal effort. Although designed as a notebook and not a planner, the ultra-lightweight and thin digital writing tablet can be used to make daily notes and sketch plans for the week, month, year and beyond. The reMarkable 2 is a great tool for the office, giving users the ability to make notes on PDFs, sign documents and read files, e-books, and other documents as if they were on paper (less eyestrain — hooray!). The newly improved reMarkable 2 has a two-week battery life and is even lighter than its predecessor.
16. Full Focus Planner
AMPLE WRITING SPACE FOR EACH DAY
If you want to fully focus on each day, you need the Full Focus Planner. Clever name, isn’t it? The focus-oriented planner gives users two pages for one day with room for daily goals, tasks, an hourly appointment book and one full page for notes. A weekly preview section is also included to help users get organized and set their intentions for the next seven days. Clean and minimalistic in its approach, the Full Focus Planner gives users plenty of space to include everything they need to be productive and follow the planner’s 90-day achievement cycle. Customers can choose between three designs, including standard, pocket, and coil books.
17. Blue Sky 2022 Passages Weekly Planner
If you’re looking for a professional-looking planner to help you keep all of your busy work-related activities organized, Blue Sky’s answer is this affordable and sleek offering. Inside you’ll find a large layout to jot down all of your important dates, thoughts and notes, along with a storage pocket for tucking away stray receipts or documents you’ll need to revisit later on.
18. Annual EVO Flow System
BASED ON BRAIN TYPE
We’ve talked about how planners are not a one-size-fits-all product and EVO Planners take that idea to heart. Actually, they take it to the brain. The company has a Brain Type Assessment quiz that customers take to find out what style of planning best suits their needs and organizational style. Each planner includes daily, weekly and monthly pages to help keep users on track with their goals and assignments, as well as a notes section that can be used as flex space. The planner has an app component that helps users get the most out of their planner and assists in further tailoring the product to ensure customers are always receiving a planner the is best suited to their brain type.
19. Bliss Collections Minimalist Weekly Planner Tear Off Pad
BEST DESKTOP PLANNER
Sometimes you just don’t want to lug around a planner, no matter how compact and handy it may be. We get it. However, you can still stay organized and in tune with your schedule with the help of a handy desktop planner, which shows you your entire week at a glance. Fill out your week, jot down some goals and track your habits, and then tear away the pages as you go so that you can keep your space as minimal and polished as possible.