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. But for many people, 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.
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 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. Is this simply a place to map out your day, or do you want a planner that doubles as a spot to set goals and intentions?
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.
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. 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 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.
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
Have 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. Available in several colors, customers can choose 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 Academic Planner
FOR OLDER STUDENTS
A great option for teachers or mature students, the Lemome Academic Planner is designed for the traditional school year and runs from July to June. The 12-month planner includes monthly and weekly 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 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 list 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 2020 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 label your planner. if you like to stay organized by color-coding your planner using marker pens, we recommend the BooQool Planner. Using extra-thick pages, the BooQool’s sheets are 20 percent thicker than the paper found in most planners, ink-proof, acid-free and designed to be resistant to damage from light and air.
7. 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
8. Blue Sky Academic Year Weekly & Monthly Planner
BEST FOR SCHOOL YEAR
Being organized with test and assignment dates is an important part of having a successful school year and the Blue Sky Academic Year Weekly & Monthly Planner is designed to help students succeed. The large 8.5” by 11” planner runs from July to June to reflect the school year, including summer school. Students can add important dates to the large month at a glance section and there is also ample space in the weekly section for daily notes, including room to list assignments, homework and social events. We also like that there is an Important Dates section with all 12 months, giving students space to layout their can’t-miss events in one centralized area. The wire binding on the Blue Sky planner makes it easy for students to lay the planner open for quick reference.
9. 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 their film to a digital form.
10. 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.
11. A Year Of Sun Undated Agenda by Octaevo
FOR INFREQUENT PLANNER USERS
If you don’t use a daily planner, well, daily, the Year Of Sun Undated Agenda by Octaevo is a great option. The planner allows users to start a new book on any day and simply circle the month and date they are currently on. The planner helps users get organized for the entire day, from sunrise to sundown. The brightly colored beautiful planners are hand-painted in Barcelona, have a flexible spine for flat opening, and include 24 pages for travel notes and 24 pages of flex space.
12. 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.
13. 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 planner best suits their needs and their 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 planner to ensure customers are always receiving a planner the is best suited to their brain type.