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 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.
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. We’ve also included our editors’ favorite planners (the same ones you’ll find on our desks right now) from SPY-favorite brands like Moleskin and Lemome.
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.
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 allow users to write 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 as well. In addition to weekly, monthly and yearly review sections, each daily page includes space for Goals, Notes and Ideas, Top Priority, Tasks, a 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 2023 Planner
BEST FOR DOODLING
Plan for the year with the BooQool 2023 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 2023 Planner
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 them. 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.
8. Erin Condren Daily LifePlanner Ring Agenda
For a planner that can be customized and provides no shortage of ways to get and stay organized, there’s the Erin Condren Daily LifePlanner Ring Agenda. Customers can choose from several exterior colors and materials, including vegan leather, while also customizing the interior layout, color palette and adding your name or initials to the cover. We also like that the planner has ample storage space inside for cards and pens. Dated daily, weekly, and monthly pages are included, as well as note pages and productivity spreadsheets. We also like that the binder closure allows users to add and remove pages.
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 determine their passion. 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 to help users understand how to best utilize it and reach their goals. The Clever Fox planner is available in several colors and includes a pen loop, a small sleeve for loose papers and a band to keep it closed when not in use. The journal also 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. Smart Daily Planner
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.
11. Happy Planner 2023 Daily Planner and Calendar
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.
12. Blue Sky Aligned 2023 Daily Appointment Planner
BEST FOR APPOINTMENTS
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. In a hurry? The wire binding on the Blue Sky planner makes it easy to lay the planner open for quick reference.
13. Moleskine Classic 12 Month 2023
We love Moleskin journals, and the company’s classic weekly planner is a must-have for anyone that loves to keep a handwritten calendar or to-do list. It’s a sleek but functional journal with ample space to write down appointments and reminders while planning the next 12 months ahead.
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
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 eye strain — 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
If you want to 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 organize 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: standard, pocket, and coil books.
17. ban.do Large Planner 2023 Weekly and Monthly
BEST DESKTOP PLANNER
We’re huge fans of ban.do planners, and this daily planner is no exception. The extra-large model is the perfect desk accessory as you plan the year ahead. The calendar view comes with large boxes to note important dates and deadlines, while the daily slots are unlined, making them perfect for doodles and stickers to accompany those reminders and plans. Of course, it also features the signature band, allowing you to tuck extra papers within and carry it to important meetings with ease.
18. Rocketbook Reusable Academic Planner
FOR TECH-FRIENDLY STUDENTS
We’ve already included several daily planners for students, but the Rocketbook Reusable Academic Planner also deserves a spot on this list thanks to its tech-friendly and eco-friendly design. For a school product that will last through several semesters and won’t weigh down backpacks, the Rocketbook is a great choice. The 48-page Academic Planner includes 13-page types for daily schedules, weekly goals, and more. Like all Rocketbook products, users handwrite their entries using the included Pilot Frixion Pen and then upload their information, including class notes, to cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, box, OneNote, Slack, iCloud and more.
19. The 5 Second Journal
BEST FOR ACHIEVING GOALS
The full title of The 5 Second Journal is actually The 5 Second Journal: The Best Daily Journal and Fastest Way to Slow Down, Power Up, and Get Sh*t Done, and that’s pretty much what it does. Created by Mel Robbins, author of the best-selling The 5 Second Rule, the daily journal is set up to help users identify their goals and outline the steps they need to achieve them. The journal includes mood-boosting exercises and tips on how to stop procrastinating, using research from Harvard Business School to ensure users remain present.
20. Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Writing Set Pen
BEST SMART NOTEBOOK
Moleskine has no shortage of daily, weekly and monthly planners with thousands of loyal fans. The company is one of the most recognized names in planners and journals thanks to its 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.
21. Blue Sky 2023 Weekly and Monthly Planner
Blue Sky has you covered if you’re looking to plan the basics on a weekly or monthly schedule and don’t want to drop a ton of money on something with all the bells and whistles. This simply designed planner is under ten bucks and still features a ton of room to write down essential appointments and deadlines. There are also a few extra pages for notes, goals and a yearly overview if you need to look up the calendar quickly.
22. Day Designer 2023 Daily Planner
BEST ACADEMIC HARDCOVER
Another great academic daily planner is the Day Designer 2023 Daily Planner. The planner has a beautiful linen-finish fabric hardcover and lays flat thanks to its coil binding. A great option for students who want ample space to write, the planner has room for productivity plans and goals, contacts, monthly schedules, and important dates. The daily section breaks down the day by hours and includes space for planning goals, adding due dates, and more. There are tabs and stickers to help with organization and a plastic ruler that makes it easy to locate your current page quickly.
23. Smythson 2023 Soho Agenda
Looking for a leather-bound book to keep all of your appointments, goals and life journeys organized and on track? Smythson offers this beautiful daily planner for exactly that. The crocodile-embossed leather cover gives this planner a luxe exterior. Inside, its week-to-view layout and note pages are handy ways to track your days. It also comes with a slip pocket for extra pages you want to tuck away and extra end note pages to track further thoughts.
What To Look for in a Daily Planner
Identify what you want out of your daily 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 a little more basic?
Also, consider where you will 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. Some planners 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.