Best Daily Planners For A More Efficient Life Reviewed
We’ve all got very busy lives, and it seems impossible to fit working out in our tight schedule. We spend most of our day working, doing basic chores, tending to our hobbies and interacting with our friends, and it’s easy to forget something important, like a doctor’s appointment or a session in the gym, which is why a daily planner could prove to be a very helpful aid.
Daily planners have conveniently transformed simple blank pages into something we can all appreciate. They usually come equipped with a calendar, pages for phone numbers, to-do lists and many more, and all of that makes it quite simple to plan our day, week, or month. If you never owned a planner before, or you’re just looking for a change, head on to our guide and discover the wonderful world of these handy notebooks!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 6 hrs of research
Has A Whiteboard
Four Pages Of Stickers
Top 10 Picks
1. Erin Condren LifePlanner
Has A Whiteboard
Four Pages Of Stickers
Number Stickers Not Included
Erin Condren offers daily planners with an exceptional design, colorful patterns, and inspirational quotes to keep you going for as long as you need to. Although it doesn’t have separate sections for daily planning, it does have weekly planning sections that offer enough room to help you keep track of your day without much effort. It’s highly customizable and it has no dates on, making it simple to organize the sections however you want to.Read more
Each and every year, in early May, Erin Condren drops her LifePlanner, and fans flock to the stores to get their hands on her helpful booklets. The beautiful vibrant designs which change every year help set in a feeling of awe and wonder, and inspire us to do many great things, since the planner looks very inviting. The customization part works this way: first things first, you get to choose the type of calendar you want, be it 18 months or two calendars with 12 months (one ranging from July to June, and the other from January to December).
The interior color design can also be chosen: you can get one that has colors as vibrant as the cover has, where each month has a set color theme and a neutral one which is soft and minimal, but still very streamlined. The layout can be adjusted to your liking as well - the planner offers a vertical layout, a horizontal layout or an hourly layout making it possible for you to choose what your week will look like. The color of the coil can be chosen as well, and it can be gold, rose gold, silver or black. And last but not least, the cover - all of the laminated covers are interchangeable, gorgeous and sometimes you can even choose your own colors for the selected design.
The coil is sturdy and flexible, and it will hold the planner together throughout the whole year, just like the first day you bought it. The coil does not allow the planner to flex, ensuring it lasts well beyond you expect it to. The covers are lined with a whiteboard; if you use markers for a whiteboard, you can write whatever you like there, and once you complete that you can simply wipe it off and write anything else you want. Some pages feature inspiring quotes, all there to set the mood for a new productive day.
The planner even has pages you can doodle or write on, and pages you can color in, with thriving greenery and whimsical creatures. And there are four pages packed with stickers! You can plant the sticker wherever you want, and it will make planning even more fun! The backside features a pocket that can hold many important papers and comes with a perpetual calendar. This planner does have many more things to offer, and it’s up to you to discover all of them.
2. Panda Planner
Daily, Weekly, And Monthly Section
Created With Positive Psychology
Free eBooks And Course
Cute And Minimal Design
Based On Proven Principles
Only For Three Months
Not For Work Productivity
This daily planner is widely regarded as the best thing that can happen to your organizational skills and to your life, as well. The Panda Planner is set up in three different sections - daily, weekly, and monthly. These sections are specifically designed to make you more productive and to help you reach your goals faster, making you happier in the end. This planner was created by Michael Leip, who suffer from serious diseases and needed help to get his life back on track, which resulted in the Panda Planner.Read more
He used proven principles based on positive psychology and neuroscience, which reward your soul and spirit once you see you’ve managed to complete your whole day just the way you planned it. Let’s discuss the sections we mentioned in greater detail, to help you see just how good this planner truly is.
The daily section has a simple system which does its best to force you (gently) to see what truly matters in your life from a day to day basis, organizing your clutter in neat sections which you can manage with ease. This will make your productive automatically - you won’t stress about forgotten events, missed appointments, instead, all you need is a glance of your planner, which will become second-nature to you. The weekly section has sections which help you see the flaws in your planning and help you learn better from your previous experiences, getting your life back on track.
The monthly section works just like any other monthly section - you can write really important events on the calendar, making them easy to remember. All of the pages are spacious, and you will have plenty of room left to plan your life according to your wishes. The daily sections even have check-ins, which you would do twice a day. The Planner comes with free e-Books that will help you hone in your productivity even better, a video course that explains the planner, and a vast community all working together to improve their planning skills!
3. Simple Planners
Funny Note On Cover
20 Pages For Notes
Not So Durable
This trendy, yet naughty, planner serves as a hint to take on the day with burning passion and a focused mind, with nothing to hold us back from our goals. The stylish and clean design of the planner will make it simple to focus on what truly matters, instead of spending too much time admiring the cute patterns (if that’s not what you’re looking for, of course).Read more
The planner is on the smaller side, so you can pop it in your bag, but big enough to contain all of your dreams and plans. The paper inside is high quality and sturdy, slightly off-white too, and it will hold down all of your ink without any smudging whatsoever. A vision board gives visual cues for you to reach your objective much faster and with ease.
The weekly and yearly calendar allow you to make plans ahead of time, so you always have what really matters in the back of your mind. Weekly to-do lists make us excited about the upcoming days, while inspirational quotes combined with reminders of holidays point out that we should always have time to sit back and relax. More than 20 pages are left for you to scribble down whatever is on your mind. All of this is protected by a printed matte cover with a slightly aggressive quote, just enough to always keep us going!
4. Bando Rough Draft
Special Centerfold Page
Space For Date
Double Sided Pocket
Covers Not So Durable
This is a super simple planner that features charming designs and entertaining quotes to keep you glued to the pages. Ranging from simple quotes to a garden full of flowers, they are sure to keep everyone satisfied. The cover is held together by a sturdy spiral, with a color to match the surroundings.Read more
It has 160 pages for you to write whatever you like on, and you will feel like you’re never going to run out of them once you actually get to writing your goals down. The corners of this planner are rounded, giving them a refurbished, sleek design.
One page features a double-sided pocket for you to keep all of your goodies in, so you have everything you need neatly packed into one place. A special centerfold page is a helpful reminder that you’ve written out more than half of the planner, and also serves as a nice break for the eyes. Every page features a special space for the date, and the ban.do logo so you always remember where your nifty planner came from!
5. Passion Pro
Soft Faux Leather Cover
Smoother, Thicker Paper
A Bit Heavy
The Passion Planner was created by a college student who felt just as lost as any college student does, overwhelmed by many new challenges she had to overcome. Angela Trinidad then transformed her anxiety into a planner, and thanks to a successful Kickstarter turned her life and the life of many lost students (and every other age group) around.Read more
The planner is a similar size to an A5 paper - meaning it has just enough room to fit in your daily goals, and your life goals as well. It has a very supple leather cover that is easy to clean and protects your valuable data from harm. A Bookmark ribbon makes it easy to remember where you left off, and the green color complements the color schemes well.
A reinforced elastic band keeps your planner shut tight, and keeps the pages from going rogue once you start writing things down. A back pocket is easily utilized to hold your stickers, pictures, cards, notes, receipts and many more. The paper is 120 GSM, super thick but very smooth so writing on them is enjoyable - if you like the feeling when a ballpoint pen glides across a smooth paper, then this planner is made for you.
There are a few sections we feel like we should mention, and one of them is this week’s focus. If there is a really important thing you should remember to do this week or a few more, then writing them down on in this section will keep you honed onto your primary goals. The good things that happened section help you keep a positive outlook on life, as you write down what you were grateful for the past week. The weekly quote and challenge section lets you write an inspirational quote to keep you going, all the while challenging yourself to do even better than you did once before.
The dual personal/work to-do list balances your work schedule and your life schedule, making it easy to prioritize what’s really important right now. An appointment calendar reminds you of important events you must not miss, while today’s focus helps you achieve simple goals every day. The passion road map is also something we feel we must mention - each and every task gets broken down into a road that leads to what’s really important, essentially decluttering your life. And if you are really confused about all of these things, you can find instruction near the end of the planner which guide you and let you know how to use the planner to its full potential!
6. Yes Studio Blink
Super Secret Pocket
“Today” Page Finder
Daily Doodle Section
This silly planner has a cover to remind us that we should cherish each and every day of the week, as they can be gone in the blink of an eye! The super durable and hardcover is simple yet inviting, while the oversized spiral keeps the planner together, and makes turning the pages super simple.Read more
The whole planner is held together by two elastic bands resting on the planners' edges, so it stays shut tightly! Never feel lost again with the handy ruler featured in the planner that guides you to the last page you wrote on. Now you can focus better on writing the goal on your mind instead of looking for the last stroke of ink you previously made!
A secret pocket hides super sneaky stuff, and regular stuff as well. The schedule is divided into hourly sections, so you can plan your days to the minute mark if you’d like! If you feel like you want to add something that you don’t want to forget but it doesn’t go along with the daily planning, the notes section is there for you to doodle on. Speaking of doodling, you can also let your pen run wild and free on the daily doodle section, and the to-do lists organize your days into sections you can easily master!
7. Blue Sky Day Designer
Extra Notes Pages
Six Bonus Months
List Of All Major Holidays
This day designer offers an easy way to set goals which you will be steadily focused on. The stripes on the cover serve as an inspiration, reminding us of warm, bubbly summer days we all can’t wait to experience. The sections are simple enough for everyone to understand, yet still complex and very helpful - they even work as work planners, so they’ve got you fully covered.Read more
The Day Designer System features four simple steps. The first step invites you to think about the big picture; what do you want your life to look like the following year, and what are your major goals? You can write all of this and much more on the very first page, roomy enough for the biggest and most daring of wishes. The second step has you thinking about your goals; it has sections for personal goals, family goals, financial goals, career goals and many more, so you can stay focused on improving your life throughout the year.
The day designer is the third step, and it makes it easy for you to organize your day however you want to, reminding you to celebrate your success, no matter how small it may be! And step four is a simple checklist where you can review the goals you’ve set for the year. It has a list of all major holidays, reminding you to celebrate them, and blank pages acting as canvases where you can let your mind run wild and free!
8. Brendon Burchard High Performance
2-in-1 Planner And Journal
Morning Mindset In Daily Sections
High-Performance Habit Assessments
Monthly Review Pages
Not Enough Space
Only For Two Months
This 2-in-1 planner and journal are based on one of the world’s largest studies of how the minds of high performers work, and how they organize their life, so you can emulate that and improve the quality of your life as well. This planner lets you see how to think strategically, what your priorities should really be, making you fixated on your targets and goals.Read more
This planner installs healthy habits into your mind, that are proven to lead to a happier and healthier life. It does not let you compromise your personal life for your professional life - instead, it organizes these important parts of your life to manageable sections which you can follow with ease. It has a daily schedule with morning and evening journal prompts, so you can write about your day without brainstorming first, leaving a reminder for the future you of what you had to be happy about.
There are 60 days you can write about, and they have no dates on them, meaning you can start whenever you like. Every page has a morning mindset process that sets you off to a successful day, while the evening review scoreboard makes flaws easily detectable so you know what to work on the next day. Weekly pages have the High-Performance Habits Assessments, while the monthly pages align your goals and make thinking ahead second-nature.
9. Hashi Weekly Pad
Removable Planner Cover
Reduced Ink Bleed
Very Thin Cover
Glancing every now and then at your newly made list can surely be very helpful, as it can remind you of what’s yet to come, and can keep you focused on your task. Which is why the shape of this planner is something we feel like we should praise, since it allows you to easily set it up on your table, with the content which you wrote on display for you to see.Read more
Although it does say it is a weekly planner, there’s still enough room for you to plan out your day and to keep the rest of the week on your mind as you do so. The cute design keeps you inspired, while also giving you one more reason why to use it - after all, how could one leave such a sweet planner empty and sad? It has 60 weeks for you to plan, so you’ll get enough space for all of your tasks.
The pages are not blank - instead, they also have pretty patterns, and you have four which you can choose from. The sheets are double-sided, and they do not leak ink, making this a very efficient and spacious planner. The cover is semi-transparent and removable, and if you want to change the pattern for a different one you can do that whenever you like.
10. Mead Cambridge Business
Easy Page Removal
Black Linen Paper Cover
Premium Recycled Paper
Not Divided Into Dates
A Bit Too Large
If you do not like the colorful and over-the-top planners that you can usually find today, and wish to find a planner that is simple, sleek but functional, then this planner is just what you need. A black, sturdy cover protects the interior and is made out of black linen paper.Read more
This professionally styled notebook is very durable, and it includes 80 sheets of premium recycled paper with a 30% waste. The side perforations make it simple to remove unwanted pages, that you have made mistakes on, or you just simply don’t want to look at them. It doesn’t have any extra features, but that doesn’t make it less worthy than the others - instead, the clean design makes it simple to focus on what’s really important, and the spacious design offers enough room for you to write in as many tasks as you want!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
None of these planners are simple notebooks with lines on which you can write bullet points. Instead, they all have something that makes them stand out, something that helps you focus on the tasks at hand. These features also organize your life, offer insights into your habits and even give solutions to your problems, making you more productive and less likely to procrastinate.
What most of them have spaces allocated for to-do lists. These lists are for you to write down what you need to do during the day, and once you see what task lies ahead, it’s much easier to remember them, and you are much more likely to actually complete the task. They also usually have weekly and monthly calendars, and sometimes even yearly.
These calendars have sections where you should write in all of the important events in your life, giving you one space on paper to remind you about your upcoming events, so you can plan your life around them. Some planners have sections that help you work on your mind, improve your habits, that build your organization skills and that help you stay focused on the tasks ahead. Pockets can be found stuck to the pages, where you can keep goodies, like cards, receipts, stickers, and many more items which you find to be important.
Speaking of stickers, some planners come with pages full of them, so you can make your planning a fun and colorful journey. Inspirational quotes keep us going no matter how hard it gets, while sturdy covers and elastic bands keep the contents of our lives safe inside the planners! All of these features help us plan our lives even better than before, and you should opt out for one that has many of them to offer - or a super simple one that keeps your mind where it needs to be, whatever works best for you!
Daily planners are regarded as tools that can help you get your life back in track, but how well do they work? Will they truly help someone who tends to procrastinate be a more productive person, with a better focus on what’s ahead - and if they do, how does one use them effectively?
The planners we wrote about will only be truly effective if you know how to use them. Paper planners are an easy way to be organized and have existed ever since paper was bound together to form a notebook. All planners provide powerful visual layouts and enough space for you to write lists, notes, and doodles as well. What you need to do in order to get the most out of your planner is to use it well, daily. Take 5 or 10 minutes out of your evening every day to plan the day ahead of you, and to write down everything you think is important about the day you are leaving behind. All of this resets your mind and makes it less likely that you will forget about important appointments and events. This can even help you if you have trouble falling asleep - no longer will your mind race and your thoughts scramble about the upcoming day since you will know with certainty what you are going to do as soon as you wake up.
You should also have regular weekly planning sessions. Take one day to think about all of the plans you thought about doing in the upcoming week. This way you can write in the tasks and events you can’t simply plan one day ahead. By doing this you always know what’s coming up, and nothing can take you by surprise. You should also use the monthly section, which is where you should write down events that have a set date, such as anniversaries and birthdays.
Using a single planner for all of this is the simplest way to keep you on track since you won’t need to search for multiple planners, it will all sit in one very neat place. You can even try color-coding for even better organization.
Use full sentences when you want to describe what you need to do. This will make your steps concrete, and you will always know what exactly you need to do. Leave your planner in a very obvious place, somewhere you are likely to see it because you need to check it daily so you stay motivated to complete the tasks, and you can even take it with you so you can write down any new information that can change your plans. For this, it’s best to choose a planner that is on the smaller side, since it will be portable.
And the most important part is that you shouldn’t stress about not filling the planner up. The planner should be something that will make your life easier, not one more additional thing you should worry about. Some days will be full of events, while others will be almost empty - do not rush to fill up those days since you might burn out and feel even less motivated to do anything. You have to figure out which design works best for your mind, and there’s no better way to do that than by giving one a try!
Ease of Use
You just bought a planner, and are very excited about using it, but as you open it up, you’re met with many confusing sections and details, which can all soon overwhelm you and turn you off from the idea completely. But the paper planners are a welcome change from the screens we are so adjusted to and are very easy to master, even more so than apps and programs. Your eyes will thank you for the break from technology, and you will see that you will find joy in writing every bit of your life down.
You will find it easier and easier to write everything you need to do down as the days go by and you get adjusted to the planner. You might even be reminded of tasks you have forgotten about once you take that pen into your hand, and your mind will thank you for organizing your thoughts into manageable sections. For this, you must pick a planner that actually has enough room for you to write down whatever you like since a tiny planner with small sections won’t do you any good. Instead, it will make your life even more confusing.
The weekly and monthly sections all serve you one purpose, and that is to line out all of the important events and appointments you have to tackle the following week or month, and they are quite simple to understand. The quotes bring inspiration, the pockets are for hiding things, and everything else is usually explained by the creators so you have nothing to worry about!
Just like any other notebook, the size of daily planners vary. Some or small and cute, others are big and robust, while there are planners that are longer or wider as well, and they all cater to your individual needs.
Big planners will have more space for you to write in, but they will also be very chunky, and maybe even heavy, and that won’t make them good enough to be carried around the whole day - they might not even fit into your bag. Small planners are cute and very portable, but they may not offer enough space, and you might miss writing down a task that you need to simply because you’ve got no more room left. The shape of the planner also varies and offers different ways for you to write down what truly matters in them. It’s up to you to figure out which shape works best for your needs, and whether you need a portable or a sizable planner!
One of the best things about daily planners is that they are very versatile. None of the planners we listed here are used simply to plan out the day ahead. Instead, they have millions of features that help you organize your life, and pages and even whiteboards you can utilize for other things which are not related to planning.
They can also be used as doodling books. The quotes usually found in them bring us motivation and inspire us to do more with our lives, while some planners were made with our psychological help in mind, so they even serve as mental health advisors. The planner is a very versatile tool that balances out our lives, and you should use them to their full potential!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When was the very first daily planner invented, and who do we have to thank for that? Before the planner existed, we had the almanac, where the presidents jotted down their thoughts and plans. But they realized soon enough that this is not a good way to organize your life since the notes would often become messy and they wouldn’t be motivated to follow through with what they have written down.
In 1773, Robert Aitken published what he claims to be the very first daily planner, with a prefabricated layout organized into neat sections for better upkeeping. These planners eventually took off, and we all get to enjoy their magic today.
Other Factors to Consider
Daily planners are very handy tools that bring back balance into our lives, prompting us to take the wheel instead of just sitting in the back seat and letting our life pass us by. They will help you schedule your work out sessions into your busy lives with ease, and you surely won’t forget about training or your healthy meal plans no more. We hope our guide has given you insight about their helpfulness, and that you have managed to choose one that is fit for your needs!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are there apps that I can use instead of the planners?
Technology keeps advancing every day, and so do the apps which are offered to us. And of course, there are apps that serve as daily planners, offering us everything that a standard paper daily planner does. They even have helpful notifications that remind us to fill them in. But since they are located in our phones, we are much more likely to be distracted from the true task at hand, making them completely unusable. This is why it’s better to use an actual paper daily planner, since there is only one thing you can do once you take that pen into your hand, and that is organizing your life!
q: Can I create a daily planner by myself?
Although the task may be meticulous and hard, it is very doable. All you need is a good notebook and a handy internet guide, and you’re good to go! The benefits of this are that you can adjust the planner to your liking, you can play with the color schemes and the sections as much as you like, but the downside is the time it takes to create all of this. If you lack the time to actually do this, you can always just buy a premade one and start filling it up right away.
q: What happens when I fill up my planner?
A completely full planner is both a sad and a happy occasion. It means that you have followed through all of your plans and that you’ve been consistent, but it also means that it’s time to say goodbye to your beloved planner. There is no need to throw it away completely, you can always leave it by your side as motivation and as a reminder of your previous days. Lucky for us, many planner makers create planners for every year that follows, so you can always use the one you have chosen as your number one, year in and out.
q: Should I use a planner in the first place?
If you have absolute control over your life and always remember what to do, or if you have a secretary that helps you do so, then you may not have much use of a planner in the first place. But if you fail to do any of this, then a planner will surely help you lead a better life. They are nothing to be afraid of, and once you get the hang of them you won’t be able to take your hands off of them!
q: Should I use a daily or a weekly planner?
Many weekly planners have sections that are dedicated to individual days, sometimes even separating the days by hours. But then again, some don’t have this, and they do not offer enough space for you to plan out your day. Deciding on the type you need will depend whether you want to plan out your week or each and every day, but it’s always better to organize your life in greater detail since you are more likely to follow through that way!