Paper planners are the way to get things done, despite the tech out there that promises to help. Shared appointments in Outlook and shared iCal calendars are essential to scheduling appointments – those are great digital tools. BUT, for actual planning, you just can’t beat paper. If you were to throw “apps” into the Paper, Rock, Scissors game, Paper would beat Apps every time. Here are the most popular paper planners to get everything done.
DECIDE WEEKLY OR DAILY
Weekly planners offer the week at a glance look, so you can plan when you need to focus on certain projects to meet your deadlines. However, if you are list-maker, a weekly planner may not offer as much space. Daily planners offer plenty of space for your schedule, list, and notes so you can focus on one day at a time.
Related: here’s how to write the best to do list
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Use a great pen
First things first: no matter what planner you decide to use, having colorful pens just makes writing more fun. These pens are a joy to use – the colors are pretty, the point is fine, and the ink flows out perfectly. Treat yourself for $11. Available on Amazon
Roundup: most popular paper planners
Based on comments, reviews, and social sharing, these are the planners with a loyal following for you to consider trying this year!
1. Franklin Planner
Look, this is just the gold standard for day planners. To do list and schedule on one side, and a full page of notes on the other. It’s a tried-and-true planner that’s worked for super successful people for decades. It’s the best. Honestly, you probably shouldn’t read on but we’ll keep going with options. Shop Franklin Planner
2. THE JAG
Available in hardback or softback, and as a dated weekly planner or undated 16 week daily planner. Excellent, clean layout. Available at PAPIER
3. SIMPLIFIED PLANNER BY EMILY LEY
Preppy, colorful, clean design with a weekly layout so you can see your entire week at a glance. Available at Target
4. DAY DESIGNER
Available in weekly or daily format in the prettiest, feminine covers with a clean design and space for your top 3, schedule, tasks, gratitude and dinner. Plus, Day Designer free printables let you test out which format is best for you! Available at DayDesigner.com and a much less expensive version available at Target
5. ERIN CONDREN LIFEPLANNER
People who have Erin Condren planners are fanatical about them – the website offers plenty of different formats and styles, and all are designed to manage work and family. Shop Erin Condren
6. Levenger Circa Weekly or Daily Planner
I used this one for years – I like the large format, and the ability to add pages (meeting notes, schedules, etc.) I switched to the Franklin planner for a daily this year. But I still love this format and recommend to anyone who likes to look at their entire week at once. The paper quality is outstanding. Shop Levenger
7. Momentum Planner
This is a digital download which really breaks down your goals for the year. It’s awesome. Look and read the whole system, even if you don’t buy or use it, because it will change the way you break down projects. I printed and added to my Levenger Circa planner. Read the full review: the $12 life-changing daily planner
8. Staples Arc Planner
This is a much more affordable version of the Levenger Circa, with different layouts. A GREAT option if you like a full sized planner and don’t want to spend a small fortune on a planning system! Shop Staples Arc Planner
More popular 2021 paper planners:
9. Passion Planner – weekly layout, with blocks for a to do list
10. Happy Planner – This one has a cult following. Similar bound as the Levenger, very bright and colorful designs. You could spend a small fortune on accessories 🙂
11. Silk and Sonder – “how I use my Silk + Sonder planner” on Hithaonthego.com is a really solid review of how to use this planner, which is a bullet journal style planner
12. Full Pocus Planner by Michael Hyatt promises to give you clear goals and tame your to do list.
13. Plum Planner has a million most customizations options – personalize the cover, choose from 15 different layouts, add events, and more to really make it your own. Add on extra sections to track marketing campaigns, fitness, travel, blog planning, and more.
14. Cultivate What Matters Planner: This one will chase you around the internet, but has colorful designs and a great format. The “power sheets” are designed for goal-tracking.
15. Le Classique by PAPIER: One reviewer said, ““Already obsessed and addicted to writing in my goals for the new year! Has so much space to write for daily plans. I absolutely love it”
16. Golden Coil
This is a little bit different than the others. The company lets you customize the planner with dates, upload your contacts, events, layouts, and more. The designs are gorgeous. Create yours at Golden Coil
17. Clever Fox Planner Pro incorporates goal planning into the agenda + calendar portion. Customers seem to really love this planner, which has more than 3,000 reviews on Amazon.
18. Commit 30 has day planners, and also fitness journals and gratitude journals
19. Panda Planner promises “be happier, more productive” and who doesn’t want that?
20. May Designs – Customize your 2021 agenda, all beautiful stitched with pretty layouts.
21. Be Great Today (You Already Are)
You’ll be reminded daily that you’re already great. Who doesn’t need that affirmation every single day!? This planner has a simple but extremely effective daily page so you can write down exactly what you need to get done… and then get it done. Shop Tees and Books
Share your favorite planner: what planner do you use? Share your favorites in the comments!
More goal planning tips
- Stick to New Year’s Resolutions this year – 2 simple things to do so you won’t fail mid-January
- How to get 30 minutes of exercise a day: one tip is to simply schedule it in your planner!
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