The Best Planners That Help You Stay Organized to Achieve Your Goals

Use these organizers to stay on track all year round

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The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

While there is no shortage of productivity tools these days—from online to-do lists to digital calendars and apps that remind you to do everything from visit the doctor to stand up to get more steps—nothing beats the feeling of putting pen to paper and seeing everything laid out right in front of you in a single place. “Putting a plan on paper can help you remember it more clearly since it’s less automatic than typing,” says Holly Chapman, head of global public relations for Papier. “It can also be a great space for self-reflection, plus ticking off a to-do list feels good, too.” 

If you think you could benefit from a journal-style planner this year, check out these great, highly-rated picks. From daily digests to monthly logs, these are the best planners to buy this year.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Legend Planner

4.7
 Legend Planner – Deluxe Weekly & Monthly Life Planner

Amazon

What We Like
  • Inner pocket

  • Comprehensive planning pages

  • Extras, like stickers and bookmarks

What We Don't Like
  • Have to write out all dates yourself

What do buyers say? 91% of 19,300+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

This one comprehensive planner comes in nearly 20 colors, so you’re sure to find one you like. But it’s not just pretty to look at. An un-dated 12-month planner is a versatile option for nearly everyone since it features both weekly and monthly spreads for both shorter- and longer-term planning. You’ll also find space for notes, goal planning, to-do lists, and self-reflection. It even has pockets for storing important documents, as well as over 100 colorful stickers and ribbon bookmarks.

Format: Weekly and monthly pages | Pages: Not listed | Dimensions: ‎‎8.27 x 5.55 x 0.94 inches | Weight: 1.08 pounds

Best Budget: Blue Sky 2022 Monthly Planner

Blue Sky 2022 Monthly Planner

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Coated tabs

  • In-depth monthly pages

  • Notes section

What We Don't Like
  • Not a lot of room for daily entries

You don’t have to spend a ton on a fancy planner to get a great one—and this spiral-bound option by Blue Sky is proof. The book, which runs from January 2022 to December 2022, includes in-depth monthly view pages that also contain previous and next month reference calendars for long-term planning. The book also has a notes section for important projects or lists that don’t quite fit into other areas of the planner. Another convenient feature: coated tabs make it a breeze to flip to exactly where you need to be.

Format: Monthly pages | Pages: Not listed | Dimensions: ‎8.69 x 0.5 x 10.13 inches | Weight: 6.4 ounces

Best Smart Planner: Rocketbook Panda Planner

Rocketbook-Panda-Planner

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Can transfer it digitally

  • Daily, weekly, and monthly sections

  • Customizable dates

  • Reusable

What We Don't Like
  • Need to remember to save before reusing the pages

This all-encompassing planner is divided into daily, weekly, and monthly sections, so you can choose what method of organization works best for you and go all-in on it—or, you can use all of the above, so you have a rock-solid grip on what’s on your calendar at all times. 

Those who love digital tools will also appreciate this planner’s unique ability to sync with your favorite digital tools. You can save digital versions of your planner pages to cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, box, OneNote, Slack, iCloud, email, and more using the free compatible Rocketbook app for both iOS and Android.

Format: Daily, weekly, and monthly pages | Pages: Not listed | Dimensions: ‎6 x 0.5 x 8.9 | Weight: 4.8 ounces

Best for Bullet Journaling: LEUCHTTURM 1917 Dotted Hardcover Notebook

LEUCHTTURM1917 - 120G Special Edition

Amazon

What We Like
  • Open-ended

  • Plenty of room for entries

  • Lays flat

What We Don't Like
  • Open-ended format might not be a good for everyone

Whether you’re well-versed in bullet journaling or just dipping your toes into the trend for the first time, this traditional faux leather-bound journal is a great place to start. Pages are dotted to provide guidance while still keeping things flexible.  

Also nice: The bound notebook is about 5 x 8 inches—plenty of room for all kinds of calendars, lists, and logs, but also small enough to tote with you. What’s more, the notebook is designed to open 180 degrees and lay flat to make journaling easier. When not in use, an elastic closure keeps everything snugly together. There’s also a pocket for storage—something most traditional notebooks don’t have.

Format: Customizable | Pages: 203 | Dimensions: ‎5.75 x 8.25 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 1.1 pounds

Best Monthly: Erin Condren Tie Dye Metallic Monthly Planner

Tie Dye Metallic Monthly Planner

Courtesy of Erin Condren

What We Like
  • Monthly productivity logs

  • Spiral-bound

  • Goal-setting pages

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

This 12-month planner is one of the most flexible and customizable out there. In addition to weekly spreads, the spiral-bound notebook also has dated monthly spreads, monthly productivity logs, mini months at a glance, goal-setting spreads, ample notes pages, a contacts page, and quote pages to spark inspiration.

Format: Weekly and monthly pages | Pages: Not listed | Dimensions: ‎9 x 1.75 x 9 | Weight: 1.3 pounds

Best Daily: Papier Time to Shine Foiled Daily Planner

Papier Time To Shine Planner

Papier

What We Like
  • Attractive

  • Pages are undated for flexibility

  • Space for journaling

What We Don't Like
  • Only 16 weeks

This daily planner spans 16 weeks. There’s plenty of space to write to-dos, shopping lists and schedules, set personal goals, track habits, and reflect on your growth. What’s more, there are nine extra lined pages for more detailed notes or journaling. For flexibility, pages are undated—simply fill out the dates yourself. 

Just as important as the practicality, this planner is one you’ll want to look at every day, with its fun cover design accented with little metallic touches.

Format: Daily | Pages: 96 | Dimensions: 6 x 8.5 inches | Weight: Not listed

Best Undated: Clever Fox Planner

Clever Fox Planner

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Can start anytime

  • Goal setting pages

  • Planning stickers

What We Don't Like
  • Small space for daily entries

There’s a reason this planner is so widely praised. The undated weekly planner (start any time!) promises to aid in productivity, time management, and goal setting. How? In addition to space for appointments and the typical things you might log in a planner, its pages categorize your day into five key areas: productivity, passion, motivation, happiness, and focus. 

It also comes with 150 colorful planner stickers to help you spot the most important inclusions, a pen loop to ensure you always have a writing tool at hand, and an inner pocket to hold important documents, receipts, and other separate lists.

Format: Weekly and monthly pages | Pages: Not listed | Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8.38 | Weight: 1.68 pounds

Best Customizable: Golden Coil Planner

Golden Coil Planner

Golden Coil

What We Like
  • Completely customizable

  • Can add an address book, a budget tracker, and more

  • Ability to upload from digital calendars

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Can’t find exactly what you’re looking for? Why not design your own planner to meet your specific needs. With this service, you can customize everything from the cover to the pages inside. And the options go way beyond your standard planner. You can have your entire address book printed inside, choose your own start and end dates, add events from digital calendars into calendar pages, and personalize the way all of your pages are laid out. Extra page options include things like budget trackers, reflections, and more.

Format: Customizable | Pages: Customizable | Dimensions: ‎7.25 x 0.88 - 1.25 x 9.75 | Weight: Depends on selection

Final Verdict

Our top pick for planners is the Legend Planner (view at Amazon), because it’s both comprehensive and highly customizable, plus has plenty of space for self-reflection to help with overall mood and productivity. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, we also recommend the Blue Sky 2022 Monthly Planner (view at Amazon). The coated tabs make it easy to find the section you are looking for, and the in-depth monthly views are great for long-term planning.

What to Look for in a Planner

Format

Just about every planner has a different format. Some are divided up by weeks, while some have monthly calendar-inspired layouts. Others are goal-oriented or arranged to follow the school year. Check out several layouts before making your decision so you can find a planner that is suited to your needs.

Size

Planners come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small pocket-friendly versions to larger, more spacious editions. The best planner for you depends on where you’ll be keeping it—in your purse or briefcase? Or at home on your desk? Also, keep in mind how much you will need to write in it. A larger planner will be more cumbersome to tote around, but a smaller version won’t give you much room to record your day-to-day activities.

Extras

If you want a simple, no-frills planner, you can easily find one that just has calendar pages and nothing else. However, there are also products that come with fun extras, such as stickers, page markers, shopping lists, and more. Go minimalistic—or not! The choice is yours.

FAQ
  • What’s the difference between a planner and a journal?

    Typically, a planner is a space to plan out your day, week, or month. It features space to write tasks, so you can keep track of all of your to-dos. A journal, on the other hand, is more of a self-reflection tool, featuring space for writing out your thoughts and feelings. Hybrid options are also available.

  • How do you maintain an organized planner?

    The key to maintaining an organized planner is to use it regularly and complete regular audits. “I have a ritual on a Sunday where I go through my planner and check on my upcoming weeks and month to make sure I’m on top of things,” says Chapman. “I find it makes the start of the week less stressful.”

  • Where’s the best place to keep a planner?

    The best place to keep a planner is where you know you’ll use it. When your planner is in eyesight or within reach, you’re more likely to use it regularly. “I keep mine on my desk or in my handbag, so I can add in upcoming plans, deadlines, or meetings while I’m on the go,” says Chapman.

  • How do I find the right planner?

    Selecting the right planner depends on your individual needs. When shopping, consider what you intend to use it for (scheduling, goal setting, note-taking, etc.) and other important factors like size, organization tabs, and digital capabilities. Ultimately, the best planner for you will be one with the features that help you succeed.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This roundup was researched and written by Brigitt Earley, who has written and edited hundreds of buying guides for various publications over the course of the last 10 years. Not to mention, Brigitt knows a thing or two about scheduling and staying organized—she is a freelancer for more than a half-dozen publications, all while running a household of six (including four kids under the age of 4!). To make this list, she considered each planner's features, size, and design. Additional review for this article was done by Grace Gallagher, a writer and editor with more than eight years of experience covering lifestyle and home decor, among other topics.

Updated by
Grace Gallagher
picture Grace Gallagher
Grace Gallagher is a lifestyle expert and writer with five years of experience covering home furnishings, storage, and organization, as well as health, fitness, and beauty. She has also written for Greatist, Veracity Selfcare, Brit + Co, and Healthline. Grace also taught creative writing workshops in Portland, Oregon.
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