Believe it or not, 2021 is here, which means it’s time to crack open a shiny new planner that will help to guide you through the new year. Filled with daily, weekly, or monthly sheets that allow you to map out your schedule, set goals, and add in notes and to-do lists, these handy little organizational tools can aid you in your quest to become a more structured, reliable, and happy person. Read on to find out how you can use planners to help change your habits in the coming year and where to find the best ones on the market.
Benefits of Using a Paper Planner
We know what you’re thinking: “Why can’t I just use my Google calendar to get organized?” While it may help you with your office schedule, experts say that writing things by hand improves your memory — meaning you’re more likely to remember the dates and tasks you cement in ink.
According to Barbara Markaway, Ph.D., and author of The Self-Confidence Workbook ($10.89, Amazon), who penned a 2018 piece on the topic for Psychology Today, using a daily planner can also help with time management skills, improve productivity, and relieve stress, among other benefits.
“Planners … [help] your physical health by helping you track things like diet and exercise, you can schedule regular doctor and dentist appointments, and make sure you are getting enough fresh air and vitamin D by scheduling days spent outdoors,” she wrote. “You get mental health benefits by reducing stress and anxiety, and even having journaling pages for when you just need a good brain dump.”
A 2014 study from the University of Kentucky supported her statements, with undergrad students who used planners reporting feeling a “greater sense of being organized, less stressed, [and] better time management.”
The Best Planner for 2021
From planners that will help you set and prioritize your goals ($35, Amazon) and follow through on all those New Year’s resolutions to those designed with your finances in mind ($22.95, Paper Source), we’ve tracked down all the most clever organizational tools you could hope to utilize in the 365 days to come. Keep scrolling for Woman’s World’s picks for the best 2021 planners you can gear up for the New Year with right now!
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Best Leather Planner
2020 Panama Agenda With Gilt Pencil
Where to buy: $135, Smythson
Since you’ll be using your planner all year long, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a luxe, leather version that will not only last you, but bring you joy over its sheer beauty. Smythson’s Panama agenda checks all of the above boxes and more, with its gorgeous crossgrain lambskin cover, gold gild-edged paper, and fine gold gilt pencil. It features a weekly view and has a slip pocket for any important bits of paper you want might to tuck away.
Best Budget Planner
Best Budget Planner
Carpe Diem Budget Planner
Where to buy: $22.95, Paper Source
Unlike a daily planner, a budget planner is one that’s designed with the specific goal of helping you to keep your finances in check. With sheets for savings goals and expense/savings trackers, plus extras, such as budget inserts and money stickers, this Carpe Diem planner will give you a great head start on your 2020 money sense.
Best Day Planner
Day Designer Planner
Where to buy: $59, Anthropologie
If you’re the type to take things day by day, you’ll adore this Day Designer pick from Anthropologie. In addition to a fully-functional per diem layout, it provides a spot for you to list out your to-dos, set goals, and even record a daily gratitude. It’s hard cover will keep your schedule protected and sections for notes, gold foil sticker sheets, and a bookmark ruler make this book extra special.
Best Productivity Planner
Amy Knapp’s The Very Busy Planner
Where to buy: $7.49 (Originally $14.95), Barnes & Noble
If you’re the type with a bit *too* much on your plate, Amy Knapp’s The Very Busy Planner is for you. It’s equipped with weekly to-do lists, quotes that will motivate you to take care of business, color-coded stickers, and goal-setting activities to help you accomplish everything you need to in the coming year.
“Very helpful for organization,” wrote one shopper, with another chiming in, “Helps me stay organized and I also love the insightful questions and other thoughts throughout the book.”
Best Goal Planner
Where to buy: $30, Amazon
Goal-oriented planners will adore the Passion planner. With a focus on “simplifying your life and what really matters,” this 2020 roadmap prompts you to define both long and short-term goals for the year ahead as you work to identify priorities, create “passion plans,” and break down the necessary steps to achieve your dreams. There are also standard weekly or monthly overviews that are marked with space for your projects, travels, and appointments. Better yet, for each planner sold, the company will give one away.
Best Life Planner
Erin Condren 12-Month Coiled Life Planner
Where to buy: $58.99, Amazon
Entrepreneur Erin Condren’s 12-month planner is more than just an organizational tool — it’s a lifestyle. This customizable pick has monthly, weekly, and yearly spreads to best suit your needs, a vertical, box layout that you will allow you to section your schedule into blocks of time, and a colorful interior that will make you want to actually use it. It comes complete with four sticker sheets, monthly inspirational quotes, a snap-in bookmark, compliment cards for when you’re feeling blue, and more.
Best Astrology Planner
Magic of I
Where to buy: $45, Magic of I
This unique planner, which is suitable for everyone from beginners to expert astrologers, helps you to align yourself with the cycle of the cosmos via its “OptimumTime” life guide, which points out your best potential days for doing business, creative endeavours, self-development, love, socializing, and more. And that’s not all: You’ll also get pages for goal-setting, a spot to track your menstrual cycle, a monthly astrological calendar, and learning guides that will teach you all about the elements of the moon — and more!
Best Desk Planner
Indigo Blue Weekly Desk Planner
Where to buy: $4.99 (Originally $9.99), World Market
Sometimes, it simply helps to have your schedule laid out in front of you. Indigo Blue’s weekly desk planner has 52 sheets you can spread out on your desk, so all of your appointments, reminders, and meetings will be easily visible in one place. There’s a calming blue border that will lend tranquility to your office space and reviewers also praise it for its compact size.
Best Weekly Planner
Clever Fox Planner PRO
Where to buy: $34.99, Amazon
Clever Fox pairs your organizational diligence with your passions and goals. Ahead of entering your schedule into this 2020 guide, you’ll fill out a few awareness and self-discovery pages that will help you set your intents for the coming year — and the ones beyond that — to come up with a plan for how to get there. There’s even a spot for your own mini vision board! Its weekly view includes sections for daily priorities, a weekly goal, and a habit tracker that will help you self-correct in the organizational department.
Best Planner With Stickers
Law of Attraction Life Planner
Where to buy: $38.95 (Originally $39.95), Amazon
Ordinary scheduler, this Laws of Attraction find is not. From its eye-catching vegan leather cover, pull-out dreamboard, and success roadmap to its monthly reflections and positive-habit maker, there are plenty of things that set it apart from the pack. Most notably perhaps, are the 295 productivity stickers it comes packed with. In addition, you’ll also get a free video mini-course for 10-minute morning routines used by successful people, plus, five trees will be planted for every purchase made.
Best Cheap Planner
Lemome 2020 Planner
Where to buy: $25.49, Amazon
Getting organized doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. For less than $20, you can pick up this gorgeous faux leather five-star planner, which has nearly 4,000 positive reviews on Amazon! With monthly overviews and sections for notes, plus a weekly schedule to pencil in appointments, it’s got everything you’ll need to never miss another important date again. A ribbon bookmark, included stickers, and an inner pocket pouch add to its appeal.
Wrote one happy buyer: “The planner looks professional and the faux leather cover has the supple texture of leather (without the high price). I am used to paying twice as much for a planner that meets my needs, so this one was a wonderful surprise, enjoy!”
Added another: “Love the pen holder. Love the realistic looking faux leather cover. Last but not least, THE PRICE!!!!!”