A notebook is so much more than some sheets of paper between two covers. That’s why the best organizational notebook for you will largely depend on which section of your life you’re looking to organize. The first thing you’ll want to do is decide whether you want a journal-style notebook or a planner-style notebook, and after that, it’ll come down to the specific features and layouts that best suit your needs.
From the outside, journals and planners look pretty similar, and they both qualify as notebooks — but they serve different purposes. Journals are often lined (or sometimes dotted), and they allow you to use the pages however you want. Planners, on the other hand, usually come with built-in prompts or structured sections (including, but not limited to, calendars) to help you organize your schedule, goals, or projects. If you often feel restricted by structure, you’ll likely want to opt for a journal — but if guidelines help keep you on track, a planner is probably the best choice.
When it comes to journals, your biggest decision will be lines versus dots: Lines are better for straightforward writing, while dots offer more flexible guides for bullet journaling, lists, calendars, and doodles. Planners, however, are a little more complex. Some of them have prompts and sections that are geared toward specific areas of your life — like work, time-management, wellness, or spirituality — while others are more general and include a bit of everything. Whichever one you choose, be sure that the size, layout, and color are right for you.
According to reviewers, these are the best organizational notebooks on the market, whether you’re looking for lines, dots, prompts, or a mix of the above.
1. The Overall Best Life Planner
If you’re looking to organize every area of your life (work, social, personal, and more), the Panda Planner Pro is a top-seller with rave reviews. It’s jam-packed with all different prompts and sections (including daily, weekly, and monthly breakdowns), so you can consolidate your whole life in one place — and since it’s undated, you can start whenever you’re ready. Record tasks, take notes, make to-do lists, pencil in important meetings, organize work projects, set personal goals, and reflect on your life with gratitude prompts. According to the founder, this notebook uses “proven principles from positive psychology and neuroscience,” and reviewers are feeling the results, with more than 3,000 customers giving it a perfect five stars.
- Size: 8.5 by 11 inches
- Available colors: black, cyan, dark green, orange, purple
One reviewer wrote: “The missing piece to my organizational puzzle. [...] I'm fully aware this book is not a miracle cure, but when used as part of a balanced suite of tools to help set you up for successful endeavors - no matter how big or small - it's probably one of the most profound tools for your set.”
2. The Best Notebook For Bullet Journaling
For those with creative minds, bullet journaling is a great way to stay on track and record everything without feeling restricted by lines, formats, and prompts. A dot-grid notebook will be your primary tool, and this one from URSUNSHINE has a near-perfect 4.8-star overall rating. It offers a durable cover in various designs, thick acid-free dotted paper, and a built-in pocket and elastic closure — all for less than $10. Since the dots act as discreet guides, reviewers have used it for basically everything, including calendars, quotes, doodling, recipes, goal-setting, writing, and more.
- Size: 5 by 8.25 inches
- Available colors: black, blue geode, cactus, pink geode, marble, yellow
One reviewer wrote: “I love these journals! The bullet journal method is the only journal that I’ve been able to stick with consistently and it has totally changed how I navigate my day. This one is a bright cheery yellow that’s an instant mood lifter. The cover is nice and sturdy and the pages are thick enough that my ink won’t bleed through.”
3. The Best Affordable Notebooks
In terms of the interior, these are just your standard, college-ruled notebooks — but since you get five for $13 (and the sturdy cardstock covers are color-coded), you can organize every area of your life on a budget. They’re a number-one best-seller in spiral notebooks because of their coil-lock binding, clean-tear perforations, and 100 or 70 sheets of paper each. Of course, reviewers also really appreciate the value. Currently, they have more than 10,000 reviews and a 4.8-star rating overall.
- Size: 10.5 by 8 inches
- Available colors: assorted lattice, assorted solid, assorted sunburst
One reviewer wrote: “These notebooks are really good, they allow me to keep myself organized and the ink does not leak through as well when writing on it.”
4. The Best Reusable Notebook
The Rocketbook Fusion is arguably the most innovative notebook on this list. Why? Its pages are made with a special, whiteboard-like material, so they’re fully reusable — and the brilliant, built-in scanning system allows you to store your notes on your favorite virtual platforms, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, OneNote, Slack, email, and iCloud. The Fusion in particular features seven different page styles for planning, list-making, goal-setting, note-taking, sketching, and idea-creating. Each order comes with a microfiber cloth and a special, erasable Pilot Frixion pen.
- Size: 6 by 8.8 inches
- Available colors: black
One reviewer wrote: “Uploading to my google drives has been seamless and now all of my notes are organized by semester and class! I love it so much that my wife almost immediately bought one for herself and I'm thinking about buying one for each of my office staff!”
5. A Sleek Notebook For Work
The Moleskine PRO notebook is one of the most popular options for those looking to organize their work lives. Its pages aren’t overly structured. Instead, it has subtle guidelines for note-taking, project planning, and to-do lists, so it’s flexible enough for almost any industry. Reviewers also love that it has a table of contents, is perforated in all the right places, and features thick ivory paper that’s both sturdy and sleek. It even has a built-in folder, so you can store important loose papers. Choose from three sizes and a range of colors.
- Size: Large (5 by 8.25 inches), XL (7.5 by 9.5 inches), XXL (8.5 by 11 inches)
- Available colors: 7, including gray, black, forest green, and plum purple
One reviewer wrote: “A regular user of Moleskine at work. Prefer this as I can use the index to find my notes easily and also really helps to organize myself. Highly recommended.”
6. A Productivity Planner In Tons Of Colors
For those who could use some help with time management and productivity (and want to do it in style), the Clever Fox Planner Pro is the way to go. Its undated weekly and monthly spreads allow you to record everything of importance, including daily priorities, habit-building tasks, and to-do lists. It also helps you to factor in your goals and achieve a work-life balance, which is a great feature for those who often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. The cover is made from sturdy faux-leather in just about any color you could want, and it comes with free stickers, built-in bookmarks, and enough space for 52 weeks.
- Size: 8.5 by 11
- Available colors: 21, including dark blue, forest green, lavender, and rose gold
One reviewer wrote: “Super helpful. This planner is perfect for getting my life together. I already feel as though there is an improvement in my time management.”
7. A Planner With A Health & Wellness Focus
The Life & Apples planner is designed to help you meet your health and wellness goals, whether that’s fitness, mindfulness, gratitude, or anything else. The beauty of this undated notebook is that its prompts are flexible and open-ended so it allows you to pinpoint the habits you want to build, track your progress using just the parameters you want, and note your successes to keep you motivated. It also comes with stickers, an elastic closure, a pen holder, a pocket, and bookmarks.
- Size: 5.5 by 8 inches
- Available colors: black, champagne, leopard, marble, mint, pink, rose gold
One reviewer wrote: “The company put in a LOT of thought to make this journal user friendly. [...] I didn’t realize how useful this journal would be! It literally does all the planning for you - it makes it so easy to be on top of your life to make lifestyle changes.”
8. A Happiness & Inspiration Planner With 4.7 Stars
The Law of Attraction is a concept built upon the hypothesis that your thoughts create your reality. The Law of Attraction journal, then, comes with all of the tools you need to master this practice. Its layout features room for thoughtful journaling, inspirational quotes, vision boards, mind maps, and habit tracking. The 248 pages are broken down into weekly and monthly, all undated. According to reviewers who’ve given it a 4.7-star overall rating, it’s one of the best ways to achieve your goals and improve your overall happiness levels.
- Size: 10 by 7 inches
- Available colors: 6, including rose, turquoise, and vanilla butterfly moon
One reviewer wrote: “I have already noticed an increase in my productivity and renewed dedication to my goals because this planner is so well-organized and fun to use. If you're on the fence about this planner, don't be; just buy it — I promise you'll love it!”
9. The Best To-Do Notebook
Personally, I do best with a simple to-do list; I start my day by writing down everything I need to achieve and check things off as I go along, which keeps me on track and feeling productive. If this format works for you, too, opt for the Ricco Bello checklist notebook. Each spread features just two things: a breakdown of each day on one side, and a weekly to-do list on the other. The binding lays flat, the acid-free paper is thick, the 176 undated pages will keep you going for quite a while. Plus, the compact size and sturdy cover mean you can take it just about anywhere.
- Size: 5.7 by 8.4 inches
- Available colors: black, blue floral, brown, brown leaf, gray tree, succulents
One reviewer wrote: “Great book that keeps me organized! Good quality paper pages. I like that it is customizable.”
10. The Best Waterproof Notebook
Because it writes and stays intact in virtually any weather, the Rite in the Rain notebook is a favorite among those who need to stay organized outdoors. That said, its waterproof cover, wood-based paper, and bend-resistant spiral binding also make it a great pick for travelers, parents, nurses — anyone whose environment often means that their organizational notebooks take a beating. This one features 50 sheets of lined paper, but it also comes with an all-weather pen and a fabric zippered cover that holds up to four writing instruments.
- Size: 3 by 5 inches
- Available colors: beige, black, blue, brown, gray, green, orange, tan, yellow
One reviewer wrote: “Great value and functionality. Just what I need to work out on the field and keep everything organized. Will buy more.”