Any planner can help keep your schedule organized, but the best productivity planners have the potential to help you track tasks and meet goals with efficiency, optimism, and purpose. These planners aim to help you translate your goals into weekly and daily to-dos — that way, when life gets busy, you can keep a handle on smaller action items without losing sight of the bigger picture.
Before you buy a productivity planner, you’ll need to decide how you intend to use the planner and whether you primarily need it for personal, business, or academic use. Most planners can be adapted in a variety of ways, but some have terminology and frameworks that might be best suited for a particular use case. For example, a planner that builds goals based on “quarters” might be better for an entrepreneur than someone planning personal projects. Also consider whether you want your planner to focus on daily tasks or extended goal-setting. Planners that span a full calendar year are typically better for tracking long-term goals and accomplishments; but if you’re looking for a more intensive planner that will help you get into the day-to-day nitty gritty of your busy schedule, a three-month option might be a better fit.
Look at how the daily schedules, or timelines, are laid out in each planner. Some of the timelines are centered around a 9-to-5 work schedule, but there’s one option with a 24-hour daily timeline, which might be best for students or people who work night shifts. Finally, take into consideration whether you’ll want to leave your planner at home or the office, or carry it around with you — some planners are smaller and more portable than others.
These are the best productivity planners to help you accomplish your goals, both large and small. All of these options are undated, which means they’re as useful and effective in April or October as they are in January.
1. The Best Overall Productivity Planner
Panda Planner is best known for their daily planners, but the newer Panda Planner Weekly is great for anyone who needs to add structure to their days without getting caught in the weeds. Like the daily Panda Planner (which is available in small and large versions), this weekly planner reiterates your priorities across weekly and monthly sections. I’ve used Panda Planners before and find that the repetition of goals can really keep you on track! There’s room to set positive habit goals over time as well.
The Panda Planner Weekly includes 52 weekly planning pages and 12 monthly planning pages, which means it's a productivity planner that can last you an entire year. Even though it’s a weekly planner, it builds daily positivity-focused morning and evening routines into the weekly planning pages so you'll refer to it at least twice a day — chances are, though, you’ll want to keep it on hand all day if you use the daily timeline, which spans from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., for scheduling.
The weekly Panda Planner is 8.5 inches by 11 inches and not the easiest planner to carry around; if you're looking for something more portable, consider the 5.25-inch-by-8.25-inch daily Panda Planner or one of the smaller planners below instead.
Reviewers say: “Here's the thing - this calendar is NOT about micromanaging your week (in a good way, the way that the phone calendar helps me do that), it's about creating the headspace for you to plan and reflect on your week. This planner is about self-care in the best way possible. I love how it helps me keep specific ideas in mind as I think about how I will tackle that days tasks. I love how it gives me space to write about how my week went. I love that it helps me set (and MEET) my goals towards being a better human.”
2. The Best Budget Productivity Planner
If you're on a budget and/or you've never used a productivity planner, the iBayam Planner is a fantastic place to start. It's essentially a pared-down version of a productivity planner that offers the opportunity to try out setting goals and reflecting on your week before committing to a pricier, more involved planner. It doesn't contain a daily timeline, so you can't precisely schedule out each hour of your day, but its 52 weekly pages and 12 monthly pages provide plenty of space to plot out monthly and weekly goals, celebrate personal wins, and identify areas of improvement. Its 5-inch-by-8-inch size makes it very portable, and it comes in three different colors.
One thing to look out for: Some reviewers have mentioned that the pages are thinner than other planners they’ve used, so if you prefer to write with markers, you should consider spending more on a planner with thicker paper.
Reviewers say: “I love the size of this planner, not too big or too small. It has a nice cover that wears well. I love the larger calendar as well as the day by day spaces so you can really plan out each day. There is room to write down goals and achievements for the week. This is exactly what I was looking for and the price is excellent.”
3. The Best Productivity Planner For Daily Goals
The BestSelf Co. Self Journal is the ideal option for setting goals and recording notes on a daily basis. In addition to weekly and monthly planning pages, the 90-day planner contains daily pages with a 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. timeline. It is designed to be used in a 13-week sprint, working toward one overarching goal (which can be anything you want), but it's as useful for daily planning as it is for achieving larger goals.
The Self Journal is a bit more focused on inspiration than many other planners and includes elements such as motivational quotes, gratitude journaling, reflection on joyful moments, and goal and habit trackers. It is relatively small in size and very portable.
Reviewers say: “The journal has allowed me to see where I am losing time and has improved my productivity drastically. In fact, I am doing more work than ever before, but feeling more relaxed and energized. I also like writing out what I am grateful for and my wins for the day as this helps me see that I am improving. I am so thankful for the journal and I really like how my goals are always in focus.”
4. The Best Productivity Planner For Long-Term Goals
The Passion Planner Undated Planner can help you translate your biggest passions and longest-term goals into achievable weekly to-dos. The Passion Planner framework is based on a “Passion Roadmap," which guides you through brainstorming your dreams, prioritizing them, and breaking down the steps you need to take to accomplish them.
Throughout the annual, monthly, and weekly planning pages of this 12-month planner, you'll reiterate the goals you create with your Passion Roadmap; there's space for everyday (non-passion-related) tasks, but the planner consistently refers back to your Roadmap. And, unlike other planners, it overtly splits its focus between work and personal projects, which is helpful for people whose passions exist outside of their day jobs. Along the same lines, the 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily timeline accommodates scheduling outside of the standard 9-to-5 workday.
This Passion Planner is the medium size one (7 inches by 10 inches), which isn't as portable as other options, but you can snag a Passion Planner in a smaller size. The planner is also available in dated and undated versions and a few different colors, with some options that are plain and some with a design on the front.
Reviewers say: “This planner has everything you need to be creative, organized, and accountable! Best planner I have ever owned.”
5. The Best Business Productivity Planner
Created by an entrepreneur and former CEO, the 90-day Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt is rooted in fiscal quarters, making it a good option for entrepreneurs and business-minded people. In addition to goal-planning and accomplishment recaps, it includes daily Workday Startup (and Shutdown) Rituals and weekly Action Reviews for you to designate the specific status of your projects. Its two-page daily spreads give you lots of space to break down your busy day — you'll find a 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily timeline with space on either side for other commitments — and write notes. And you'll be sure to keep your eye on the prize with the end-of-quarter countdown on each daily planning page.
This planner is undated, but you'll get the most out of it if you start it at the beginning of a quarter. It is 6.25 inches by 9.25 inches.
Reviewers say: “I struggle with organization for my work and business goals, and this is the most comprehensive planner I've purchased yet.”
6. The Best Academic Productivity Planner
The 140-day Lion Non-Dated Personal Daily Planner will appeal to students who want to squeeze the most out of their hectic, inconsistent schedules. Its layout is uncluttered and offers users plenty of space to customize the planner. It includes daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly planning pages, and the 24-hour daily timeline easily organizes changing class schedules, extracurriculars, and social commitments.
It comes in five different colors and its small size (5.5 inches by 8.5 inches) makes it easy to carry to class and back home again. The planner will last for over four months if used every day of the week, so you may need to get one planner per semester if you're using it Monday through Sunday.
It's also a good fit for people who work night shifts or have unpredictable hours and need a full 24-hour timeline in their planners, according to one Amazon reviewer.
Reviewers say: “I am a student and I have different hours everyday so the daily time schedule is so helpful. I love using the monthly part for big assignments and after school [activities]. I love that the planner has me set goals to keep me motivated. It keeps me organized and happy!”
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