You could argue that you could have your schedule planned out on your phone and save the environment while you’re at it. However, there’s a lot of research showing that writing down your to-do list and schedule for the day makes you feel engaged than typing it into your phone or laptop. Once the year is over, the productivity planners becomes a item for the time capsule as you reflect and keep track on all the goals you set for yourself and reminisce the days you accomplished your goals.
A planner is meant for keeping your schedule organized, but productivity planners help track tasks, and with goal setting. The planner aims to help you translate your goals into daily weekly or weekly monthly to do lists. This helps you finish smaller action items without losing sight of the big picture. Make sure you use the organizer everyday to maximize productivity. Use it for at least 21 days to form a habit and 90 days for it to become your new normal. It is also important to hold yourself accountable; after you find a system that works for you, stick to it as it becomes part of your values.
Before deciding to buy a productivity planner, you’ll need to decide how you want to use the planner and if you need it for personal, business or academic use. Most planners can be adapted in different ways but some have terminology and frame that is best suited for a particular use. For example, a planner that builds goals based on quarters might be better for entrepreneur rather than someone planing personal projects. Another thing to consider is if you want your planner to focus on daily tasks or extended goal setting. Planners that have a full calendar year are better for tracking long term goals and accomplishments. If you’re looking for a more intensive planner that helps you get into the day to day of your busy schedule, a 3 month option might be better.
Look at how the daily schedule, or timelines are laid out in each planner. Some timelines are centered around 9 to 5 work schedule, but there are options for 24 hour daily timeline which may be best for students or people who work night shifts. Some productivity planners are undated while some are published with dates. Lastly, consider if you will leave it at home or the office, or carry it with you everywhere. Some are small and more portable than others.
Any of them that are listed will help you keep track and stay on track but it matters to find the right one. We list them by how they are used – quarterly, weekly and daily. It also includes some customizable options.
This 12 month undated planner helps you identify and accomplish your short term and long term goals. Measuring by 8.5 inches by 11 inches (standard letter size), it has nine section that talk about self discovery and big picture vision boarding to quarterly and annual goal setting. The productivity boost layouts encourage you to track habits and priorities, maintain work-life balance and take time to be thankful and contemplation. It comes with six sheets of colourful stickers to help you plan visually and three ribbon markers to easily flip between the sections. It has 50 dot grid pages in the back for taking notes, bullet journalling and you can choose from many colours.
A great option for individuals with a lot of goals, both short term and long term, like entrepreneurs or students. Designed with a scientifically researched approach to happiness and productivity, it’s both a gratitude journal and planner to help you meet your goals while feeling your best throughout the process.
It separates daily, weekly and yearly section. Each daily page is sectioned off with space to jot down schedule, tasks, notes and priorities. There’s also a section to review your accomplishments or weaknesses as well as lines of affirmations to reinforce positive habits. This 6 month organizer comes undated and comes in the A5 size (5.5 inches by 8.3 inches)
This one has a pomodoro style work system, which is a time management method that breaks down work period into 25 minute intervals with breaks in between. Each page is simply formatted into sections for priorities for the day along with secondary and additional tasks to minimize distractions. You can give yourself a daily productivity score to help keep track of your progress. Comes undated for 6 months.
This productivity planner helps you translate your biggest passions and long term goals into achievable weekly and daily tasks. The framework is based on a “Passion Roadmap” which guides you through brainstorming your dreams, prioritize them and breaks down steps you need to accomplish them.
From the pages of annual, monthly, and weekly planning pages of a 12 month planner, you’ll repeat your goals you made with your Passion Roadmap. There’s space everyday for non-passion related tasks but it always brings focus back to the framework. Unlike other planners, it splits its focus between work and personal projects into two pages. This helps for people whose passions exist outside of work. It also has a daily timeline from 6am to 11pm which accommodates scheduling outside standard office workday.
This planner is undated and comes in dated versions and can be in the medium or small size (Which allows you to carry it around). More than 600,000 users they refer themselves as #pashfam and view their planner as a “paper life coach”. The brand has a buy-one-give-one program. Every time their planner is bought, one will be given to a student or someone in need. It includes appointment calendar for important dates and important tasks, goal setting guide, space to jot ideas, sketchbook, gratitude log, personal and work to do lists all in one notebook. Another neat thing is that they have free PDF downloads! This will be good to see if their planner is a match for you.
Created by an entrepreneur and former CEO, Michael Hyatt, author of Platform and host of the podcast “This is Your Life”. this productivity planner is for 90 days or 3 months rooted in fiscal quarters which makes it good for entrepreneurs. It includes workday start up and shutdown rituals along with quarterly goal, yearly goals, monthly calendar, the ideal week, daily pages and accomplishment recaps. The planner assigns 2 page daily to give you lots of area to break down your busy day. You can find a 6am to 8pm timeline with space on both sides for other commitments and write notes.
It also comes in a version for students that breaks down its pages into daily and weekly. The daily pages has to do lists and additional tasks, sections for morning, midday and night time routines and dotted grid section for bullet journalling. At the end of the week, you can reflect on what’s coming and plan accordingly. There is also a goal setting section to break down what you hope to reach and notes on how to reward yourself – perfect for anyone who needs motivation.
The planner is undated but you will get the most out of it if you start at the beginning of a quarter.
You may be using the free app system for appointments but with some tweaks you can use it as a time management tool. Productivity is seen as having time to do work that we want to do. Blocking your time on Google Calendar and designating it as “busy” will prevent others from filling up those spaces on your daily weekly calendar. The same can be done on apps like Schedule Once or Calendly which can be integrated with Google Calendar. For maximum productivity, you can try making consistent “available” block of times each day for appointments or calls.
This planner is more spiritually oriented and created by author of The Desire Map, Danielle La Porte. You can have the right fit for you with their daily planners, weekly planners and undated planners. It includes 3 notebooks that offers support in how to use their system but help you in your thoughts about your life and intentions you’re using the planner to aid you fulfill.
With more than 30 years in the planner business, they provide many layouts, and have been teaching about productivity and planning from the beginning. Their paper planning system guides you to identify clues, create successful habits, track and achieve goals. They have many options for layouts, binders and accessories.
If you have heard of “The Five Minute Journal” which has been backed by Tim Ferris, this productivity journal is created by the same people. It combines the Ivy Lee Method which made Charles Schwab millions with the Pomodoro Technique to stay focused. It allows for six months of planning, 5 day daily pages, weekly planning, weekly review, task list to get things done, pomodoro time tracking and extra pages and space for notes.
Backed by Daymond John of Shark Tank, the Self Journal takes a 13 weeks approach and combines weekly, daily, monthly weekly and monthly calendars to help you stay focused on things that matter.
It includes additional tools; Weekly Action Pad, Project Action Pad, the Sidekick pocket journal to get your ideas on the go and their Smart Marks bookmarks where you have space for taking notes while reading.
Golden Coil is spiral bound planner that allows you to customize pretty much everything about it from cover to cover including the front cover. You can get it a few colours and linen or leather material. It has standard calendar pages and offers themed layouts for wedding planning, wellness planning, recipe planning and more.
This is another customizable option that is more on the affordable side. The layouts do not include weekly calendar pages but you can choose between monthly and daily as well as between vertical and horizontal. They also offer a choice of binding options with both spiral and ring bound styles.
This 12 month pocket planner packs a lot of planning into a small book that measure just 5.5 by 3.5 inches. The weekly section gives you enough room to make your own productivity journal or planner for daily to do lists or write down appointments and space for listing tasks, notes, upcoming holidays and important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. It also has a monthly section.