- Posted by Alaia Williams
- On January 4, 2018
Eight great planners for different planning personality types that will help make this your most productive year ever.
Every year, my roundup of the best planners for small business owners is my most popular. I love hearing from people who found the perfect planner as a result of the post. One of the main things I do in that annual roundup is talk about features, layout, quality and size of the planners. In this post, some of those favorites are included, but I want to acknowledge that everyone plans differently. Picking the right planner is about more than price and style – we also need to consider our personalities, habits, strengths and interests.
Here’s the list*:
1. Day Designer (Flagship)
Purchase this planner if: you like being a detailed daily planner.
Also purchase this planner if: you’ll do most of your planning in your home or office.
I credit the Day Designer with getting me back into regularly using a planner. It was the first planner in ages that I used consistently for an entire year. I love the simple, clean and uncluttered layout. Each page (weekends aside) has hourly planning space and to-do list space. This Flagship edition is bulky, so it’s best if you plan to leave your planner in one spot. They do sell slimmer and smaller planners, they just lack the details I love. Check out my video walkthrough here.
Purchase this planner if: working your intentions and core desired feelings is essential to your planning process.
This planner is great for anyone who wants their goals served up with a little soul. The Desire Map Planer helps you hone in on your ideas and intentions, what you’re grateful for, and how you want to feel. Weekly and daily versions are available. I would recommend the weekly for people who live in their online calendar, but want a place to write down weekly plans and milestones and use the “feel good” parts of the planner to tap into their deeper goals, dreams and desires. Check out my video walkthrough here.
Purchase this planner if: checklists help you get things done.
Also purchase this planner if: You tend to be inconsistent with your planning.
The Next 12 Months: Weekly Planner is an undated planner, available in both printed and downloadable PDF versions. The feature that most people flip for is the marketing tracker. A lot of business owners put everyone else first and their own business development and marketing comes last. This planner not only provides suggested marketing tasks each week, but there are also monthly and annual pages that help you track your growth so you know what’s working – and what isn’t.
As mentioned, the planner is undated – so if you tend to plan for a month, skip a month and then start planning again, you’ll have no wasted pages. And you can start any time.
Purchase this planner if: you just want to capture the highlights.
The Monthly Planner is undated and includes monthly planning pages, monthly review and stats pages, annual review pages and a ton of note pages. This is ideal for someone who does most of their planning online, but wants a place to track highlights – big goals, milestones, launches, etc. The note pages are great for tracking notes (obviously), tracking ideas, opportunities and more. Simple, straight forward, zero fluff. Available in printed or downloadable PDF versions.
Purchase this planner if: you want to spend a lot of time intentionally planning this year.
The Panda Planner is undated (which I like) and has monthly, weekly and daily planning pages. The daily “spread” is across two pages. One page is your setup – what you’re focused on and what your goals are. The facing page is your schedule and tasks. The planner is portable – but will only last about 3 months or so (I used mine from September – December). If you’re mainly looking for somewhere to write down your schedule and tasks, a Day Designer would be a better choice, because half the pages in your PP would go to waste. BUT if you really want to spend time each day focused on what you’re grateful for and what your priorities are, then I think you’ll get a lot of value out of the Panda Planner.
Purchase this planner if: you like a lot of white space or if you like to doodle, draw or decorate.
This planner line really is a sensation. I mean, people really flip their lids over it. What I like is that its disc bound – so you can add and remove pages as needed. MAMBI (the company that produces the Happy Planner) has a variety of add-ons – fitness packs, budget packs – plus stickers galore. So if you like to decorate, are super into washi tape, or just love the big open spaces as they are for jotting down your own doodles and ideas, the Happy Planner may be what you’re looking for.
Purchase this planner if: you’re not so much into paper planners for your day-to-day life, but it would help you organize your content ideas.
This isn’t a planner in the traditional sense. It doesn’t help you organize your schedule, general goals, task list, etc. What it does do is help you organize your thoughts and ideas around your content. So, if creating more (and better!) content is on your list for this year and you need a system to help you make it come to life, the Epic Planner is one to explore.
Purchase this planner if: you don’t fit into any box.
Also purchase this planner if: You’ve got time on your hands.
Bullet journaling is the ultimate way to create your own planning system. It’s waaaaaay too free form for me, but millions of people swear by it. I follow tons of “bujo” pros on Instagram for a little creative inspiration. You can create your own code key and lay out your planning pages to get exactly what you want. If bujo has been on your mind for a while, but you don’t know how to start bullet journaling, there are a variety of books that can help. And all you need is dot grid notebook and your favorite pens to get started. Many people swear by Leuchtturm1917 notebooks, but if you’re just starting out and want to experiment a bit, there are a variety of less expensive options to test things out on.
What kind of planner are you and which planner are you using this year?
*Note: This post contains affiliate links for some products, which means I may earn a commission if you choose to purchase any of these products through me. There will be no additional cost to you and I never recommend products I don’t stand behind.
Grab my list of 15 free systems for small businesses
You'll also receive tips, resources and advice for growing your business.