A review of the best planners of 2016? Yes, please. An addiction to planners? Who, me? I think it started in my middle school days, and every August and/or January, I get slightly giddy thinking about the planner I’m going to use in the new year.
I’m all about the practical, so let’s get to it: This list is the results of my research on the best planners on the market, hands-down, and how to find them.
Each planner listed below includes a best feature (aka. Why I Like It), whether it’s physical, digital or both, and any other golden nuggets I’ve got to share.
There’s also a bonus section with a few items that aren’t strictly planners. My favorite part? Where I mix and match and use multiple planners each year.
- Best Feature: It has prominent space for a weekly and daily focus to ensure you stay on track with your goals
- Why I like it: Straightforward, no-nonsense, but has space for all the information you need. Includes a goal setting guide.
- Format: Multiple physical options in various sizes and Sunday vs Monday start date; Printable: free option to download just the weekly layout.
- Best Feature: It has prominent space for a weekly and daily focus to ensure you stay on track with your goals.
- Why I like it: I had the Erin Condren planner for 2015, and it was a great option to break up my day without forcing an hour-by-hour calendar. This is perfect for anyone who also uses a digital calendar for appointments and wants a planner to track work or less exact time-specific commitments.
- Format: Physical (multiple options), Printable: free option to download just the weekly layout.
Best Feature: I love that the iBloom planner intentionally combines personal life and business life – after all – I’m all about personal and professional productivity!
- Why I like it: Can I just say that this is the planner I don’t want to like? The single biggest downside to the iBloom calendar is the swirly, flowery cover. The content inside is fantastic though. I have this for 2016, and I’m debating if it’s worth the time to come up with a way to re-cover.
Format: Physical, Digital/Printable
- Best Feature: The Pursuit Planner is specifically designed for business planning and use, which makes it stand out among more generic or whole-life planners.
- Why I like it: This is truly a marketing planning guide that happens to have a planner built in. I’d call it a must-have for anyone who wants focus and consistency in their marketing and needs clear guidance.
- Format: Printed
- Best Feature: I haven’t bought these yet, but I’ve been drooling over them for a long time (note to self: Why haven’t you tried these yet?) and have heard rave reviews from those who have used them.
- Why I like it: This can be used in conjunction with other planners. I like that it’s not bound, so I if I skip a week, I still have the ability to get full use out of it.
- Format: Physical, multiple options
- Best Feature: Quarterly planners – yes, please! The small size and quarterly focus make these easy to carry around and fully use.
- Why I like it: These are fantastically designed, but still super-simple and easy to use.
- Format: Printed, variety of styles
90-Day Action Planner
- Best Feature: The 90-Day focus. I’m a huge fan of focusing on shorter periods of time, and this is set up to enable you to do just that!
- Why I like it: Well, it’s got the words “Action Planner” in it, so I’m sold.
- Format: Printed, various colors
- Best Feature: The Moleskine planners are great if you’re looking for a planner to double as a note-taking book. I use one of these at work for meeting notes, and it’s a great way to be able to look back and easily find notes by date.
- Why I like it: Well, it’s Moleskine, what’s not to like?! I’ve used the pocket size
- Format: Multiple sizes, physical
- Best Feature: Bright and colorful!
- Why I like it: The color-coding is fun, and there’s a focus on all of life, not just home or business.
- Format: Printed
- Best Feature: Specific focus on productivity and funneling down your priorities
- Why I like it: The format guides you to focus and prioritize. Includes a video tutorial on the methodology.
- Format: Printed.
- Best Feature: The price! At $9, These printable planners are fantastic even if you only pick and choose a few pages to print out (which is how I’ve used these in the past).
- Why I like it: Jessica (aka Fish Mama) was one of the first bloggers I started reading back in the day. I love that she has a super detailed how-to on how she prints and sets up her planner for each year.
- Format: Printable
- Best Feature: Pretty and gold with several design options.
- Why I like it: Large spiral binding makes this an easy one to lay flat.
- Format: Physical (multiple options); Digital/Printable – multiple single-page options, many free
Don’t forget about the classics:
Target & Walmart have great selections of low-priced but very practical planners of all types. Many of these lack the goal setting or “extra” sections, but they are great go-tos. These are the planners I used throughout school and walking the aisles brings back many fond memories!
These calendars aren’t strictly planners, but they’re still awesome.
The Inspired Success Wall Calendar
- Best Feature: Motivational “pep talk” for each month – right on your wall!
- Format: Physical
- Best Feature: Motivated Moms is a chore planning system with both an app and a downloadable PDF. Choose full-sheet or half-sheet, in color or black and white and with or without daily Bible readings.
- Why I love it: The choice for a black and white version! (See: aversion to swirly and girlie design)
- Format: App + PDF download
- Best Feature: Similar to Motivated Moms, the Confident Mom list is focused on household chores. The Weekly Household Planner is FREE, but there’s an additional packet of household management forms for the low-price of $7.
- Why I love it: While I love organizing, I really despise cleaning (am I allowed to use the “h” word?). If you follow these printed lists, you’ll do an effective rotation of cleaning your entire house – without having to think about when you last cleaned something or the most efficient rotation. You can also edit each of the fields, which is a fantastic bonus. I used this during my time as a SAHM, and as I’m writing this, realizing that I don’t know why I stopped! (as she heads over to print this out…)
- Format: Printable