Buying Guide for Daily Planners
Why should you buy a daily planner?
You probably already have an idea of the value of a daily planner if you’re reading this! It’s safe to say that most of us could use better organization. Lives are busy. You won’t have to struggle to recall if your meeting is at 9 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. or if Aunt Lisa’s birthday is on the 10th or 12th. No more digging around your desk, trying to find the sticky note where you wrote down the time change for your next dentist appointment. You can keep all your important dates, meetings, appointments, and payment schedules in one convenient place.
Moreover, many people find that writing down their goals or tasks in daily planners makes them easier to achieve. There’s a bit more accountability in seeing “go to the gym at 5:30” written down in pen on paper than mentally promising to yourself that you’ll hit the gym after work today.
What should you look for in a daily planner?
- Size: Some planners will be small enough to fit in a purse or pocket for easy transport. Others will be large enough to cover a desk in future plans. When it comes to the size of your planner, make sure there is enough space to write the things you need and that they can be placed/used where you need them.
- Planning Type: Choose one that will best fit what you want to accomplish and helps keep you on track. If you like to be able to completely customize your planner, then an undated planner may be for you. However, set calendars can help ensure there are no mix-ups and may offer more stability.
- Extras: Some planners come with bookmarks, pen holders, and expandable back pockets. Motivational planners often provide daily health reminders and stickers to note achievements or positive affirmations. Durable and no-bleed paper is ideal, especially if you have a favorite pen you like to use that might cause bleeding; otherwise, your writing could become messy and illegible.
How will you know when you’ve found the right daily planner?
The style and structure of what makes a good daily planner are based on personal preference. Do you want a hard cover or a soft, flexible cover? Some planners are undated, so you can start whenever you want. You’ll find inspirational, happiness-oriented, goal-based planners with stickers, as well as more sparse, professional planners. Look for a planner you like the looks of and a layout you’re most likely to stick with throughout the year.
Our Picks for the Best Daily Planners
Blue Sky 2023 Weekly and Monthly Planner
With weekly and monthly planning pages, you'll have 2023 organized before you know it.
Pros: For those who like to keep things simple and efficient, this easy-to-use planner may be a great fit. It has an affordable price tag and leaves out some of the annoying bells and whistles that some other planners have while offering bleed-free pages for a clear view of your notes. It contains 12 months of monthly and weekly pages for easy year-round planning, plus six additional monthly pages, just in case. You can easily view previous and next month’s reference calendars for long-term planning, and this planner has a notes section for important projects. Plus, the weekly pages offer ample space for detailed planning, so you can keep track of appointments, reminders, ideas, and more.
Cons: The spiral isn’t as heavy-duty as some others, so it’s best for home or in-office use.
Bottom Line: This simple yet sophisticated planner has all you need and more to keep the next year organized. There’s ample space for notes, appointments, etc. And there’s a list of holidays included as well.
Smart Planner Pro
This high-quality planner offers daily schedules, weekly scoring, monthly calendars, and much more.
Pros: Some books you can judge by the cover. This luxe personal organizer features a sleek animal-friendly leatherette hardcover with a quality-stitched binding so you can lay your book out flat without damaging the pages. And the pages are high-quality as well, made from thick, premium paper that won’t bleed through when you write. Since this planner is undated, you can begin and end your planning journey when you’d like. It comes with reference calendars for the next two years, daily schedules, goal setting, weekly scoring, to-do lists, notes sections, habit tracking, and gratitude affirmations. And to keep you even more organized, this planner contains an expandable inner back pocket, an elastic strap closure, and three bookmarks.
Cons: The space for notes is very limited.
Bottom Line: With cute stickers and unlabeled pages, this is a planner that you can truly make your own. It won’t be the best choice for people who don’t like filling the dates on their own. But if you need or want something truly customizable, this is a great choice.
Coboll 2023 Planner
With its whimsical cover and sturdy design, this colorful planner is a great choice for keeping detailed plans organized.
Pros: This 12-month calendar will make organizing 2023 a snap. On its monthly calendar pages, it has blank daily blocks measuring 1.2 x 1.25 inches, a previous and next month’s reference calendar for long-term planning, and a note section for priorities. Plus, major holidays are highlighted. On its weekly calendar pages, there’s ample lined writing space for precise planning. It also has space for priorities to help keep you better organized. The book is sturdy and durable, with twin-wire binding that allows you to lay it out flat without damaging the pages. Plus, the cover is sturdy yet flexible, and it has an elastic band around the outside so you can carry it with you anywhere.
Cons: Some people didn’t like the size. It’s smaller than many others, which can be annoying if you have large handwriting.
Bottom Line: With a pretty cover, inspirational quotes, and priority planning, this planner might be a great fit for you. There are two designs to choose from. And it even has a convenient inner pocket.
TREES Hourly Schedules Appointment Planner
This planner allows you to break down your daily schedule on an hourly basis.
Pros: If the last year has been a whirlwind of canceled plans and missed goals, this daily planner may help keep you on track. Portable and detailed, it has a much more specific breakdown of your days than most other daily planners sections: a schedule section that breaks down each day by the hour from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., allowing you to keep a more orderly log of your daily activities in ascending order every single day. Yet there’s still room for notes and several other habit-tracking sections: your daily water intake and meals, a to-do list, and the top three priorities section. The protective cover is waterproof, and the twin-wire binding makes it possible to turn back each page for easier writing. There are also five alternate styles available.
Cons: Handy as the hourly scheduling section is, the lines are a bit on the narrow and cramped side, which may prove an issue for people with larger handwriting. This is also another planner that comes undated, so you’ll have to fill in each date and day of the week on your own.
Bottom Line: Want to ensure that your daily schedule is written out in the proper, timely order? This is the daily planner for you. Unlike most, it breaks your days down by the hour rather than just by days or weeks while still providing room for notes and some habit tracking.
BooQool 2022-2025 Monthly Pocket Planner/Calendar
A leather-like daily planner that offers a classy design and three years' worth of pages.
Pros: Enjoy this daily planner with a faux leather hardcover; it’s built to last since it has the pages and specific calendar dates for the next three years to give you a better bang for your buck. The thick paper prevents bleed-through and includes a built-in bookmark, so you can flip to each month’s section. Importantly, its layout includes a traditional monthly calendar overview with sections to fill out appointments and commitments on each daily date. Also included are a list of annual holidays, a yearly overview calendar for the next three years, a section for contacts and their addresses, and 63 additional note pages. The pocket-friendly size, protective cover, built-in pen holder, and elastic strap make it extremely portable and travel-friendly.
Cons: The pocket-sized aspect of this planner does work against it in a few areas. Namely, the writing sections inside are a bit small and limited. The inner yearly overview calendars are also quite small and hard to read; you may find yourself squinting at the pages.
Bottom Line: Perfect for those who favor simplicity or classic style, this tastefully designed daily planner is an excellent option. Since it’ll have you covered for three years, you won’t have to remember to buy another daily planner for a long time.
Staying organized and on schedule can be difficult, especially if you’re balancing more than one thing at a time! Using a personal planner can keep you ready for whatever the day, week, month, or year may bring.