The 10 Best Day Planners

Updated December 04, 2017 by Sam Kraft

10 Best Day Planners
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We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. We're not saying that a solar flare is going to imminently knock out all electronic gadgets, but just in case, you may want to consider using one of these day planners to keep your life organized. Of course, some people prefer the classic pen-and-paper approach anyway, and these are ideal for managing all of your appointments, activities and goals in an easy-to-see format. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best day planner on Amazon.

10. PlanAhead Home/Office

Go ahead and schedule up to 18 months into the future with the PlanAhead Home/Office, which is ideal for appointments, vacations and other date-oriented details. It's an easy-to-use tool that features both weekly and monthly breakdowns.
  • 4-year reference calendar
  • monthly tabs for quick access
  • cannot choose color
Brand PlanAhead
Model 86982
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. At-A-Glance Monthly

The At-A-Glance Monthly is a go-to choice for the well-organized and routine-based individual. This one provides fifiteen months of scheduling potential in a slender, wire-bound volume that's just a quarter of an inch thick.
  • contact information page
  • perforated memo section
  • cover material is flimsy
Brand At-A-Glance
Model 7026005-17
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Action Publishing Minimalist

As aptly named as it is effective, the Action Publishing Minimalist is a no-frills option with a rigid back cover for stability. It does have a few inventive features, such as a special action section for each month and dotted grids for making lists.
  • clean and logical layout
  • durable protective cover
  • monthly calendar boxes are small
Brand Action Publishing
Model 8511-SNAS2016
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

7. DayMinder Weekly

The DayMinder Weekly is a nice choice for the busy professional whose every minute is filled with meetings, conference calls, and important lunches. For each day of the year, there’s plenty of space for jotting down thoughts and notes.
  • layout of 1 week per 2 pages
  • fits in purse or large pocket
  • offers 4 pages for generic notes
Brand DayMinder
Model G20000
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Papercode Simple Elephant

People whose minds are clear are happier, more motivated and more productive. The Papercode Simple Elephant helps you achieve this by providing tools to declutter your life and focus on what’s important, with special stickers to mark events.
  • includes a pen holder
  • comes with a gift box
  • an inner accordion folder
Brand Papercode
Model SimEle
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

5. Tools4Wisdom Planner

Full of motivational quotes and inspiring graphics, the Tools4Wisdom Planner helps you maintain a positive, goal-oriented attitude on a daily basis. From teachers and students to bloggers and business executives, this option takes the pain out of planning ahead.
  • more than 200 pages
  • travel-size and full-size options
  • helps you prioritize tasks and goals
Brand Tools4Wisdom Planner
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Action Publishing Garden Path

The Action Publishing Garden Path provides some entertainment to go with your organization, as its pages are filled with images for coloring suitable for even skilled adult artists. And, of course, it provides ample room to scribble down appointments and goals.
  • thick paper prevents bleed-through
  • bound in strong double-loop wire
  • designed to spur creativity
Brand Action Publishing
Model 8511-SNACOL17
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Blue Sky Designer

Every spread in the weekly calendar view section of the Blue Sky Designer features space for a to-do list, day-to-day scheduling, generic notes and an inspirational quote. It provides a guided framework for organizing your days, tasks, and long-term goals.
  • 2 size options available
  • printed on acid-free recycled paper
  • attractive floral design
Brand Blue Sky
Model 103525
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. InnerGuide Goal & Success

Elegantly designed with a sleek silk front cover and gold wire binding, the InnerGuide Goal & Success is as easy to look at as it is to write in. The strategic layout is formatted to promote reflection, self-awareness and accountability.
  • available in 6 colors
  • a useful goal setting chart
  • personal development exercises
Brand InnerGuide
Model pending
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Day-Timer Starter

Leather-bound and very stylish, the Day-Timer Starter is a solid choice for business executives and professionals who wish to exude competence and preparedness. While it’s in a monthly format, it includes a three-month sampling of its daily and weekly planning layouts.
  • handy storage pocket
  • vinyl business card holder
  • strong zipper keeps contents secure
Brand Day-Timer
Model D40672
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

The Benefits Of Staying Organized

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not the most organized person. Some argue that this is a sign of greater intelligence, but even if that’s true, it definitely comes at the expense of emotional and psychological stability. Sure, my behavior would seem to imply that I prefer things a little more cluttered, as I spend the majority of my time amidst it, but the opposite is actually the case. On those rare instances when I actually get around to cleaning and organizing my space, I feel immensely better. My mood is vastly improved, and I generally feel more peaceful, focused, and empathetic than when I’m wrapped up in all that disaster.

This would come as no surprise to many psychologists and other doctors. From a psychological perspective, there may be a connection between cleanliness and happiness. A study from 2010 in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin revealed that the majority of participants who described their spaces as more cluttered also reported increased levels of fatigue and depression. More practically, a cluttered space is harder to keep free of dust and other forms of filth that can lead to illness, respiratory issues, and even heart disease.

The behaviors of better organization go hand-in-hand with day planning, as do the benefits. This has a lot to do with lowering your stress. When you’re running late or struggling to remember all you had wanted to accomplish on a given day, your stress is liable to go through the roof. That’s going to increase your blood pressure and put you at risk for a whole host of diseases. If you spend a lot of your day behind the wheel, that combination of stress and rushing can lead to potentially devastating car accidents.

When your day is planned and well executed, it feels as though you have more time. Your stress levels will be lower, and you’ll generally be safer. What’s more, the people you interact with will appreciate you more, as you arrive early for appointments and complete more tasks than others can.

A good day planner can give you all of this. It’s a lesson I’ve taken a long time to learn, even though they gave out day planners to all the kids in my public school days. I may not keep much of a tidy bedroom or work station, but I have made an investment in my time, and that, as they say, has made all the difference.

How To Choose The Perfect Day Planner

Day planners are largely designed to do one thing: to help you plan your day. When it comes down to it, though, we all want to plan our days a little differently, and no two of us have days that look alike. If you work from home and eat out a lot, you probably are not going to need a day planner with as much space per day, nor will you make use of a section devoted to daily grocery shopping excursions. All of this is to say that there are a few things to ask yourself that will narrow down our list to one or two great options.

The most important question you could ask yourself? How busy is your average day? There are some people out there who have enough money and few enough responsibilities that their days consist of little more than waking, eating, lounging, and sleeping. While I hope that an investment in a day planner helps lead you to greater success in life, this scenario actually seems like more of a nightmare than anything else.

For the rest of us, our days must feel packed. Try to write out what you’ve had to do over the past few days to get a sense of how much space you’ll need a given day planner to devote to each calendar day. Then, go for a planer that gives you a little more space than you think you need. Trust me — as you use your planner on a regular basis, you’ll find yourself getting more done in less time, and you’ll want that extra space to schedule unexpected activities. If you often have tasks that span several days, see if you can find a planner with monthly or weekly sections, as well.

Also, ask yourself if there’s anything you do on a regular basis with which your day planner can help you. I mentioned groceries before, and if you’re the usual shopper in your household, a space in your planner for a shopping list is invaluable.

A final consideration is a bit more personal. Day planners come in just about any shape and size you could desire. Try to find something that feels right, as you’re going to have this thing on you for the majority of your year.

Other Ways To Maximize Your Time

Getting organized may start with a good day planner, but it doesn’t have to stop there. There are any number of devices you can use to make you life easier, to keep you running on time, and feeling great. The more you can maximize the way you spend your time, the better you’re going to feel.

Feeling good starts with a good night’s sleep, and you can’t start your day off right if you sleep through your first appointment. Getting yourself a high-quality alarm clock, especially one that can simulate the sunrise, is a great way to wake up on the right side of the bed — and at the right time.

Don’t underestimate the power of a good watch, either. Taking out your phone to check the time while enjoying lunch with a friend or colleague would seem awfully rude. It’s much easier to steal a glance at your watch to keep you on schedule. And if your phone happens to die, you’ll have your watch to keep you punctual.

That phone is probably an important part of your day, though. To keep it from dying in the first place, you can invest in a portable power pack that can recharge your phone or any other USB enabled device whenever you need.

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Last updated on December 04, 2017 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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