There are few things more exciting to me than getting a new planner for the start of a new year.
Toward the end of last year, I was trying to decide what planner to purchase for 2021 and I did a ridiculous amount of research.
Seriously, I was borderline embarrassed to tell my husband the amount of time I invested in this project.
The good news for me is that I found the perfect planner for me this year that I LOVE.
And the good news for you is that since I spent all of that time researching the best planners, I have a LOT of insight to share with you!
If you’re still on the hunt for the perfect planner, you’re going to want to read this list of the best planners for productivity in 2021!
While you’re at it, you might also like this article about how to use a daily planner to increase productivity.
The Best Planners to Use For Productivity in 2021
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I want to kick things off with the Nomatic Planner since this is actually the planner I’m using daily this year.
I had never heard of the Nomatic Planner until I started doing research last year, but it was the one I just kept coming back to as my favorite. And I’m SO glad I purchased this one.
Nomatic is a company that focuses on a lot more than just planners. They aim to create functional products for people who are on the go. Their other products include backpacks, wallets, and travel accessories.
- The planner is available in black or mint and is small enough to carry around in any purse.
- The planner has a monthly page for each month. In addition to the calendar, it includes a space for notes, and a space to break down your three big goals into actionable tasks. It also includes a habit tracker to track three daily habits.
- The planner has a weekly view, which also includes the notes and goals section that you find on the monthly pages. Each day includes time slots from 6 AM to 10 PM, as well as a place to fill in your daily priorities. Finally, each weekly page includes one activity. For example, one of the weeks instructs you write a gratitude list every day. Another encourages you to send a thank you note to three people who have made a positive impact on your life.
- Possibly my favorite feature that is unique to this planner is the blank notebook pages at the back. I used to find myself carrying around a planner AND a notebook, so I specifically wanted a planner where I could find the notebook built in.
- So far I haven’t found anything I don’t like about this planner.
- I really do love this planner. It’s been a few years since I found a planner that I was super excited about. The Nomatic Planner definitely fits that criteria!
If you’re a productivity junkie like I am, you’ve probably heard of the productivity planner before. The Productivity Planner is a tool that helps you to both minimize AND prioritize the number of tasks on your to-do list. It incorporates the Pomodoro Technique to help you stay focused for small pockets of time to accomplish all of the tasks on your list.
- The primary feature of the Productivity Planner is the daily page. Each daily pages provides a space to list your single most important task of the day, two secondary tasks of importance, and two additional tasks. Alongside each task is a Pomorodo tracker to keep track of how much time the task has taken you.
- The daily page also features a small section for notes to use for whatever you’d like. At the bottom of each page is a place to rate your productivity for the day on a scale of 1-10.
- Finally, each page includes an inspirational quote to help motivate and inspire you.
- There is a space for weekly planning to list the most important tasks you hope to accomplish that week.
- There is a weekly review section to help you track your weekly wins, what fell through the cracks, and what you learned.
- The Productivity Planner is meant for prioritizing your daily tasks, but it’s not really meant for scheduling or long-term planning. There is no monthly calendar page. If you’re someone who keeps a calendar, you would need to use this planner in conjunction with another calendar tool.
- I’ve used the Productivity Planner and love it for what it’s for. And I would love to use it. However, it doesn’t offer everything I need most in a planner.
- For someone who uses a digital calendar to plan their schedule and are only looking for a planner to help manage daily tasks, this is hands-down your best bet.
The Passion Planner is meant to help you narrow down your goals and simplify your life by focusing on what’s really important. It also helps focus on positivity and gratitude. Think of it as a planner/journal combo.
- The planner is available in three options: dated yearly (January – December), dated academic (August – July), or un-dated.
- The planner comes in a variety of colors.
- The planner includes weekly layouts with a daily schedule, to-do lists, and notetaking.
- The monthly reflection pages will ask you questions to focus on both your productivity and your mindset. The monthly layouts include a calendar and space for project planning and notetaking.
- The big thing that sets the Passion Planner apart from others is the Passion Roadmap. It’s a layout where you plan what you want to accomplish in three months, one year, three years, and in your lifetime. Then you choose ONE of your shorter-term goals to create a passion plan for, where you map out the actions you’ll take to reach that goal.
- I don’t think there are any big downsides to this planner. My personal complaint was the lack of blank notebook pages.
- Of the planners I’m talking about in this post, I think the Passion Planner is MOST similar to the planner I actually purchased, the Nomatic Planner. The only reason.
- The big reason the Nomatic Planner won over the Passion Planner was the fact that the Passion Planner didn’t include the blank notebook pages at the back.
- If you need more help with goal-planning and don’t need the notebook pages, I would choose the Passion Planner.
The Full Focus Planner is a newer one. It was created by Michael Hyatt (he’s a productivity guru, so I’m a big fan). Each planner actually only covers 90 days, so you would have to purchase a new one every quarter. Michael Hyatt claims this to be less overwhelming and more productive.
- Each planner starts with a set of pages to plan your annual goals and make notes on your motivation, the next steps, and your reward if you reach the goal.
- The planner has monthly calendar layouts to help with planning ahead.
- A page for rolling quarters allows you to plan several months in advance.
- There is a page to plan your ideal week, so you can refer back later.
- Each daily layout has a space to write your top three tasks, followed by any other tasks you want to accomplish. Each daily page also has a notes page, which is a nice addition that I would find really useful.
- There are pages to plan your daily rituals for your morning, workday startup, workday shutdown, and evening.
- There are pages to review each week and plan for the week ahead based on what worked the week before.
- Hands down, the biggest drawback of this planner is the price. $39.99 is a bit high for an annual planner, so it’s pretty extreme for a quarterly planner.
- Also, there is so much in this planner that I think a lot of the features would go unused for me.
- $39.99 Quarterly
- $119.97 Annually
- The Full Focus Planner offers so much and if it wasn’t so expensive, I would have considered it.
- It’s also important to note that investing in yourself is important. However, it’s also important to know which investments pay off the most for you. Time management is NOT my biggest struggle, so I don’t believe it would be worth the money for me to invest in this planner. However, for some people, this planner would be well worth the annual investment. It’s just about knowing yourself.
The Panda Planner claims to use scientifically-backed tools to help you with planning. It’s a planner I saw everywhere at the end of 2018, so it definitely seems to be picking up popularity.
- The Panda Planner layouts are unique from any of the other planners in this post, and I really like them.
- The daily layout includes the following:
- A morning review that includes a gratitude list and a list of things you’re excited about.
- A daily affirmation, focus, and exercise.
- Your top five priorities for the day.
- Your daily schedule.
- And evening review that includes the day’s wins and how you can improve.
- The weekly layout includes the following:
- Big wins from the previous week.
- Your top priorities for the week ahead and what you’ll do to make the week great.
- Habits you’re focusing on developing.
- Something new you want to learn.
- Projects you’re working on.
- Your goals for the week.
- The monthly layout includes the following:
- A monthly calendar.
- A habit and focus tracker for each day.
- Your goals for the month.
- Distractions you plan to avoid.
- Your wins from the month.
- Insights you gained throughout the month.
- No downsides jump out at me on this one. I seriously considered purchasing this one.
- The Panda Planner is a cool planner. It doesn’t have anything crazy that you can’t find in other planners, but I really like the layout of each page.
- I also like the addition of things like gratitude lists, habits, affirmations, etc.
- When considering all the factors, I would put this one in the top three.
Erin Condren is definitely one of the most recognizable names in the planner world. The Erin Condren LifePlanner has been super popular for years. The business has exploded to include tons of different types of planners, planner accessories, planner sticks, and other office supplies. It’s a bright and colorful company.
- The planner includes a basic monthly calendar layout for each month.
- You can choose between three options for the daily layout: vertical, horizontal, or hourly.
- There is a page to plan for goals and dreams for the year.
- There’s a section for notes in the back.
- There are SO many ways you can customize your Erin Condren LifePlanner using the accessories and stickers on their website.
- The first obvious downside to this planner is the price. $55+ is a LOT to pay for a planner that doesn’t offer any features you can’t find in another planner.
- The other downside for me is the size. I want to be able to fit my planner in any purse. It needs to be easily transportable. The Erin Condren LifePlanners are quite large and seem like kind of a hindrance to carry around all day.
- The Erin Condren planners are so popular, but I would probably never buy them.
- It’s a VERY basic planner. If basic is what you’re looking for, you can find unlimited other options that will be significantly cheaper.
- If you’re really looking for extra productivity tools, this planner has none.
The bullet journal is a little different from everything else on this list because it’s not an actual planner. A bullet journal is more of a planning method that you can do in literally any blank journal or notebook.
- The original bullet journal system is inherently simple. It’s simply a method for logging your daily tasks, events, and notes.
- The bullet journal system is, at its core, minimalist.
- There are other pages you can include such as a future log or monthly log for noting future events.
- You can create a page for logging just about anything. Here are some common examples:
- Food Log or Meal Plan
- Habit Tracker
- Sleep Tracker
- Monthly reviews, and way, way, way more
- Bullet journals have gotten to be really trendy and there are people who use it more as a creative outlet, spending many hours per week on it.
- If you’re looking for a tool to help you be MORE productive, this may not be it unless you really intend to stick to the original minimalist bullet journal method.
- Ranging from next to nothing for a regular notebook to $20+ for a nicer journal.
- The most popular option is a Leuchtturm1917, which is $19.95.
- I used a bullet journal for about six months. It’s actually one of my favorite planners I’ve used.
- My reasons for no longer using a bullet journal stem from the fact that I just don’t have time to redesign my own planner every single week or month.
- Bullet journals are CRAZY popular right now. A quick search on Pinterest or Instagram and you’ll be able to find way more information than you ever knew you needed.
- If you’re ready to start your own bullet journal, you can grab a book here.
If you’re a productivity or planner junkie like I am, you understand spending hours researching the PERFECT planner to help you stay organized all year long.
This year I took some of the legwork out of it for you by compiling a list of some of the most popular and best planners on the market for 2021.
I hope this post helps you to find the perfect planner for you. I would love for you to leave me a comment and let me know which planner you’re using for 2021!