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After the Mordor-level dumpster fire that was 2020, it’s safe to say we’re all looking forward to the fresh start that a new year provides.
As we wave farewell to the Year That Shall Not Be Named, it’s a great time to take a beat for 2021 goal setting and productivity planning — which means you’re gonna need a solid planner that can serve as the ax to your Gimli.
Ready to kick 2021’s metaphorical ass? Then look no further than this expert-curated list of the best productivity-cultivating planners for 2021 — so you can rule them all! Er, your goals, that is.
Our picks: The best planners of 2021
- MiGoals Goal Digger Planner
- Full Focus Planner
- Moleskine Weekly Planner
- Passion Planner
- Good Morning, Good Life: 12 Month Planner
- Time-Block Planner
- Living with Bianca Accountability Journal
- Boss Babe Planner
- TOP Planner
- LUX Productivity Pro Planner
- 360 Disc Planner Goal Setting Planner Bundle
- The Wellness Planner
- Fresh Start Workbook and Planner
- The 2021 Annual
- Rocketbook Panda Planner
- Plum Paper Goal Planner
- Clever Fox Planner
- Day Designer 2021 Flagship Weekly Planner
- Erin Condren LifePlanner
- Purple Trail Weekly Planner
- Agendio Planner
- Roterunner Purpose Planner
- Poketo Quarterly Goal Planner
- Human Being Journal
- The Daily Page Planner
We spoke to a few productivity pros to get the scoop on planners. Here’s what they told us to look for:
- Goal setting pages and prompts. These can help you organize your thoughts and truly focus on the to-do’s that matter.
- Time tracking. According to a 2010 study (and a smidge of common sense), people who plan their days effectively have a higher quality of life than those who fly by the seat of their pants.
- Weekly spreads. “Your planner should be a weekly view, not a daily view,” recommends Megan Sumrell, a time management and productivity coach. “Your brain functions better and can prioritize and plan when it can ‘see’ your entire week instead of just one day.”
- Generous note-taking space. So you can get your brain-dump on — good for getting things done and reducing stress.
Most importantly, adds life coach Krista-Lynn Landolfi, “Choose a planner that feels easy to use, one of that inspires you with thoughtful quotes or questions, or one that makes you feel like a boss.”
How to use a planner to maximize productivity
- Use it daily. “Experts say it takes 21 days of practice to form a habit and 90 days for it to become your new normal,” explains Landolfi, “so using your planner daily is the first goal to aim for.”
- Hold yourself accountable. “Once you have that system, it’s about treating it with reverence,” explains Jeremy Redleaf, cofounder of productivity startup Caveday. “It’s a sacred habit you maintain that’s aligned with your values.”
In summary, says lifestyle and success coach Amy Landino, “Carry it everywhere. Write everything down.”
Some of these planners cover a full year, some 6 months, and some 3 months. So you can gauge what a full year of planning would cost, we built this pricing guide based on how much it would cost to use each planner exclusively for 12 months. (You’re welcome!)
- $ = under $50
- $$ = $50–$100
- $$$ = over $100
This cult-favorite planner (yes, planners DEF have cult followings) contains a space for daily journaling along with short- and long-term goal setting prompts.
This quarterly planner is all about productivity and achieving your goals. Explains Redleaf, “It’s like running your own mastermind group with yourself.”
Simple and durable, Moleskine planners are a favorite because they provide ample note-taking space and are totally clutter-free.
The Passion Planner starts with an extensive, granular goal setting spread that allows you to craft your days around your goals.
This planner, designed by Landino, is all about starting every morning strong so you can crush your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals.
With this quarterly productivity planner, you can map out your intentions for every hour of the day, so you can focus on what really needs to get done.
This quarterly planner lets you set 3-month “macro goals” and then mini goals that will help you achieve them. It’s simple and minimal but alllll about accountability.
This quarterly planner, designed for female entrepreneurs, allows you to home in specifically on your personal and professional goals for the 90 days ahead.
Created by Sumrell herself, the TOP Planner teaches you how to plan and set goals using a series of worksheets along with monthly and weekly spreads, monthly goal setting, and weekly reflections.
This undated 6-month planner offers lots of space for you to bullet journal to your heart’s content, along with budget and health trackers, project planning tools, and goal setting and weekly reflection pages.
This custom (and pretty!) planner can be built from the ground up with the features you need. The Goal Setting Planner Bundle is a great starting point.
Productivity could be considered a function of wellness, and this planner will help you get your well on with trackers for goals and tasks as well as feelings, nutrition, and fitness.
A favorite of Sumrell, this entrepreneurial planner is full of worksheets, prompts, and guides that are all about growing your business and laser-focusing on your goals in 2021.
The 2021 Annual provides space for you to set and plan your yearly and monthly goals along with your daily priorities — all in a clean and beautiful week-at-a-glance format.
This sleek undated planner combines low tech and high tech for the best of both worlds. The pages can be scanned into the Rocketbook app and then wiped clean for endless use.
Plum Paper’s extensive customization options let you build your own planner to make sure it’s the perfect productivity tool for you.
Goals, habits, gratitude — this planner tracks it all, with lots of note-taking space available too. Landolfi says it’s a great goal setting tool.
Day Designer’s planners are beloved classics, featuring yearly goal setting and a detailed (but never cluttered) weekly layout.
The LifePlanner is an enduring favorite because it can help with not only goal setting and time management but also meal planning, budgeting, health, and lots more.
Purple Trail custom planners can be built according to your exact needs. Juggling a lot of stuff? Choose the weekly spread with three customizable labeled sections for each day.
Ready to take a deep dive into customization? Agendio is what you seek. Plan every single page to create a 2021 productivity tool as unique (and as part of you) as your fingerprint.
This highly recommended 6-month planner boasts that it’s your “productivity partner.” It’s a favorite of Landolfi, since it can help you cut down on time-wasters and plan those precious hours wisely.
This set of quarterly goal planners helps you set a concrete monthly, weekly, and daily plan to meet one big goal each quarter. Plus, it’s got tons of prompts to help you understand what works for you and what doesn’t.
Designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 12-month Human Being Journal focuses on two domains — what you do and who you are — and connects the two to help you find balance.
As its name suggests, this 6-month planner gives you a full page each day, along with a spacious month-at-a-glance spread. You can use it to track goals, tasks, events, habits, meals, and even hydration.