A calendar is a great start, but if you want to take your productivity to the next level, you need a productivity planner. This does so much more than your standard calendar — as well as a schedule, it can give you a space to write your goals (short- and long-term), create to-dos, keep a bullet journal, create mind maps, and write other types of lists or doodles according to your needs and preferences. The best productivity planners allow you to prioritize tasks, track your progress, and reach a better work–life balance. All the following use designs that have proven to be effective with a wide range of professionals.
From the authors of The One Thing book comes The One Thing Planner. As its name suggests, this planner is the only thing you need to stay organized. It will help you stay focused just on what matters and stop you feeling overwhelmed by all the different things you need to do. It does this by showing you how to prioritize to meet your goals. You’ll plan and then reflect on your progress over time periods ranging from one month to a year.
It’s easier to stay on track if you limit yourself to just a set number of items. The Productivity Planner requires you to create lists of five. You organize the items in order of importance and must complete them in that order. This is great for people who are prone to procrastination, as it pushes you to finish what you’ve started before moving on to something else. One of the best things about The Productivity Planner is that there are no dates on the pages — you can start using it whenever you want and you’ll never waste pages.
A key way to improve your productivity is to keep your goals in mind as you go through your daily tasks. BestSelf Co. Self Journal does just that — by helping you to track your progress over 13 weeks using three goal templates. There is also a daily gratitude section, a habit tracker to check your performance over the previous week, and motivational quotes throughout.
For those who like to assess progress in a quantifiable way, the Office Hero Planner is the perfect solution. It enables you to rate various aspects of your daily performance from 1 to 10. This means you avoid just looking at the positives: you’re pushed to examine any roadblocks that are holding you back. In addition, the planner has qualities of a journal, allowing you to reflect on your achievements and struggles.
The focus of the Passion Planner is your major life goals. Whereas its easy to put tasks in perspective of near-term objectives, it can be difficult to see how everything relates to the big picture. With the productivity planner, you receive a Passion Roadmap that will guide you through the steps you need to take to make your dreams come true.
6. Day Designer
You can make the Day Designer fit your individual needs by adding extra pages and downloading free printables. As well as a space in the planner to create a schedule, there are worksheets for a variety of activities, such as to-dos, goal planning, and expense tracking. The planner also comes with a number of lists, including for favorites, a bucket list, and checklists. Although the Day Designer is more pricey than some of the other options, you may find it’s worthwhile for all the additional features.
To combine productivity with happiness, there’s no better option than the Panda Planner Pro. Start every day by considering what you’re excited about and end the day writing about your successes. The planner also enables you to prepare for the week and month ahead, list your priorities, and keep other notes.
If you want a planner that you can carry around with you wherever you go, the compact Nomatic Planner is a great option. It uses a structured approach to productivity and encourages you to develop better work practices. The daily sections have a habit planner where you track three habits and time slots to fill from 6 AM to 10 PM. The weekly sections allow you to set goals and make notes. There is also a different activity to try at the end of each week.
Another way to approach productivity is through bullet journaling. This is all about combining efficiency and organization to keep track of your progress. The Leuchtturm1917 comes already formatted, which is especially useful if you’ve never done bullet journaling before. Plus, as it’s thread bound, the pages can lie flat, which makes the notebook easy to write in.
Unlike almost any other productivity planner, the Rocketbook planners are reusable. This is thanks to a special pen, which allows you to erase everything at the end of the day. The downside of this system, of course, is that you lose all your notes from the past. One of the latest planners, the Rocketbook Fusion, overcomes this issue: it allows you to send all your notes to the cloud. This means you receive all the benefits of writing by hand combined with the advantages of saving everything digitally.
If you’re looking to achieve your goals in a short timeframe, you need a productivity planner like the Freedom Journal. This gives you the chance to name daily tasks to prepare for 10-day sprints, recap your achievements at the end of the day, and review your progress over the quarter. When you purchase a planner, you’ll also receive access to a private online group, mobile app, and PDF version of The Freedom Journal.
An excellent tool for those who like visual organizers is the Living Well Planner. It’s full of color, featuring labels, stickers, and printables. You’ll find it useful for much more than work tasks: it can help you meet your financial, fitness, and personal goals as well. For support on gaining the most out of your planner, head to the Living Well website, where you’ll find videos and other how-to content.
When deciding on your goals and setting targets, 12 months can seem like a long amount of time. The Full Focus Planner by productivity expert Michael Hyatt takes this into account. It is divided into 90-day cycles to make planning and tracking more manageable. Other great features are pages for describing your ideal week, for creating morning, workday, and evening routines, and for strategizing for the upcoming week based on your review of the current week.
The Clever Fox Planner Pro is packed with useful productivity tools. There are self-discovery questions, a “vision for life” section that spans from 1 year to 20 years, a board to visualize your goals, mind maps, reviews, and much more. The stickers and step-by-step guide will help you get started and make the planner extra appealing to use.
For the ultimate customized planner, buy an Agendio. You can choose almost every detail of your planner, including the size, configuration, and layout. The great thing about this is that you won’t have any unused pages — but you’ll have plenty of space for the aspects you do want. You can even choose what type of cover you want, which influences both appearance and ease of writing.
Work can often feel overwhelming when you have too many large projects, making it difficult to know where to start. The Ignited Life Planner will help you break down all your to-dos into smaller steps, meaning you’ll always know what to do next. The planner also helps you figure out your priorities by focusing on your 15 key goals and ensuring you continuously move closer to your targets.
17. Top-Down Planner
If you want to organize every day around your goals, the Top-Down planner is a great choice. You’ll start each day with your most important goal and work down from this. The planner provides you with a combination of agenda, mind maps, and checklists. Plus, a key feature is the gratitude log, which will keep you motivated by reminding you what you’re doing well.
All the above are the best productivity planners on the market, but some styles will work for you much better than others. To choose the right one — and make sure your productivity levels do improve — think about what you’re hoping to gain from your planner. Are you struggling to stay on track? Do you need support staying motivated? Or are you a procrastinator? Consider what kinds of features would help you most. There’s definitely a productivity planner out there that will meet your requirements.
Purchasing a productivity planner is a great start, but it’s unlikely to be enough on its own — you’ll also need to take steps to be productive throughout the entire day. Read our top productivity tips for getting things done for further advice.