Start off the new year with a new planner

The Best Planners To Help You Level Up in 2020

Whether you want to try out bullet journaling, integrate more mindfulness into your days, or incorporate daily affirmations to keep you feeling good, then look no further—we’ve got the planner for you.

2019 is just about over, and the new decade is nearly upon us.

This time of year, growth and self-improvement are on nearly everyone’s mind. Whether you’re into setting new year’s resolutions, or simply taking stock of what you’ve accomplished over the past year, this season is ripe for setting new goals and intentions. And, if one of your 2020 resolutions is to get yourself more organized, then buying the right new planner is a good place to start.

Even in the era of digital everything, there’s something to be said about having a physical planner in your possession. Whether you’re new to using physical planners or journals—or have used one for years—you’ll know that picking the right one can make a huge difference in how you organize your time and your thoughts.

Think About The Big Picture

There are a few things to consider when picking a planner or organizer—from design preferences and paper type to pain points and planning style—but in the end most of what makes a planner a good choice for you will depend on what you want to get out of it.

Today, there are plenty of apps covering nearly every need, from daily journaling to the hourly schedule maintenance. But sometimes, the best solution to help you organize your life is to use an old-fashioned, physical planner. After all, nothing beats pressing a good pen into some nice paper.

A planner can be a critical tool in staying organized and accomplishing your goals, so it’s important to choose a design, color, and format that makes you want to use it. No matter how disciplined you are about keeping your planner up-to-date, it is just more fun when the planner is something you’re excited to write in and look at. It may also be important to look for a planner that can help you to fulfill more specific needs with useful details and add-ons that suit your unique professional or business goals, mental health needs, and long-term plans.

Consider Your Planner Needs

It may be helpful to ask yourself: What do you want your planner to help you achieve? Maybe you’re striking out on your own and starting a business. Perhaps you’re planning to start applying to graduate school programs, or are coming up with incremental ways to work toward your next promotion. In these cases, you might be looking for something with less structure and more fluid space to write down custom lists, flow charts, and creative strategy.

Some might need a design that is more regimented and can help to keep appointments, to-do lists, and other day-to-day needs in order, from dental cleanings to coffee catch-ups with old friends. For others, a planner may also serve as a wellness tool that will help keep track of your mood and help improve mental health by integrating mindfulness and positivity into every day.

Whatever it is you’re looking for, there are plenty of journals and planners to choose from. In fact, there are so many that we took the time to curate a few that suit different needs, approaches, and design preferences.

So whether you’re wanting to try out bullet journaling, integrate more mindfulness into your days, or incorporate daily affirmations to keep you feeling good, then look no further—we’ve got the planner for you.

Ointment Co Planner

Based in Portland, OR, Ointment Co.’s limited edition planner is a minimalist’s dream. It encourages users to pick only two to three top priorities in a day. The planner is also bullet journal compatible and opens flat. As a brand, OCO is a a woman-owned business and places an emphasis on working with women and immigrant-owned business partners whenever possible, so they’re a great company to support.

The Simplified Planner

The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley might not be the most detailed, but this is done so intentionally. Their ethos is to remember that the purpose of planning is to have time to enjoy life. “Designed minimally on purpose, its open pages serve as a fresh start every day,” reads their product description, which also adds that they’re designed with women in mind. “We believe margin matters, and our mission is to inspire women to organize, simplify, and carve white space for the good stuff of life.”

Day Designer

The Day Designer planner covers all the bases. It has hourly slots for each day, weekly overview pages, and your month at a glance. What makes this planner unique is that it also includes inspirational quotes and goal setting worksheets to help keep you focused on what’s to come while keeping you motivated you in the process.

The Happiness Planner

The Happiness Planner is about more than reminding you about your dentist appointment two weeks from now; it’s about organizing your mind as well as your week. "Cut out things that hold you back,” the product description reads, “and plan your life around things that truly matter." This planner is thoughtfully designed to help you live a more positive, mindful, and ever-evolving life by guiding you through exercises and thoughtful prompts all year long.

Make Jefa Moves Planner

Hija de tu Madre’s brand mantra is about celebrating “the beautiful mess that is being Latina and Latinx.” Founded by Patty Delgado, she wants her brand to inspire, bravely question, and pay homage to “mujeres that are unapologetically Latina.” This planner is designed to help users overcome obstacles, stay motivated, and make jefa (or “boss”) moves in 2020. Big Plans Annual Planner wants you to have fun with your planner. Yes, planning may traditionally be pretty utilitarian, but who says it can’t also be fun? The Big Plans annual planner comes with stickers, illustrations, and quizzes to help bring more joy into organizing your life.

Bulletin Wander Always Planner

Move around a lot? Maybe you travel a lot for work or are planning to finally take that sabbatical you’ve been talking about. Whatever the case, this organizer was designed to keep all your travel information in one place. Bonus: it’s made from ethically harvested paper and vegan leather.

Create & Cultivate

This planner is made for the solopreneur with all the side hustles. Developed by author and entrepreneur Jaclyn Johnson, this organizer is filled to the brim with business tips and stickers, and has plenty of customizable spaces for note-taking, personal finance organization, doodles, and so much more.

Jstory Weekly Planner

This super-minimal planner by South Korean company, Jstory uses recycled paper from certified responsibly managed forests and soy ink for all their printing. It also comes at a very affordable price point. Their weekly planner is undated so you don’t have to wait for the start of the year to start a new planner. It is also available in three different sizes so you can pick the one that best suits your needs.

Papier Rainbow Waves

This hardback rainbow waves planner from Papier is as beautiful as it is practical. With plenty of room for customizable planning, its design makes organization fun. It includes weekly, monthly, and yearly overviews, plus sections for goal-setting and other day-to-day maintenance, like to-do or wish lists. Plus, the cover is customizable so you can include your name or your 2020 mantra right on the cover.

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