Top 10 planners for all the people in your life in 2023
January marks a fresh start, a time to regroup personally, academically, and professionally. The self-care concept is thrown around a lot this time of year, and as strange as it sounds, it can start with a piece of paper – or a few pieces, to be exact. Whether you’re religiously organized, or just trying to get a better handle on time management skills, filling out a physical paper planner is one effective way to practice self-care, and self care is critical to emotional well-being. When time is spent well, stress reduction is sure to follow.
Contrary to the popular belief that digital tools increase efficiency, volunteer students in a recent study at the University of Tokyo who used paper completed the note-taking task about 25% faster than those who used digital tablets or smartphones. Researchers say that the unique, complex, spatial and tactile information associated with writing by hand on physical paper is likely what leads to improved memory.
Planning for success
As the year gets into gear, MBAchic wants to help every person in your life get organized with a list of the top 10 planners for all the personalities you know and love. Because not all planners are perfect for everyone, finding the right planner for each lifestyle can help bake healthy and sustainable habits into every day.
“Having a routine is how you build habits,” explains Cheryl Beutell, APRN, a psychiatric nurse practitioner at Northwestern Medicine. “When we practice good habits, that can help us maintain positive relationships, good hygiene and our best health.”
1. The Blue Sky Academic Planner
This planner is MBAchic’s top pick for busy MBA students. With an affordable price point, space for seven classes a day, to-do lists, room for writing down extracurriculars, and a project tracker in the back, this is an option that’s sure to keep the student in your life organized and feeling in control of a busy, demanding workload.
“The calendar/organizer is exactly as stated in the product description,” one reviewer writes. “The durability is amazing considering I’m always on the go and it gets thrown everywhere! Measurements are exact, the cover is very sturdy, line spacing for documentation is perfect and plenty of additional areas if you need to make notes.”
MBAchic also loves this pick for busy students because it includes reference calendars, contact pages for network managing, and notes pages for jotting down thoughts on the go. With a jam packed schedule, this planner is sure to help any MBA student stay organized and sane, even during their busiest semester.
2. Believe Training Journal Planner
This planner is MBAchic’s go-to pick for the corporate athlete in your life. Created by two elite professional runners Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas, this journal isn’t just a run of the mill workout log (pun intended). It’s a personal workbook that will help keep athletes accountable and motivated for whatever challenge they’re training for in 2023. A clean design and lots of space for jotting down insights about personal progress aims to help people reveal training patterns or problems.
Reviewers say after using this planner, they can learn what rhythm works best in any given week or month depending on what else is on their busy agenda, and taking the time to physically carve out time to schedule training helps them work towards goals.
Another plus of this planner is the inclusion of unique insightful essays and information on topics ranging from nutrition to body image, psychology, competition mindset, set-backs, and recovery methods. Feeling inspired to sign up for that triathlon yet? Ok, even a 5K is a positive step in the right direction.
3. Erin Condren Family Organizer Book Planner
The active mom/career-crushing superhero in your life needs this planner ASAP! Busy moms have enough on their endless to-do lists – this planner makes scheduling life go smoothly. With the Erin Condren family organizer book planner, the whole family can get multiple schedules organized in one place. Between a demanding career and parenting, this planner promises to help moms map out all the free time they can get their hands on, freeing up more opportunities to create new family memories together.
An additional bonus: this customizable family organizer is a great modeling tool for parents to teach kids about time management (hey – you’re never too young to start forming good habits!). Featuring a 12-month dated calendar, sections for weekly planning, organizing school information, and family goals, it’s designed to keep parents task-oriented and on top of the daily grind before stress seeps in. Filling this organizer out as a family offers a screen-free way to connect, set weekly intentions, and celebrate big and little wins. Another unique feature is a regular reflection section with prompts like “funniest thing said,” and “favorites from this month,” so this planner can double as a memory keepsake for moms who rarely have time to sit down and reflect on all of their amazing accomplishments.
4. The Clever Fox Budget Planner
The budget master in your life who is all about making and breaking financial goals will love this planner for the new year. From those looking to reach a certain financial goal, to those wanting to track business expenses on pen and paper, this is the planner to make money moves. The 12-month Clever Fox Budget Planner was designed to be uncluttered and very user friendly. It starts with two pages for setting financial goals and is followed by two pages for writing down strategy and tactics, then two pages for tracking savings. Dedicated debt tracking pages follow, along with holiday budgeting and an annual summary to track annual progress.
After using this budget planner for a full year, one reviewer writes, “The pages help get you organized, and the layout is generous enough to accommodate different money management approaches. In addition to external financial advice & quarantine, this book helped me pay off +10K in credit card debit, by seeing wasted expenses, painfully writing down charges that I could no longer remember and being able to budget for new quarantine hobbies while staying on plan. The one piece that was missing from this notebook and all versions from Clever Fox is the lack of an investing section.”
By setting and tracking monthly financial goals, writing down bills and payment reminders, planners can map out a spending budget and stick to it. It has a monthly budget review questionnaire to reflect on big monthly wins, plus ways to improve for the month ahead.
5. The Ivory Paper Co. All In One Planner
Calling all type-A goal getters, this is the planner to snatch up to-crush those 2023 goals. Analytical brains will embrace this detail-oriented and logical approach to planning, and the variety of styles makes this a totally customizable gift. With daily, weekly, and monthly spreads for all of the planning breakdowns a person could ever need, there’s space to map out big plans. Let’s face it, not all planners are created equally, and some designs provide little to no room to write out lists and plans, but this planner isn’t deemed the “all-in-one” for nothing.
Another reason MBAchic loves this brand is the backstory behind the creator. Founded by influencer Alitzah Stinson in late 2018, Ivory Paper Co. launched after Stinson failed to find the perfect planner for her busy schedule as a mom and entrepreneur. Named after her daughter Eleanor Ivory, Stinson says her goal is to inspire Eleanor to take charge of her life and follow her passions. In an interview with Doddle & Co back in 2019, Stinson described why the phrase “make plans” is a major part of her planner brand identity. “We want to encourage women to make plans for all of their passions and goals,” Stinson explained. “Whether it’s your goal to make partner at your firm, or to simply get your kids to bed on time this week, we hope to give you the tools to map it all out. Don’t dream it, plan it!”
6. The Papier Planner
For the outgoing and glamorous socializer who always has a jam packed social calendar, this is the perfect planner to ensure they don’t accidentally double book over your next girls dinner out. Papier brings an elevated sense of beauty to planning. The luxurious daily planners come in dated and undated formats, with dedicated spaces for mind mapping intentions and honing in on the three goals that will make the biggest difference in the coming plan period. Weekly, monthly and yearly overviews make it easy to visualize the big picture.
With leather covers, gold leaf details, monogram options and more, this planner might just be the most sophisticated and stylish option on the market. Plus, they come in pocket size too, perfect for slipping into even the sleekest designer bag on the way to happy hour!
7. The Urbestself 6 Minute Diary Planner
Mindfulness matters, and for those meditation gurus who are keen on thought provoking prompts to start each day off feeling inspired, this is the absolute best planner.
Based on positive psychology research and feedback from more than 1,000,000 users, this planner takes a simple and scientific approach to helping planners lead more fulfilled lives. The 6-Minute Diary trains your brain to focus on progress and the positive parts of life to take charge of overall attitude and build healthier thought patterns. Doable time commitments (think three minutes in the morning and three in the evening) to focus on what matters most helps users move towards the direction they’re seeking – continuously and proactively. With a 70 page introduction to help jumpstart your journey, this 220-page diary has space for daily, weekly and monthly routines and more space for notes.
8. The Leuchtturm1917 Planner
The energetic explorer in your life will love this planner to map out future trips. From Ghana to the grocery store, on-the go extroverts will be able to use this planner to help keep every detail in place. This straightforward lined planner gives travelers the chance to doodle, write, scribble, and map freely—while a contents page and page numbers in the front is the perfect place to organize future trips.
Being in business since, you guessed it –1917– this company truly stands the test of time. With high-quality materials and a sleek neutral design that’s sure to hold up on a trip (or two) around the globe,
shoved into a hiking backpack, or at the top of a stuffed suitcase. With a wide range of colors and the unique combination of clear and functional design as well as hardcover or softcover books, users have the freedom to shape their own personal writing experience as they prepare for and document their travels.
9. The Panda Planner
For any introverts out there who tend to avoid making plans altogether, this is a planner worth investing in. With a tendency to be cautious, calculating, competent, contemplative, and careful, this planner offers an undated (and unintimidating) three-month planner which enables users to start anytime and focus on attainable goals. Michael Leip, the Founder and Creator of Panda Planner was motivated to design it after a number of health issues sunk him into a cycle of depression and anxiety. Over the years, research has widely proven that introverts are more susceptible to depression than many other personality types, making this the perfect purchase to build mini-routines that create positivity and develop a growth mindset. The Panda Planner aims to give users the motivation, inspiration, and system to set aside stress and crush challenges to build confidence.
Based on a clinically tested scientific method that helps people suffering from depression, anxiety, or other mental health challenges, this planner can be used as a tool to gain back self-respect and create goals. The Planner Pro and Classic are also recommended for people suffering from cancer or other traumatic injuries as it provides them with means to boost their self-acceptance and indulge in daily tasks and goals to achieve for a brighter and happy future. By allowing planners to set goals according to individual priorities and see all the tasks through at a personalized pace, people can accomplish more in a condensed time frame. Celebrating more wins more often is always a good thing.
10. The Silk & Sonder Planner
Many authors still write their novels by hand because they want to discover where the journey will take them. The same can be said for the power of planners for right brained buds. Creative geniuses might be reluctant to plan out every detail of their days, but this gorgeous monthly planner might just change their minds. Designed with the intention to connect physical paper planners to digital apps, online coursework and community, the Silk & Sonder philosophy is about creating space to inspire authenticity, vulnerability, and peer-to-peer support.
Visionary friends need this planner to map out the dreams they’ve got floating around in their head and create follow-through, actionable plans. Encouraging people to start where they are and break up with perfection is the best mindset for creative minds to form lasting rituals they love. The best part about this planner is it offers subscribers a clean slate to recenter and refocus each month when a new planner is delivered to their door. This subscription based model is admittedly on the pricier side (with a built-in recurring cost), but it’s a great option to gift to a friend for a month or a quarter and prompt some lasting self-expression. The visually beautiful and calming color schemed planners are built to keep users connected to their goals by bringing intention to every action. Another interesting add-on? Customers unlock lifetime access to exclusive workshops and courses centered around themes like building core values and paving a pathway for a better life.
Did we miss your go-to planner? Share with us below or over on social media!
Photos from stores and by Marten Bjork
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About the author
Torri is a mom, creative writer, communications specialist, and professional journalist. She has nearly a decade of experience working in print and TV newsrooms as an on-air reporter and anchor independently researching, writing, interviewing, filming, and editing her own content. Whether she is interviewing the Speaker of the House about hot button issues, or a small student group about a local grassroots campaign, her commitment and focus remain the same: to bring the story she is telling to life. As an amateur watercolorist, she is passionate about the arts, promoting women's empowerment through writing, and investing time in her family.
She lives outside of Manhattan with her husband, baby boy, and rescue dog, Jax.
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