‘Tis the season to pick your 2018 planner! For 2017, despite last year’s top planner recommendations, I went digital… and then realized just how essential a planner was to my life. I miss the act of physically crossing something off my to-do list, writing with pretty pens, and being able to easily see what the next few months of my life hold! It’s amazing to me how much one little planner can do to help improve my mindset, organize my life, and keep me on track. I’ve checked back in with some of my favorite creatives to get their 2018 planner recommendations so that you can decide which planner best fits your needs.
And, if you already have your 2018 planner ordered, let me know in the comments why it’s your pick and what you love about it (there may be a 2018 Planner Recommendations part 2 on the way)!
1.) The Day Designer ($59)
Recommended by me =)
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the options out there, you can’t go wrong with The Day Designer. The simple, clean layout allows me to effortlessly plan my day with reduced complexity, increased focus, and amped up productivity. What’s most helpful to me is the “Today’s Top Three” section at the top. There’s always so much on our plates and my to-do list never seems to end, so if I don’t pick three things that are of utmost importance, I waste tons of time just figuring out what to start working on. I like being able to check in with my priorities and see my schedule for the day all at one glance. Just thinking about being able to color code everything in my new planner with my favorite erasable pens (because life changes and scratched out pen is not pretty) makes me excited for 2018!
Recommended by Rebecca Nash-Emerson, Creative Director at Rebecca Nash Photography.
Before I found The Desire Map Planner from Danielle LaPorte (there’s daily or weekly options!), I was that person with a digital and physical calendar for my schedule, a running notebook of to-do lists, a gratitude notebook, and a few goal setting sheets floating around my desk or coffee table every day. I am always going 10 directions at once and didn’t want to forget anything along the way, so schedules and to-do lists were an absolute must. I also found that goal setting and gratitude were hugely beneficial to my mental health, too, as I have a severe anxiety disorder and often battle depression, as well. It really helped me to stay focused on what I wanted, how I was going to get there, and all the awesome things already happening in my life.
I start everyday with a few minutes in front of my planner. First, I start with the daily prompt at the top of the page, then move on to my gratitudes, my goals, what I want to stop doing, and what I want to change in my life. Then it’s time to tackle the day – I will check my schedule, my to-do list for the day, and then (this is a biggy for me) my Top 3 To-Do’s. The Top 3 To -Do’s are my most important items for the day and have actually become part of how I assess the success of my day. If I accomplished those three things, I definitely chalk the day up in the Win category. It helps me quiet that little voice in my head that always says I didn’t get enough done. One of the other things I love is that The Desire Map Planner has monthly pages, too!
3.) LEUCHTTURM1917 ($20)
Recommended by Visual Designer + Business Strategist Sierra Annastasia
My favorite planner is the LEUCHTTURM1917 journal. Although it’s a journal and not a planner, I love the freedom of being able to create my own planner layout. That means I can incorporate blog post drafts, important dates, important business tasks, and anything else I need. I can change the layout month by month, so each month’s layout only has exactly what I need! My journal has a leather cover, a table of contents + numbered pages, a folder in the back, labeling stickers, blank pages so I can incorporate watercolor into my bullet journaling designs, nice quality paper, and two attached page markers. Features vary by journal size, but you can find them on Amazon for around $10 – $30!
Also, a note on how I change my own spreads up each month: I consider what I need to keep track of. If I want to work on my sleeping schedule, I’ll track that so I can be more productive. If I want to work on my blog post drafts, I’ll create like 5 templates to fill out so I have a physical reminder to do that by the end of the month. Whatever I know I need to do, I make sure I include that somehow in my monthly spread so I can stay on track . For bullet planner inspiration, check out Ann Le on YouTube!
4.) Ashley Shelly Planner ($50)
Recommended by Ashley Shelly herself!
I created the Ashley Shelly Planner because, as a business owner, I needed a durable planner that had plenty of storage pockets, equal space for all days of the week including Saturday and Sunday, an open time slot area where I could write in my own times (not pre-printed), a to-do list, and a spot for dinner each day. There are 2 notes pages included each month as well as 10 in the back for flexibility. Paper quality is huge for me, so thick inside pages were a must! The perforated corners at the bottom of each page can be torn off to create a built-in bookmark. The Creative Spread is a brand exclusive which gives 2 pages for getting inspired and setting goals each month. To me, planning life is a mixture of scheduling and prioritizing our mental health. What’s a plan worth if you’re not also enjoying it?! This planner helps me do it all.
5.) Inkwell Press Planner ($50)
Recommended by Devan Nichole McCabe, Brand & User Experience Designer/Owner of Nimbi Creative Studio
100% the best planner I’ve ever purchased is from Inkwell Press! Tonya (her story here) makes the most amazing planners, pads, and more, and there are a variety of versions to choose from! I’m a planner addict, and I literally would buy multiples in a year because I’d find one a little better than the one before…since I discovered Inkwell I’ve never even considered another. What won my heart was the quality of the product, the options that I can add like corresponding notebooks and daily to-do list pads that all just coordinate and work so well together! She also just came out with a coil-less perfect bound planner! Which I just ordered because I hate the coils. The paper quality, the details in the planner itself, and goal setting options! Plus she has these amazing walk through videos to help you get started! They are versatile and I just haven’t found anything like it yet.
6.) Erin Condren Planner ($30)
Recommended by Stacy Carosa, Owner of Stacy Carosa Photography
I love my Erin Condren Planner because I use fun stickers from Etsy with it. I’m a very visual person, so I love that my to-do lists insist of me putting in a cute sticker after accomplishing a task and I am able to make easy lists for myself. My husband calls it my adult sticker book….. I have no shame. I enjoy that I’m able to create to-do lists but also make completing the to-do lists fun. Instead of just crossing things off, I am able to “reward” myself by putting stickers in my planner after I complete something. I know it sometimes sounds childish, but I really love it. It helps me to stay on track with my tasks and helps me to WANT to see my calendar monthly view so that I am prepared for big events.
7.) The Happy Planner ($29)
8.) ProtoPreneur Planner ($53)
Recommended by Yvonne Heimann (the creator of this lovely planner!)
9.) Fancy Pants Binder Planner from STARTplanner ($98)
Recommended by Michelle Rogers, Owner of The Studio
I have used the passion planner and loved it! The last two years however, I have used the Fancy Pants STARTplanner! I absolutely love the customization of this planner. There is enough room for my monthly overview, to-do lists, top three section to complete each day, menu planning, hourly appointments, notes section, goal planning; it is the mother of all planners! I have 6 kids, 1 in college, 1 enlisted in the army, 3 athletes in high school, and an active second grader, I own a business and my husband is in management, so this planner keeps me straight! Haha! I wouldn’t be able to function without it.
10.) Simplified Life Planner ($58.00)
Recommended by Alexandra Beauregard, Founder of The Productivity Zone
I love the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley because it’s a fresh start for both my life and business every single day. It’s also my number one productivity tool because it’s the first thing I reach for in the morning and the last thing I touch at night. I love that there’s a space for to-dos running right alongside an hour-by-hour schedule that’s perfect for block scheduling. I also love the fact that this planner has stopped me from making daily to-do lists that just aren’t accomplishable. To-do lists are NOT wish lists and the Simplified Planner has literally changed the way I manage my time and plan my days. I couldn’t live without it now (even if I tried)!
Other planner favorites:
Which planner will use for 2018? Don’t forget to share it with me in the comments below!
**This post may contain affiliate and sponsored links (sponsored items are indicated with an [sp] above) because we all have to pay our bills, and I’ rather keep creating awesome content for you than get a real job. All opinions are my own.**