Ranking the Best Day Planners, By a Planner Snob

Who doesn’t love a good planner?!

Ok, don’t answer that because we may not be able to be friends if you don’t have one.

All kidding aside, when I learned that August 1 is National Planner Day, my gut reaction was, “Well, of course!” and “Why didn’t I have this calendared in my planner?!”

If you haven’t already scrolled past this with rolled eyes, maybe you, too, are a planner snob (or are planner curious). Here are my five favorite planners (and I have tried many!).

Planner and pen on a desk, best day planners1. Blue Sky 8” X 11” Weekly/Monthly Planner

Blue Sky was my first love. We met my first year of college at A&M. I wasn’t looking for anything serious and just ran into it at the bookstore thinking, “Oh! This is cute.” And within a few pages, I was hooked. Believe it or not, my relationship with Blue Sky lasted well into my first few years of practicing law (one of my longest relationships, excluding my husband).

I started with the academic calendar and loved the large size because it didn’t get lost in my backpack. Having the weekly/monthly option was ideal for me. I could get as granular as I needed by scheduling classes, study time, work, working out, community service, and fun using the weekly pages, which broke out the day by half-hour increments.

But I also loved being able to see the entire month at-a-glance. I highlighted bills and payday in green, class deadlines in orange, social events in yellow, and relationship milestones in pink, giving me a quick birds-eye view of my life.

What’s really fun about Blue Sky is the wide array of covers to suit your style or mood. Toward the end of my relationship with Blue Sky, I custom-ordered calendars with my own mantra on the cover and inserts for goal-tracking and budgeting.

2. Start Today Priority Planner by Rachel Hollis

Confession: For a moment, I was obsessed with Rach. She was my first foray into personal development, and fun fact, we share the same birthday: January 9. Capricorns unite!

Setting aside whether you are a fan or not, I really liked that her planner was part of a personal growth system, with blog posts and a how-to video, and it came with a community.

I felt fiercer just being a part of the tribe.

Admittedly, this was short-lived because I needed more structure, and I don’t like undated planners where I have to fill in the dates myself.

3. At-A-Glance | The Simplified Planner

The name probably gives away why this planner appealed to me. At this time in my life, I was well entrenched in the practice of law, where everything was on a virtual calendar and accessible by phone, so I didn’t really need a paper calendar.

Except I liked having a paper one, especially for the monthly “birds-eye” view and extra pages for jotting down notes. And I was trying to resist being tethered to a phone.

Bonus: There are also lots of fun designs!

4. The Evo Planner

The Evo Planner had me at “personalized planner.” Who doesn’t love a bespoke experience?

No one, because this planner has thousands of five-star reviews.

Basically, you take a quiz to find out what brain type you are, and the planner you get is designed to complement your natural style of thinking and productivity. And it delivered! Each page was filled with tips on how to maximize my style and included inspirational quotes that deeply resonated with me.

Who knew that a planner could make me feel so seen?!

It includes a daily gratitude section, a “brain dump” section, a daily reflection section, and much more. This almost became “The One.” The only thing I didn’t love was that it’s pretty pricey for only lasting 90 days at a time (if used daily), and I had to fill in my own dates.

5. Ink & Volt Dated Planner

This is the planner I am using right now, and I am so in love! I think this is The One.

page from planner, best day planners

My favorite part is the annual theme and vision page for your big picture. It also has monthly, weekly, and daily pages. On the daily pages, I can prioritize three “must-dos” and list the rest. There is designated space to track annual, quarterly, and monthly goals. In between scheduling are journaling prompts. There are a few pages for project tracking and blank pages in the back for notes.

The binding and pages are high quality—and scream #boss.

I love this planner so much that it is a go-to gift for other go-getters in my life. And public service announcement, if you are a productivity geek, check out the rest of Ink & Volt’s stuff and subscribe to their newsletter, which often has freebies to prompt you to think about how you can achieve your best life.

Bonus: Five-Minute Journal by Intelligent Change

Five Minute Journal on desk

While this is obviously not a planner, I have to share the Five-Minute Journal by Intelligent Change. It really is only five minutes, but the impact of starting and ending my day with gratitude has been transformational for me.

They have one for kids, too, and my six-year-old and I have a little quality time every day by filling out our journal together. Beyond the quality time, I love that I’m helping her practice mindfulness and cultivate gratitude (and her responses are pretty cute!).

Happy National Planner Day! What’s your favorite day planner?

{And if you turn out not to be a “planner person” despite your best efforts, be sure to take a look at these 5 Ways to Stay Organized Without a Paper Planner.}

Mey Ly Ortiz
The proud daughter of immigrants, Mey grew up behind the counter of a convenience store in Kaufman, Texas. After studying communications at Texas A&M (whoop!), she got her law degree from Southern Methodist University and stuck around North Texas after meeting her husband, Jason — a Navy veteran and Ironman — in a running store. While she herself has completed six marathons, 21 half-marathons, and a handful of triathlons, it was before she earned her favorite title of all, which is mom. When she is not chasing her kids, she's chasing her best self on the Peloton, devouring a book on Audible, or myth-busting "work-life balance" on her personal blog:TheMeybe.com.