If your 2021 feels like it didn’t go as planned (and that’s okay!), you’re not alone. Not only did the pandemic continue to throw a wrench into all the plans that we tried to make, it’s unfortunately not uncommon to feel less accomplished than we’d like at the end of the year.
If you’re reflecting on the year that was and realizing that you never finished reading your entire book list, or you didn’t learn how to cook the most fantastic lasagna of your life, there’s always 2022. And one way to ensure that you’re not in the same place again next year, or at least to help start the year off on the right foot, is by investing in a planner.
A good planner gives you a place to clearly outline your daily, weekly, or monthly tasks and goals, and can assist with creating steps or time blocks that you can stick to, according to Violette de Ayala, an entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Femcity, a women’s professional network. “I recommend them for scheduling your day, connecting to your goals, and keeping you on track,” she says.
Ayala adds that planners are a great tool to use during all stages of goal setting—the very beginning, the middle, and toward the end. “It helps to formalize what you’re looking to achieve, the steps to get there, and the ways you may be able to track your success.” As someone who sits at the top of a networking business, it was the perfect example for Ayala: “If you’re networking at various events and you track that in your calendar, and then you’ll have follow up meetings that lead to opportunities. It’s inevitably connected to your bigger goal of expanding your network.”
Depending on your goals—personal, professional, or something in between—and your personality—laissez-faire or more task-oriented—there are different types of planners for every type of planner. Here are the 12 best planners for 2022.
This spiral-bound 12-month planner has a traditional format for keeping tasks organized and tracking goals, and it’s great for anyone who’s using a planner for the first time or who likes a clean, simple approach. There’s a weekly view for each month that includes a full page for notes as well as lots of space for contacts and pockets for storage.
2. Clever Fox Weekly Planner Binder, $29.99
A goal-oriented binder planner that feels like the grown-up version of a Trapper Keeper, this has dedicated areas for “This Week’s Main Goal,” “This Week’s Priorities,” “Personal to-Do List,” “This Week’s Wins,” and more to help track of everything you want to accomplish. What sets this planner apart are the pages at the end of every month that prompt you to review how you grew over the last four weeks. There’s space to write down your biggest wins, any insights gained, and how you would have done things differently, plus how you’re going to tackle the next month.
3. Budgetizer Budget Planner, $9.99
A budget-focused planner, this book is dedicated to getting your finances in order. It’s filled with pages that help you create a budget (and stay on it), guide you out of debt, or hit a savings goal. It has spending trackers for when you need to see what’s going in and coming out of your accounts and multiple pages for planning out individual and household budgets.
4. Papier Big Plans Daily Planner, $28.99
If seeing a bunch of blank spaces where you didn’t mark up with tasks or to-do items gives you anxiety, this planner might help alleviate that while still providing a space to use it whenever you’d like. Since there are no dates, the planner also doesn’t become useless at the end of the year; as long as you still have pages to fill in, you still have a planner at your disposal. It says in the planner itself that, “This is your place for the taking—somewhere to plan without limits, plot your personal growth, and celebrate victories (no matter how big or small),” and we completely agree.
If you need to plan out your life alongside a spoonful of mindfulness, look no further than this planner. The Positive Planner has spaces with dates and grids where you can fill in tasks and goals, as well areas to track your mood, recipes you want to make, shopping lists, daily intentions, and evening reflections. It helps take the pressure off of planning and focuses instead on how you’re feeling while working your way through your day to day.
If the idea of a planner feels too formal, this notepad-style weekly planner might be more your style. Each page has a “Week Of” line for you to fill in the date, and then boxes for each day of the week. There aren’t any lines or formatting so you’re free to jot down anything you want as they come to you.
7. myRyve A5 Bullet Journal Notebook, $16.95
Free of lines, date boxes, and headers, this is about as freeform as it gets. A bullet-style planner, which is also seen as more of a journal, allows you to use the space to create areas for lists, doodles, notes, or whatever else you might want to write at any given time. This is the type of planner that works best for people who don’t like to be confined to the traditional way of taking notes or jotting down reminders because there’s no pre-set formatting.
8. Erin Condren Kids Planner & Activity Book, $30.99
A planner is a great way to teach kids about the importance of being organized and responsible early while still reminding them to have fun. This planner has spaces to keep track of things like homework and class activities, as well as areas where young ones can write positive things about themselves, list out their favorite animals and food, draw out fun prompts like sandcastles, and personalize with stickers.
9. Minted Grassy Fields Notebook, $18+
For anyone who lives for personalized essentials, this notebook has your name written all over it. It starts off as a basic journal but there are plenty of customizations to be made (since that’s Minted’s trademark) like adding quotes and photos, changing up the colors and fonts, and putting in your own page prompts.
10. Symple Stuff Magnetic Calendar/Planner Whiteboard,
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a planner in the traditional sense, but don’t underestimate the power of a large whiteboard staring you in the face every day. One thing a traditional planner lacks is its inability to impose itself on you when you might need it to the most; if you don’t open it, you don’t have to use it. A whiteboard, however, can be hung on the refrigerator or on the wall so it almost forces you to use it. This one looks like a monthly calendar with space to write in the month and date, and it has separate area for notes and to-dos off to the side.
11. Smythson 2022 Panama Agenda, $69
When your planner holds such an important place in your life, it needs to look and feel like it. This leather planner from Smythson is elegant and simple in its minimalist style, while also being small and lightweight enough to slip into a tote or purse. Each page has three dates on it to fill in with whatever you’d like, plus a little calendar to look ahead. The limited space might make you reflect and focus on what’s really important as opposed to other larger planners that have enough lines to schedule every hour of every day. Take a breath, choose what cannot be ignored, and get it done.
12. Moleskine 2022 Weekly Planner, $17.95
If a slim pocket design and classic look of a notebook are what you’re looking for, then the agenda and planner pros at Moleskine have you covered. These no-frills notebooks are elegant in their simplicity with weekly and monthly views to jot down events both big and small. They come in different colors (though, we’re partial to the black), sizes, and formats so you can grab one that suits your needs and goals best. The traditional “weekly horizontal” layout has a few lines for each day of the week where the “weekly notebook” has spaces for every day that span two pages and is ideal for anyone who likes a little more space to write.