Instead of an app or device that claims to boost your productivity, this year, you should invest in a good paper planner. After all, there's a lot of research showing that writing down your to-do list and schedule for the day, rather than writing it down on a laptop or your iPhone, makes you feel more committed to the task at hand. And while we've written about some of our favorite planners in the past, like this Japanese option, we wanted to find the best planners available. So we reached out to productivity experts, life coaches, and people who love stationery. and they know how to do things, and we ask them about their favorites. Here are the best life Planners and Life Journals, daily planners, and planners to keep you on track in 2021.

BestSelf Co. Self Journal

Life coach Penny Zenker recommends the BestSelf Co. Self Journal because it helps break big goals down into digestible 90-day chunks. “I use it now because it is a comprehensive goal setting and reflective tracking system all in one. It helps me align my goals and my daily tasks, which makes me more productive. " Liz Sumner, a life and progress coach, also likes the Self Journal." The basic version has a lot of valuable material to start setting goals. "She says." I've been using it for several years since I discovered it on Kickstarter. It combines the best parts of a journal and a planner. "

The Complete Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt

Personal branding expert Richard Jane has "spent a small fortune over the years looking for a planner who can really help him stay focused and on task." He calls Michael Hyatt's Full Focus Planner “the best I have found. The reason it works so well for me is that the layout provides a clear focus on what is important while allowing me to empty my head of all the other tasks lurking. But it doesn't go overboard so I can easily get to the actual planning of my day, week, and month. "One note: this planner is organized into 90-day chunks, which means you'll need to buy four to take it through 2020, But it also offers a bit more flexibility and you can start it at any time of the year.

Refill the daily planner Day-Timer 2020

Christy Whitman, Life Coach and Author of The Art of Having It All: A Woman's Guide to Unlimited Abundance, has been using the timer for more than 20 years. “I love this brand because the layout of the pages allows me to have a place to write articles today, a calendar, and also a page to write and take notes. So each day is two pages long and gives me a complete overview of my day, ”she says. "If I have an appointment scheduled, I can write notes next to the appointment and remind myself of the call information, the person's name, or any other important information." Whitman also loves the Day-Timer customer service, specifically the reminders to get new pages for the new year. "They email me the order number, the recharge numbers, and it's easy for busy people."

Russell + Hazel 2019/2020 Mini Mes Tabs

Darcy Miller, author, illustrator, and craftsman of a meticulously organized office, prefers to use a binder-style planner, specifically this one from Minnesota-based Russell + Hazel. "I use it for my notes and day-to-day planning, and then I also have one for each of my children, where I record things about them over the years, from teacher conferences to doctor appointments," He says. The 8x9-inch folder is small and light enough to fit in your purse, but when it's not there, "it looks good on the table." He also likes loose pages, which can be removed and rearranged if necessary.

Brepols Back to Paper 2020 Diary Notebook

"My favorite planner is the Brepols journal," says Sandeep Salter, founder of the Brooklyn homeware store Picture Room. This simple-designed planner helped her go from a digital calendar user to a written one. “I was actually a unique Google Cal user until recently when I ruled out a very important study visit. It just didn't show up because it had been accidentally erased from the Cal! I was mortified. That's the nice thing about a physical journal. My toddler cannot randomly delete important events at any time. So now I use the Brepols for meetings and studio visits specifically. Dates on the front, notes on the back.

Diary of Kokuyo Jibun Roof 2020

Wakako Takagi, the co-founder of Los Angeles-based Baum-kuchen stationery, likes Kokuyo's Jibun Techo. “This is the right-hand analog tool that goes everywhere with me. I use the monthly pages as a master planner and my weekly pages to stay on track with detailed appointments, things to remember, as well as documentation of some of the key ingredients in life (like how many miles do I run each day to train). for a marathon). "Plus, he adds, this journal's cardholder insert does double duty as his wallet." So I just need to grab Jibun Techo and my keys and I'm good to go!

Milligram 2020 no daily - daily

Two Strategist employees (myself included) own a version of this planner from the Australian Milligram stationery store. Writer Lauren Ro introduced it to me last year: “With a variety of abstract covers, color schemes, and programs, they were the planners of my dreams. I chose the "non-daily" journal with dotted grid pages for each day of the year. " This year, you are testing the weekly" Family Life "journal," which includes space for action lists, budgets, meal planning, and more. " But I am going to pick up the non-dotted journal for the second year in a row to help keep track of The Strategist's editorial calendar. Each page has plenty of room for to-do lists and notes for the day, and it's easy to get through the next few months. It also looks great sitting on a desk, and the clothes wear well over the course of a year.

Smythson Agenda 2020 Soho

If you feel like splurging, writer Leah Bhabha likes her journal Smythson Soho. "Larger than a pocket calendar, which offers little space to write, and smaller than a desk journal, which is like carrying a textbook, the Soho is the ideal size," she says. She also likes the format. "The weekly planner dedicates a sizeable square to each day, and there's a weekly to-do list on the opposite page." Also, the paper itself is "half the thickness and weight of regular pages, but suffice it to say that they make writing easier without ink seeping out."

Smythson 2021 Wafer pocket planner

For a less expensive option from Smythson, Tad Friend, writer for The New Yorker, recommends Wafer's agenda. He has been using this planner for over 20 years and says "flyweight is a key feature." It's small enough to fit in your back pocket, but it's still packed with information. "It reminds you when the red grouse shooting season is over and has the phone numbers of the 'top clubs in the western world, such as Boodle's and White's in London, listed on the front so you can call periodically to ask if they have a Hugh Jass waiting in the lobby. " But because it's so easy to fit in your back pocket, Friend cautions that "the only weak point with the calendar, as I've discovered twice, is that it doesn't work quite well in a washing machine." He wears a navy blue version, which appears to be out of stock. But there are still some cake options available.

Lemome 2020 Planner

For those who use digital calendars to schedule appointments but still want a paper planner to help them make the most of their time, Neha Gandhi, CEO, and editor-in-chief of Girlbossrecommends your Lemome planner. Rather than jotting down appointments and logistics, she outlines the main goal of each day on her schedule. That helps her stay focused throughout the day and track projects over time. “I like this planner in particular because it doesn't waste real estate on big daily calendars and instead only offers high-level monthly views and weekly notes. I can organize the meeting notes for the day they were taken (and then I can cross-reference the meeting date the notes came from in my digital cal), so that I am not browsing endlessly through a notebook to find a nugget of information that is somehow always out of reach, "she says. She also likes the convenient size."