- 1 Top 6 Best Diary Planners in 2020
- 2 Best Diary Planner Buyer’s Guide
To help you find the best diary planners for your daily schedule and planning, we focused on testing 25 different products over the course of 10 hours. After receiving the planners, we flipped through their pages to determine how much functionality they offered and to see how durable they were. We also focused our testing on paper thickness and ink bleeding, among other metrics.
After our extensive testing, we chose the Simple Elephant Daily Planner as our top pick due to its increased versatility, due to the use of undated pages, extra blank notes pages and an innovative vision board page. It’s also incredibly durable and long-lasting. Keep reading below to learn more about the Simple Elephant diary planner and the other best diary planners that make up our list.
Top 6 Best Diary Planners in 2020
#1 Simple Elephant Diary Planner
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This diary planner really exemplifies its namesake with an ultra-simple design that both reduces clutter and gives you more flexibility in how you plan your time.
The Simple Elephant diary planner is a comprehensive, yet incredibly simple option that allows you greater freedom to plan out your days and weeks. For starters, it’s designed well with a hard, leatherette cover that comes in four different colors. We admit the design is a little boring, but that doesn’t decrease its durability or effectiveness. It also includes an elastic loop that keeps the cover closed when not in use and an elastic pen loop keep your writing utensils close at hand.
When it comes to the internal design, we were blown away by everything that you could do with the Simple Elephant. The calendar pages are all undated, so you can start planning no matter where you’re at in the year. This undated approach saves you more space overall, especially since you can simply avoid planning days where you won’t be working or on vacation. We do wish there was some more room for goal setting, though. If you want to make your office more comfortable, you can’t go wrong with one of the best office chair cushion.
#2 Lemome Diary Planner
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This diary planner offers full, daily pages and thick, durable paper. It’s also got monthly tabs for quick navigation, making it a fantastic productivity planner.
This Lemome appointment book is the best diary planner for daily goals and appointments. It’s a full-sized planner with individual pages for each day of the year. Each page is lined with times from 7 AM to 7 PM. Each page is also dated and includes a high-level calendar view at the top so you know what your coming weeks look like, date-wise. Unfortunately, there are no monthly planning pages in the Lemome, but the comprehensive daily pages more than make up for it.
The overall construction of the Lemome Daily Planner is one of its most impressive features. It’s got thicker paper than other planners, and the paper can hold up to rough erasing, writing and shading. The cover is also durable and thick for better durability on the go. We were most impressed, however, with the lay-flat design of the binding. Take a look at some of the best office chairs that are under 100 dollars too.
#3 Moleskine Diary Planner
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This planner is made exceptionally well and will last you through constant daily use. It’s also more portable than most other options, making it a fine choice for those who are constantly on the go.
This Moleskine has long been considered one of the best planners and organizers in the market and once you have it in your hands, you’ll be able to tell why. Everything about the Moleskine screams high quality, from the extra-durable binding to the thick, ivory paper pages. You may experience some ghosting with heavier inks, but the pages don’t rip and tear easily, even with heavy-handed writing.
The Moleskine diary planner features an overly minimalist design, which we really enjoyed. This is a daily planner that features full pages for each individual day. You also get some monthly pages, but you only get a single page per month. This means you’ll need to keep your monthly planning to a minimum here. We were also impressed with the included world map with time zones in the front of the book. This will be the best day planner that you own before you know it.
#4 LUX Diary Planner
Award: BEST FOR LONG TERM GOALS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This item features tons of different types of pages for setting goals and boasts an exceptional design quality, making it the best diary planner for productivity and for goal oriented people.
If we could only choose one thing to write about the LUX productivity planner, it would be the sheer number of internal page types that you get with your purchase. For starters, you get a daily planner page that includes a variety of different sections, including critical tasks, other tasks, wins, progress and exercises. This page also includes an hourly schedule section. You also get a page to reflect on your previous week and how to improve moving forward. More impressively, though, you get Gantt chart pages, which help you manage your long-term projects more efficiently, easily making this one of the best productivity planners on the market.
Overall design quality is great with the LUX. It has thinner pages than we’d like to see on a diary planner, but they still hold up to daily writing, erasing and coloring. The cover is where the planner’s durability really shines, since it’s made from long-lasting PU leather. You also get an elastic strap to keep the diary planner closed and two different colored ribbons to keep your place. We were also impressed to find that the LUX featured a lay-flat spine. If your job keeps you on the go a lot of the time, you might want to also consider investing in the best portable desk for flexability.
#5 Duckart 365 Day Diary Planner
Award: MOST UNIQUE DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model is designed with creative thinking people in mind, featuring lots of blank spaces and cute illustrations throughout. It’s also compact and highly portable, further increasing its rating for creatives.
The Duckart 365 Day is the best diary planner for creatives because it features tons of empty spaces running throughout its internal pages. This gives you plenty offreedom in the way you plan out your days and even gives you space to include inspirational quotes or doodles into your planning. . It’s also an incredibly unique product, with illustrations and neat design quirks on nearly every page. We were impressed that you got weekly, monthly and yearly planning pages with the Duckart, allowing you to keep track of short and long-term goals.
The Duckart 365 days planners come in a huge variety of different cover styles and options, each with its own cover and interior design. Overall quality is good, though thebinding was a little weak during our testing and the pages do bleed a little with ink, but ultimately we have no doubts that this will last you all year long. With a new planner, you might want to get the best office chair too.
#6 Maalbok Academy Diary Planner
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you don’t have a lot to spend, but still want to get organized, look no further than the Maalbok planner. It’s tough and user friendly with both monthly and weekly pages.
The first thing that stands out about the Maalbok Academy diary planner is the twin wire binding. This is the only option on our list that is spiral bound and we were very impressed by how durable and convenient it was. The wire binding allows you to flip the cover and previous pages completely back for easier handling. It’s also incredibly durable, although you’ll need to pay more attention to not ripping pages out accidentally.
The Maalbok is a weekly monthly planner with pages in the academic year format, which makes it a great option for students and teachers.. You get three days on a single page, and Saturday/Sunday are combined into an even smaller space. The pages are thick and you’ll experience very minimal ink bleeding. The Maalbok’s cover is the hardest cover on our list, as well, but that means it isn’t very flexible. Fortunately, with the wire binding, that stiff cover won’t get in your way.
How We Decided
After receiving all of the diary planners, we started ranking each product based on the comprehensiveness of organizational features they offered. We favored planners that could essentially handle all planning needs for you. The best diary planners allow you to plan for daily, weekly and monthly goals, as well as leaving you room to plan daily appointments.
Next, we scored planners based on their overall design and durability. We awarded bonus points to diary planners that were tough enough to stand up to extensive daily use without wearing out. Of course, all of the options on our list are able to stand up to at least a year’s worth of use, which should be expected.
Finally, we gave preference to diary planners that were of “standard” size, as they provide the most versatility to the widest customer base. This doesn’t nullify the value of extra-small or extra-large planners, though. If you need something on either end of the spectrum, just make sure you follow the same advice we’ve included here in our buying guide.
Best Diary Planner Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Planner Styles
Diary planners come in a huge number of different styles with tons of different organizational features. The style that works for you will depend largely on your own organizational preferences and scheduling needs. If you plan a lot of appointments, you’ll need at least a page – and often two – for each day, which makes the planner larger in size. You can also get planners that show an entire week on a single page or planners that show two days to a page. If you’re into bullet journaling, you can purchase minimalist options that follow that format. There are an almost infinite number of individual features that can improve your overall planner experience. Consider things like daily and monthly goal tracking pages, blank pages for creative application, inner pockets and more for a more customized planner.
Diary planners are very personal items, and the overall design you choose can make a statement about you and your likes. There’s no limit to design options for diary planners, especially when it comes to colors and patterns. However, when it comes to material and bindings, you’ll want to take more time to find something that will fit your lifestyle, which we’ll discuss more in the Durability section.
Like most other kinds of notebooks, diary planners come in a wide variety of sizes. The size you buy is largely dependent on your lifestyle and whether or not you carry your planner around on the go. If you need more portability, consider purchasing a smaller sized planner. If it’s just staying on your desk at home, you can get away with something larger, which will also give you more writing space and more features.
Your diary planner is something you’ll likely handle in some way every single day. As such, it’s important that you purchase something that won’t get ruined after a week or two of light or heavy use. Durability comes into play most when you look at the planner’s binding and the planner’s cover materials. When it comes to bindings, you can choose between either a wiro diary planner or a casebound diary planner. Both are durable in their own ways, and really only differ in the way that they lay when opened. When it comes to cover materials, you also have a wealth of options. You can get covers made from materials ranging from genuine leather to PVC vinyl. Make sure you get something that will hold up to your lifestyle.
Diary Planner FAQs
What are the best planners?
We consider all of the options on our list above as the best planners available for purchase today. However, the best diary planner on our list is the Simple Elephant diary planner. This option features a simple, durable design and tons of extra features that will make your planning much easier.
What is the best productivity planner?
The best productivity planner on our list is the LUX Productivity diary planner. It features amazing month and day at a glance views, long and short term goal pages, Gantt chart project management pages and even a finance tracker.
What size planner is best?
There is no one size fits best when it comes to diary planners. The size planner that’s best for you is the one that fits your individual needs. If you don’t have a lot of space and need to carry your planner everywhere with you, consider purchasing a pocket-sized option. If you don’t take your planner with you, then you’d do just fine with a notebook-sized planner.
How do I choose a planner?
Choosing the right planner for you is almost 100% a subjective process based on your individual needs. First, determine what you need your planner for and make your decision from there. Do you need daily tracking, weekly tracking, monthly tracking or all three? Daily planners are good for the first need, while weekly planners and monthly planners are good for the latter need. Do you want extra features like project management tools and finance trackers? After that, you can start considering design and style features like color, patterns and cover materials.
What are the best planner brands?
Each one of the planner brands on our list is a top-tier pick. Simple Elephant, Lemome and Moleskine are among our favorites. You may also want to consider a Panda Planner, Blue Sky planner or Clever Fox planner. You could even consider getting a planner app for your smartphone. The best daily planner app gives you the same benefits as the planners on our list, just in digital form.
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