It’s almost the new year, which means it is time for a fresh new planner to help you reach your goals in 2017.
For me, a crisp new planner that allows me to handwrite my daily responsibilities with a good pen is key to staying organized in my professional career. I honestly don’t know what I would do without one. The feeling of crossing off a to-do list item is like no other reward, and every year I look forward to the search for my next planner companion.
Luckily, agenda enthusiasts have evolved this passion into a huge market. The options for planners, calendars and journals are endless, and I believe the true goal in your search should be choosing a planner and organizational system that is right for you. A planner is a tool, and what truly matters is that we get stuff done and stay on task every day for everything from invoices to marketing strategy. This is why I decided to review some of the top planners on the market for those organized professionals who are looking to compare products and find the right planner in 2017.
The Volt Planner (previously named Spark Planner) was my choice in 2016. Created by Kate Matsudaira, the Volt Planner was designed to help set targeted goals, plan smart and organize the work week.
Overall, I liked the layout because it allowed me to break down my goals for the year, month, week and day while still providing a clean design. The Volt Planner was organized using weekly and monthly checklists to keep me on task, and it also provided a space for monthly reflection and journaling.
Another feature I enjoyed was the monthly goals section, which I think really helped me set and achieve personal goals that I found myself never completing. I think it helps to see things in writing on a regular basis to stay on the right path.
Ultimately, the Volt Planner was a little too thick and bulky for me, which is why I’ve opted to test another planner in 2017. But the Volt Planner is a great, environmentally conscious product that is made in the USA, and I would definitely recommend it to others.
The Slice Planner is bridging the gap between digital technology and pen-and-paper tradition. It is equipped with a mobile app that will sync notes across all devices, even updating upcoming engagements by scanning handwritten text within the planner using augmented reality and updating your phone or computer with events, meetings and notes.
What more could we ask for? I enjoy the aspect of handwriting my responsibilities, but I need my phone to remind me if I have a meeting. And the constant switching back and forth between digital and paper isn’t very convenient, let alone efficient. Voila! The Slice Planner was born. I also like that it has the option for a soft leather cover, providing a minimalistic design easy for travel. No more bulky planners taking up space in your work bag!
The downside is that Slice Planner’s Kickstarter campaign was so popular that the most affordable pledges won’t ship until March 2017. I’m not willing to pay more than $35 for a planner, which means I’ll miss an entire quarter before I receive my Slice Planner.
Daily Greatness Business Planner
The Daily Greatness Business Planner was designed for the business professional. Organized to help you succeed and reach your business goals, it’s designed to guide you to form excellent thinking habits and to take action on your most important priorities.
This planner has a unique combination of finance and budget worksheets, goals, action and appointment planners and personal development tools distilled into a simple daily, weekly and quarterly structure. High-level 90-day check-ins and challenges will be sure to keep you committed and accountable at each stage of your business plan while helping you maintain peak performance.
The Passion Planner, another Kickstarter success, is aimed at a mainstream audience ready to make a change and embrace their life passions. My colleague had purchased this planner in 2016, and after comparing it with my Volt Planner, we both ended up favoring the Volt.
The Passion Planner is jam packed with goodies and tools to help you reach your goals. Featuring tools ranging from a handy pen holder, to grocery lists, to origami pockets, this planner is fully customizable and the website does a great job of providing content to help you transform your planner.
The Passion Planner was built to help get rid of all the clutter, clearly define personal goals and transform mountains into molehills. It’ll break down goals into long-term and short-term achievements, which helps move things forward with actionable steps.
The layout shows a full week of days over two pages with another section for to-do items with room for more details. I’m an advocate of categorizing my daily tasks into different buckets — such as personal, work and top priorities — and the Passion Planner does a great job of organizing different sections. Overall, this planner is ideal for anyone who wants to break down bigger yearly or monthly goals into weekly actionable plans.
Last but not least, I’m also recommending the classic notepad planner. There are many different options on Etsy, but I often purchase from Rifle Paper Co. I like having a notepad planner so I can continue to optimize my organization methods and declutter my work week of old projects or responsibilities.
Each day I create a to-do list broken down by morning, afternoon and evening tasks. These tasks get checked off throughout the day/week as they are completed. Come Monday, I start fresh and tear off all of the to-do items that were completed the week before. Better yet, the notepad gets lighter with each passing week.
This simple approach is a great addition to a larger yearly planner. I often designate the notepad to work-related activities while my other planner acts as a journal to help with long-term goals. For all you checklist people, this one is calling your name.
This year, my main squeeze looks to be the Slice Planner, but I’ll have to wait until March to get started. Until then I’ve got a notepad planner to help me get through my daily tasks and work responsibilities.
What’s your favorite planner? Leave any suggestions in the comments below.