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The Best Paper Planners of 2021: Stay Organized

Discover the best paper planners that will keep you organized in 2021. From free printable planners to deluxe personalized ones, you are sure to find one you love.

Feel like your life could use a little more planning? Consider investing in an actual planner. If you already have one, you know how life-changing it can be to organize your life on paper. And if you don’t? You should give it a try. Consider picking up one of these amazing planners for 2021.

The best paper planners to organize your life in 2021, A paper planner on a desk top next to an open lap top computer and an iPhone

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The Best Paper planners of 2021

Whether you prefer daily, weekly, or monthly options, planners are an essential tool. Planners help to keep your thoughts organized, help you remember tasks you need to get done, and also give you a space to set goals for yourself. Regardless of your profession, there is a planner out there for everyone!

These days, planners come with a little bit of everything. While just calendar planners still exist, most of them now make promises to change your life for the better. In this article, you can compare all of the best paper planners in one place so you can choose your favorite.

Erin Condren

First, Erin Condren planners are known for being beautiful, customized, and heavy-duty planners. It’s a higher price point but well worth the investment. Erin Condren planners can turn planning into a hobby.

  • Cost: $50 and up
  • Where to Buy: Staples, Amazon, and Erin Condren’s website.
  • Layouts: Customize it to your preference. Choose from horizontal or vertical layouts in monthly, daily, or hourly designs.
  • Date Ranges: 12 or 18 months.
  • Custom Options: Erin Condren is known for making custom planners. Choose your own color-scheme, custom covers, and even select the colors of the coils.

The Reminder Binder from Denise Albright Studio

The Reminder Binder from Denise Albright Studio is colorful and fun. Break out of the monotony of to-do lists and enjoy whimsical fonts and cheerful colors. These are one of the lower-priced planners on the list, making them a money-saving deal you can’t miss.

  • Cost: $34.95
  • Where to Buy: DeniseAlbright.com and Amazon.
  • Layouts: Horizontal weekly and monthly layouts
  • Date Ranges: 18 months

Happy print press

3 planners from Happy Print Press

Happy Print Press makes super cute and affordable paperback monthly planners and notebooks. You can browse her entire line of planners. There are so many covers to choose from. Not only are these super affordable and functional, but you are supporting a small business.

  • Cost: $5.99 and up
  • Where to Buy: Amazon
  • Layouts: Monthly and horizontal weekly layouts
  • Date Ranges: 12 months.

The Leaders in Heels

The Leaders in Heels planners are inspirational tools made especially for women. They look stunning on your coffee table or bookshelf. Inside these planners are filled with goal-setting pages.

  • Cost: $50 and up
  • Where to Buy: The Leaders in Heels Website.
  • Layouts: Weekly vertical layouts with goal-setting pages.
  • Date Ranges: 12 months.

Full focus planner

Another goal-setting planner is the Full Focus Planner. This is designed to help you focus on what is most important so you can achieve great things. It has two pages for each day of the year, helping you accomplish more by doing less.

Emily Ley Planners

Emily Ley Planners are very similar to Erin Condren. They are artistically designed and easy to customize.

Mom Agenda

Next, Mom Agenda was originally designed for busy moms, but they now have products for everyone. They are leather-bound planners with extra spots for goal-setting and list-making.

Plum paper

This planner can literally be for anyone, but the styles are catered to be feminine. There are so many personalized options, though, that it can hold any information anyone would need it to. There are even layouts specifically for kids and teens in school.

The amazing thing about this planner is how it’s completely customizable from the beginning. You can choose the cover, the colors, and design, the text — and that’s before even opening the planner. Inside you can choose layouts, colors, text, and adding or withdrawing pages.

  • Cost: $29.50 and up
  • Where to Buy: Plum Paper Planner’s website.
  • Layouts: You choose the layout as you build your own planner.
  • Date Ranges: 12 or 18 months.
  • Custom Options: These planners are 100% customizable – from the cover to the inside pages.

Mochi Things

The main thing that makes MochiThings stand out, is the price point. The planners are very basic and minimal, making them perfect for all kinds of people due to being able to tailor them more to your needs. They offer a ton of other stationery products and accessories, making the website even more convenient since it can all be ordered in one spot.

  • Cost: $15 and up
  • Where to Buy: Mochi website
  • Layouts: Monthly planners or weekly planners.
  • Date Ranges: 12 months.

keri houchin printable planner

Keri Houchin rainbow striped spiral planner on a desk surrounded by pens and washi tape

Blogger Keri from One Mama’s Daily Drama created a printable planner for other parents and bloggers. You can print it out at home and then put it in a 3-ring binder or have it spiral-bound. It’s a budget-friendly option with some really cute designs.

Filofax

These planners are popular among older crowds, due to the ability to be refilled every year and the many different retailer options where the planners and refills are available.

The beauty of these is the fact that they can be refilled. This allows you to keep the same base planner and just add and remove pages based on the time of year. This is perfect for those whose style stays relatively the same from year to year, or someone who doesn’t need the inspirational quotes throughout the pages and just needs somewhere to strictly store their information.

  • Cost: $20 and up
  • Where to Buy: Staples, Amazon, and Filofax
  • Layouts: Horizontal weekly layouts.
  • Date Ranges: 12 months.

panda planner

This isn’t a planner for everyone. It only holds 3 months at a time so it’s definitely something that needs to be kept up with. However, this makes it perfect for someone who is looking for a planner that also guides them into a lifestyle. 

Panda Planners are great for self-accountability, and setting goals. The whole purpose of the Panda is to create a balance between work and life by planning. They have various prompts throughout and partitioned out by goals and questions. It is one that will surely keep you on your toes and headed on the path that you wish to be pushed towards. They are also all undated, letting you never waste a page if you happen to skip a day.

  • Cost: $25 and up
  • Where to Buy: Amazon and Panda Planner, as well as in-store at Walmart
  • Layouts: Weekly and daily goal-setting pages.
  • Date Ranges: 3 months.

free printable monthly calendar

You can’t beat free! If you don’t need something very detailed and just need a monthly calendar to remember important dates, print out the free monthly calendar from Ideas for the Home by Kenarry.

  • Cost: Free
  • Where to Buy: Kenarry
  • Layouts: Monthly.
  • Date Ranges: 12 months.

planner pads

This planner is for any and everyone, but is perfect for those who need professional looking exteriors or need them for a very specific job and not just for lifestyle.

The best thing about this planner is how classic it is. Some things are better left alone, and these planners are definitely perfectly functional the way they are. They also come in a variety of sizes which is nice for those who prefer larger spaces to write out notes from meetings. These planners are a classic style.

  • Cost: $30
  • Where to Buy: Etsy and Planner Pad. As well as in-store at Staples.
  • Layouts: Horizontal weekly layouts with room for goal-setting.
  • Date Ranges: 12 months.
  • Custom Options: Choose your quarterly starting month.
Why you need a paper planner, a side view of a woman wearing jeans writing in a planner

Budget-Friendly Option: Bullet Journaling

Chances are you know someone who gave up on planners and took up bullet journaling instead. This might lead you to ask, what is bullet journaling and how do I do it?

Bullet journaling is the act of basically designing your planner, based on your need for it and throwing in your own flare to make it organized the way that keeps your life stress-free.

The use of the word “bullet” comes from the small bullet points placed on the pages of the journal that make it easier to layout your pages evenly. Some say that bullet journals are just collections of shorthand notes made to look pretty. And in some cases, this is true. But the beauty of bullet journaling is that every journal is going to be different than another because every person’s mind works differently than another. 

Don’t let Instagram posts with #bulletjournal scare you, you do not have to be an artist to participate. The purpose of a planner is not to look pretty, it’s to gather your thoughts, keep you organized and motivate you towards your goals. As long as it’s doing that, nothing else matters. 

How to Bullet Journal

It’s simple to create your own bullet journal. Here’s how to get started.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7HfOEmB4eW/

1. Map Out the Pages By Month

If the idea of having free roam of your pages and no structure overwhelms you, then you can start out by mapping your pages out by month. Once you are more comfortable with using your creativity and have a better idea of how to map it out, you can start doing daily pages along with monthly.

2. Decide The Purpose of Your Bullet Journal

Let’s get into what you actually need to start your own bullet journal. The best way to get started is to ask yourself, “what do I need this planner to do?”. Once that question is answered, you can begin sorting out your supplies and get a base idea of what you want your journal to look like.

3. Start With a Notebook or Journal

While actual bullet journals exist, any notebook or journal will work. If you’re just beginning, it may be easier to use an extra notebook before you invest in an actual bullet journal, to make sure you’re going to like it.

4. Have Fun With Accessories

There are also lots of accessories you can purchase to go along with your bullet journal, but it is not necessary to begin. Some of the accessories include a calendar or inspirational stickers, fine tip pens or markers, stencils, and washi tape. 

The most important thing to remember about bullet journaling is to have fun with it! This is completely customized to your tastes, your artistic flair, and your needs.

The best planners to keep you organized, close up of a woman's hands holding a pencil and writing on a paper calendar.

5 Digital Planners For Paper Planner Lovers

Paper planners aren’t practical for every lifestyle, we get it! For that very reason, there are crazy amounts of digital planners as well. You’ll never have to worry about forgetting it at home, or it not fitting in your bag. Digital planners are a thing of the future, and they work just as well to keep you organized!

artful agenda

Artful Agenda is a membership-based service, meaning you pay monthly or yearly for a new planner layout and for the full selection of all the designs, covers, and fonts. There is an app to download on your phone or tablet to keep your planner available in multiple locations.

Commit 30

Commit 30 planners are made for iOS tablets or devices compatible with GoodNotes5. It is a downloadable file that can be written in with a stylus instead of a keyboard text. This is perfect for those who are artistic or use lots of shorthand notes.

Ellagant Studios PDF Planner

This is a downloadable pdf planner made specifically for tablets, and it requires an annotation app. Some perks are that you can add on digital stickers and post-it notes, as well as fonts for note-taking.

The undated version is nice because it is a one time purchase, the planner can be erased and reused the following year and it can be picked up anytime.

Planner Pro Digital Planner

This planner app is perfect for those that intermittently use a planner, or don’t have a lot of information and events to track. It is compatible with family sharing, so it is nice for those that have multiple family members that need to be aware of a schedule or itinerary. 

Why You Need A Paper Planner – 6 Solutions

Still on the fence about whether you need a paper planner? Try it out and you’ll wonder how you survived without one. Just look at the 6 ways paper planners will keep you organized.

6 great reasons to use a paper planner, a paper planner on a desk top next to an open lap top computer and an iPhone

#1 Color Coding

Not only is color-coding super satisfying, but it’s also super helpful. Scanning the pages for long amounts of time to find what you’re looking for, only to realize you overlooked it, is annoying.

Color coding can help minimize the time it takes to find information, and it makes your pages look prettier — which is always a plus.

#2 Improved memory

Science professionals have put lots of time into extensive research just to prove this theory. Scientists have proven that digital note-taking is often just mindless writing instead of the thoughts that are needed to create memorization.

Take a look at what the Association for Psychological Science has to say about the topic, if you don’t believe me.

#3 It works without batteries

Although digital planning tools are convenient, they aren’t always best. They aren’t as reliable, especially in settings where you can’t have your phone out like office meetings or college classes.

Another reason they aren’t reliable is that the battery dies! If you are constantly taking notes on your phone, texting, making calls, and using apps, then chances are you have had your phone’s battery die on you and you had to take paper notes anyway. Why do it twice?

#4 You can track more than just dates

While phones do have notes sections, and there are apps to track goals or tasks, having a paper planner is so much easier to keep everything in one place without having to use multiple locations inside your cell phone.

Whether you have loose papers with deadlines or random sticky notes with contact information and addresses, you can make a spot for all of it inside your paper planner.

The Benefits of Using a Paper Planner

#5 Artistic Expression and stress relief

There is nothing like sitting down and putting all of your thoughts onto paper after a long day. Stress relief is a natural thing that comes with bullet journaling, or even using a regular planner. You can decorate it however you like and every day can be different than the next to fit your schedule or mood that day!

#6 A scrapbook of memories

Finally, I’ve always been a sucker for keeping planners that are filled up. You never know when you may want to look back on the year or specific day and remember what you were doing then. This is especially helpful for those who have similar deadlines every year.

Keeping the previous year’s planner is a simple way to look back and get a timeline of how to prepare for the deadlines you know are coming up. It’s also just fun to keep for memories! After all, think of how much work you put into it. 

2021 the best paper planners to help you organize your life this year

The Best Paper Planners Will Keep You Organized

The most important thing to remember when choosing a planner, is to choose one that works for you. Whether that is a standard planner that you got at Target, a homemade bullet journal or a digital planner.

Think about how your brain works and how you plan things in your head, and choose a planner that best reflects that. Also, think about your day to day by adding in the time it takes to plan and picking the planner that fits into your lifestyle like a missing puzzle piece. Whatever you choose to write in, the only factor that matters is that its job is being fulfilled — and that is to keep you organized!

Struggling to get motivated? Sign up to get our FREE guide, The 30-Minute Organizing Secret and discover easy ways to overcome the chaos of clutter – even with kids at home!

More ways to stay organized

After you find the perfect paper planner, here are some more ways to organize your life.

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