Best structured paper planner?
September 18, 2016 3:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a more structured, goal-oriented paper planner. Any thoughts?

I'd love to have a paper planner that has specific things to fill out every day -- i.e., priorities for the day, a space to check off exercise or whatever, or maybe specific prompts for weekly review, goals, etc. Has anyone used anything they like? I was thinking of getting a panda planner, but it's pricey and maybe a bit too earnest (i.e., listing in the morning why today will be awesome, etc.) but maybe that's okay!

Am trying to get more organized about each day, and trying to document some good habits. Paper has always worked for me better than apps in the past, for some reason.
posted by heavenknows to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Can't vouch for it personally, but I've been holding on to this blog post for a while about a goal setting planner.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 3:10 PM on September 18, 2016

Passion planner has that. Commit 30 is good for long term habits. I like the Passion planner more, because the Commit 30 has tabs that get crumpled in my bag.
posted by Ruki at 3:11 PM on September 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've been a bit of a planner binge and have tried a few different ones in this vein. They all have structured queries to start and end the day and various approaches to longer-term planning. I like Daily Greatness Journal for being colorfully and beautifully designed, but it ain't cheap. It includes rotating questions to start the day, and check offs for meditation, exercise, etc. I particularly like the weekly review and planning pages.

I also have a Self Journal. It is less expensive, but not as pretty. It also doesn't have weekly check-ins, but the goal setting process is very business- and outcomes-focused.

A final suggestion - the Rituals for Living Dreambook comes as both a goal-setting guide only and a daily planner + goal-setting guide (aka "dreambook"). The goal-setting guide includes a year's worth of weekly planning pages, and I like their format.
posted by jeoc at 3:26 PM on September 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

When I was looking for what you're looking for, I couldn't find what I wanted. Now I use a fairly simple version of a Bullet Journal and I love it.
posted by trixie119 at 4:02 PM on September 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

I'm in the same boat, and I've been eyeing Inkwell Press' A5 Sized spiral-bound planners. Office Depot is supposed to be stocking them soon, fyi. Also: they have sales periodically.

Not sure about the spiral-bound format, but the structure of the pages is very goal-oriented, and there are six videos they have for how to use your planner. Rave reviews about the paper quality from fountain pen owners (the paper is very thick 100 gsm I think?), and customer service gets top marks. Basically they have a very devoted following.

The planners for 2017 just dropped, and they sold out last year, apparently.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:05 PM on September 18, 2016

Try Day Designer! They even have free printable pages. (Sorry no link, on phone.)
posted by trillian at 4:27 PM on September 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Everyone is all about bullet journaling, but I've done it and find it a bit time consuming, so don't feel bad if it's not your thing.

I've fallen in love with this journal. It has a weekly view with a whole blank page on the right, so you can make to-do lists, write down dinner ideas, outfit ideas, whatever.
posted by stoneandstar at 4:45 PM on September 18, 2016

I like my Passion Planner a lot.
posted by hollyholly at 5:48 PM on September 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Maybe I'm hopelessly out of date, but it seems to me that the Franklin Planner has what you're looking for.
posted by DrGail at 5:48 PM on September 18, 2016

Check out Planner Pads.
posted by 4ster at 5:58 PM on September 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I like this journal I got in Korea - not sure how easy it is to get outside of Korea, though.

Each day has a "Headlines", "Comments", and "What's up today?" section, which I've appropriated for planned items for the day, notes to myself, and what actually got done today, respectively.
posted by needled at 6:10 PM on September 18, 2016

Maybe the Get To Work Book? I'm not a paper planner person, but I've generally heard good things, and it's intentionally designed to be used for organization + goal setting.
posted by cimton at 6:59 PM on September 18, 2016

This looks like it has planning, todo, and a habit tracker:

it is one month at a time, though
posted by halfsquaretriangle at 7:47 PM on September 18, 2016

I'm taking a step back from Google Calendar (too ephemeral) and have gone back to my standby, the Moleskine (18-month) weekly.

With this layout*, you get your week on the left, and a lightly ruled page on the right, for notes. Full-year calendar in the front for long-term dates. Comes with a pocket for stuff, a bookmark, and an elastic to keep the cover closed and safe in your bag.

The paper is high quality, it feels good to write on. (And it's obviously properly bound, pages aren't going to be torn off a metal spiral by the thing accidentally flopping open in your bag.)

This layout comes in a few formats - there's a slightly lighter softcover, but the hardcover survives the brutality it's exposed to in my purse. I usually get the A5 (or is it A6?) size, which comfortably fits into all my purses, and has plenty of space for writing, but I went for the pocket size this time because bag weight is a priority for me atm. (If it weren't, would go for the bigger one again. Not that it's even heavy for most people, it's just that I'm carrying more stuff around than usual and minding every extra gram.) I like the red, it stands out from the many black things in my bag. Calls my attention, as well. (I'd probably just want to ignore something purple.)

*There are others that look similar, but lack the notes page - it's worth double checking the layout.
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:56 PM on September 18, 2016

I am a huge fan of the Volt Planner, formerly called the Spark Planner. It has sections for a yearly theme, monthly goals and challenges, weekly goals and open-ended blocks for each day. It also has writing prompts like, "What would make you happy this week?" And "what do you want to be known for?"
posted by jet_pack_in_a_can at 5:31 AM on September 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Dave Seah's website has a lot of printable productivity tools that might be what you're looking for.
posted by brappi at 5:50 PM on September 20, 2016

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