Write it down: The best planners to help kick-start your new year

There’s something lovely about a new year. It makes you feel like there’s a new start, a chance to get organised and reflect on where you want to be. There’s also the chance to buy new stationery – and come on, does it ever get better than new stationery? Or is that just us?!

Whether it’s a new diary or a calendar, there’s something about seeing the whole year spread ahead of you. What memories will you make. What amazing personal changes will occur. It feels like the world is your oyster.

Upgrading your normal diary to a planner can also do more than mean you don’t miss that dentist appointment, it can help you reflect, grow and just be more together. With that min mind, here are a few of our favourite planners.

Lux Productivity Planner, £19.99

Best for: Everything!

If you want to plan your entire life, this is for you! From basic scheduling to goal-setting this pretty planner (which comes in a huge variety of colours) has everything within it’s cover. Our favourite bit is the reflection page, which allows you to look back on what went well and things to be grateful for. Delve even deeper into the book and you’ll find a section to manage your finances, a project planner and an in-depth goals section. It really is your life in a book!

Perfectly Planned 2020, £59

Best for: Adding some structure to your life

This one is a favourite of our CEO Andrea McLean and here’s why…

“At the end of last year I bought the Carrie Green Perfectly Planned 2020 Daily Planner from the Female Entrepreneur Association website. It was a big leap from my normal little notebooks that I have carried around in my handbag since I was in my twenties, ready to jot down thoughts, ideas, notes, lists – any and everything really.

This planner helps you structure your thoughts, dreams and goals so that they become something to plan for rather than just dream about. There’s a yearly planning page so that you know where you are headed and how you’re going to break it all down… a quarterly plan to help you map out the next three months, and a monthly plan and review to check your progress. Each page has a daily motivational quote to help keep you inspired.

I was quite excited when it arrived, it’s beautiful to look at – I ordered the dusty pink one, but it also comes in light grey. The quality is great, it feels luxurious and well-made and everything is very clearly marked out. Before you even start, there are pages to fill in which let you take stock on what you achieved last year: What did you do in order to achieve them, What did you want to achieve but didn’t, Why didn’t you achieve them? It was really helpful to take the time to do this; which I’ve never done before. Next was a full A4 page for me to list all the steps I’ll need to take to achieve everything I want in 2020 – which was an interesting exercise in itself. Then a full A4 page for goal setting, both work and personal.

There’s also a yearly planner, which I have never in my life filled in before. I’ve always thought they looked a bit corporate and ‘businessy’ and I’m not a business person. I realise now I’ve been looking at it all wrong. We are all business people, in our own way. Then the quarterly, monthly and weekly goals, which I’ve realised are just lists of things I want to do, broken down into bite-sized chunks of how to do them.

I’ve always thought it was a waste of time to spend hours writing down all the stuff you want to do – in the time that’s taken I could have gone out and done them! – but I see now that that’s why I often feel stuck and can’t see a way out of problems. I might journal about how awful things are and have a good moan, but that doesn’t offer up any solutions, whereas breaking everything down and laying it all out gives you a chance to see where you might be getting it wrong and make changes. It’s actually helped me sleep better, because I feel like I have a plan and a structure now, something I never thought I needed. I am converted!”

Papier weekly planner, £18.69

Best for: Personalised planning

If you’re looking for something truly personal to you, this is the one. The planner comes in a variety of super cool covers designed by various artists. What’s more, you can then personalise it with whatever you like on the front! While this is definitely more of a diary with a week-to-week view there is also sections to add goals, wishes and to-do lists. It’s definitely the most stylish planner we’ve come across so far and also makes a great gift.

Personalised family planner, £26.99

Best for: Sorting out the entire family

If you’re looking for something practical, while still looking nice, look no further than this fab dry erase family planner. Personalise it with your family name and the members of your family and you’re good to go. We love the addition of a shopping list and the general week at the top – we use it for planning our family meals but it can be used for anything that suits your family. We definitely feel much more organised now!

Meal planner, £3

Best for: Meal planning!

Sometimes planning what to eat can be a real chore, but we all know it makes sense to plan as it cuts down on waste and ensures everyone is happy with what they’re eating. This dinky little meal planner, which is currently a bargain in the sales, is perfect as you can plan you meals and also write a shopping list of ingredients. It’s the perfect size to slip into your bag as well meaning less waste and more happy tums.

Clever Fox planner, £19.99

Best for: Micro planners

Our COO Nick Feeney spent ages looking for this planner, but now he couldn’t live without it:

“I spent a few weeks looking through different planners online before I found one that worked for me – I like to do my research because I know exactly what I am looking for. I chose the Clever Fox Daily Planner. It is only for 6 months which I have never done before, but I’ve got my head around it now, because I can plan really meticulously in something small enough to carry around with me every day – a year would have made it too bulky.

It is not a calendar so the days aren’t dated – which means you can start whenever you want, great if you’ve not started planning yet. Each daily page has an hourly schedule, the day’s main goal, priorities, personal to-do list and daily productivity review section. It’s got a daily, weekly and monthly planning sections, and a journal section to let you fill in the habits and daily rituals you are going to be doing during the week. It isn’t a ‘business’ planer as such, so anyone can use it to get more order in their day, week and month – I think it’s a great all-rounder.”

Press Pause mindfulness journal, £23

Best for: Reflecting and goal setting

Not strictly a planner in the diary sense, this little book however, will help get you on track when it comes to your wellbeing. The idea is to encourage you to sit down for 10-15 minutes each week and recalibrate, reflect and just celebrate those small wins. Anything that makes you pause in a busy life is definitely worth it and the thought-provoking questions and prompts throughout the journal will definitely get you thinking about life.

Self-care journal, £10

Best for: Prioritising yourself

Whether you’re taking part in our self-love challenge or you’ve just decided to put yourself first for a change, this journal is brilliant. It can be super hard to find time in busy lives for yourself, but this journal will help. The diary is obviously useful for organising yourself, but you can also diarise you time and the self-care to do list is brilliant for reminding you to look after yourself. Definitely a tenner worth spent!

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