7 Best Planners to Achieve Your Goals in 2018
Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small. – Sun Tzu We’re...
Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.
– Sun Tzu
We’re well into the first quarter of the year, and I still haven’t posted about my favorite planners for 2018! Granted, I had a pretty rocky start of the year, but still. A dream without a plan is just a dream, right? So here’s the long overdue list of my 7 top picks for planning out your goals this year – and for achieving them!
As I mentioned in last year’s post about my favorite planners, when I choose a planner I’m always on the lookout for specific features, such as: great monthly, weekly, and daily overviews; space for to-do lists and notes, smooth paper to write on, enough writing space, inspirational quotes or prompts, and most importantly an interesting layout or structure that helps me to stay on track, and achieve big goals!
Based on those criteria I’ve put together a list of what I consider to be the 7 best planners to achieve your goals in 2018.
The Erin Condren Life Planner is one of my all-time favorite planners. I included it in last year’s top list, and I’m including it again this year because this planner has every feature you could ever dream of.
First, it’s a full blown planning tool. The Erin Condren Life Planner helps you set goals, get clear on what you want, and take leadership in your life.
What makes the Erin Condren Life Planner so unique is the extensive level to which you can customize it:
- You can choose between a colorful or neutral theme. You can pick a cover (floral, artistic, neutral, colorful… you name it, it’s available!), or purchase different beautiful laminated covers so you can interchange them throughout the year for more variation.
- You have 3 options for your weekly layouts: vertical, hourly, or horizontal; and you can choose between a 12 or an 18 month option. Every new month has a beautiful internal cover page to collect ideas or notes. It also comes with inspiring quotes and words.
The weekly spread runs across two pages from Monday to Sunday, with a note section on the side and below every day of the week.
The Erin Condren Life Planners comes with a set of stickers to highlight important moments throughout the year: birthdays, vacation time, days off, and so on.
The planner also comes with year-at-a-glance pages. An overview of 12 squares (one for each month of the year) that runs across two pages. This spread is perfect for writing down, and keeping track of your monthly goals.
All of this makes the Erin Condren Life Planner one of my favorite planners. I find it easy to use, very practical, and beautiful and unique at the same time!
#2 Self Journal
What I like about the Self Journal is that it combines day-to-day to-do lists with your actions goals. Another one of it’s great – and unique – features is that this planner is date independent, meaning you can start using it at any time.
Some of the features of the Self Journal that I love include:
- Space in the journal pages for daily morning and evening gratitude.
- An evening routine that helps you reflect on your daily wins, and lessons learned.
- Daily targets to help you focus on the 3 top tasks you want to accomplish that day. I’ve found that focusing on only 3 top things to accomplish everyday works wonders in achieving goals, big and small.
- Weekly prompts to reflect and track your progress.
The length of the planner also differs from most other planners: 13 weeks instead of the usual 12 or 18 months. According to the creators of the Self Journal, they’ve chosen this time frame based on the science that 13 weeks – approximately a 3-month timespan – is the ideal time frame for goal setting. This 13-week roadmap is one of the power tools of the Self Journal, and a one-of-a-kind feature that I haven’t seen in other planners!
#3 The Planner
This planner, created by Carrie Green from the Female Entrepreneur Association, is the ultimate business planner to keep you inspired, focused & dreaming big.
The Planner is a limited-edition daily planner that covers an entire year of planning, and goal setting. When you’re flipping through the soft pages of this planner, you can’t help but think it was created by someone who knows A LOT about effective goal setting, and has a great sense of style.
The Planner has a luxurious powder pink & gold foiled cover, gold accented corners, and gold wire binding. The first pages of the planner are for yearly planning, and asking yourself powerful questions about what you want to achieve.
I absolutely love the monthly calendar spread, weekly planner pages and daily pages of this planner. On the daily pages you have space to list your 3 top goals of the day, a schedule from 7am until 10pm, and a section for notes. At the bottom of each page is an inspiration quote.
All of this, together with the free online course and monthly bonuses that come with The Planner, make it one of my top picks of the year!
The Daily Greatness journals, and planners remain some of my favorite planners! To me they are a beautiful mix between goal setting workbooks, to-do lists, and more common daily or monthly planners. The reason I love them so much is because they offer a ton of incredible tools to gain clarity about what you want, work on your goals, and achieve more by tracking your progress!
I particularly love the Business Planner, and the Daily Journal. The Business Planner is everything you need to be launch your business, or elevate your current one to the next level. It’s so good, that I recommend it to almost all of my business coaching clients! The Daily Journal offers the same mix of goal setting, planning, and progress tracking but for your personal life.
Daily Greatness also has a Training Journal, Wellness Journal, Yoga Journal, and Parents Journal. Worth checking out if you’re looking for more structure, and successful action-taking in your life or business.
The Ultimate Life Binder by Michelle from Secret OWL Society is one of the most complete, and versatile life planners available. Michelle is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who first created this binder when she discovered that she had lived the same year twice and that it had been a mediocre one.
The Ultimate Life Binder grew out of her desire to take 100% responsibility for her life and have her dreams, projects, and progress “all in one physical location”.
I’ve had the pleasure to talk to Michelle and she told me that the Ultimate Life Binder helped her to live her life on an upward spiral. She’s now at the 4th revised (extended) version of the binder and has sold more than 2500 copies all over the world.
What I love most about the Ultimate Life Binder is that it’s as if Michelle has thought about everything. And I mean – everything! Having it as a planning tool really makes you take 100% responsibility for your life, the tagline of her planner.
Within the binder you’ll find:
- Yearly overviews, goals overviews, monthly overviews, prompts to help you focus on a weekly and daily basis.
- Handy daily to-do pages with space to reflect on how you want to feel, what you’ll do to take care of yourself, and what you absolutely need.
- Fun lists for books you want to read, things you want to buy, courses you’re taking but also more practical overviews like password sheets to record your online passwords for safekeeping, goal breakdown worksheets, and even budgeting tools.
- Social media and blog post scheduling, and even travel planning sheets.
What’s so powerful about the Ultimate Life Binder is that Michelle has created a binder that addresses the important stuff, even when it’s not that sexy, like tracking your financials, or getting clear on the habits you need to build (or change) in order to be successful.
If you’re looking for the more intuitive planner, with different focus than traditional planners, it’s definitely worth checking out!
Rifle Paper Co. offers 12-month hardcover agendas and 17-month planners. I’m including them in this list because I still love myself a traditional agenda (call it melancholy), and because the ones from Rifle Paper Co are the perfect combination of a classic bestseller with the more contemporary take on planners we have today.
My favorite is the hardcover agenda. It’s a book cloth agenda, featuring a gold foil cover, illustrated end pages, and calendar and weekly views. It’s a classic design that never fails. At the beginning of the agenda there’s a section for important dates, organized by month. At the end of it you’ll find a contact listing (so old school, I love it!).
Each separate month comes with its own monthly overview spreading across two pages. This planner has a weekly spread format, so no daily pages here. However each day of the week has enough room for writing down your most important tasks, to-dos, and goals.
This hardcover agenda comes with an inside floral print on front and back cover pages. If you’re a fan of classic, timeless planners like I am, you want to check them out.
#7 Day Designer
The Day Designer is one of my favorite planners because it’s a real work of art. Not only is it a beautiful and intuitive planner, it’s also very spacious! My favorite look is still the classic one. How can you say no to a black, white, and gold combo?!
The Day Designer is a mix of worksheets, prompts, planning tools, and note sections. I love how the first pages of the planner offer different worksheets, each designed to help you find out your strengths, values, personal skills, vision, and passions. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that knowing yourself well helps to achieve your goals!
The Day Designer has a separate page for each day of the week, except for the weekend, where Saturday and Sunday share one page. Weekly schedules start on Monday, and every day has runs from 5am to 9pm. On the daily pages you’ll find prompts for your top 3 to-dos, inspirational quotes, a checklist, a gratitude section, space for dinner planning, and more.
The Day Designer also comes with a monthly calendar, a notes section, and space for projects and deadlines. What I like most about this planner is that it’s a little treasure chest where you can organize all of your ideas, tasks, goals, thoughts, and even memories!
Now it’s your turn. What planner are you currently using? And what do you love about it? Leave me a note in the comments below, because I’d really love to know.
Hi, I’m Murielle. I created the online course Soulful Productivity™, a 6-week program to redefine productivity and help you get from overwhelm to flow, and I have a private coaching practice where I help ambitious, multi-passionate creatives and entrepreneurs start, grow & scale businesses, and create their freedom lifestyle. PS: I love Instagram. Let’s connect!