Last year, one of my top articles on Inc was a roundup of the planners that I recommended for maximizing productivity, honing your focus, and getting more done in 2017. So this year, I'm revisiting some of those favorites and adding some new ones to the list, to help you set yourself up for a productive 2018.
Pick this planner if: You're a chronic procrastinator.
This was one of the most loves planners from last year's planner roundup. As I said, then, "this minimal planner is all about accountability, guiding you through setting monthly, weekly, and daily priorities and goals." The daily pages are spacious, giving you plenty of room for listing out tasks, priorities, and twice-daily check-ins. This is great for keeping yourself accountable and making sure that the way you spend your time each day is aligned to your goals.
Pick this planner if: Productivity is not your strong suit, but you want to improve.
Last year, I featured another planner from John Lee Dumas, host of the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast, called The Freedom Journal, an undated goal-setting planner to help you "set and accomplish your No. 1 goal in 100 days." This follow-up is focused as much on mastering the art of productivity as it is on helping you accomplish a goal, teaching you how to manage your time, organize your priorities and set intentions you can actually follow through on. This is a good companion to any of the other planners, teaching you how to make best use of your time regardless of how you track it.
Pick this planner if: You want to become a morning person.
If you're resolving to become more of a morning person in 2018, or to adopt the habit of "morning pages," then this planner is a good place to start. It include nightly prompts for the next day's priorities and tasks to move toward them, ensuring that you start every morning with a clear action plan from the moment you wake up. (It comes in two colors too: Beige and Sunrise Red, so you can pick whichever suits your preferences).
Pick this planner if: You don't like pre-made planners and want creative freedom.
A bullet journal is a great option for folks who want to be able to design their own planner experience. It's more of a system for productivity planning than a specific journal, giving you a key for logging and tracking activities and tasks, but allowing you to design the layouts in whatever way you feel inspired to. I wrote this "Entrepreneur's Guide to Bullet Journaling" for Inc earlier this year with all my recommendations for the notebooks, pens, stencils, stamps, and other supplies you need to get your own bullet journal started.
Pick this planner if: You want to foster a daily creative habit and plan colorfully.
Adult coloring has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, and this planner helps integrate that creative expression into your daily habit and routine, with plenty of blank outlined pages and small sections of planner pages for coloring in, all inspired by nature. It includes weekly and monthly layouts, so it's not optimized to heavily packed daily agendas, but leaves plenty of room for noting meetings, commitments and important dates throughout the year. (There's a version with geometric designs too, if you prefer the abstract to the natural.)
Pick this planner if: You want to design your own planner to suit your needs.
If you don't have the creativity, drawing or hand-lettering skills to create your own bullet journal from scratch, but want some flexibility in your planner's layouts, then Agendio might be a great option. Their site allows you to select from multiple products, layouts, page insert options, and individual page design options to suit your preferences, so the planner you end up with is exactly what you need.
Pick this planner if: You are focused on being mindful and reflecting more often.
This list-style workbook made last year's list too, and was among those I received most feedback about. Like its precursor, The 52 Lists Project, this journal from Moorea Seal features a weekly list-based prompt, which will help you focus on those things that make you smile. It's not designed for tracking meetings, appointments or tasks, so would make a great companion to a more agenda-based planner.