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Best planner 2021: Get organised with the best diaries, planners and personal organisers

Caroline Preece
30 Nov 2021
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Plan, diarise and organise your life and goals with our pick of the best diaries, planners and organisers

The best planners help you tackle to-do lists, schedule productive days and never lose track of your appointments. We all aspire to be more organised, and while some people live by apps and digital calendars in the cloud, some of us still prefer something physical and concrete; the solid, indelible stroke of pen on paper. If you’re firmly in the latter camp, then you’re no stranger to the tactile joy of a good quality diary, planner or daily organiser.

An increasing number of companies are bringing diaries and planners into the modern age with layouts better tailored to suit individual needs, helpful features and task-specific refinements, making them so much more than a place to jot down meetings. It's also becoming increasingly common to find undated planners, allowing you to start diarising at any time during the calendar year.

To help you find your ideal planner, we’ve scoured the internet for the best available, helping you to start organising your days sooner rather than later.


The best planners at a glance


How to choose the best planner for you

Can I get a planner for a specific purpose?

Yes, there are now purpose-designed planners for a variety of needs, such as tracking your diet, exercise, travel, spending and general wellbeing. Traditional diary-style planners still have their place, of course, but many examples in this list take the concept much further, allowing you to organise well beyond your weekly schedule. Non-dated diaries are also perfect for tracking specific goals.

Can I buy a planner that won’t go out of date?

Speaking of non-dated planners, this format eliminates one of the biggest issues with more basic planners. Most of us think about purchasing a brand new diary either at the beginning or in the middle of the year because this is when dated diaries tend to start. While you may find a couple of fixed-date planners in our roundup, most are non-dated, allowing you to pick them up at any time of year. Getting rid of this feature means that your planner will be current for as long as it takes for you to fill it. These work to your schedule, rather than the other way around. 

READ NEXT: Best back to school supplies to send them back prepared

The best planners to buy in 2021

1. Daily Inspirational Lifestyle Planner: Best life planner

Price: £26 | Buy now from Not on the High Street

If motivational quotes stir your soul, then this planner from Not on the High Street is a supremely elegant way to collate your appointments, habits and goal tracking. Spaces for your intentions, priorities and to-dos on a given day are at the top of each page, and many sections are sandwiched between inspirational quotations. Available in three colours, you can even personalise the planner, so it’s a perfect gift either for yourself or for a friend.

Key specs – Dated: No; View: Monthly-daily

Buy now from Not on the High Street


2. The 6-Minute Diary: Best planner for morning people

Price: £23 | Buy now from Amazon

The ideal companion for your morning coffee, The 6-Minute Diary has become incredibly popular for those looking to take control of their day before it even gets started. Kicking off with three minutes of reflection in the morning, the diary also includes pages for three minutes of evening reflection, weekly mindfulness and productivity techniques, and habit tracking. It’s not your traditional diary spanning 12 months, but the pages aren’t dated so you can dip in and out as you go through the year.

Key specs – Dated: No; View: Weekly


3. Artfan 2022 Diary: Best 2022 pocket planner

Price: £16 | Buy now from Amazon

Clean and simple, this pocket-sized diary from Artfan provides you with everything you need for a headstart on the new year. It features a double-spread overview of the month ahead, along with an organised weekly breakdown of your schedule. For practicality, you’ll also find plenty of space for notes, an address book and a handy storage pocket within the cover for keeping track of loose notes and receipts. While there’s nothing groundbreaking about this diary, it covers the fundamentals and it covers them well – and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.

Key specs – Dated: Yes; View: Monthly-weekly


4. Smart Planner: Best planner for busy people

Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

A great companion for hectic lifestyles, the Smart Planner belongs in the positivity journal family but takes a much more pragmatic approach. It provides sections for travel and financial planning alongside pages such as birthday lists, daily planning and motivational quotes. If you really want to think ahead, there’s even a bucket list section, and a free e-book covering the basics of organisation comes free with your purchase.

Key specs – Dated: No; View: Weekly-daily


5. Legend Planner: Best for goal-setters

Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

Blast through your week and crush your goals with the Legend Planner. Behind the attractively designed cover, you’ll find a year’s worth of undated pages: simply write in the date of your first Monday and crack on. There are monthly and weekly views, along with plenty of dedicated pages for to-do lists, ideas and goal setting. While creating a “legendary life” isn’t guaranteed, you’ll certainly be off to a cracking start.

Key specs – Dated: No; View: Weekly-daily


6. TABi A4 Note Organiser: Best planner for business

Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

A project management tool as much as it is a planner, the TABi A4 Note Organiser is the humble notebook dialled up to 11. The design of sections and tabs makes it near impossible to lose your place, eliminating those awkward moments of trying to find a particular note or piece of information, and it allows you to keep everything in one place instead of spread across multiple pads and bits of paper. If your job requires you to manage multiple projects at once, it may be the helping hand you need.

Key specs – Dated: N/A; View: Project


7. Health and Fitness Planner: Best planner for active lifestyles

Price: £12 | Buy now from Paperchase

Keep track of your health and smash those fitness goals with Paperchase’s Health and Fitness planner. This journal puts your physical wellbeing where it belongs, front and centre. Unlike some fitness journals, this one avoids focusing solely on weight, instead featuring a clear weekly overview with dedicated entries for your food diary, exercise and step counts, and even space to track your daily water intake. No matter what your workout goals, with the right level of organisation, this planner can help you achieve them.

Key specs – Dated: No; View: Weekly-daily

Buy now from Paperchase


8. My Study Planner: Best planner for students

Price: £20 | Buy now from Paperchase 

A desktop organiser you can depend on throughout the school year, Paperchase’s My Study Planner is brimming full of material. Open it up and you’ll find a pad for your notes, a complete planner with a weekly view and sections laid out for your timetables and study plans. There’s also a budget tracker, which could come in incredibly handy! The My Study Planner is a great assistant for planning your day, wherever it might take you.

Key specs – Dated: No; View: N/A

Buy now from Paperchase


9. Legend Budget Planner: Best for budget planning

Price: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

Keeping on top of your ingoings and outgoings is an essential, but let’s face it, rather dull task. The Legend Budget Planner aims to assist you in managing your finances by making the whole chore a little more approachable. Whether you’re managing your household expenses are saving for something special, the Legend Budget Planner breaks down your finances into manageable chunks, with monthly tracking and an annual overview. There’s also plenty of space set aside for you to jot down your short- and long-term financial goals.

Key specs – Dated: No; View: Yearly-daily

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