Best Productivity Planners

5 Best Productivity Planners for Real Work in 2024

If you are a fan of paper productivity planners, welcome to the club. I and millions of users still use them. Even in today’s advanced tech world, connecting the brain to pen and paper remains one of the best ways to think and plan.

Still, trying to find the best productivity planner is tricky. Many don’t provide everything you need, and many carry similar traits, leaving you wondering which is best.

I am a home office designer and planning junkie who constantly searches for tools and strategies to boost productivity. I have used the top paper planners and organizational systems and found the ones that deserve a place in your home office setup.

Here is my list of the best productivity planners for 2024. I review each planner’s pros and cons and follow the list with an easy-to-read table showing how each planner stacks up.

Please note that some designs may contain affiliate links. As an affiliate, I may receive a commission for recommendations or purchases made through links on my website without any extra cost to you. For more information, please read my disclaimer.

Summary:

A productivity planner often looks like a standard notebook from the outside, but don’t judge the book by its cover! A productivity planner is a goal planner designed to help you set goals and stay on track with monthly, weekly, and daily milestones. Many also provide note pages to help you keep your thoughts organized.

A typical productivity planner has a:

  • Section for goal-setting
  • Calendar / Monthly Planner
  • Weekly Planner
  • Daily Planner
  • Daily To-do list
  • Habit tracker
  • Weekly reflection
  • 90-day time period
  • Notes pages

(Note: The goal planners in my list contain note pages next to each day and in the back, helping you jot down ideas as they come. Also, this list is paper planners only. For electronic versions, check out my list of the best note taking tablets.)

Best Overall Planner

Best Self Journal Best Productivity Planners

Pros:

  • The only truly undated planner on this list
  • The system avoids wasted daily and weekly pages
  • Clean comparisons for weekly and daily evaluations
  • Lies completely flat
  • Multiple colors to choose from
  • Has Pomodoro blocks

Cons

Dotted grid pages may not be for you

My Thoughts

If you want to stay tightly focused on your goals and hate wasting pages, this planner is for you. It has a brilliant setup. Other planners have days of the week named on each page (while not having dates), but this planner leaves the names out, making each page fully customizable. It is a truly undated planner. You can stop and start anytime you like.

Like other planners, it has daily and weekly evaluation pages, but the weekly evaluations are grouped at the front, once again helping you avoid empty pages. This also means the weekly evaluations are directly across from each other, providing easy comparisons. You also get the most ribbons than any other on this list, making it easy to reference that weekly section. The company also offers a digital planner version, helping you avoid paper without losing some of the experience.

It has a slightly tighter focus than the next planner in my list, the Full Focus system, but this helps you prioritize what is truly most important. Even then, it aids with holistic life planning. It has a Benchmark page with health, finances, relationships, and mindfulness categories. It even has a bucket list for the year. I had a tight focus on my overall life goals.

It uses a numbered grading system to help you spot what areas need improvement, making evaluations clear and simple. The book has Pomodoro blocks on each daily page, which I find extremely useful. The planner also lies flat as a board.

I have some trouble with dot grid pages, but the organization of this book was so good that I still used it. There is no monthly snapshot, but I don’t use that anyway.

I was very impressed with this product- so much so that it is the one that I filled up entirely.

Best Thorough Planner

Buy: Full Focus Store

Pros:

  • The most comprehensive planner on the list
  • True clarity in achieving your goals
  • Attractive design
  • Two sizes, including a handy travel size
  • Extensive range of colors

Cons:

  • The large size is pretty bulky, and the small size is a bit too small.
  • The paper doesn’t lie flat in the book version (other versions are available)
  • Day names are indicated, which can lead to wasted paper

My Thoughts

If you are looking for the most in-depth productivity system, this is it. You get everything you need to plan and schedule multiple goals and milestones and track them throughout the year. Choose from book, coiled, or binder designs.

One of the biggest standouts of this planner is the number of goals (13 overall) and morning/evening rituals. It is also one of the best-looking planners and has the most empty note pages.

The book is so large that even the single note page next to each daily page gives you plenty of room to write. The large pages are so hard to fill up, so much so that I felt I was wasting paper. Still, you can’t say it doesn’t deliver. It is by far the best daily planner in terms of thoroughness.

The planner is long and thick, and combined with the paper style, the planner feels more like a book than a planner. The travel-size version is smaller and a fantastic solution while traveling, but the bigger version gives you more room to breathe. The fonts are also big, but that may be what you like.

This planner doesn’t contain an in-depth daily habit tracker, but the ritual section still provides some tracking. It does have a generic week planner that helped me realistically envision and fine-tune my daily routines throughout the week.

The book-bonded version doesn’t lay flat, but the coil and binder versions do.

Best Focus on Tight Goals

Finisher's Joural

Buy: Finisher Secrets

Pros

  • The tightest goal focus on this list
  • Weekly evaluations are grouped together
  • early 5 a.m. start time

Cons

Day names are indicated, which can lead to wasted paper

My Thoughts

If you want tighter goals, The Finisher’s Journal is the planner for you. You can define just two goals, and even then, the planner wants you to prioritize one over the other so you know what is most important. It also offers a page to outline three habits to help you achieve those goals.

Like other planners, this book also lays out the “Big 3” tasks of the day, again prioritizing one over the others so you clearly understand what is most important each day.

Like the Full Focus system, you can plant morning and evening routines. And like the Self Journal, all the week evaluations are grouped for easy comparisons. The book has the day’s names indicated, which means you waste paper unless you use it daily. (If you do, you are a hero.)

The daily calendar section stops at 8 p.m., earlier than other planners, but also starts at 5 a.m.

Productivity Planner Quarterly Planner

Best Eco Planner

Pros

  • It is the only actual
  •  eco design
  • Attractive design
  • Excellent habit tracker
  • Has Pomodoro blocks

Cons

  • Named pages
  • Doesn’t lay flat

My Thoughts

If you care about the environment and still want an excellent planner, this is the one you need.

I started my journey into productivity planners with the company’s Productivity Planner – aptly named. It was very streamlined

and made for Pomodoro planning, but to keep up with the competition, it changed a bit over time, and in good ways. I remember receiving an email from them as a subscriber inquiring what users need in the design. It was verydetailed. Afterward, it came up with this quarterly planner design.

This planner has all the benefits of other planners but a few key traits that set it apart. Firstly, it is the only eco design. This planner is 100% recycled, biodegradable, AND FSSC certified, and has a 1–% natural fabric exterior, whereas others use synthetic or leather covers. This trait may sound like a big deal, but it is. Book materials are seldom eco.

Like other planners, it is not dated but has date names, so you must keep up with it to avoid wasted pages (unless you skip a whole week). The weekly reviews come after the end of each week, like the Full Focus system.

It has a terrific habit tracker and still contains Pomodoro blocks, which I find extremely useful. The pages don’t fall flat, which is a bummer, but it’s gorgeous. The company also has a ton of added accessories.

Best Customizable Productivity Planner

Franklin Covey Planner

Visit the FranklinPlanner website

Pros

  • Effective yet simple system
  • Fully customizable
  • Massive number of colors, sizes, and designs
  • The paper fits other planner makers

Cons

The company’s cover designs can use some improvement

My Thoughts

If you want a tried-and-true system that gives you the most flexibility in functionality, this is my pick. Back when paper planners and secretaries were the only effective ways of staying organized, FranklinPlanner reigned supreme for paper systems. Since this blog is all about paper systems, I can’t NOT mention it.

Overall, the company reminds me a bit of Google when it got started: the look of the system wasn’t glamorous, but it worked better than anything else in the market. The FranklinPlanner system was so effective that I was gifted a class during my time in advertising. I was very impressed with how thought-out the system was and how well it worked, and still use it now and then. Here is a basic idea of how the system works. Simple, yet effective.

Over time, the company has put together more styles, including new colors, designs, and companion books that work along with the company’s organizational system to keep you moving forward. You can view all the company’s options on the FranklinPlanner website. They also offer luxurious binders, but if you don’t like them, the paper does fit in some other binder systems for an improved look.

The planners come as binders or spiral book planners. The binder system is what I am focusing on here because it gives you the most flexibility in terms of customization. The company makes goal sheets for goal setting, and you can create and organize as many goals as you like. You can buy dateless pages, create and chart habits, and have endless note pages. You can also go far beyond 90 days or go fewer. The only limits are your imagination – and the size of the binder.

This concept doesn’t have weekly or monthly evaluation pages, but you can create any page you like and easily track your goal progress.

Comparison Table

Here is a quick snapshot of how each planner compares in terms of features:

NameSelf JournalFull Focus PlannerFinisher’s JouralQuarterly PlannerFranklin Planner
Monthly calendarNoYesNoYesYes
Dated/UndatedUndatedUndated / namedUndated / namedUndated / namedDated
Colors78Black w/ goldGreyMassive
Size – option 15.75″ x 8.5″2: 6×9″ or 4.5″ x 7″5.75″ x 8.5″‎8.66″L x 5.91″W4 sizes
Pages240304303Endless
Book/spiral/binderBookAll 3BookBookSpiral /binder
CoverlinenVegan linen or leather100% nat. fabricLeath, faux, plast, ppr
Digital option?YesNoNoNoYes
Place holderStrapStrapStrapNoneBookmark
Lays flatYesNoYesNoYes
Contents pageYesYesNoYes
IndexYesYesYesNoYes
Page numbersYesYesYesYesNo
# of days90909090Endless
PomodorosYesNoNoYesNo
# of ribbons3222NA
Tearable cornersYesNoNoNoNo
Goals quantity31327Endless
12-month ViewNoYesNoYesYes
Habits GoalsYesRitualsYesYesYes
Habit trackerYesRitualsYesYesYes
Daily RitualsNoYesYesNoYes
Daily scoreYesNoNoYesNo
Bucket listYesNoNoNoYes
Project TrackerNoYesNoNoYes
Start up ritualNoYesYesNoYes
Shut down ritualNoYesYesNoYes
Week planningNoYesNoNoYes
Week PlanYesYesYesYesYes
Weekly Big 3sYesYesYes5!No
Week in ReviewYesYesYesYesNo
Quarterly reviewYesYesYesYesNo
Inside pocketYesYesYesNoYes
More note pagesYes: 18Yes: 13YesYes
AccessoriesYesYesNoYesYes
Wholistic planningYesYesNoNo, but has books;Yes
Page per day22221 or more
Notes page / dayYesYesYesYesYes
Big 3s per pageYesYesYesYesNo
Daily tasksNoYesYesVery few;Yes
Note page designDot gridLinedDot gridLinedLined
Gratitude boxYesNoNoYesNo
Habit checkboxYesRitualsYesYes
Morning check boxYesYesYesNoNo
Calendar timing6 a.m.- 9 p.m.5:30 a.m.- 9 p.m.5 a.m. – 8 p.m.6:00 am – 9:30 p.m.7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Recap / daily winYesYesYesYesNo
Plan to reality scoreYesNoYesNo
Evening checkboxNAYesYesNoNo
Shut down boxNAYesYesNoNo
Price$25.00$42/$49$36.99$35.00Ranges

Buyers Guide: How I Conducted My Research

When doing our research to find the best product, I determined using these factors:

  • Planning options
  • Attractiveness
  • Paper waste

Wrap Up

There you have it: my list of the best productivity planners for 2024. It is a short list, but when you dial into what is best for optimal productivity, the list doesn’t need to be long. Regardless of how many goals you have, the above options give you what you need.