The Hunt For The Perfect Daily Planner

I like to make plans, even I don’t always meet every goal. With the fresh energy of the new year, it’s easy to jump on the plans-for-the-new-year boat. Every year that I’ve started a planner I’ve ditched it part way through. Usually, March or April and then I pick up in August or September, and I’m done by October. Daily journaling takes up too much time in my chaotic life. I don’t have a chance to plot out more than the timed appointment on a regular basis. The week ahead goals are the best mode for me, but as a writer, homeschool mom and with the thirty other hats I wear, planning takes a ton of time that I don’t have to spend. That said, I want more organization in my life. I want my goals stated. I want to check off little boxes and hi-light triumphs. I want the gorgeous bullet journal that I don’t have time to make.

Instead, I took the time to compile a list of specialized planners. Some of the sites have a free download or two. Right now I have a couple of favorites. Within my writing group, it seems like the passion planner has the most followers, which makes it attractive, but doesn’t mean it will work for me.

I almost bailed on the whole idea after doing this research. I printed sample pages and figured I could piece-meal the planner along until things fall apart naturally, then pick up the momentum again. But after watching Simon Sinek speak,

I revised my position. Sinek suggests that the dopamine boost you get from meeting goals drives you to the next goal. By visually planning your goals and visually meeting them by crossing them off, you feel energized to meet more goals and forge on.

So, back to the planner search phase. I filled out the Brilliant weekly planner I already have and realized that it’s inferior to my needs. It doesn’t have the big goal list, and it doesn’t have enough space for weekly/daily/monthly tasks. It does an excellent job of keeping the weekly tasks in front of me at the keyboard, so I expect it will end up being used as a complement to my bigger planner. With a set of colored pens and a tiny window of time blocked out for Sunday night planning, I think I can do it. In fact, I will make it a goal—to use and update the planner. I’m not ready to dive into bullet journaling, but I’ve included it for others.

If I’ve missed a much-loved planner, please message me! I’d love to hear about it.

Here’s the list I chose from – in no particular order:

Law of Attraction Planner

I hate the instant play video on the home page, and that the planner is displayed to make me want to place an order. I love the covers. In the end, I don’t think this is the right planner for me – but it’s hard to tell, as they don’t show you the rest of the planner pages to make a decision easier.

The Passion Planner

Expensive and might be worth it. I can see the attraction. I like that they are upfront with what’s inside.

The Novel Planner

This might be fantastic if I needed a planner to plan a particular work. I’m working on too many projects to make this useful.

The Writer’s Year

It’s free, and it looks really helpful. I have my free pages printed out and ready to fill in.

Free Planner and Submission Tracker

Edited Year Planner 

This one looks too open for possibilities for me. The colorful set up actually turns me away from it, where others might be drawn. But you can try out pages – I like that.

Freebie sample Freebie planner sample:

Author’s Essentials Planner

Difficult to tell what I’m buying from the small photos. It looks like it might work for me, but I can’t tell.

Panda Planner

This looks open format enough it might work for me. I like there is an updated version.

Author Life Planner

Might be interesting. I didn’t like that someone in a review of it had to go get it spiral bound to use it effectively. I also don’t like that I can’t see what I’m buying.


This looks more collegiate than I need. I’ve had planners like this that I’ve ended up with most of the pages blank at the end of the year.


Ink & Volt 

(also known as the Kickstarter Spark Notebook)

This system looks really attractive. I’m not sure if it will work for me, but I might be willing to give it a shot after perusing their site.

2016 Free Pages:

Free Monthly Calendar Sheets to test

Planner Pads

These look interesting, but the website doesn’t tell me enough about them.

Momentum Planners

They offer some free pages as well and some specialized productivity tool worksheets:

The Dream Book

More on the big picture taking – but an interesting perspective and layout. Not for my current lifestyle.

Franklin Covey

I’ve used this system in years past. It’s detailed and what worked best for me was the weekly compass. The daily pages didn’t work in my chaotic life. I kept it going for a while, but when the year had passed by I shredded the pages and kept the Weekly Compass folder – which I still use.

Writer’s Planner & Motivation Guide

Bullet Journal System 

(Not a pre-made planner – do it yourself) Look on Pinterest for lots of ideas!

Free Author Monthly Planner

I love the format of this – more big picture.

Brilliant Weekly Planner

Not Dated: I have this one, and it works well in a format for plotting the week ahead, and it sits in front of my computer standing up.

Prism Weekly Scheduler

The Productivity Pages

Free Planner Sticker Template

A bunch of writer worksheets here.

Pinterest has a plethora of boards that have worksheets. I found a bunch that I printed out to work on specific projects.

A great list of Writer’s Tools

And my favorite pens:


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