The Best Planners for 2020, According to Our Editors
We've rounded up the planners our staff swears by so you can prepare for the new year in style.
While there are many calendar apps available for your phone, tablet, or computer, we've found that digital scheduling can't replace a paper planner when it comes to organizing meetings and actually sticking to this year's resolutions. With so many styles and patterns to choose from, it’s easy to pick out a planner that looks pretty. What’s not as easy to determine is which planner will be most functional for your everyday life.
Not to worry: Our editors have gathered the ultimate roundup of pretty and practical planners. Find one that matches your needs, or learn how you can create your own custom design. Plus, our favorite planners start at just $10, so you can organize your life without having to rethink your budget.
Day Designer Original Daily Planner
The Day Designer is one of our favorite planners because of the add-ons, including free printables for holiday planning, weekly meal planning, bucket lists, and even daily planning pages for especially hectic days. We're also a big fan of how much writing space each page offers. Their hard-cover spiral-bound planners are 8.5 by 11 inches, with 10 blank lines per weekday and a corresponding daily to-do checklist with room for 10 tasks. "The design is gorgeous, and I like how detailed and broken down each day is— you can plan hour by hour if you want—so it's almost impossible to forget something," says Rachel Wermager, editorial associate at BHG.com. "I love the stickers for special occasions, and I also like that it has sections to set goals for the whole year." Day Designer planners are available at Office Depot, Target, Walmart and Amazon, so they're easily accessible too.
Rifle Paper Co. Classic Planner
This 2020 planner is available in the classic spiral-bound format, as well as with a hard cover that wraps around the spiral binding for extra protection. Planners by Rifle Paper Co. include monthly and weekly views, inspirational quotes, and a ruled pocket in the back that makes it easy to keep track of small things like notes or business cards. Plus, for the first time ever, they include sticker sheets. This year’s planners span from August 2019 to December 2020.
Emily Ley Simplified Planner
This Emily Ley planner is a must-have for anyone with a hectic schedule. Each page of the Simplified planner features one day with an hourly timeline from 6 a.m. through 9 p.m., a to-do list column with 16 spaces to check off tasks, along with a large blank section for notes. The daily planner is perfect for anyone who has several meetings or appointments throughout the day since the design makes it easy to schedule things down to the hour. The weekly design features seven days on a spread with a shortened version of each day’s notes and tasks along with space to check off weekly tasks like meal planning and tidying up for the week ahead. "I've been in love with The Simplified Planner for the last six years," says Rachel Haugo, BHG.com deputy editor. "I'm currently using the 12-month weekly version and love the format where each spread is a week at a glance. Another bonus: each sheet of paper is thick (which means my weeks don't blend together). It gives me enough space to keep track of my personal to-do lists, reminders, appointments, and even has a daily spot for dinners, while also having enough space to add in info for my two kids, husband, dog, etc. If you like minimalist white design with a sprinkle of cheerful colors, this planner is for you!"
Target + Blue Sky Planner
This planner is one of the most functional and affordable planners available. It retails for just under $10 and has all the basic elements of planners with larger price points. The Blue Sky planner includes a durable cover in a variety of styles and patterns, as well as plenty of space to write. The design features one week per each two-page spread, meaning you can see the full week at once without sacrificing valuable writing space.
Weekly Planner Pad
If you have a small workspace or if you tend to have a lot of things on your desk at all times, a weekly planner pad can be more helpful than a large planner. This planner pad is easy to keep by your keyboard for jotting down notes or small tasks that don't necessarily need to go in a planner. "I use a weekly planner pad for work and find it more helpful than a traditional planner when I'm scheduling small work tasks," says Emily VanSchmus, assistant holidays editor at BHG.com. "I use my regular planner to keep track of meetings and large deadlines, but I like being able to keep a running list of daily tasks on my weekly planner pad right at my desk. I also love that it doesn't get in the way like a large fold-out planner can, which means my to-do list is always in sight." This planner pad includes 50 sheets without dates so you can start it any day (and you won't waste unused weeks!) and is pretty enough to showcase on your desk.
Ban.do is one of the most popular brands of planners because of the variety. Choose from their collection of spiral-bound planners, hardcover planners, spiral-bound planners with an outer hard-cover shell, and a new binder format. "I'm mildly obsessed with Ban.do planners," says Caitlin Sole, BHG.com home editor. "I always get the case-bound version because I find spiral planners tend to snag on items in my purse. The 12-month planner offers weekly and monthly views, color-coded tabs, and fun quotes and motivational quips throughout. Plus, it has stickers, so even a dentist appointment can look stylish." The planners come in four sizes: classic, medium, large and the binder format, which allows you to add extra pouches and pages to fit your exact organizational needs.
Lilly Pulitzer Agenda
Another functional and straightforward planner design is the agenda from Lilly Pulitzer. It holds weekly and monthly calendar pages, with each week laid out on a two-page spread. Weekdays have a large amount of writing space and weekends are slightly smaller. This 2020 planner also comes with a notes section, sticker pages, and a place to record important dates throughout the year, making it super easy to transfer things like birthdays or anniversaries to the next year without having to flip through every single month. This year’s planners also come with a new pen loop feature, so you won’t risk losing your writing utensil on the way to a meeting or while you’re transporting your planner.
Erin Condren LifePlanner
Erin Condren planners are also a popular choice available year after year, and the LifePlanner is one of the most customizable planners. They're also one of the more expensive brands, but the cost is totally worth it because you can completely tailor it to your exact needs. Add your name to the front, choose your weekly layout (this is huge!), and pick the color scheme used throughout the pages. "This graphic planner is so interactive, getting your life in order will feel like a game," says Allison Maze Vancura, special projects editor at BHG.com. "View weekly or monthly spreads, signal important dates with cheerful stickers, and even snap in pre-printed lists and tabs. As a leftie, I also love the coiled design."
Cupcakes and Cashmere Agenda
You already know we love Blue Sky's yearly planners, and now they've teamed up with Cupcakes and Cashmere for a gorgeous daisy-print agenda. The clean design has features you're used to, like monthly spreads and days broken out by the hour, but it also offers free space for notes. This is one of our favorite ways to keep track of busy days because you can jot a few notes down directly next to each scheduled appointment.