YouTube is a decidedly digital world that contains a community of people who sing the praises of an ultra-analog object: the best productivity planners. Indeed, YouTube features thousands upon thousands of reviews of all manners of planners that promise to help focus the mind and help you get shit done.
And don’t get us wrong, we love a good app as much as the next millennial. But when it comes to being productive, sometimes you just need to put pen to paper.
So for those of us who don’t have time to create a bullet journal from scratch, here are a few of the best productivity planners that you can buy today, with YouTubers’ recos enthusiastically noted.
As Jess of the YouTube channel “Mason and Miles” explains, the productivity planner is set up in fives. You set the five most important tasks of the week, then the five secondary tasks, and five additional tasks. Then each day you set out your five tasks for that day and rank them by importance.
“The reason that I like this is because you can’t move down on to the other tasks unless you completed the first task,” says Jess.
Then at the end of the week, the planner has you do a review of what you accomplished, what you haven’t, and what you learned.
“It’s really great for having certain tasks, but not overwhelming yourself,” says Jess. “And being okay with the things that you’ve done and sort of appreciating the small accomplishments that you do make throughout the day.”
Plus, it’s got a guarantee! Amazon will issue you a full refund if you don’t love it.
If you’re looking for a one-and-done type of planner, the Living Well Planner might be right for you. Not only does it help you to plan for the year, season, month, and day, but it helps you in setting and planning your goals, budgeting, and getting your finances in order, plus reflecting upon your progress.
And as an added bonus, it’s adorable.
In a YouTube review, Tai of hisandhermoney.com says that not only is the Living Well planner “a planner’s dream,” but its online bonus features are as well. They “have a complete central website where they have helpful videos and how to’s on how to properly use the planner and different printables,” says Tai.
The Panda Panda is a calendar and gratitude journal that helps you drill into your goals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis without the huge pop of color and stickers that some other planners have.
Daily, the planner has sections for tasks, but also for a morning review where you can focus in on positive habits that make you happy. Weekly, the Panda planner helps you review the previous week so you can make the coming week better and reach your goals. And monthly, the Panda gives an overview, but also helps you to hone in on the things and activities you want to make habitual.
“This is very focused and really helps you organize your day with your thoughts,” saysJodi of “Life’s Organized Chaos” in her YouTube review.
If #1 on your list of goals is to set and meet your goals, then first of all, cool, and secondly, say hello to the Top Down Planner.
The Top Down is a daily and weekly planner that helps you focus on productive goal progress through everything from agenda setting, mind maps, checklists, and gratitude logs. Basically, the idea is that your plan should come from the top down—meaning your goals should be at the forefront of your schedule.
“You can definitely have functionality and decorating in your planner,” YouTuber Maite Victoria explains. “So, if you’re like me and you’re a visual person and you’re looking through some of the goals you set for this year and you’re saying, ‘You know what, I didn’t hit the mark on everything I wanted to hit the mark on this year,’ then I highly recommend checking out this planner because I felt motivated just flipping through it.”
The SELF Journal claims to offer “freedom in structure.” Through its daily, weekly, and monthly sections you can take high-level items and drill them down into plans you can actually focus on.
The planner helps you to set goals and reflect on lessons learned. Also, from a frugal standpoint, the SELF Journal is nice because the planner isn’t dated. So if you miss a day you’re not wasting a page. Just pick up where you left off.
YouTuber Amanda Bucci says the SELF Journal helps her to not only organize her day but “structures it with positivity and gratitude”.
Beyond being a daily, weekly, and monthly planner, the Passion Planner also contains a Passion Roadmap. The Roadmap is an annual exercise that helps you to set your goals and create actionable plans for reaching them in three months, one year, three years, and throughout your lifetime.
YouTuber Kristen Rivera raves, “I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for this planner.” She explains that she likes the Passion Planner’s worksheet sections, but she also loves the open notes section. “Sometimes you get a note section in a planner and there’s like one page of notes per month and that’s just not enough,” she says.
The Lifeplanner is colorful and customizable. You get your yearly and monthly layout, but when you order the planner, you choose your cover and how you want to view things each week—vertically, horizontally, hourly, or any combination of the three. From there the planner lays things out with bold colors and stickers!
Jen of YouTube Channel “Jen Plans” shows off all the stickers, which range from events to gratitude and goal planning.
The Day Designer Planner is all about finding balance while being productive. With goal-setting worksheets, weekend planning as well as week planning, a huge notes section, and daily inspirational quotes, no matter what type of work you do, the Day Designer has you covered.
Amanda of YouTube Channel “Amanda’s Favorites” says she particularly likes the top of each day page which has a top three for the day and then sections that read: Due, Dinner, Dollars, and Don’t Forget.
For a fully customizable experience, Agendio is the place to go because you can choose your type of planner, the configuration, the types of pages that are included. If you’re looking for a general daily, weekly, monthly configuration, go for the standard planner. Or if you’re looking for more of a personal growth planner, then the personal year calendar might be right for you. Regardless of your reason for using a planner, you’ll find one that works for you here without any extra stuff you won’t ever use.
Jasmine of the YouTube channel “Study Quill” uses her Agendio as a replacement for a bullet journal because with how busy she is she’s found that it’s “taking an unreasonable amount of time to draw all of my different layouts for my bullet journal.” She say that she was able to choose an Agendio layout that was similar to the one she was creating herself which made the transition smooth. “There are a few flaws but it’s completely customizable and really well made,” she says.