Top Product: Academic Smart Planner | $23 | Amazon
As a perpetual student—or well, as someone who at least feels like I’ve been in school for centuries with the last two COVID-prompted virtual semesters of grad school behind me—I feel like I know my way around planner options. I’m really big on at least the illusion of having-it-all-togetherness, and a nice planner with my assignments and writing deadlines all written out in front of me makes me feel like I’ve got it all together—even if I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done just yet.
Maybe you’re the same way? We’re still early in the semester and there is still time to pull yourself together if you’re struggling with pandemic fatigue and procrastination. One of these bright planners might help you figure out a plan to stay on track with goals this year.
Here’s my breakdown of the best planners for college students. Really though, whether you’re working on your Bachelor’s, struggling through graduate school, or are far out of college and just need to get a little more organized with your work schedule, something here is likely to be a good fit.
Best Overall: Moleskine 18 Month 2020-2021 Planner
Moleskine Weekly Planners are perfect for a variety of needs, including business planning, bullet journals, travel planning, drawing/sketch diaries, and reading journals. One great thing about Moleskine monthly & weekly planners is that they come with grids and pages that can be used for to-do lists and project tracking to ensure you’re on track to reaching your goals.
These planners are also made from high-quality materials, including creamy, thick paper pages that are perfectly textured for writing with a ballpoint pen, marker, or pencil.
Best Productivity: Simple Elephant Daily
Are you looking to take control of your destiny this year? Then, say no more. The Simple Elephant Daily planner is perfect for organizing your thoughts and schedule.
This product even comes with a mind map and vision board to encourage the incorporation of intention in your everyday life. There is also space for you to pursue a 90-day or monthly gratitude plan, so you can manifest the 2021 of your dreams.
As a bonus, this stylish agenda is made from soft faux-leather (i.e. no animal cruelty here!) and has no-bleed paper. This planner is available in a variety of colors and also comes with stickers if you’re into personalization.
Best Goal: The Very Busy Planner
I like to use my planner space not just to plan for what’s ahead in my week, but to also plan farther ahead and to track my progress toward certain long-term goals. If you’re the same way, you might want to check out Amy Knapp’s The Very Busy Planner.
This beautiful little planner is compact but has plenty of space to track your class assignments while not skimping on creative prompts to get you thinking of possibilities for self-improvement. For example, each month it has a beautifully illustrated page asking you to reflect on what went well and what could have gone better. There are also gorgeously drawn pages with just plain practical things a planner should have, like a page to keep track of birthdays and another to plan holiday shopping lists. Plus, it has tons of colorful stickers in the back, and I don’t know about you, but I still enjoy stickers from time to time. The Very Busy Planner is overall a great option for college students who want to plan and reflect in equal measure. But it could work, really, for any adult wanting to look inward and works toward improving themselves on a regular basis. I’ve been using this one for a little bit now, and I just can’t help but feel inspired using a planner as bright and positive as this one. It’s also small enough to easily fit in your backpack or most purses.
The only drawback, I would say, is that this planner is a dated one, so it can only be used through December 2021. I can honestly see myself tearing out some of the evergreen pages, though, to keep on track with long-term goals.
Best for Women: She Believed She Could So She F*cking Did
Sometimes, getting your sh*t together can be stressful. Luckily, Sourcebooks is making that project a little bit more fun by infusing the process with a healthy dose of humor. Packed with hilarious motivational phrases and badass affirmations, the She Believed She Could So She F*cking Did is a must-have for the ladies in your life getting it done!
Keep track of your important appointments and events with the planner’s sarcastic stickers, which include “payday, bitches,” “another sh*tty meeting,” “someone’s f*cking birthday,” and more.
This 6" x 8" planner has a durable hardcover and double spiral wire-o binding for easy writing and to last the full 18-months. It’s also beautifully designed with floral patterns and is manufactured in an environmentally responsible way.
Best Academic: Papier Beach Towel
While we all love a good Google Calendar, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of putting pen to paper. The Papier Beach Towel Academic Calendar spans from August ’21 to July ’22. It also comes with handy timetables for tracking your finances, grades, deadlines, and even your meal plans.
Plus, it comes with structured weekly pages, so you can break down the stressful parts of your study schedule into easily digestible chunks.
Best Undated: Eccolo Spiral Bound Planner, Weekly and Monthly
The Eccolo World Traveler Undated Planner is perfect for those who want to start their planners at any time that they’d like. It’s broken down by monthly and weekly sections and ample room to take notes. And did I mention the to-do list sections? I don’t know about you, but I love a good to-do list. It helps me keep my day organized and moving along speedily.
Plus, this planner’s cover design is absolutely beautiful, designed by the artist Barbra Ignatiev.
This story was originally published by Elizabeth Lanier on 02/01/2021 and updated with new information by Juliana Clark on 08/12/2021.