people's choice

The Best Planners on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Antonia Hille/Getty Images

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written before about a certain outstanding Japanese planner, and Smythson’s pricey diary that writer Leah Bhabha calls “planner nirvana,” because it is the first week of the new year (and because planners tend to be very personal choices), here we’re singling out the best planners on Amazon, no matter whether you’re a type-A person who wants something extra efficient and mapped out, or you just need a no-frills pocket planner. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

4.6 stars, 415 reviews

“I got this planner because I was moving house, and needed to keep track of the million or so tasks I had to do each day. Now that I’ve settled in, I’m still using it — first to plan my unpacking, now for organizing my day. I absolutely adore it. It has three ways to plan each month (monthly, weekly, daily), has plenty of room to write, AND a section for taking notes for each month. The only way this planner could be easier to use would be psychic transmission of my thoughts to the page. Until then, I’ll cheerfully keep writing.”

4.2 stars, 165 reviews

“The soft cover is a lot thinner than the hardcover, which is what I usually buy, but I think this will work just as well and not take up as much room in my bag, fitting easier in pockets than the stiff hardcover. The pages are sewn, which I think will make it more durable. It has all the usual Moleskine amenities: year calendar, time zone and holiday info, back pocket, and occasion stickers. I love that on each page, the left side is the week at a glance, while the right side is just ruled lines for notes, lists, thoughts, etc. Perfect for me who seems to have a lot of extra notes that didn’t fit into any one day in other calendars.”

4.6 stars, 980 reviews

“This is a great little appointment book. It has enough space to write my daily appointments as a therapist, but is small enough to easily fit in my purse. It includes a notepad in the front, which helps with lists and messages. It includes maps of the world, metric conversion charts, keyboard shortcuts, texting acronyms, national and international times and dialing codes, toll-free numbers and websites, and birthdays and anniversaries. It even has first aid for emergencies. It’s a pretty all-inclusive appointment book. It’s the second time I’ve ordered this one, and I’m picky about my appointment books, so I totally recommend this one.”

4.5 stars, 176 reviews

“Pros: hardback cover with a leathery feel to it, strap on the binding for a pen, strap to keep the planner closed, two bookmarks, a yearly overview, monthly goals, and weekly/daily organizer, motivation for success at the beginning, monthly stickers, warranty card, pocket on the inside of the back cover to keep notes in, thick (not flimsy) paper. Cons: none. I really can’t find anything wrong with this. It’s pretty amazing. I’d say order yours now, before the start of the new year!”

(Editor’s note: Lemome also has a great dated, hardcover planner here.)

Lemome Undated Daily and Monthly Planner
Panda Planner

4.3 stars, 2,911 reviews

“I am a huge fan of yearly planners. I love to stay organized, but I have a hard time remaining positive in my environment. Trust me, I’m from the hood, and everyone knows there’s nothing easy about living like this. HOWEVER … I found this Panda Planner on Amazon and I ordered it RIGHT AWAY! There is a TEDx Talk that talks about cultivating positivity through exercises like this. Taking time to write about what you are grateful for changes your whole life. This is my word to anyone considering this book. If you are depressed (like I was), apathetic (like I was), and just not living to your potential, BUY THIS BOOK! I was SUPER motivated. I kept looking at it to not only take care of my tasks but to continuously see that positivity. I even bought different color pens to have fun and be creative. I could go ON AND ON about this planner. Please trust my word on this one. This is the best thing you can do for your mental and physical health that is drug free and works immediately!”

4.7 stars, 366 reviews

“Nicely laid out, with helpful information about using various methods of time management to improve productivity. I have seen some of these ideas before, and used them, particularly the Pomodoro method, but it’s nice to have a bound book designed to track it. I was surprised that I noticed that the weight of the book and the feel of the cover fit comfortably in my hand as I was holding it up to read the instructional text. So, since I noticed it, I will share that it was indeed comfortable to hold. Not too thick, or too heavy, and balanced nicely in my hand.”


4.4 stars, 366 reviews

“I love this notebook. I like heavyweight paper and it is often difficult to find a notebook with it. This notebook has boxes at the top for project information, dates, and page numbers. The numbered lines are wide enough to write legibly. The notes section with no lines is great for jotting down thoughts and can be associated to numbers. Another bonus is that when writing with a pen, it doesn’t show on the other side of the page. I typically use a pencil and can erase cleanly. I work on multiple projects at the same time. This notebook has helped me keep my notes organized and chronological.”

4.5 stars, 542 reviews

“The perfect organizer for any teacher. I am a 30-year veteran as a mathematics teacher, and the range of levels I cover is from sixth-grade intervention classes to algebra at the eighth-grade level and everything in between. With such a variety of levels and curriculum and planning, this book kept me perfectly organized for my entire year this year. I had extra spaces that provided me with ‘reminders’ and important meetings. The block sizes provided ample space for writing details, and the number of weeks provided was perfect. The beginning pages offer a four-term scheduling block, so I can remember what I need to prepare for each term. Whatever your planning notes are like, this book provides space and organization to make this aspect of teaching easier. Plan away, teachers!”

4.7 stars, 178 reviews

“Love this planner! Perfect to-do list for me. Lets me plan for the week, and I even gave my kids a sheet at the beginning of the week so they can plan ahead. Instead of reminding them every day what they need to do, I tell them to go look in their planner. My girl has gotten so used to it, she automatically checks it. I love that it reminds me to drink water and is so easy to mark off. I also like that it is tear-off, so I just have to have a single sheet with me. I usually put it in my purse to remind me to get things done.”

$14 for 2

4 stars, 122 reviews

“I love this calendar. Planning is very essential for me. Not only can I not function without everything planned out, I also love doing it. It comes with two months on one side and one month on the other side. I prefer using two months, as it helps me keep track of my assignment deadlines and exams well in advance. I plan to keep this for the long run, so I prefer not writing on them (except for the dates in the boxes), and instead I use multicolored sticky notes, color-coordinated with the type of work. It is so much fun. I would recommend it for anyone in college.”

4.3 stars, 495 reviews

“It’s a great calendar, exactly as described. It is big, with so much space to write in activities, meetings, etc. for the day. As prior reviews and the description indicates, be sure to use wet-erase markers. Customer-service emails were sent prior to the arrival of the calendar to instruct me on how to properly remove it from the container. This was helpful and appreciated. I had issues with the double-sided foam tape (it didn’t stick to my wall), so I used four pushpins and the calendar has been hanging perfectly.”