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Organize Your Life with Planners

Productivity and organization are closely linked. The more organized you are, the more productive you’ll be. And planners are an excellent way to stay organized. You can choose from paper planners, digital planners, or a combination.

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Paper Planners

Paper planners are a great option if you’re also looking to boost your memory. Handwriting triggers your brain’s natural learning process through the use of fine motor skills, touch, and sight.

We’ve got free printables for you! Check out our Free Monthly Planner. Other popular options are At-A-Glance and Day-Timer, which are well-known planner and organizer brands. You can choose from SO many options and styles and colors (I love this color). Some planners have inspirational quotes or sayings like Silk and Sonder’s self-care journals with science-based methods for combining writing and planning that help relieve stress and burnout.

paper planner

There are planners for specific events or activities, including:

Bullet Journals

Another unique and popular organizational tool is a bullet journal. Books are available to help you become an expert in this technique, and an app for those who prefer that.

Digital Planners

digital planner


A digital planner is not the same as the notes app on your phone, tablet, or favorite cloud software. Instead, they are PDFs of traditional paper planners that can be imported into your favorite note-taking app, giving you the high degree of organization of a planner with the highlighted portable nature of digital items. We’ve created a 39-page printable planner that can be used in this way- Check it out here!

The right Apps for Your Digital Planner (GoodNotes, NoteShelf, & OneNote are the apps recommended for using digital planners)

GoodNotes This one is for iOS only (sorry Android users). This app is unique because you can take handwritten notes on your iOS devices, and the app turns them into searchable data. You can categorize them, put them in folders, add images, etc.

NoteShelf Similar to GoodNotes, you can create handwritten, searchable notes. Even better, this one is available for both Android and iOS. And if you’re trying to help your family stay more organized, you can share notes in NoteShelf with them. If you’re a person whose handwriting is messy and hard to read,  NoteShelf can turn your handwritten notes into typed text. 

OneNote For Microsoft fans, OneNote is a great option. With OneNote, you can take a digital file and “print” a PDF that syncs across all devices where you have it installed.

There are other note-taking apps, as well. If you decide to look for one not listed here, be sure it allows for pdf annotation.

Back to Basics – App Calendar/Planners


Planner Pro – Daily Calendar is pretty slick. It combines events, tasks, and notes in one place, which you can organize by week, event, or project. You can create recurring tasks as well. It’s also ad-free and available on iOS.

Business Calendar 2 is similar to Planner Pro Daily Calendar but for Android users. A unique feature is the “heat map,” which helps you locate free time. If you opt for the pro version, you can export events to iCal, create repeating tasks and subtasks, and link contacts to appointments.

Cozi Family Organizer 

For busy families, this is a must-have! It helps organize and communicate schedules, grocery lists, to-do lists, meals, and more. With Cozi, everyone in the family is on the same page because it can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. Each person can also receive important reminders on the device of their choice. It’s Free to sign up.

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Melanie

    I’m a BIG fan of bullet journaling. I love the ability to be a custom as you need, visually. Great suggestions!

    1. Denise

      Thank you! I’ve had a journal/planner since I was a teenager. Now, the choices are endless.

  2. Diane N. Quintana

    I love planners. I’m a paper person and so carry my planner around with me where ever I go. Digital is easier for some but I know myself and know that I like to see the entire month so that i can do a better job pacing myself when dealing with long term projects. It’s always good to have options to share with clients. Thank for this great review.

    1. Denise

      I’m glad you liked it. Finding something that works is the biggest hurdle!

  3. Seana Turner

    Cozi is wonderful if you have a busy household. I’m old school, and love my paper Filofax. I love that I can use it anywhere, whether there is wifi or not. During one of the recent tropical storms, we lost power for days. We cobbled together some charging, but knowing that my information was in my hands was comforting. That said, it is nice to be able to share calendar information with my grown children via Google. Seeing their schedules helps me know when not to bother them, and also helps me keep up to date on the various things they are managing. They can share (or not) at their discretion, and it is a privilege when they want to invite me in!

    1. Denise

      I, too, share with my children and use a combination of digital and paper (old school). There’s nothing like pen and paper sometimes- especially when there’s no electricity.

  4. Janet Barclay

    I used to use a Day-Timer for everything from my calendar and daily tasks to books I wanted to read and much more. Now that I’m digital, my information is scattered across a calendar app, task management app, and a few others. You’ve got me wondering if I should try consolidating them somehow…

    1. Denise

      For certain things, I still use several apps and try new tech whenever possible. Love that the post got you thinking of consolidating, though, as you are the tech wiz!

  5. Sabrina Quairoli

    I have used several of these, and they help keep me organized. You can even make a notebook in OneNote private, so a password is associated with that notebook. It’s great for personal lists.

    1. Denise

      Excellent tip. Thank you!

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