Why Creative People Swear By This $28 Planner (That You’ve Been Seeing All Over Instagram)

published Dec 12, 2019
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Usually when I crowdsource recommendations for just about anything (clothes, food, you name it), I am expecting the cult favorites to be things that I haven’t seen all over Instagram. Hidden secrets, if you will. Sometimes, social media can seriously overhype something that looks good, even if it doesn’t functionally work well.

But when I asked the most productive people I know what notebooks and planners they swear by, the most common answer surprised me. If you’ve seen ban.do’s planners and agendas all over your Instagram feed, I’m happy to report that they really are as helpful as they are pretty.

Texas-based writer Susanna Beth Hutcheson tells me she swears by the ban.do planners as a “to-do list freak,” noting that “they’re the perfect size, they flip easily, and they’re cheap enough to keep re-buying.” Public relations guru Cessie Cerrato also listed ban.do as her favorite brand of planners and notebooks, proving that the notebooks can work for people in a variety of fields. 

Credit: ban.do

With dozens of covers and pages filled with colorful illustrations, stickers, and other helpful features, it’s no wonder why people love their ban.do agendas so much. Just looking at them makes you feel happier. And with a journal and agenda industry (trust me, it’s a thing) that can sometimes charge up to $100 or more for intricate notebooks, ban.do’s price point is certainly part of the appeal, too.

But if super colorful pages aren’t your jam, don’t worry—there are a ton of other options out there, too. 

Editor Kayla Greaves suggests the Hustler’s Agenda, for example, saying that it’s the only agenda she uses and loves that is a women-led brand created by two female entrepreneurs. 

Buy: The Hustler’s Agenda, $39

Multiple people also listed the Appointed Co. planner as their go-to. Style blogger Kelly-Lynne Russell says that she received one of the planners as a gift and is now requesting it for “every Christmas ever”—high praise indeed.

Buy: Appointed Co. Planner, $38

Credit: Muji

The other most commonly suggested option? Muji notebooks. Muji is a Japanese brand known for their high quality, minimalist-focused products. The brand sells everything from clothes to furniture, but their notebooks have apparently struck a particular chord with organized folks. They’re also about as affordable as it gets. 

Buy: Muji Notebook, $4

Credit: Voloshin

As for me, I stick to a plain, lined notebook and some Google Sheet spreadsheets most days, but I do find that Printfresh’s productivity large notebook has been a welcome (and very cute) addition to my desk on days when I need a little more guidance or organization. 

No matter what your system is, though, sometimes just having a gorgeous notebook on your desk gives you that little boost to get things done. And hey, we all need that little boost sometimes, so if you don’t have a planner you’re using right now? Maybe it’s time to invest.