I’m a Paper Planner Devotee and These Are My 3 Favorites for 2023

published Jan 4, 2023
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Woman sitting on sofa writing in notebook, with laptop, iPad, and phone nearby
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I’ve always favored paper planners. Despite all of the planning and productivity apps that I’ve tried in its place, a paper planner has always reigned supreme. Aside from my feelings, there are plenty of compelling reasons to adopt paper planners. They cut down on screen time, they help you remember things better (writing by hand not only is better for committing things to memory, it’s also mindful practice), and they make it easier to focus, since you don’t have to silence notifications on your paper planner. And science aside, it’s just more fun than your Google Calendar

As a lover of paper planners, here are three of my absolute favorites that I recommend to keep you on track this year. 

I bought Adam J. Kurtz’s Unsolicited Advice planner for the first time in 2020, in the height of the doom and gloom year. There’s a lot to love about the planner aside from the unsolicited advice, my favorite feature being that it’s part calendar and part journal. There are built-in prompts each month to reflect on how you’re doing overall. One that I appreciate is the “recurring theme” section so I can see I’ve made no progress in my goals to, say, put away my laundry in a timely manner this year. The planner includes traditional important dates like the first night of Hanukkah, as well as lesser known important days like Nov. 18th, aka “Married to a Scorpio Support Day.” Each planner also comes with a few sheets of adorable, endearing, and funny stickers. 

If you already look to the stars for guidance, you’ll appreciate this planetary-focused Astro Planner from Chani Nicholas. This planner includes a lot more than calendar pages and zodiac phases — it’s full of rituals, reflections, exercises, and more. As someone who will never be able to memorize their birth chart, I particularly appreciate the customizable chart wheel. There’s also a similarly useful reference table of the signs, houses, and planets. Any planner that makes extra space to organize your thoughts is a good one if you ask me, so the additional space dedicated to planning, intention-setting, and dream journaling is essential. Plus, there are activity prompts for each significant astrological event, such as New and Full Moons, solstices and equinoxes, lunar and solar eclipses, and more.

The Bullet Journal is more a planning method than a planner itself — you can make one out of any notebook. It has all the essential components of a planner, but it’s a lot more malleable. The “BuJo” has sections for daily to-dos, monthly or weekly calendars, notes that track your mental and physical health, and a record of both short-term and long-term goals. My favorite part of using a bullet journal is that it has a built in system for dealing with to-do list items, especially ones that end up rolling over from the previous week or month.