9 Paper Planners, Perfect For To-Do Lists & Goal-Setting

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

After a lifetime of using strictly paper calendars, this year I made the momentous decision to leave behind all I’ve ever known and venture into the world of virtual calendar-keeping. I know; major emotional upheaval.

The paper-lover in me feels like a first-class betrayal artist, while the efficiency-addict is busy whispering, “one less thing to have to carry with you.”  And, “Remember how you started talking pictures of your paper calendar pages when you went away because you didn’t feel like lugging your calendar with you?? I mean, I can’t even with that.”

So here we (I) are. Boldly going where everyone else has gone before. And three days in, I’m ready to admit: you guys weren’t wrong to ditch your paper calendars. The increased ease with which scheduling occurs is marked. (Though I’m not yet jumping for joy; it seems a little rude to flaunt my new relationship when my old one’s conclusion is still so fresh, you know?)

But for all the digital conversion I’m ready to get behind as far as proper calendar, appointment scheduling goes, I am sticking to paper for planning. I must insist that there is something missing when you subtract the actual writing-down aspect to the creation of to do lists, shopping lists, and even goal setting and tracking.

The act of writing down a whole bushel of tasks to which you must attend, people you need to call, items you need to order, and even a handful of very important dates, can serve not only to capture all those fleeting details, but to also to alleviate anxiety. The physical transfer of thought from mind to paper can help to make you feel less scattered and less overwhelmed.

And, there’s this: if you implement this concept properly (read: committing to a single planning tool, rather than one million and seven different post it pads, notebooks, scratch paper, etc.) your actionable tasks can always be top of mind and right in sight, as your selected notepad/planner/wall calendar can live atop your desk/counter/wall/fridge. No scrolling or app-opening required. 

Anyhow, go with what works. If paper’s it for you, here’s a few: 

9 Paper Planners, Perfect For To-Do Lists & Goal-Setting


1. Today is the day notepad

2. Productivity Planner

3. The Happiness planner 

4. What’s for dinner pad

5. The Hatch Ideas Notebook a notebook that began as a “Kickstarter that overachieved its pledge goal by 2,080%. This 3-step system will help generate an idea you’re excited about, and take it from concept to launch.”

6. Let’s Do This! Notepad

7. Foil Blotter Wall Calendar

8. Jumbo weekly task pad

9. Tall on the wall calendar



2 thoughts on “9 Paper Planners, Perfect For To-Do Lists & Goal-Setting

  1. Elle

    The switch from paper to an electronic calendar is huge! I cannot do it! It takes too long to make entries on my smartphone calendar, it is too hard to view in convenient ways. However, if it works for you, I would love to hear about what you are using and how you use it. So I agree heartily with your point that the act of writing (not typing) for planning and making to-do lists adds value to the exercise.

    1. Annie Post author

      Ugh, yes, all the same gripes I have about digital calender-ing. But I’m treating it as an experiment and seeing how it goes… stay tuned!


Leave a Reply to Elle Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *