If you're a freelancer, student, or someone who has some freedom to arrange your day, you need a planner system. Without one it's too easy to float along and forget about your priorities.
I'm a fan of analog. Digital todo-lists and calendars are convenient, but I can never stick with them. My brain gives more weight to things I've handwritten, and I'm more likely to follow through.
For years I used a blank notebook and the Bullet Journal system. A blank notebook gives you plenty of freedom, but it can be annoying to fill in the same structure everyday. Nowadays there are tons of planner/journal options pre-filled with calendars, daily schedules, priority lists, and other interesting boxes.
Panda Planner Daily and Weekly Overview
- No use guide, but they direct you to video tutorials online
- Monthly, Weekly, and Daily pages
- 12 month pages, 16 week pages, ??? days
- 3 ribbon bookmarks
Here are some examples of what the weekly and daily pages look like:
SELF Journal Overview
- Built in Use guide
- 13-Week Goals Planning, Monthly, Weekly, and Daily pages
- Enough pages for 3 months, 13 weeks of daily use.
- 1 Ribbon bookmark
Here's what the Self Journal weekly and daily pages look like:
Best Self has the entire journal available as a downloadable PDF if you want to check it out or print your own.
- 3 bookmarks for keeping track of month, week and day is nice, though I wish they were colored
- More boxes than the Self Journal
- Founders seem to iterate the journal quite frequently in response to customer reviews
- Blinding white paper and heavy lines make the page feel busy
- Too many boxes feel repetitive, the weekly planning feels like I write the same thing 3 times.
- Paper quality isn't great
- Beautiful paper and layouts
- Wide schedule for reshuffling your day
- 13-week goal postmortem pages
- Use guide was kind of confusing
- Cloth cover attracts dust
Things neither get right
- The daily schedule in both journals starts at 6 and ends at 9, they really need a night-owl option
- I would love more blank freeform pages in both.
What planner should I pick next?
Both of these planners are great for everyday use. The cons I've listed are really just nitpicks, and I'd be happy using either one for a long time. Right now I'll probably get another SELF Journal, but maybe you have a better option.
Do you use a journal that you use everyday? Do you love it? Let me know which one.
 Moleskines are alright, but I really enjoy using Leuchtturm 1917 Dotted Notebooks. I'll just never be able to pronounce it.