Journals and productivity planners are tools of the trade. Productivity is an art form. Productivity is very personal to the person, just like art is very personal to the artist. It’s possible that what works for you won’t work for me. If you really want to get more done in less time, this is a crucial distinction to make.
Too many of us dabble with productivity hacks just to move on to the next tool or trend when it doesn’t work for us, oblivious to the lesson of what did and didn’t work with that tool or trend.
We elevate the instrument and overlook the art. It idolizes the paintbrush rather than the painting process and act. When the instrument takes precedence over the treasure, we lose sight of the art of our own productivity.
You have a variety of brushes to pick from as an artist. You want a brush that feels great in your hands. You want a brush that doesn’t get in the way of your art but instead works with you to create the numerous things you envision in your head. Finding a brush like this may take some trial and error, but once you realize that the brush’s job is to bring your idea to life, it’s much easier to locate the correct brush.
The same can be said of planners. You want a productivity diary that helps you create your vision rather than one that bogs you down or saps your energy.
Let’s look at the top ten productivity planners and notebooks to see how they might help you get more done in less time.
1. The One Thing Planner
The One Thing, a New York Times best-selling book, has now released a new planner. If you enjoyed the book, you’ll enjoy the planner even more.
Gary Keller, the founder of Keller Williams Realty, the world’s largest real estate company, has perfected the art of focus. The origins of the One Thing planner can be traced back to industry-changing productivity. This may be the planner for you if you want to make a difference in the world.!
2. The Full Life Planner
The Full Life Planner is Lifehacks’ ultimate planning method for achieving success in all parts of your life, including job, health, and relationships. This smart planner is based on 15 years of Lifehack’s best practices and top performers’ proven success algorithms.
You may consistently link your behaviors to long-term targets using the Full Life Planner every day, week, and month. This will assist you in completing more tasks and achieving your objectives.
3. The Freedom Journal
John Lee Dumas, the host of Entrepreneur on Fire, one of the most popular podcasts ever, debuted his productivity diary in 2016. The purpose of this hard-cover journal is to achieve SMART goals in 100 days.
According to their website:
“The Freedom Journal is an accountability partner that won’t let you fail. John Lee Dumas has interviewed over 2000 successful Entrepreneurs and has created a unique step-by-step process that will guide you in SETTING and ACCOMPLISHING your #1 goal in 100 days.”
4. Full Focus Planner
Michael Hyatt, the author of Platform and the host of the podcast “This Is Your Life,” has his own planner, the Full Focus Planner.
According to the website:
“Built for a 90-day achievement cycle, the Full Focus Planner® gives you a quarter of a year’s content so you aren’t overwhelmed by planning (and tracking) 12 months at a time.”
This productivity planner includes a place for annual goals, a monthly calendar, quarterly planning, the ideal week, daily pages, a place for rituals, weekly previews,s, and quarterly reviews. It also comes with Quickstart lessons to help you master the use of the planner.
5. Passion Planner
They’re known as the #pashfam, and they refer to their planner as a “paper life coach.” They come in a variety of styles, including date, academic, and updated hardbound journals in a variety of colors. They have a track record for excellent planners with over 600,000 users.
According to the website:
“An appointment calendar, goal setting guide, journal, sketchbook, gratitude log & personal and work to-do lists all in one notebook.”
They offer a scheme where you buy one and give one away. They will donate one Passion Planner for every one purchased to a student or someone in need.
Their planners are also available as free PDF downloads. This is an excellent approach to see if their planner is a good fit for you.
6. Desire Map Planners
Danielle LaPorte, the author of The Desire Map, produced the Desire Map Planners if you’re seeking a more spiritually focused planner. You can choose the best match for you from Daily planners, Weekly planners, and Undated planners.
The Desire Map Planner Program, which includes three workbooks, not only supports you in using the planners but also guides you through your thought process about your life and the goals you’re using the planner to help you achieve.
7. Franklin Covey Planners
Franklin Covey, the grandfather of all planners, has the most layouts, binders, and accessories to choose from. With over 30 years of experience in the productivity planner industry, they not only offer a large number of planner layouts, but they have also been teaching productivity and planning since the beginning.
According to the website:
“Achieve what matters most with innovative, high-quality planners and binders tailored to your personal style. Our paper planning system guides you to identify values, create successful habits, and track and achieve your goals.”
8. Productivity Planner
The Productivity Planner comes from the makers of “The Five Minute Journal,” a best-selling journal endorsed by Tim Ferriss.
The Productivity Planner is both intellectual and effective, combining the Ivy Lee approach that made Charles Schwab billions with the Pomodoro Technique for staying focused in the moment.
Six months of planning, five-day daily pages, weekly planning and review, a prioritized task list, Pomodoro time monitoring, and extra space for comments are all included.
According to the website:
“Do you often find yourself busy, while more important tasks get procrastinated on? The Productivity Planner helps you prioritize and accomplish the vital few tasks that make your day satisfying. Quality over quantity. Combined with the Pomodoro Technique to help you avoid distractions, the Productivity Planner assists you to get better work done in less time.”
9. Self Journal
The Self Journal, which is endorsed by Daymond John of Shark Tank, uses a 13-week strategy and incorporates Monthly, Weekly, and Daily planning to help you stay focused on what matters most.
With their Weekly Action Pad, Project Action Pad, Sidekick pocket journal to capture your thoughts on the move, and SmartMarks bookmarks that work as a notepad while you’re reading, Self Journal has more tools to help you produce.
10. Google Calendar
You may already use Google Calendar for appointments, but it can also be used as a productivity planner with a few adjustments.
We can only be productive if we have enough time to do the work we want to do. As a result, blocking time on your Google Calendar and marking it as “busy” will prevent others from filling those slots. It’s up to you to really put those blocks of time to good use.
You can combine a booking application like Schedule Once or Calendly with your Google Calendar. I advocate setting out a constant “available” block of time each day for these types of appointments for maximum productivity and rhythm.
Google Calendar is a free, web-based calendar that gets right to the point. If you are looking for a unique way to express yourself,
Bonus Advice: Integrate the 4 Building Blocks of Productivity
The principles that we develop inside of productivity planners are just as vital as the tool. There are four productivity-building elements that, when implemented, will boost your energy and performance.
Desire, strategy, attention, and rhythm are the four pillars of productivity. When you’ve nailed these, a productivity planner or notebook will provide the structure you need to stay on track.
Block #1: Desire
We gather ideas and To-Dos in the pursuit of all our goals that we aren’t truly passionate about or desire to pursue. They infiltrate our minds and divert our attention away from what actually matters.
Desire lies beneath tremendous production. There aren’t many small desires, but the mother of all desires. If you want to increase your productivity, you need to tap into the urge you have in your stomach, the desire that comes from your soul rather than your reasoning.
If you don’t understand why you’re using a productivity planner, it’ll be a waste of time. Your productivity planner, on the other hand, gives the guide rails to help you achieve your goals.
Block #2: Strategy
Once you’ve decided on your overall goal, you’ll need to plan your actions to get there. This is what we’ll term “strategy.” It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle when it comes to strategy. To view patterns, colors, linkages, and borders, you must first turn over all of the pieces.
We frequently begin putting our “puzzle” together in business and in life without turning over all of the pieces. We clutter our To-Do lists and planners with stuff that isn’t relevant to the overall image of our puzzle.
Taking the time to write down everything that comes to mind about your goal and then looking for patterns and priorities is what strategy is all about. As you turn the puzzle pieces over, you’ll notice that the more critical activities either take care of the less important duties or render them irrelevant.
The centering question they teach in the best-selling book The One Thing is:
“What’s the One thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else is easier or unnecessary?”
This is where strategy and planning come together to determine what goes into your planner and what doesn’t.
Block #3: Focus
Now that you’ve established your priorities, you can concentrate on the One Thing that makes everything else easy or unnecessary. Your productivity calendars and journals will come in handy here to help you stay on track.
You’re not distracted by new dazzling objects because you’ve already flipped over the puzzle pieces. If new ideas arise, as they will, you will be able to understand how and where they fit into the overall picture of your desire and approach, allowing you to return to your One Thing.
Block #4: Rhythm
Rhythm is the ultimate component of productivity. In life and in business, you have a rhythm that works best for you. When you achieve this rhythm, time slows down, productivity increases, and working becomes a pleasurable experience.
This is referred to as flow by some. You’ll find yourself riding flow more often and owning your productivity as your self-awareness of your optimum rhythm improves.
You’re like a painter with a paintbrush and no idea how to utilize it to produce what’s in your heart to create if you don’t have these four productivity building pieces. But if you use these four building pieces, you’ll be able to get more done in less time.
The Bottom Line
Your life is a work of art in itself. Every day, you have the opportunity to create something extraordinary. You’ll set yourself up for success no matter which planner, or “paintbrush,” you use if you grasp and use the four building blocks of productivity.
As you try out several plans, you’ll figure out which one works best for you and speed up your journey to making a mark in the cosmos.