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Whether you're hunkered down inside or could simply benefit from a little organization, an hourly planner is one of the best ways to stay on top of your daily tasks. Gentle reminders to send an important e-mail or go for that daily walk around the neighborhood can help to maintain the structure and routine of everyday life, especially if you now find yourself working from home.
"For those who have never worked from home ... I think the most important thing is to establish a routine," Regina F. Lark, founder of A Clear Path in Los Angeles, told TODAY. An hourly planner may be a good start as they help to “containerize your day."
"It’s a container for your ideas, appointments, plans,” Lark said. However, she also states that keeping productive and finding a routine is all about "honoring how you work best."
Melissa Picheny, owner of declutter + design, told TODAY that to keep productive she recommends "(doing) the easiest task first in order to get it done and out of the way; so making quick calls, checking on or paying bills, filling out the calendar with appointments can be first. Categorize by the task that takes the least amount of time."
If time does manage to slip through your fingers, Amy Tokos, president-elect of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, recommends keeping a notebook on hand so you can add to-dos to your planner at a later time. "Because you have more distractions at home, you will think you have time to do everything," Tokos told TODAY. "Instead of stopping what you're doing, always have a 'landing pad.' Use this notepad on your desk to capture the distractions to handle later. Then you won't forget and can stay on your work tasks."
If you're ready to put your ideas, tasks and goals on paper, read on for some of the best hourly planners to help keep you organized.
Expert-approved hourly planners
"It gives you the opportunity to work out what your big picture goals are, like a vision board, only in notebook form," Ron told TODAY. "It then breaks those life goals into smaller, actionable, monthly, weekly and daily goals or tasks to keep you on track."
If you're looking for a space to review your progress, Ron also says that the planner offers pages for monthly reflection.
Ron is also a fan of Fringe Studio daily planners, as she told TODAY that "they are beautifully designed, (work) for any style and offer a simplified place to get your thoughts and goals down day by day." This planner allows you to arrange your schedule, to-dos, reminders and daily goals, as well as jot down any fleeting thoughts on the notes section on the following page.
Professional organizer Ronni Eisenberg says that choosing a method of planning requires "taking your lifestyle into account." Before she began using a digital planner, she relied on the Day-Timer set to help keep her days in order. "I loved it. Two pages per day. Lots and lots of options," Eisenberg told TODAY. While Eisenberg relies mainly on her iPhone for convenience, she says that many people find that "by writing something down, it helps you to remember."
Bestselling hourly planners
This undated bestselling planner makes it easy to get organized without having to worry about wasted pages, no matter how late in the year you decide to purchase it. The sturdy leatherette cover makes it easy to keep it with you when you're on-the-go, while the elastic strap keeps your pages safe from damage.
"I love that I am able to put in goals and daily gratitude. Having dealt with a lot of negativity lately, it helps to take a moment to focus on what I am grateful for!" one of the planner's 562 verified reviewers wrote. "I also like that it is dateless, so I can start here in March instead of wasting part of another planner."
With a 4.7-star rating and over 600 verified reviews, this appointment planner makes it easy to stay organized and productive. You can set your goals for the week, plans for the day and assess your progress at the end of the week — all on the same page. One verified Amazon reviewer tried out three other planners before stumbling across this one and said that "this book is about as roomy as they come."
This planner is available in both dated and undated versions, each available in their own select styles. It currently has 1,775 five-star reviews from verified purchasers who have come to love it.
"My favorite thing about this planner is that it really makes you think about what you want and how you’re going to get it," one verified purchaser wrote.
This popular planner has amassed tons of reviews on Amazon and is currently on sale for 20% off the original price. "I had been using a bullet journal, but it was feeling like too much work," one verified purchaser wrote. "I like that this comes pre-printed with a daily schedule, task list, etc."
If goal-setting is at the top of your to-do list, this hourly planner can help make it possible. You can plan out 16 hours of your day, helping to keep track of everything from laundry to meetings.
If you could truly just use a "little more" organization in your life, this planner is another popular pick. You can organize and structure your days to your liking in three-hour blocks. One verified purchaser notes that the planner even "has sections to list (events and dates by) their urgency."
This adorable planner also features daily pages that structure days by the hour, so you can keep on top of all your tasks. It is available in five different designs, so whether you prefer a hardcover with cacti or a simple solid black cover, you won't have to sacrifice style for layout.
"I love this planner. It gives you so much room to plan your day hourly, which is great for those who have a busy schedule," one verified purchaser wrote.
Available in both a large and small edition, this daily planner has you covered until Jan. 2021. Days are broken down into hourly segments, with months individually tabbed for optimal organization.
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