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8 hourly planners to help you stay productive in 2021

We asked experts for their top organization tips.
Illustration of a Wit & Delight 2021 Planner and a person writing in a Papier Joy Daily Planner
Papier / Anthropologie

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Whether you have big goals for the new year 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 sneak in a workout can help to maintain the structure and routine of everyday life and turn your resolutions into habits.

For efficient productivity, Melissa Picheny, owner of declutter + design, 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

1. The Passion Planner

Natalie Ron, professional organizer and founder of Liberate Your Space, loves the Passion Planner for "organizing your day by the hour."

"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.

2. Fringe Studio Non-Dated Daily Planner

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.

3. Day-Timer Undated Avalon Simulated Leather Starter Set

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

1. Papier Joy Daily Planner

This adorable planner features daily pages that include an hourly schedule and to-dos. At the beginning of each week, there are a few pages where you can map out your goals for the days ahead, track habits, create a grocery list, write a meal plan and more. As an added bonus, you can personalize with your name.

2. Erin Condren Layers Daily LifePlanner Duo

This daily planner duo is the newest release from popular lifestyle brand Erin Condren. The year is divided into two six-month planners, so they won't be too bulky to carry around. You can set your goals for the month, schedule out each day and check off your to-dos.

3. Wit & Delight 2021 Planner

Map out your days with this lay-flat planner. It includes mood check-ins at the end of each day, so you can reflect on how you felt. Each month also features prompts to help you brainstorm goals and draw attention to the areas where you should focus your energy.

4. Smart Planner Pro

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 569 verified reviewers wrote. "I also like that it is dateless, so I can start here in March instead of wasting part of another planner."

5. Maalbok Weekly Appointment Book

With a 4.6-star rating and more than 955 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."

6. Power Place Daily Planner

This popular planner has amassed tons of reviews on Amazon. "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."

7. Little More Daily Organizer Planner

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."

8. At-A-Glance Wild Washes Weekly and Monthly Appointment Book

Available in both a large and small edition, this daily planner has you covered until January 2022. Days are broken down into hourly segments, with months individually tabbed for optimal organization.

This article was originally published March 19, 2020.

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