6 perfect paper planners for 2019

moleskine weekly planner
Public Domain Unsplash – A Moleskine Weekly Planner lies open beside a cappuccino.

For some of us, the key to staying organized is shockingly old-fashioned – putting pen to paper.

I don't know what I'd do without my paper planner. It keeps my busy life chugging along smoothly, helping me to get kids to various appointments, to meet deadlines, to scribble ideas for work-related articles, and to keep running lists of things needing to be done – all without having to reach for my phone.

Many people love their phone calendars and alerts, but that never worked for me. It felt finicky and non-intuitive, plus I am trying to reduce the number of times per day that I look at my phone. I also love having a stash of old planners on a shelf that can tell me what I was doing on any given day over the past ten years. (I suppose Google could do the same, but that's an article for another day...)

I have two key requirements for a good planner. First is that the binding must be entirely flat. When I'm writing in it, I do not want my hand to bump up against a spiral binding because it's annoying! I'm not the only one who feels this way. Self-professed "obsessive calendar keeper" Perrin Drumm says in New York magazine,

"A lay-flat binding is key for a planner. I need the freedom to move my writing hand across the breadth of each page, turning it this way and that to write little notes in margins and doodle in the crannies during long conference calls (and while spiral-bound may technically count as lay-flat, that plastic hump it creates in the middle is strictly for amateurs)."

My second requirement is a specific weekly layout, with a calendar on the left and empty writing space on the right. This is a personal preference, but I find it suits my planning needs perfectly. There has to be space to write appointments, and space to scribble list, random thoughts, and ideas for work.

I do not spend time coloring or decorating my planners in any way. My relationship with them is strictly utilitarian, but for that I need an uncluttered design (no colored graphics, lines, or emojis), an absence of prompts (no inspirational quotes or goal lists, thank you very much), and a convenient portable size. So, with no further ado, here's a list of simple yet stylish planners for 2019.

1. Moleskine Weekly Planner

my weekly planner© K Martinko – A typical busy week in my family's life, aided significantly by my Moleskine Weekly Planner

This is the planner that I go back to, year after year. I always choose the red soft cover because it's easy to locate. It opens flat and has good paper that doesn't bleed through. There's a pocket in the back for stashing receipts and business cards.

2. Midori Traveler's Notebook, Refill 019, $12.47

You can order a broad range of refills for Traveler's Notebooks, including various planners. #019 is the one that I like best. The only downside is having to add your own dates in the provided boxes. This took a while and I didn't like that the handwritten dates didn't stand out from the rest of my scribbling on the page. It comes in 28-week increments, which does for a half year. (The price does not include the cost of buying a notebook in which to insert the refill.)

3. Zero Waste Planner by Wisdom Supply Co., $22

zero waste planner© Wisdom Supply Co. (used with permission)

This planner, printed and bound in San Francisco, is said to be the first-ever zero waste planner. It is designed to be 100 percent recyclable, with no spiral binding, no laminating, no coated papers, no plastic tabs, and no superfluous paper (i.e. pages for maps, time zones, daily/weekly/monthly/yearly goals). It has a flat binding, too.

4. Muji Schedule Note A5, $9.50

This sleek Japanese-made notebook may not look like much, but it's a workhorse. Perrin Drumm, who always returns to it, writes,

"[It's] a wonderful planner in which the days of the week take up a single page, and the opposite is reserved for notes and addresses of places where someone might possibly meet me one afternoon. The clear plastic cover is made of a polyvinyl (they say you can recycle it) and is perfect for tucking away extra to-do lists."

5. Weekly Planner by Sasha Kretova, $45

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My brand new books+planners collection is finally available! I streamlined the whole book binding side of my business to make the process easier both for you and for me. You can now order any type of book (planner, blank, lined, dotted, etc) in any of the eight available cover designs, and in any of the two available sizes (a5 or a6). So many possibilities! All still made by hand by yours truly using 100% recycled paper and card. If you're one of my planner customers, the planner version of the book still looks and functions the same as last year, you just have more variety of covers. You can find them all at sashakretova.com, under "books+planners". If you have any questions, shoot them in the comments, or dm me. And huge thank you for those who already ordered their books! 💙💙💙 Моя новая коллекция books+planners наконец-то доступна для заказов! Я упростила весь процесс заказа блокнотов, чтобы он был проще и для вас и для меня. Теперь можно заказать любой тип блокнота (планер, пустой, в линеечку, в точечку и тд) с любой из восьми доступных обложек, в любом из двух размеров (а5 и а6). Вобщем куча вариантов! Переплёт, как и раньше, делаю вручную. Вся бумага и картон 100% переработанные. Если вы хотите такой же планер, как в прошлом году, то и они там есть, только даты обновились и вариантов обложек стало больше. Всё это можно найти на sashakretova.com, в разделе "books+planners". Если есть какие-то вопросы, пишите в комментариях или в лс. И огромное спасибо всем, кто уже заказали свои блокнотики! 💙💙💙

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Designed and handmade in Helsinki, this eco-friendly planner has lots going for it. It features recycled paper sourced from within Europe and a cotton thread binding. The weekly planner has numerous abstract cover options. You can click through the different designs in the Instagram post above.

6. Stalogy 365-day notebook, $21

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. 商品名:エディターズシリーズ 365デイズノート/Editor’s Series 365Days Notebook 品番:018 ------ 使いやすさを追求して設計、筆記具を使いこなすプロである編集者(エディター)も納得のEditor’s Series。時刻を表す数字、日付と曜日、そしてグリッドという最低限の要素だけを載せたシンプルなノート。計368ページとは思えない薄さで、かさばらず持ち運べます。 サイズ:A6/B6/A5/B5 商品詳細は @stalogy_official からホームページにて ------ 粘着応用製品のニトムズのテクノロジーとgood design company(グッドデザインカンパニー)のトータルアートディレクションがかけあわさって、ありそうでなかった良質なステイショナリーブランドが誕生しました。 . 代官山駅前の直営店、STALOGY LABORATORY TOKYOでご覧いただけます。 ------ #stalogy #stalogylaboratorytokyo #stalogylover #stationery #madeinjapan #daikanyama #スタロジー #スタロジーラボラトリートウキョウ #文具 #日本製 #代官山 #ニトムズ #ノート #シンプル #エディター #notebook #simple #editor

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These award-winning Japanese notebooks are highly minimalist, with a pale grey grid that offers just enough guidance for neat writing, yet disappears easily into the background as needed. It has a fill-in-the-date format that's highly customizable (if you're into that, or if you need a planner mid-year), and comes with some pretty cover colours. Drumm likes that the covers fold "nearly a full 360-degree rotation without cracking or breaking [and] the onion skin-like paper feels wonderfully retro, but there’s no bleed-through."

6 perfect paper planners for 2019
For some of us, the key to staying organized is shockingly old-fashioned – putting pen to paper.

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