18 Must-Have Planners, Apps, And Notebooks For Your Most Organized Year Yet

Like buying new exercise clothes to get your ass in gear for the gym, buying a new set of notepads, calendars and binders just makes you WANT to write things down and be that organized person you KNOW you can be. 

Whether you are a natural born scheduler, or a free-flowing tornado of cryptic messages on crumpled napkins, there are loads of clever options available to keep you organized (or at least, organized-looking) this year.

Got a lust for lists? Do you feel a powerful sense of accomplishment that comes with each checkmark you make next to a completed task? It’s a new year and you deserve a new list pad. Or two. Or three. You are one productive sonofagun, and you may as well spring for a bulk order because THAT’s how much you accomplish in a day.

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List Makers Gonna List pad- because, obviously. Find it on Etsy.

best list pads for crafters

This list pad from Emily McDowell will make you feel accomplished from the get-go.

best notepads for crafters

When a note pad has areas for action items, like Kari Chapin’s Launch Pad (available for pre-order here), it’s a must-have for anyone planning world domination or their next blog post.

Post-It Note-Takers

Can’t stop/won’t stop the Post-it note habit? These sticky note accessories just for you, and your many colorful square minions.

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For the DIY-minded sticky note-writer this note roller is right up your alley.

best sticky notes to get organized

Keep your sticky note arsenal stocked, ready, and looking tidy with this Moleskine folio.


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The Evernote Premium app (more on this later) has a pretty trick system for digitizing your Post-It notes. Handwritten text become searchable, storable and can retain color-coding. Notes can have reminders and tags attached to them, and since your personal handwriting is digitized, you can perform cool functions like name recognition within searches. Get more info on the Evernote website.
Calendars & Daily Planners
Between Google calendars, smart phone alerts and other digital reminders, you’d think we would all be more productive. But sometimes a paper calendar and a pen are the only way to get through the month.

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Looking for a clean, wall calendar to keep track of your life? This fresh design from Redstar Ink has plenty of room for appointments and notes.

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Combine the bright designs you love from Jonathan Adler with your bright ideas and you’re set to conquer the year.

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Beefed up versions of your favorite Moleskine are ready to accompany you to your next brainstorming or doodle session over on their website.

best calendars to get organized

Kari Chapin is an author, creative business consultant, maker, motivational speaker, teacher, and podcast host. And now she has created this gorgeously designed workbook and productivity tracker available for pre-order on Amazon.

Since my life isn’t as organized as it could be, I asked Kari to share one of her secrets to staying on top of a busy schedule. Here’s the brilliance she shared:
“My advice when trying to create a schedule that works for you is two-fold. First, do not over schedule yourself. It is often impossible to do too many big things in one day, yet we pile things to do on our lists and then feel bad when we can’t complete them. Ask yourself what is most important today? What will make me money today? What will make me feel good about my work today and then make that work your priority. Secondly, get to know your distractions. What do you do during the day that puts off your progress? For me it’s social media. I learned to swap the time I spent distracting myself from my work with social media and it made a huge difference. 
I practice mindfulness on social media now and I get more work done faster and with greater ease. When I’m done with my work for the day, I let myself indulge in social sites that I love, so I still get what I want, but in a timeframe that works better for my business. “

Life-Organizing Apps:
If your Smartphone is already a permanent extension of your hand, you may want to get to know these apps. Tap, scroll and sort your way to paperless productivity.

evernote best way to get organized
Evernote is so well loved by users that if you’ve tried it, you are probably obsessed with it. It’s essentially a digital filing cabinet, note-taking tool, task management system, receipt-keeper, journal and more. The basic version of Evernote is free, but you can always upgrade to the Premium account for even more life-enhancing features.

best apps to stay organized

30/30 is a well-designed app for those of us who blur the lines between multi-tasker and having ADD. You can set up a list of tasks and assign a length of time for each of them. When you start the timer, it will tell you when to move on to the next task. Find it in the iTunes store.

Paper Organizers:

For all of the paper bits you can’t seem to part with, here are a few eye-catching solutions to make your clutter cuter.

best planners to get organized

Save your files in the cloud. The other cloud. The cloud that you actually understand.
 Get yours here.

best planners to get organized

When looking for smartly dressed binders, Russell + Hazel always delivers. Plus, something about an oversized rubber band just makes me feel secure.

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This file cabinet makes me want to file, all. night. long. I’ll take two in every color please. See more colors here.

Read up: 

Want some REAL inspiration on getting it together this year? Here are a few books that are like having a personal trainer breathing down your neck:

–The holy grail of productivity, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen B Covey


This year, you CAN get organized. It’s not too late. Put on your still-new workout clothes, skip the gym (lets be honest, you were going to anyway right?) and use that time to get your desk, notes or calendar in shape. You’ll get quicker results, and probably feel just as good about yourself.

Megan Andersen FOLLOW >

Known in craft circles as “Radmegan,” Megan O. Andersen has been crafting, baking, cooking, drawing, sculpting and gardening since she could hold a crayon. Follow along with her crafty adventures at www.radmegan.com.