The 2 Absolute Best Student Planners for College & Grad School (2023)

When I was in high school, I always got the basic planner the school handed out every year. It was very simple, and was only ever used for keeping track of assignments and tests. And, honestly, I barely actually used it. I don't know how I kept things straight in my head, just remembering when assignments were due and studying for an exam only when my teacher reminded the class we had one coming up.

Now thinking about how I managed all that throughout those 4 years stresses me out! How was this Type A gal that laid back?! Maybe I was simply content with all the organization I had to do in my head each week? No idea.

BUT, when I got to college I realized the importance of weekly planners. 5 classes with very different schedules of assignments due either online or in person, presentations, quizzes, and exams, plus an ever-changing work schedule... I would have drowned in my disorganization within the first week without my planner!

The 2 Absolute Best Student Planners for College & Grad School (1)
(Video) the perfect academic planner (full walkthrough)

So, I got down to it. I researched the best student planners for college, and decided to start with a simple weekly and monthly planner. My ease of organization has increased ever since!

In this post, I discuss how I came to find the 2 Best Student Planners for College & Grad School: Day Designer Academic Flagship Planner and Erin Condren LifePlanner. You'll discover why it's so hard for me to choose between them each year! Share your favorite planner at the end :)

Day Designer Academic Flagship Planner

Y'all. This is such an amazing planner. You'll notice Day Designer planners in pictures all throughout my site because they were the first brand of planners I ever bought. I have never had one of their planners that I didn't love. This is why they make it into the competition of the best student planners!

The 2 Absolute Best Student Planners for College & Grad School (2)
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For the past few years, I've been partial to this black & white striped pattern. It's simple yet chic, and I felt successful from the moment I picked it up! But the best part about this planner is what comes on the inside.

Goals & Intentions

The Day Designer Academic Flagship Planner has a setting goals page as well as a page that helps you turn those goals into intentions. You outline your goals for the year to come in quarterly intervals at 3 months from now, 6 months, 9 months, and one year from when you fill this out. It's a way to keep you on track and outline your year ahead. The very next page helps you turn those goals into intentions by breaking them down into further detail. You can check back whenever you'd like to note your progress on each goal. It's a fantastic way to keep up with your goals and to not let them fall by the wayside!

Reality Check

I LOVE this planner even more because of this page right here. It helps you think about what you currently spend your time and money on, and then it allows you to think about how you would actually like to spend your time and money. It lays out numerous sections of your daily life (i.e., family, friends, physical, emotional, volunteering, clothes, car, etc.) for you to fill out as you please. I cannot exaggerate enough how much this page has made me reflect on how I currently live my life, and how I wish to spend my time and money to better myself in the future.

Values, Passions & Strengths

Day Designer is also wonderful for including this diagram in their Academic Flagship Planner. They discuss how these 3 factors are reflective of your personality and the way you live your life. The designers at Day Designer are all about empowerment and the bettering of ourselves in our daily lives and it is so fantastic!

Daily, Weekly, & Monthly Planner

My absolute favorite part about the Day Designer Academic Flagship Planner is how they set up the actual planner part! Each day is laid out by hour, and includes things like to-do lists, what you have due that day for class, a place to fill out how much money you make and/or spend that day, dinner plans, reminders, notes, and daily gratitude. On the weekend pages they have a portion at the bottom broken up into the coming weekdays. It allows you to look at the week ahead and write down reminders, due dates, plans, etc.

Erin Condren LifePlanner

I have to say, one of my favorite things about the Erin Condren LifePlanner is how many colorful, fun options she provides for your planner cover! This is the planner I currently use, and taking it out of my bag each day brightens my day! It is so colorful and cheerful. I love it! Check out the dozens of cover styles HERE.

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I hadn't heard of Erin Condren planners until my junior year of undergrad, but you'll quickly see why they are a competitor in the best student planners!

12 vs. 18 Month Planner

The EC LifePlanner allows you to choose 12 or 18 months for your planner. I got the 18-month, pictured below.

Motivational Quotes

All of Erin Condren's planners come with incredibly inspirational quotes written all throughout the planner! In the picture below you'll see a folder page with one of her motivating quotes right on the holder!

From the very beginning, quotes are all over the book. Before you even get into the yearly and monthly calendars, you've got a great quote to read whenever you need some motivation!

Look Ahead

The EC LifePlanner has a full year laid out for you by individual dates right in the beginning. You can mark important dates, using different colored Erin Condren markers for due dates/holidays/birthdays, etc.

At the end of the planner, EC allows you to plan for the coming year. You can map out your goals and intentions, and carry them over into your new planner!

Weekly & Monthly Planner

The monthly planner allows you to add notes, keep track of holidays (and even moon phases), get a monthly view of upcoming school activities and due dates, make notes, and take a look at the next month.

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The Erin Condren LifePlanner can be completely customized to fit your style of organization. One of the best things about these LifePlanners is that you have 3 options to choose from for your weekly layouts. You can have a general writing area for each day with the ability to create a to-do list, reminders, appointments, etc. in a column to the right of each day. You can also have the days broken up into 3 sections for morning, mid-day, and evening. The third option is to break each day down by the hour. Check out all of the LifePlanner layout options HERE.

Wellness Log

Another one of my favorite aspects of the EC LifePlanner is the option to add a Wellness Log! This page is AWESOME. You can move it around your coiled LifePlanner so that you can view it each week, or you can keep it popped right inside the front cover for an easy view. Personally, it serves as a bookmark to easily get to each week, and it keeps me on track with planning my meals and workouts ahead of time. I am so glad I got it! On the back, it even breaks down target heart rates and BMI. Grab it HERE!

Erin Condren also offers a snap-in bill tracker, grocery list, and more. The accessories for the LifePlanner are incredible.

Extras & Accessories!

Remember those motivational quotes? These are the extras that keep me coming back to EC. They are all over her planners! In the LifePlanner, there is one before every single month. As you enter each new month, you read a quote that gives you inspiration and motivation to succeed and be your best self!

All of the above items come with the LifePlanner! It honestly took me a while to find them when I bought my first LifePlanner in undergrad. I just assumed I had to buy stickers separately, but that is definitely not the case! Erin Condren really hooks ya up with all her perks, no matter which of her planners you choose! Plus, if you're a first-time Erin Condren member, you can get extra goodies & samples like the ones pictured below :)

As you can see, both of these planners have great organizational techniques and fantastic layouts. They are a tie for me on my best student planners list! This is the first time I've bought the LifePlanner with the daily layout as it is, and looking back at my last year's Academic Flagship Planner layout has me missing it just a tiiiny bit! The decision for next year's planner is going to be a tough one!

Which planner is your favorite?! Drop a comment below :)

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P.S., are you looking for tips on organization throughout the grad school application process? Check out 11 Best Organization Tips for Grad School Applicants!

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Do university students use planners? ›

College students have to keep track of classes, extracurricular activities, goals, and more. Some students also use their planners to keep track of non-academic things. A good planner should accommodate all of these things. Many of the best planners also offer extra tools.

How do college students use daily planners? ›

How to Use Your Planner
  1. Add Your Contact Info. Write your name in your planner! ...
  2. Map Out Your Schedule. Write down your schedule for classes, work, sports and any other regular activities and commitments. ...
  3. Write Down Your Goals. Write down your goals for your year. ...
  4. Map Out Your Semester. ...
  5. Plan Out Your Week.

What is so great about Erin Condren planners? ›

The thing about Erin Condren is they have a huge assortment of coordinating accessories. Many of the accessories come in the three new themes like washi tape sets, sticker books, pencil cases, planner pouches and more. Each planner comes with some stickers so besides those my favorite products are functional ones.

Are clever fox planners worth it? ›

Clever Fox is one of my favorite planner brands and one of the few sewn bound planners I'll actually use. The pages lay flat, there's bright white paper with very minimal ghosting or bleed through, they're affordable and there's a huge range of cover colors to choose from.

Are expensive planners worth it? ›

Your planner helps you get more done each day, and you feel less stressed. It even saves you money because you never waste money on late fees, and you use it to track your budget. If you spend a $100 on a yearly planner, that comes out to 28 cents a day. To me that's more than worth it!

Is Erin Condren teacher planner worth it? ›

Any item from Erin Condren is truly high quality and will last well beyond the year it's intended to be used. So if you don't mind forking over a little extra for something that's going to last and help you stay organized, then go for it!

What planner should I get for 2022? ›

2022 Planners: 12 Best Daily Planners (Personally Reviewed!)
  • Action Day Timeboxing Planner/Journal.
  • Ink & Volt Goal Planner with Notes.
  • Best Self Co Journal & Planner.
  • Field Notes 56 Week Planner.
  • SMART Planner Pro.
  • Clever Fox Weekly Pro Planner.
  • Panda Planner.
  • Large Weekly Planner from JSTORY.

Which is better bullet journal or planner? ›

Bullet journals are great if you have a lot of task-based things which need to be done. So for example, if you're working on a project and have lots of different things to do for that project. Planners work better if you have lots of time-based events, it's easy to see what is happening and when.

Is a planner better online or paper? ›

If you really want to improve your focus by reducing screen time, then definitely switch to paper planners for journaling, idea mapping, organizing tasks and events, poetry writing – whatever! You'll definitely do your brain a favor in the long run.

Which calendar is best for college students? ›

6 Handy Desk Calendars for College Students
  • OuMuaMua Desk Calendar 2021-2022: Large Monthly Pages.
  • Bloom Daily Planners 2021-2022 Calendar Year Desk or Wall Calendar.
  • Nekmit 2020 Monthly Desk Pad Calendar.
  • MaaIbok Large Desk Calendar 2021-2022.
  • Wayrank Large Mouse Mat Pad Desk Calendar.
22 Mar 2022

Which daily planner is best? ›

Here are the best day planners to consider.
  • Best Overall: Panda Planner Pro. ...
  • Best Personalized: Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly Planner. ...
  • Best Goal-Setting: Lemome Weekly & Monthly Planner. ...
  • Best Bullet Journal: Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal Notebook. ...
  • Best for Productivity: Clever Fox Planner. ...
  • Most Stylish: Rifle Paper Co.
13 Sept 2022

Should I write in my planner in pen or pencil? ›

Pens and pencils are equally sufficient for the purposes of journal writing. However, pens typically offer a smoother feel while writing (depending on the pen type) and are more likely to stand the test of time.

Should I use a planner in college? ›

Having a planner will allow you to remember deadlines, times, things to do, and schedule breaks. Although using a planner may seem easy, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use to keep everything in line and use it to your full advantage.

What planners are better than Erin Condren? ›

Planners Like Erin Condren but Cheaper
  • Weekly Simplified Planner.
  • MomAgendas and MyAgendas.
  • Bloom Daily Planners.
  • Clever Fox Planners.
  • Day Designer for Blue Sky.
  • Simplified Planners by Emily Ley for At a Glance.
  • Happy Planners.
  • Planberry Planners.
2 Aug 2022

What planner does Oprah use? ›

Oprah's The Life You Want™ Planner. Our First-Ever Planner is now part of Oprah's Favorite Things! Make living well a daily practice with Oprah as your guide.

Which online planner is best? ›

The 7 best planner apps of 2022 are TimeCamp, Todoist,, Trello, Things 3, Microsoft Outlook, and Google Calendar. Everyone knows that organizing your tasks and staying on top of all that you need to do improves productivity.

What is the best digital planner for college students? ›

6 great planner apps for high school and college students
  • Todoist.
  • Microsoft To Do.
  • Calendly.
  • iStudiez Pro.
  • myHomework.
  • Power Planner.

What is the difference between clever fox Premium and Pro? ›

The PRO version is bigger than our classic planners, measuring 8.5″ x 11″ (A4). As such, it has more space for your daily planning, a bigger calendar to plan your month, and is very suitable as a desk agenda.

Are vertical or horizontal planners better? ›

The vertical planner is made for those who want freedom and flexibility in their planner with the tiniest bit of structure. If you organize your day by tasks and to-dos, you might prefer the horizontal layout. However, if you prefer to organize by meetings and appointments, you may prefer the vertical layout.

How much should you pay for a planner? ›

Fee-based planners also vary quite a bit. Most fee-only planners charge a percentage of the money they're managing, usually about 1% to 2% of clients' assets. The more money you have, the smaller percentage you pay and the more room you have to negotiate the fee.

What is the most popular planner size? ›

The 4 most popular sizes seem to be: personal size, A5, 7 x 9″ and full page size (8.5 x 11″ / US letter size). If you're unsure what planner size is right for you, here are some pros and cons of each to aid your decision making!

What can I use instead of a planner? ›

The 12 Best Alternatives to Microsoft Planner
  • ClickUp.
  • Trello.
  • Microsoft Excel.
  • Wrike.
  • Asana.
  • Basecamp.
  • Zoho Projects.
5 days ago

How much do top sellers make on teachers pay teachers? ›

According to TpT, the top seller has made over $2 million, 164 teachers have earned over $50,000, and thousands more bring in a few hundred dollars a month, which can make a big difference when you're living on a teacher's salary.

Is principal planner higher than senior planner? ›

The Principal Planner job addendum is distinguished from the Senior Planner job addendum by the greater degree of responsibility for higher level technical, administrative and public policy elements of the department's work program.

How long does it take to get your Erin Condren planner? ›

Most of our orders will ship within 3-6 business days. During peak seasonal times, that window may extend to 7-10 days.

What is the difference between A5 and A6 planners? ›

Small or Personal Size Planners – A6

The small or personal size version of planners are usually about half the size of an A5 planner paper. These smaller planners are often an A6 size.

Should I use a daily or weekly planner? ›

A daily planner is the best place to write down your tasks for the day. A weekly planner is the best place to write down your goals for the week. The most important thing to remember is that you don't need to use both in the same day.

What is the best journal brand? ›

Best overall journal
  • The Bullet Journal Method. ...
  • Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal Notebook Medium (A5) ...
  • Moleskine Classic Notebook (Medium) ...
  • Papier Tigre Notebook A5 Mixed Module. ...
  • Newestor Refillable Leather Traveller's Notebook. ...
  • Papier Stacked Shapes Daily Planner. ...
  • MiGoals Weekly A5 Notes Diary.
11 Jan 2022

Should I use a planner or a journal? ›

The words for journal, diary and planner imply that there are differences in the meaning and use of these items. In short, a diary is normally used to log daily events, while a journal can be scribbles relating to many random things. A planner is used for planning ahead for the next day, week or month.

Why paper planners are better than digital? ›

Helps Improve Organizational Skills

Printed school planners are an excellent way to reinforce these abilities. Typing requires less mental effort than writing, which means notes entered into a digital planner are likely to be more disorganized because less conscious effort went into making them.

Does anyone still use paper planners? ›

For many people, keeping this resolution means turning over a fresh page in a new printed planner. Even in this decidedly digital age, paper planners, bullet journals and other analog calendar and planning systems remain relevant for people of all ages.

Should I get a planner or calendar? ›

As far as planners and calendars go, if you need something that will allow you to keep track of many different appointments throughout the week, a planner will work for that. A calendar is a great way to keep track of daily appointments and will give you a way to glance over your monthly schedule.

Do digital planners last forever? ›

Digital Planners Help Reduce Waste

And you don't have to buy several different stickers, pencils and pens to use with it because the digital stationery can be used over and over again, indefinitely!

What is the most accurate calendar? ›

The Persian calendar has been called “one of the world's most accurate calendar systems.” Like the Islamic calendar, it dates back to Muhammad's Hegira in 622 CE, but it is otherwise quite different. It's a solar calendar, rather than a lunar one, with the year beginning on midnight of the vernal equinox in Iran.

Is there a better calendar than Google? ›

Microsoft calendar is a good Google calendar alternative that offers an adequate number of tools to meet most people's calendar and scheduling requirements. This free-of-cost application has a simple, uncluttered interface that is much better than many paid alternatives available on the Windows Store.

Should pens be facing up or down? ›

I find that felt tip pens like whiteboard markers, Sharpies, Microns and highlighters are best stored with the tip down. It keeps the ink in contact with the fiber/felt tip so that it does not dry out. Rollerballs and ballpoints are best if they are stored upright so they don't leak or get gummy at the point.

What type of pen writes the smoothest? ›

Rollerballs provide the smoothest writing. The free-flowing ink doesn't require a lot of pressure, so the pen glides across the page. Gel pens are best for writing precisely, and they come in a rainbow of ink colors. A subset of rollerballs, gel pens write smoothly but typically with thinner lines.

Should I use a notebook or a planner? ›

If you prefer to plan on a daily or weekly basis, a planner will be the best choice for you. We have layouts for both types of planning that cover a wide array of planning styles. On the other hand, if you prefer to just plan on a monthly basis, a notebook is your best option.

How do I choose a student planner? ›

How to Choose the Best Student Planner
  1. Layout. Looking at the layout of a planner is essential. ...
  2. Writing Space. Running out of space to write is inconvenient. ...
  3. Weekly Goals. If you want to encourage more productivity from your students, find a planner with a weekly goals section.

What percent of college students use planners? ›

With so many different classes and assignments to keep track of, it's critical that students stay organized throughout their study routines. 65.1% of students do this using a planner or calendar that allows them to manage time.

Should students use planners? ›

But in the long term, students need to have a way to keep track of assignments and due dates on their own, set intermediate deadlines for long-term projects, and create external reminder systems to keep themselves on track. A planner is a great way to do this.

Is Microsoft planner free for students? ›

Upload course documents and Student Planner stores and organizes them on OneDrive. Download it here from Windows Store for free.

What does a student planner need? ›

What should be in an academic planner? An academic planner should have monthly and weekly planning pages, trackers for projects and exams, productivity pages, class schedule section, note pages, and more.

Does Google have a student planner? ›

Students can get a quick overview of their assignments on the To-do page (aka online student planner).

Is it better to use a digital or paper planner? ›

If you really want to improve your focus by reducing screen time, then definitely switch to paper planners for journaling, idea mapping, organizing tasks and events, poetry writing – whatever! You'll definitely do your brain a favor in the long run.

Is it worth spending money on a planner? ›

Your planner helps you get more done each day, and you feel less stressed. It even saves you money because you never waste money on late fees, and you use it to track your budget. If you spend a $100 on a yearly planner, that comes out to 28 cents a day.

What is Microsoft Planner called now? ›

The “Planner” app name in Teams has changed to “Tasks by Planner and To Do” - Microsoft Community Hub.

Does Microsoft have a student Planner? ›

Upload your course documents and Student Planner will extract the important information for you, add the event to your calendar, and store the document to your OneDrive. Within the app, create OneNote pages for your classes and immediately start taking notes in an organized notebook.

What is the difference between an academic planner and a regular planner? ›

An academic planner is a planner made and designed for students. It has a focus on the school year and assignments. These planners tend to start in the summer June-July. The main difference is that regular planners are typically generalized and start in January.

What are three things you can do with student planner? ›

Broadly, we rely on planners (or other work management systems) to do three things: capture our to-do lists and activities, schedule our actions and represent time, and remind us of future tasks. 1.

When should students start planning for college? ›

Some experts recommend starting as early as sixth grade. We have found that starting to think about and to prepare for college should ideally start during the summer before your high school freshman year, but getting help later can still be of benefit to you.

What is Google's version of planner? ›

Google Calendar: Free Calendar App for Personal Use.


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