Being organised is the key to keeping on top of all of life’s demands, especially when you’re a student. The seemingly never-ending series of coursework deadlines, exams, and events mean it’s easy to feel overwhelmed unless you have a system to help you stay focused. An academic planner can make things simpler but with so many different brands and styles available to buy, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
That’s where we can help! We’ve researched the best academic planners on Amazon and eBay, in order to aid you in your mission to get organised. Our list of recommendations focuses on planners for the coming academic year, taking into consideration their layout, size, and any extra features that they may have. Ready to get your life in order?
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Table of Contents
It can be confusing trying to work out what you need from an academic planner, so let's run through the basic factors you should think about. Follow our tips and you'll easily find one that you can’t live without!
Everyone is different when it comes to organisation, with some people prefering to plan months in advance while others like to operate on a day-to-day basis. Many academic planners have more than one layout - for example, weekly planners may also have a page for each month too. In this section, we'll discuss the main layout styles.
Daily academic planners provide space for you to organise yourself hour by hour, with a page per day to lay out all of your plans.
This style of planner is great for those with a lot going on who need to keep track of several tasks at once, or students with procrastination issues who perhaps need to write out a strict schedule. However, it may be too much space for some people, meaning that a lot of paper will be left blank!
This type of layout displays your whole week at a glance, so you can see the bigger picture. It's perfect if you like to check your availability for the whole week and pinpoint when your free time is. It's also great for keeping track of recurring events such as chores and appointments.
A monthly layout is the best option for anyone who prefers to have a general overview of major events or deadlines, rather than filling in their planner with daily tasks.
As we mentioned before though, some weekly planners also include pages with monthly layouts - so you might prefer to buy a product with a combination of the two!
If you’re going to be carrying your planner everywhere with you, the last thing you want is a huge, bulky tome that'll weigh down your bag. Buying a heavy planner just makes it more likely that you'll leave it at home - but you're not going to be able to write important study deadlines in it while it’s lying on your desk!
Similarly, if you intend to use your planner to help organise your personal time as well as your academic time, you should make sure it's big enough to fit of all your notes. Cramming lots of writing into a small space because you lack room could in fact cause you more stress and prove to be totally counterproductive!
How annoying would it be to buy your dream planner only to find you can’t use it because the dates aren’t what you expected? In this section, we explain how to prevent this from happening by giving you all the info you need about both dated and undated planners.
An academic planner with the dates already printed requires little effort on your part, and will usually cover 12-18 months, giving you ample space to input your coursework deadlines and exam dates.
However, you should check the time period before you buy, otherwise the dates might have already passed or they might not start until later in the year - meaning you'll either waste pages at the beginning or you won't be able to use your planner straight away.
Some academic planners don’t have dates printed in them at all, though, which can actually be pretty handy!
You can fill in the dates on the pages yourself and it doesn’t matter if you're on a break from school or university, as you can simply skip the dates you don't need and pick up where you left off once term starts again!
Academic planners can come with loads of different features and handy accessories at no extra cost, which makes life so much easier - and more fun! Common extras include bookmarks, pen loops, and pockets for storing things in.
Some planners also provide stickers to help you personalise each page, making the organisation process enjoyable rather than a chore. Plus, customising your planner can really help you to make a habit of using it - after all, if you invest time in something then you'll naturally want to stick with it.
Click to purchase
Weekly & Monthly Planner
A Premium Planner That'll Increase Your Productivity
Undated Weekly Planner - Black
Logically Laid Out and Totally Customisable
Academic Diary 2020-2021
Affordable, With a Charming Floral Design
A5 Refillable Planner
Flexible and Can Be Used Year After Year
Mid-Year Perfect Planner Diary
Packed With Extra Features to Make Planning Easier
18-Month Extra Large Weekly Planner 2020/2021 with Hard Cover
A Top-Quality Product From a Trusted Brand
Simple but Straightforward
Planner - Weekly & Monthly
Compact and Ready to Use Any Time
Daily Schedule & Weekly Productivity Planner
A Pretty Planner With Plenty of Sections
Stay Focused With This 3-In-1 Diary
This planner by Clever Fox comes in at number 1 - we love the premium feel of it, the wide range of lovely colour options, and the superb paper quality. In addition to 12 months' worth of undated pages, it has dedicated sections for habit tracking and to-do lists.
The emphasis on your long-term life goals is probably our favourite thing about this planner and according to the hundreds of 5-star reviews on Amazon, it's something that a lot of people find useful. If you're unsure where to start, there's also a handy "how to use" guide to help you make the most of your purchase. To put it simply, this product delivers pretty much everything you could ever want from a planner!
This is planner has a luxurious feel, with its soft touch cover and premium quality paper. The days of the week in the weekly spreads are left blank, giving you the freedom to fill them out however you'd like - which is always a bonus if you like to customise your diary! It also has 50 dotted notes pages, providing ample space to write everything down that's on your mind.
Each page of this planner is logically laid out, and it includes brightly coloured stickers that you can use as a visual reminder for key dates. We reckon this product will appeal to organisation newbies and planning pros alike!
This planner is designed to help you succeed in every aspect of your life. You can input your work deadlines, plan the week's meals, write a shopping list, and know whose birthdays are coming up next month - pretty amazing, right? It's also spiral-bound, meaning it'll stay flat on your desk and won't unexpectedly close itself.
We think the design of this product is really attractive and fun, and it'll last for 18 whole months before it needs replacing. It's also lightweight and just the right size for popping into your bag. All this for such a reasonable price!
This planner is a fantastic option if you want something that you can keep using year after year - simply buy some Rocket refills and you're good to go again! It comes with daily and weekly layouts included, plus some refill options also come with pages that show the month at a glance.
The binder is robust enough to last you a long time and the paper is really high quality, feeling much more expensive than its price tag would suggest. Rocket also provides info about how project plans and habit trackers can benefit you. So this planner not only keeps you organised, but actually teaches you how to work smarter, not harder!
This planner goes above and beyond when it comes to extra features! It has an impressive four storage pockets and tear-out reminder lists to help you keep on track. The stickers included can be used to create visual cues for important dates, and the mini calendar on each page allows for advance planning.
The faux leather softback cover means that this planner might not hold up as well as a hardback diary when in your bag or out and about, but all of the extras make it worth buying anyway.
Moleskine is an extremely popular brand amongst professionals, known for its stylish and robust stationery. Made from top-quality thick paper, this 18-month planner boasts a hardcover and an elastic strap closure to keep it closed when not in use. It's a decent size too, being compact enough to carry around but still providing plenty of space to make notes.
Again, this is most definitely a planner to keep you on track with your work, as it doesn't have room for info about your personal life. If you want a planner with additional sections to track habits or write down your aims, this may not be the best option for you.
This planner has some great features to help you stay on top of your work - and we love the eyecatching lemon print design too! Sections like the class schedule pages will help you keep track of where you need to be at a certain time. Plus, the weekly page layouts have lots of space for noting down all of your important deadlines as well as your weekend plans.
As this planner is designed for academic use, it lacks space to jot down personal details like your goals or reflections, which can be found in other products on our list. Still, if you want something straightforward and fuss-free, you can't go wrong with this one!
This is a really high-quality planner - it comes in a lovely box, wrapped in tissue paper, and includes cute stickers to help you make notes or highlight important dates. It's undated, so you can start using it whenever you want, and it lasts for a whole year but isn't bulky at all.
Unlike most of the other planners on our list, this one lacks a pocket and a pen loop. While these aren't essential features, we think they'd be useful additions that would enhance an already brilliant product.
While this may seem like more of a personal planner than an academic one, there are lots of useful features that will benefit your studying too. The review sections are handy if you like to take time to reflect on the past week in order to plan for the next one. There are also sections dedicated to finances, travel, and birthdays, which will help you to stay organised so you can focus fully on your studies.
Unfortunately, this planner is let down by the paper quality which isn't good enough to prevent ink from bleeding through to the next page. Plus, the layout is quite structured and doesn't leave any room for personalisation.
The Priori Agenda Planner contains three different layouts, meaning that you can keep track of absolutely everything - from work deadlines to holidays and birthdays. The three bookmarks in different colours allow you to flick between pages really easily and the two pockets are ideal for storing any important loose documents safely in one place.
Whilst there's room for lots of information in this planner, the pages already have pre-printed sections for you to fill in such as to-do lists, weekly goals, and hourly task slots. The controlled layout may work for some but it may not be flexible enough for others, as there's no way of adapting and personalising it.
Now that you've chosen your planner, why not invest in some new stationery to brighten it up? See the links below for more fantastic products that'll help you get the most out of your new purchase.
Organisation is the key to not feeling overwhelmed and overloaded when studying, and an academic planner is an amazing tool that can help you stay on top of things. We hope you'll choose one of our recommendations to help you plan out the rest of your year!
Author: Catherine Torrance
No. 1: Clever Fox｜Weekly & Monthly Planner
No. 2: Acorbis｜Undated Weekly Planner - Black
No. 3: Box Clever｜Academic Diary 2020-2021
No. 4: Rocket｜A5 Refillable Planner
No. 5: Busy B｜Mid-Year Perfect Planner Diary
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