Best Planner for Entrepreneurs

12+ Of the Best Planners for Creative Entrepreneurs with a Vision | nathalielussier.com

Confession time… I’m totally a notebook-a-holic, paper planner aficionado, and workbook addict.

I’ve tried a ton of them, and this is not a new theme in my life…

My mom has pictures of me carrying a bag full of mini diaries, post it note packs, and ruled notebooks when I was just a toddler. I wouldn’t let anyone throw out or touch my paper products, and when we moved into our house my mom mailed me all of my paper addiction “collection”.

My paper planner addiction took on a more “serious” role when I became an entrepreneur, because I had a reason to use all of these awesome productivity tools I kept finding.

And I’m always open to trying a new type of notebook, too. My husband has to steer me away from the paper aisles at Target, and I avoid shopping when it’s “back to school” time because I will end up bringing home more paper products than I can use.

Over the years, I’ve tried a ton of different entrepreneurial paper planners, so with the new year around the corner I thought I’d do a full on review.
 
Best planner for entrepreneurs

Choosing The Right System For You

Now I need to say that none of these are products that you absolutely NEED to have. That might sound weird, but from my personal experience it’s not so much about which notebook or planner you use… As much as actually using it on a daily basis to get stuff done that really matters.

So please take this side by side planner comparison as a fun way to pick a helpful tool for your year… And not as a “silver bullet” that will change your life.

Yes, if you pick one of these and you end up putting it to good use you will most definitely have a productive year and get a ton of amazing traction in your business.

But that will be because YOU made it happen. You just happened to have a cool and motivating sidekick notebook to make it easier. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission for recommending them, but I would be sharing this review with you regardless of the affiliate links.

So with that caveat out of the way, let’s take a look at these pretty planners, shall we?

Rituals for living dreambook

1. Briana Borten’s Rituals For Living Dreambook

A few years back my friend Briana held a successful kick starter campaign to produce her Rituals For Living Dreambook, and I think it’s just gorgeous.

This is a combination life planner for the big things you want to accomplish in the next 1, 5, and 10 years… and a system for breaking it down into smaller chunks that you can take action on week after week.

I like how there’s an emphasis on doing something fun for yourself each week, giving gratitude for the amazingness in your life, and also picking only 3 top priorities per week. The size of the planner is also great, small enough to carry with you, but it carries enough gravitas to make you heed your dreams.

Who it’s for: This dream book is most definitely ideal for entrepreneurs, and while it’s not a daily planner it will give you clarity on a weekly basis to move toward your goals. Oh, and there is a daily planner option / addon you can check out, too!

Daily Greatness Planner

2. Daily Greatness Business Planner

I finally got to play with the Daily Greatness planner, and it’s been an amazing way to think through business decisions and think big.

What I like about it is that it’s an un-dated yearly planner, so you can start using it anytime (no need to wait for the new year!). It also includes finance and budget worksheets, quarterly goal setting pages. Plus there are specific prompts for daily, weekly and quarterly planning.

If you like to plan on paper, there’s a social media content planner section, the one-page business plan to keep you focused, and on-going check ins to keep you motivated throughout the year. They also offer non-business planners for your overall life goals, I have a feeling it’ll be the perfect fit for those looking for a colorful planning tool!

Who it’s for: The Daily Greatness company offers different journals and workbooks based on your needs, but I’m especially keen on the Business Planner for entrepreneurs. The books are colorful and flexible enough so you can be your own guru!

Desire Map Planner

3. Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner

There’s something to be said about zigging when everyone is zagging, and Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner does just that.

Instead of focusing only on your productivity and getting your “todo items done” each day, the Desire Map Planner has you looking at how you want to feel first.

Once you’ve gotten into the feelings that really light you up, you can take action in more aligned and soulful ways. This is awesome because as a Type A go-getter like many of us entrepreneurial ladies are, it’s nice to take a step back and remember why we’re doing all of this in the first place.

What I love about these planners is the beautiful cover designs, and the intentionality behind the method. There’s also a daily, weekly, and monthly spread which is awesome for keeping track of all your activities.

Who it’s for: Danielle designed this for entrepreneurs, but I think it suits anyone who wants to lean into their core desired feelings on a daily or weekly basis. It’s great if you’re ready for something a little different.

The Idea Sanctuary™ Ideabook

4. The Idea Sanctuary™ Ideabook

After years of reviewing and playing with everyone else’s paper planners… I decided it was time to design my own! I didn’t want to re-invent the wheel, so I thought about what happens for most entrepreneurs: lots of ideas, but making them a reality is the tricky part.

The Idea Sanctuary™ Ideabook is a paper planner that focuses on bringing your best ideas to market, by helping you plan and take action. It’s not a dated “daily or weekly planner”, rather it helps you brainstorm, refine, and market your business ideas.

It’s the exact process that I use to launch successful programs and ideas on a regular basis, including how to mind-map an idea, schedule a marketing campaign, and even write a sales page.

It’s 200 pages of idea-refining exercises, prompts, and step-by-step guidance to capture your best ideas and make them happen. (Did I mention how excited I am about this?!)

Who it’s for: This ideabook is for creative entrepreneurs who have a lot of ideas, and who need that safe space to explore them further and make them happen. It’s perfect if you’re just getting started in business, or for your next big breakthrough idea or project.

Strategic coach weekly planner

5. Strategic Coach’s Weekly Planner

This isn’t a weekly planner that you can just purchase, because you need to be a client of the Strategic Coach program (which is a yearly mastermind-style program that runs just under 5 figures per year)… But I wanted to include it here because I like to joke that it’s my most expensive paper planner.

One of the things I really like about this planner is that you start a new one every quarter, and there’s a big emphasis on celebrating your successes along the way.

There are also places to track the different tools that are specific to Strategic Coach, like splitting your days between Focus, Buffer, and Free Days.

Who it’s for: This weekly planner is only for Strategic Coach clients, but you can draw inspiration from their Positive Focus page and make reviewing your successes a habit. I really like that it condenses all the practices of the program into doable daily habits!

Day designer

6. Whitney English’s Day Designer

I first started using my Day Designer back in 2013 when Whitney English was a sponsor for our Off The Charts event. I fell in love with the impeccable design, the focus on the entrepreneur’s busy day… and the gorgeous daily quotes.

This daily planner is a beast because it includes one page per day, but this is great because it allows you to write down daily meetings right beside your daily to-do’s.

This was the first planner to offer such a simple and effective design, and it’s still a winner today. One drawback for myself personally is that I prefer to organize my meetings and calls via Google Calendar, and keep my paper planner for my own todo items.

Overall, I absolutely loved using this day designer and it definitely kept me on task and productive!

Who it’s for: Designed for busy creative entrepreneurs, it blends productivity and design beautifully… It’s one of those planners that you won’t want to get rid of, but it is pretty bulky so you won’t be carrying it around with you a lot if you travel often.

Simplified planner

7. Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner

The next contender is very much on the same plane as the Day Designer, and it’s equally beautiful and practical. The Emily Ley Simplified Planner has a touch of whimsy and it’s won a couple of awards for design in the printed products industry.

I got whisked into the excitement last year because I couldn’t decide on which cover design I preferred (all so pretty!). I ended up not using the planner as much as I anticipated, despite the fact that it’s gorgeous, because of the small space for writing out tasks.

Just like the Day Designer, there’s a page per day which makes this a bulkier planner and you need to squeeze your meetings and calls beside your daily tasks.

The quotes and calendar are a nice perk, and it’s expertly designed and I hear this year the planners are a little lighter and more portable, too.

Who it’s for: From my understanding, this planner is more geared toward moms and busy ladies of any kind. It’s less entrepreneur focused, and it includes a spot to mark down what you’re making for dinner, too. These planners are gorgeous and very colorful!

Daily action planner

8. Savor The Success Daily Action Planner

This planner is good for the commitment-probes among us, because one planner only represents one month at a time. That means that you’re not tied to a planner for an entire year, which might suit you if you want to play the planner field a little.

This also makes this planner one of the more expensive options, since you’ll need to get 12 of them to cover your whole year. That being said, this action planner has a few features that make it stand out.

One of the things I love about it is the emphasis on writing down tasks for the week – and who you are delegating them to. This helps you offload or at least start to see how you can stop being the bottleneck in your business.

The other cool feature is the “outgoing ships” section, which is all about doing one small daily action that might bring back a cool opportunity.

My only complaint with this planner is that there isn’t a ton of space again to write down tasks, since it is a smaller planner and it tries to fit a ton of different types of things on each page.

Who it’s for: This paper planner is most definitely designed for entrepreneurs, and you can tell that it suits the creator’s workflow to a T. I recommend giving it a try if you’re looking to fine tune your daily planning and try something different.

Erin condren planner

9. Erin Condren’s Life Planner

This is one paper planner that I have yet to try, but have heard great things about. This one is ideal for you if you like having a weekly at-a-glance view of your calendar.

Personally, it reminds me of the types of agendas and planners that we had in our primary school years… and it doesn’t provide enough space to enter my daily tasks.

But I can see how it would be really beneficial for planning lots of different weekly events, so if your business has more of that type of flow (and you’re not on the Google Calendar train) then this might be a good option for you.

Who it’s for: I can see this planner being a life saver if you travel a lot and need to keep track of different appointments, important dates for launches, and really looking at things from an at-a-glance viewpoint. It could even make a great editorial calendar!

Passion planner

10. The Passion Planner

The Passion Planner is another kick starter success story, and I love the ethos behind the brand. It’s aimed at a more mainstream audience who are ready to embrace their passions and make a change to their daily lives.

The design shows a full week of days over two pages, which is a nice compromise from the full-on (and heavy!) daily planners out there… This gives you just enough space to write down all the meetings and calls you might have, with another section for your todo items in more detail below.

I do like how tasks can be broken down into personal and work, and how there’s a “top priority” and “errands” category, too.

Overall, I think it’s a fun and very usable planner with cute quotes and lots of function packed in. It doesn’t have the same design flair as some of the others, but it might just spark your passion!

Who it’s for: Ideal for anyone who wants to break down their bigger yearly or monthly goals into doable weekly action plans. It’s got a younger vibe and the founders are really passionate about what they’ve created.

Volt Planner

11. Ink + Volt Planner

This is a new planner that I discovered just last year, and they have both a dated version or an undated 6-month “start any time” version.

There are a few things that really made me enjoy using this weekly planner: it offers a monthly “30 day challenge” which is great for changing habits or going after bigger goals. It’s also got useful journaling prompts, and nudges you to review your monthly and yearly goals each week.

Plus, it has a great “2 in one” system where the first half of the notebook is your weekly planner and the second half is reserved for notes. I usually have two notebooks going at a time, and with the Volt Planner I’ve been able to reduce it down to just one. The only downside in my opinion is that it’s a no-frills black notebook, which isn’t as pretty or colorful as some of the other ones on this list.

Who it’s for: This planner is awesome for more corporate ladies who want some introspection along with their high-power goal achieving. I also think it’s perfect for you if you travel a lot, since you can have all of your important tasks and notes in one place.

Make your own daily planner

12. Blank Notebooks – Make Your Own!

Okay, now that we’ve looked at a ton of different options for planners and workbooks… let’s be honest here: if you’re reading this, you’re a highly creative entrepreneur and you might be hankering to make your own!

From some of my comments above, you might have guessed that I sometimes feel stifled by boxes that are too small for my tasks or that don’t necessarily focus on the things I want to focus on.

That’s where picking a pretty blank notebook comes in! Although a blank or lined notebook won’t have a calendar or other cool prompts, it does tend to bend to whatever planning system you prefer.

If you don’t quite know how to organize your tasks or todos, I recommend taking a look at the Bullet Journal.

Some of my favorite blank notebooks are spiral bound, so it’s super easy to keep my “today” page open and make notes about future days or review past weeks, too.

So what’s The Best Planner for Entrepreneurs? You Decide!

There’s no one-size-fits all when it comes to choosing the best planner for entrepreneurs, but I think each of these is a strong contender.

Now that I’ve shared my take on some of the top entrepreneurial paper planners out there, I want to know what you think!

I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me know:

What’s your favorite notebook, planner, or organization system?

The Idea Succession Dynamic™ and Closing Loops

idea succession dynamic

In this episode, I’m talking about why it’s so important to close loops in your business. I also talk about what that process might look like.

Many of us are very creative, idea-focused entrepreneurs. We’re really great at creating amazing products, services, and tools.  But sometimes, you just have to step back and take a look at what you’ve created to see if it still fits your business.

Case in point: our Off the Charts podcast. This is the last episode that we have scheduled for now, because we’re taking an indefinite break… which sounds pretty harsh, right?

But here’s why that’s a good thing:

When you take a step back, you might realize you’ve created a lot of things. Each of these “things” might be your blog, products, services, opt-in offers – and many might be a little outdated.

But each one consumes energy from you in some way, whether you realize it or not.

In my case, I’m being completely transparent and vulnerable: the Off the Charts podcast was a great decision and has been a strong part of our business. But at this point, there are other areas that we need to be focused on. We’re always trying to do fewer things better to make the biggest impact.

The concept I’ve come up with to explain this revisiting phenomenon is called The Idea Succession Dynamic™.

Here’s the analogy:

If there’s a clearing or small field, nature wants to fill it with a mature forest. So it wants mature shrubs, bigger trees, etc. The only thing that can set back this natural progress is some sort of catastrophe, like a flood or fire.

It’s so similar in our businesses!

The natural inclination is to grow things in your business. Over time, you create more mature systems that work together to make your business more stable.

But… sometimes you have to make room for that small seedling. And that might mean chopping down (and recycling!) the “big tree” that’s taking up all of the sunlight and room in your forest.

Businesses evolve and interact with each other very naturally. We have to be willing to let go of some parts in order to embrace new growth and potential.

 

the idea sanctuaryThis brings me to the Idea Sanctuary™  and I’m so excited about it!

It’s a brand new video series and ideabook/notebook that dives into that process of taking a new seed in your business and allowing it to grow! As creative entrepreneurs, we have so many great ideas… but there’s a problem. Because not a lot of people talk about the necessary changes that take place between getting that idea and then bringing it into the world.

So if you’re ready for new growth in your business, head over to theideasanctuary.com – it’s free to sign up for the video series. Once you do, you’ll also get info on how to get your own Ideabook to begin creating!

 

How to Generate and Capture The Best Ideas Every Day

how to generate and capture the best ideas every day

This episode is all about how to capture your best ideas for business… and I’m sharing with you my latest project that’s designed to help!

It’s all founded on the belief that: Ideas are a natural resource. The more ideas you come up with and use, the more ideas you get.

Of course this only works if you can capture your best ideas AND execute on them.

Inside this episode, I’m going in-depth through the 7 best ways for how to capture your best ideas, and the simple paper planner that can help:

1: Designate A Place to Capture Your Best Ideas

Ideas need a place to live, just like all of us. If you don’t have a designated spot for them to “land” when they appear, they’re likely to float back to where they came from.

2: Keep An Idea Alive Long Enough To Write It Down

One of my biggest pet peeves is when a great idea comes to me when I’m away from my “idea capture space.” Like in the shower, while I’m walking around or driving, or having a conversation with someone. So I’ve got a few memory tips to share that can help you remember the ideas until you have a chance to jot them down!

3: Use an electronic capture device like “voice to text” on your phone

One of my best tricks for how to capture your best ideas is really to use what you have access to. For many of us that means a phone or other electronic device. Simply hit “record” on your phone or tablet and explain your idea.

4: Unblock Yourself Creatively Through Movement

Maybe you’re not be the type of person who gets blocked creatively… maybe you have TOO many ideas.

But it’s possible for all of us to get stuck in an idea rut and to feel creatively blocked…or to get the same kinds of ideas over and over, instead of fresh new ones.

That’s where moving your body comes to the rescue!

We’re not just brains attached to a body that “does nothing.” Our entire body has cells and receptors that can help you generate ideas. That’s why taking a walk, going for a swim, and carrying something heavy can stimulate new ways of thinking.

5: Work Through an Ideation Process to Generate and Capture Related Ideas

Sometimes the first idea you get isn’t the one you end up executing on. (Sad, but true!)

That means that having an ideation process that you can work through after you get that first stroke of genius is important. This takes you from the initial “good idea” to the refining and validating stages.

One way that I love doing this is the process I walk people through inside The Idea Sanctuary™. It’s useful to look at the existing ecosystem that you want your idea to enter into…

6: Empty Your Idea Tank Each Day

As a creative entrepreneur, falling asleep can be tricky when there are a lot of thoughts and ideas going through your mind…

That’s why I recommend doing a brain dump of thoughts, tasks, and ideas every day. The more often you clear your mind, the better you’re able to generate and act on your ideas.

7: Keep a Pen and Paper Next to Your Bed For Late Night Inspiration

If you frequently get great ideas before you fall asleep, in the middle of the night, or around nap time… you might also know that these are the ideas that tend to disappear most easily (hello, slumber!).

So the solution here is to keep a pen and paper next your bed to capture these best ideas as they pop up… and definitely take time to check out The Idea Sanctuary™ ideabook here.

Off The Charts Business Podcast

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How Client Avatars Can Sabotage Your Marketing

Hey there, and welcome to today’s Off The Charts episode! We are diving into customer avatars and the reasons why they might actually sabotage your marketing, instead of helping you discover and meet up with your ideal clients. Our guest is Hillary Rubin, a wonderful entrepreneur who’s focused on helping other professionals really learn the… Continue Reading

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