15 Best Journals & Planners for 2023: Our Readers’ Favorites
“Hands down the best planner around for ADHD.” You’ve got our attention! These ADDitude readers sent us their favorite paper journals and planners — ones that really click with ADHD brains getting organized, prioritized, and productive.
When your to-do list becomes just another beast to avoid, it’s time to find a system that speaks to your ADHD brain. Physical journals and planners work for many ADDitude readers, 61% of whom said they prefer paper over digital tools. Some creative thinkers prefer bullet journals and two-page spreads with space for notes. Perfectionists gravitate toward undated and customizable calendars. Simple note pads pair well with a need for simplicity, and printable PDFs are budget friendly.
We asked ADDitude readers to share their favorite paper planners, and they delivered, below. Leave your product reviews in the Comments section!
Best Journals & Planners for ADHD Brains
“The Happy Planner is my favorite! It comes in bold, bright colors and designs with a theme that you get to choose. It’s really eye-catching and makes me want to open it. It stands out on my desk so that I remember to use it, too.” — An ADDitude Reader, Texas
“I love the Seeing My Time planner because it turns the abstract idea of time into a tangible, highly visible tool I can interact with. Plus, it comes with a short series of tutorials explaining how to use it.” — Jen
“Planner Pads is hands down the best planner around for ADHD. It naturally brings your focus to what needs to be done in the most organized way possible. Couldn’t function without it.” — Stacey, Ohio
“I use a Bloom planner. It’s loaded with affirmations, self-care tips, and assorted reminders. There are lots of free printables on the website. It’s colorful, and there are stickers!” — Melanie
“The Emergent Task Planner by David ‘Sri’ Seah (and his virtual co-working group) provides the external scaffolding I need to build a successful career despite attention difficulties, including both inattentiveness and hyperfocus that cost me time. I combine this with information from ActivTrak.com to fill in the blanks.” — Courtney
“Rocketbook by Everlast. It’s got an erasable pen and pages you can wipe clean. It encourages me to scan my notes and organize them digitally. It gives me a fighting chance of keeping them organized. I like its versatility; I can scribble down a quick thought and erase it once I’ve dealt with it. Or, I can take longer notes and scan them into Evernote to organize and tag.” — Zoe
“I stumbled upon the Live Rich Planner by the Budget Mom. It has the perfect layout; for any sections I don’t need, I use washi tape to cover the headings (i.e. shopping list) and exchange for something else. It is a bit bulkier, comparatively, but it’s the only planner I have ever tried and stuck with for an entire year. I can fit all my personal and business to-do lists, which I love!” — Sandra, Australia
“After years of searching for the perfect planner, I discovered Levenger. It allows me to customize my own planner. I use the monthly tabs to track my calendar. There’s also room for unlimited notes; you can add as much paper behind each tab as you want. And everything is movable, so I take notes for a month and then file those away when I start a new month. This saved me from constantly losing the notebook I used last and having to carry both a planner and notepad. I love, love, love this product!” — T.C.
“Finally, at almost 40 years old, I have found the best planner for my ADHD. The TREES weekly planner is blank and allows me to populate the date. It saves the perfectionist stress that I’m ‘wasting’ a week if I need to skip it. I can also track goals, habits, a weekly focus, and my to-do list. I use the daily section to track what I’m up to each week. It helps me reduce stress around the uncertainty of what each day is going to bring at work and with the kids. A great balance between structure and flexibility for my ADHD brain!” — An ADDitude Reader
“The Astral Planner has sections for symptom tracking, nutrition, an area for top priorities, AM/PM habit tracking, and an hourly daily spread. I use mine for personal, school, and business planning or projects. My biggest challenge was planners that didn’t have a section for all of these. If it had open, unlabeled spaces or boxes, I felt overwhelmed. It’s the reason bullet journaling never worked for me! The minimalist, non-cursive typography and black-and-white color scheme is easy on my eyes. It isn’t outright feminine, and it’s perfect for anyone interested in a balanced planner for both personal and small business tracking.” — Katelyn
“My favorite paper planner is the Moleskine Classic Daily 12-Month Planner. I like that there is a page for each day and a line for each 30-minute increment from 8AM to 8PM. It helps me visually see the blocks of time when I enter meetings or appointments. I draw a box around those half-hours and can write tasks in between events using the bullet journal method. Seeing it all laid out like that helps me plan my day.” — Emily
“The Pen+Gear planner has saved me. The most important part for me is that it has the week on one side, and a dot grid on the other. I use that space to make lists and note things that happen during the week. I then write them on specific days to give myself a to-do list for that day. It helps me funnel my tasks from general to specific. I can easily see what wasn’t accomplished this week and needs to be moved to the next.” — Kristin
“The Panda Planner‘s vertical weekly layout works well for me when I remember to use it. Even though it’s in Outlook, I rewrite my work schedule to remind me what tasks are due. Sunday afternoon prep time doesn’t prevent the ‘Monday scaries,’ but it does [help]. My journals are like my thoughts: all over the place and random.” — Christine
“I use two pages per day and the calendar tabs quite a bit in the Franklin Planner. I can then have detailed notes on the daily pages. I have to keep in the habit of making time to use it, though. If I get out of habit, I get way out of sync.” — An ADDitude Reader
“Wisdom Supply Company’s large Zero-Waste Weekly Planner is the best, most ADHD-friendly planner I’ve ever used. The day is broken into three areas on weekdays, so there’s plenty of room to organize without having to read past (and get distracted by) something that’s not time-relevant. There’s one lined, blank page on every two-page spread, so you can scribble down and prioritize or dismiss repetitive thoughts. And there are smaller grid calendars for each month and year to plan ahead… The bottom of each page can be torn off so you can find your place easily without having to use (and repeatedly lose) a paperclip or placeholder. The planner is recycled, printed with plant-based inks, and 100% recyclable… which eases my constant concern over the environment. Check out the budget-friendly PDF version, too.” — An ADDitude Reader
“I’ve tried lovely, expensive journals before and because I’m a perfectionist, I would barely use them. My writing is so chaotic and messy. I felt I was ruining the journal. I’ve found that the cheapest possible note pad works best for my brain with daily lists and notes. I can make mistakes, chuck out pages, and doodle all over; it doesn’t bother my perfectionist brain!” — Emma, Australia
More Great Planners and Journals for ADHD Brains
- Reader Recommendations: Time-Management Products for ADHD Brains
- Find: More Great Planners for Any Organizational Style
- Get Inspired: 11 Gift Ideas That Adults with ADHD Love
- Find: ADHD Specialists or Clinics Near You
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