Anyone who has turned in an assignment at the last minute or missed a quiz knows the importance of staying on top of their studies with a great planner. The best academic planners should be organized enough to help you keep track of long and short term assignments, and have the flexibility to adapt to whatever your school schedule throws at you.
Choosing a planner is an extremely personal choice. Those who prefer a clean outline may favor a more streamlined monthly layout, while someone who needs to keep track of their daily schedule might prefer a weekly style option with additional lines for reminders. Other features you might take into account are to-do lists, habit trackers, and goal-planning pages. Many planners also have separate work and personal to-do lists, which can help you keep your priorities balanced.
It's also good to look for thick paper of at least 120 GSM that doesn't allow ink to bleed through the pages. And since a planner is only effective if you use it regularly, you’ll want to ensure the one you choose will fit into your backpack or school bag.
With all that in mind, here are the best academic planners you can buy on Amazon.
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1. The Best For Short-Term Planning
- Style: weekly
- Week start: Monday
- Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.75 x 8.6 inches
If you like being able to see your weekly schedule at a glance, this undated smart planner is simple yet effective. The planner has several handy school-specific features, including dedicated pages for class schedules, grade tracking, and progress trackers for papers and exams. There’s also a convenient pen loop to ensure you always have your favorite writing utensil on hand, and the lay-flat binding makes it easy to use the whole page. The pages of this notebook consist of smooth, 120 GSM paper that won’t bleed ink and will allow markers or pens to glide smoothly across the surface. The smaller dimensions of this planner also make it perfect for placing in an outer backpack pocket or a smaller tote bag.
One reviewer wrote: “This planner is perfect for nursing students like myself! So many things need to be done each week with classes, clinicals, and family/friends. So this planner keeps me organized and encourages me to keep a positive vibe as I go through my day. The thick paper is high quality, the outer shell is soft and very durable. It’s exactly as shown and described! I’ll likely purchase another one for my second half of nursing school.”
- Available colors: 8
2. The Best For Long-Term Planning
- Style: weekly
- Week start: Monday
- Dimensions: 11.65 x 9.02 x 1.5 inches
If you like to use an academic planner for more than just schedules and to-do lists, the Clever Fox Planner PRO also incorporates mindful writing prompts to help you achieve balanced success. All of the monthly spreads are at the front of this planner, followed by a separate section for weekly spreads, so it’s easy to flip through. There are also monthly and quarterly reflection pages that can help you assess your growth and progress. This planner comes with helpful stickers to label important days or check off completed tasks, and there are tons of useful features throughout like daily mini to-do lists, habit trackers, and a blank space for jotting down reminders or notes. If you’re someone who likes to have extra space to doodle or write in your planner, there are 50 dotted pages at the back of this one. The pages are made from thick, 120 GSM paper.
One reviewer wrote: “This is the BEST product on the market. This has helped me tremendously in just a few short weeks. So many helpful areas to keep you on track and organized. If you have a busy life this thing comes in handy! A monthly overview plus a daily section where you can write down specific goals for that day. I can track water, gym time, school, work, etc. This is the best purchase I have made in a long time!”
- Available colors: 19
3. The Best For Customizable Planning
- Style: monthly
- Week start: Monday
- Dimensions: 8.27 x 5.91 x 0.2 inches
This monthly planner has a minimalist design that allows you to put as much or as little information as you need to keep your academic priorities in check. Each spread has a monthly calendar with the days of the week labeled — you can fill in the dates as well as any important tests or assignments. For creative planners, the simple page design can serve as a framework for more complex spreads. Reviewers loved how the plain grid gives them the freedom to add stickers, and that the bleed-resistant, 150 GSM paper can be used with saturated pens or markers.
One reviewer wrote: “I tend to get sidetracked and distracted no matter what I do, so I began the search for a minimalist (yet aesthetically pleasing) planner. This product gets 10/10 on both. It is small enough to fit in my purse along with my bullet journal. I love that the squares are large enough to write in with no distractions.”
- Available colors: 5
Also Great: A Dotted Notebook For Bullet Journaling
If you have a hard time finding the absolute perfect planner, you could always create one yourself. This particular dotted grid notebook is ideal for first-time bullet journalers, as it has a lay-flat spine that gives you the freedom to draw or write on the entire page. It's made with thick, bleed-resistant pages that you can use to draw simple calendars or super elaborate spreads.
Using a dotted notebook as a planner is also great if you like to keep all your notes, schedules, and more in a single notebook, since you aren’t confined by pre-printed calendars or weekly spreads. You can also alter your notebook to your changing social or academic needs — I was able to seamlessly transition my bullet journal from detailed school schedules to a more streamlined list of work projects and deadlines once I graduated college.
Those who find traditional planners restrictive might find better organizational success with a plain, dotted notebook they can customize, and creatives also can use them as a source of artistic expression.
One reviewer wrote: “I love this notebook! I have bought 3 and I love it for bullet journaling or general notes. I use this as my planner during the school year and I use one as a memories journal. love it!”