It’s hard to come down from the thrill of the holidays, but January can be an exciting month, too. It gives us the opportunity to review our lives and find fresh focus for the upcoming year. We can dream big and imagine new possibilities. This is a time when our motivation is high, but if we really want to create change, we’ll need to take action. For this reason, a good planner can make all the difference. Here are our planner and journal picks for the new year that can help you stay on track and optimize your time. We hope you find one that suits you perfectly!

 Erin Condren Planner: A customizable option for general planning

If you’re looking for an all-around basic planner, check out the Erin Condren Planner. Pick from spiral-bound, softcover, or binder formats, then choose from a multitude of beautifully illustrated covers. The layout (vertical, horizontal, or hourly) is customizable as well as the interior design style (there are four options). In addition, there are dry-erase “dashboards” (compatible with any of their spiral books) you can insert for meal planning, finances, shopping lists, and more.

Prior to choosing a format, think about what has worked in the past, and what your current needs are. Will you be using the planner to track tasks and events for business, your personal life, or both? Do you need space to write notes and ideas? Is it easier to view your schedule in time blocks or bullet points? Overall, assessing your needs beforehand will help decide what works best.

Depending on what you want to focus on in the coming year, you may be looking for something more specific. Next, we’ll highlight some interesting options that you may not have considered.

My PA: A planner to help make your small business a success


If your goal this year is to start, build, or prioritize your business, then My PA (Personal Assistant) is a great option.

This planner lays out a blueprint for success. First, it explores big-picture visioning with guided questions and exercises to explore your “why.” After that, it delves into the fine details of how you will achieve your dream. It guides you through creating a business plan, getting you to dial into branding, competition, marketing, social media, connections, and finances. It prompts you to break down your larger goal into monthly, weekly, and daily goals and includes space for reflection and review of these efforts.

This planner does not have space for open journaling, doodling, or mapping—rather, it provides four or five lines for responses to prompts. In effect, it encourages specificity and is designed to create tangible, measurable results. In addition, the My PA Planner App gives gentle reminders about goal setting and planning to stay on track.

Of course, your business is not your whole life (even if it feels like it sometimes!). The My PA planner encourages you to stay balanced with charts to track your daily minutes of meditation, exercise, and water intake. There’s also a chart at the beginning of each month to track the habit of your choice. Taking care of yourself and striking a balance is key to avoiding burnout that could derail your progress.

My PA also has a digital format. If you’re thinking of giving it a try, they offer a digital sample you can try for free.

Papier’s Joy Wellness Journal: A great planner for tracking + improving your wellbeing

The Joy Wellness Journal is not meant to be your primary planner/calendar. Rather, it’s an additional journal solely dedicated to your wellness journey. Papier says, “The wellness journal is all about starting the day with a fresh page and a fresh mind. A simple way to take note of the things that make us feel good.” If you are prioritizing your wellness this year, give it the space and time it needs, rather than making notes as an afterthought. This planner is beautifully laid out, simple and spacious, with plenty of room for you to add your own embellishments. If you express yourself better with doodles, scribbles, and mind maps, this is a great option.

The Wellness Journal encourages you to think about your wellness holistically by breaking it into four categories: nutrition, activity, mind, and self-care. Accordingly, it prompts you to set your own personal goals within these categories. It helps simplify these goals into manageable chunks with regular check-ins. The meat of the planner is the daily pages. There is a daily, two-page spread with prompts to reflect on intentions, activities, feelings, sleep, mood, and gratitude. Altogether, it is part guided journal and part tracking system to watch your health and energy change over time.

If you are serious about focusing on your wellness this year and doing internal work, this is the planner for you.

Commit 30: To help focus on building a specific habit this year

What do you want to focus on this year? The Commit 30 Planner is useful as an everyday planner, but it also has dedicated space for tracking a particular habit. Each month has two pages for your specific goal that month. It prompts you to record your goal, designate a reward, plan the next steps, and check off each day you did that habit. When building habits, it is helpful to see your short-term progress alongside your goal and reward. As a result, you remember why you are doing it, and are motivated to continue. It features monthly motivational quotes and blank pages for a vision board, doodling, mapping, etc. There is plenty of space to be artistic, and there are themed stickers you can purchase as well.

In addition to the monthly goal setting and habit tracking, it functions well as an everyday life planner. It shows a week at a time (with time blocks on the left, if you wish to use them), and has boxes for “Life to do,” “Work to do” and “Notes.” There are two formats to choose from—starting the week on either Sunday or Monday. In sum, this is a great all-in-one planner that can help you keep track and improve your life.

Similarly, Commit 30 also has themed journals tailored to specific goals (fitness, money, joy). However, these are supplemental tools, and not meant to be stand-alone planners/calendars. They offer a full digital version for purchase, and you can try one month free, in print or digital.

*Please note: Big Rocks Organizing does not use affiliate links or receive any type of compensation for product or service recommendations.

MomAgenda: Perfect for parents or caregivers

The MomAgenda was created by Nina Restieri, a mother of four, who wanted an easier way to track events, activities, and tasks related to each child. It features a two-page weekly layout with a large row for your personal schedule, then four smaller rows to note the schedule of your kids, parents, or whomever else you care for. Keep track of who is where and when, meal plan for the week, and use the month-at-a-glance view for longer-term planning.

In addition, the MomAgenda is a good all-around general planner. You have options for customizing the size, binding, paper, and cover. There is even a larger (9″x11”) Home Office Edition for the full family to use.

In any case, remember that a planner is just a tool, and it’s only as effective as how you use it. Be diligent about scheduling what you want to do, and be consistent with showing up. We know you can do it! And if you find you need some support with your time management, we’re here to help.

Happy New Year!

The Big Rocks Team