One of the best steps you can take for success in college is to plan and prepare. College days are filled with class assignments, studying for tests, and group projects. A college planner is an essential tool you need to make your college years successful. Let’s take a look at the best planners for college 2021.
Note: this post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure policy here. Some planners reviewed in this post were provided to me for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Do planners help students?
You might be thinking, do I really need a planner? Yes! Planners help you organize your day, your week, and track your progress. A well-prepared student will use a planner to stop overwhelm and balance your school assignments, job, and personal life.
Planner users are also less likely to be stressed because they know what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and they are less likely to be rushed and stressed due to last-minute projects or “forgetting” an assignment.
What to look for in a college student planner
When selecting a college planner, here are a few things to consider.
- Size – what size will work best for you. Most student planners are about 7″X9″ which is a good size to find in backpacks and book bags.
- Weekly layout – Does the layout have a design that allows you plenty of space for your assignments, test, projects, work, and personal life?
- Project planning – Are pages included for project planning and tracking?
- Grade tracking/goal setting – does the planner include pages for grade and goal tracking
- Will you use it? Is the overall design of the planner attractive and functional to you? If you don’t like the layout and design, you probably won’t use it. When you choose a planner, pick one that you like and will look forward to using.
Best College Student Planners for 2021
- Best Weekly College Planner – Erin Condren Academic Planner
- Best Minimalist Planner for College Planner – ClassTracker
- Best Custom College Student Planner – PurpleTrail
- Best Daily College Student Planner – Day Designer
- Best Disc-Bound College Planner – Happy Planner
- Best Productivity Planner for College Students – The Clever Fox
The Best Weekly College Planner – Erin Condren Academic Planner
The Erin Condren Academic Planner has a great layout for college students. This planner has multiple layouts, beautiful designs and many cover choices to make this planner your own.
Here’s why you will love this planner:
- 12-month dated planner; thick paper to prevent bleeding through
- Sturdy interchangeable laminate cover (I love changing my Erin Condren covers)
- Weekly planning layout with space for classes/work/life appointments and daily to-do list
- Class schedule pages
- Monthly planning for projects, tests, and assignments; detailed project planning pages
- Note pages every month
- Heavier/thicker paper which is great make this planner a little bulky for carrying daily
- The weekly layout could be more segmented for assignments, appointments
Go here to see all the Erin Condren Student Planners and find one that works for you.
The Best Minimalist Planner for College – Ultimate Student Planner by Class Tracker
The Ultimate Student Planner is a minimalist weekly planner with a design that works for you. This planner isn’t flashy or colorful, but it will get your school and life organized.
Here are just a few reasons you will love this planner:
- Lightweight/great size – it’s not very heavy and will easier fit in your bookbag or backpack. And it comes with a nice protective cover.
- The weekly layout is great. Each day has things to remember, Quizzes/Exams/Papers/Projects section (I love this part of the design), Assignments section, and Daily plan section.
- Paperweight is good, not too thick or thin.
- Available in college and high school editions with dated and undated versions.
- Doodlers will love that that these pages have plenty of white space around the edges for drawing and decorating your planner pages.
- The spiral binding is plastic and might not be as sturdy as other planners.
- Limited cover options, no customizations.
Learn more about the Ultimate Student Planner here.
Best Custom College Planner – PurpleTrail Planner
If you are looking for a custom college planner, take a look at the PurpleTrail Planner. If you want flexibility in your planner design or just can’t find the “right” planner, you might want a customizable planner.
Here why you’ll want a PurpleTrail Planner:
- Custom College Planner that allows you to create a unique planner
- Student planners have the day/class layout option (you can format your classes in the planner)
- Thick paper so your markers and pens don’t bleed through
- 2 size options
- Monthly summary page for goals, birthdays and important things to remember
- Pick your own add-in’s so additional pages are what you need and want
- Start any month, 5-day or 7-day designs
- Slightly bulky planner due to the thicker paper
- Layouts have a basic look, but there is space for you to be creative and add your own designs
Get started designing your PurpleTrail Planner here.
Best Daily College Planner – Day Designer
The Day Designer Academic year planner is a beautiful planner that will get you organized and keep you focused during the school year.
Here’s what you will love about the Day Designer Planner:
- 3 Formats available: daily, weekly and mini/daily
- Beautiful covers
- Daily page layout includes hourly scheduling, daily to-do list, priorities, top 3, gratitude and more
- Weekly layouts have a section for each day split by scheduling/activities and to-do lists, this week’s top 3, notes, weekly inspiration quote, and more
- Goal setting/planning section
- Sturdy covers and binding
- Size is larger/thicker especially with the daily planner
- Daily pages may feel overwhelming completing hourly activities, daily to-do, top 3 priorities daily, don’t forget, gratitude, and more. But these pages are great for highly detailed people.
See the Day Designer Academic Planner here.
Best Disc-Bound College Planner – The Happy Planner
The Happy Planner Student edition is a versatile disc-bound planner. Have you ever used a disc-bound planner, one reason people love them is that you can easily add and remove pages. For example, if you only want to have 6-months with you at a time, just remove the other 6 months or remove the pages for the months you have completed. You can also add note pages and more.
Here’s why you’ll want a Happy Planner Student edition:
- The planner comes in 4 sizes: big, classic, mini, skinny classic
- 4-page layouts: horizontal, vertical, dashboard, and other
- Lots of stickers you can add
- Disc-bound so you can easily add & remove pages, they offer tons of add-ins so you can customize your planner
- Disc-bound planners are not for everyone. Consider how you would use this type of planner and why you think you would like it.
See the many options for the Happy Planner Student edition on Amazon here.
Best Productivity Planner for College Students – The Clever Fox Planner
The Clever Fox Planner is a perfect bound undated planner. The Clever Fox Planner has unique layouts to help you focus your goals, productivity, and targeting projects to do.
Here’s why you’ll love The Clever Fox Planner:
- Multiple layout options – Daily and weekly; 2 sizes: standard size (5.8″ X 8.3″) and Pro size (8.5″ x 11″); mini (pocket size)
- Daily planner includes 6 months per planner
- Every planner has monthly planning pages, weekly planning, and weekly review. Daily has weekly summary pages.
- Bright & colorful covers; sturdy for everyday use
- Daily planner requires 2 planners for 12 months
- Undated – requires manual formatting; however, this also allows flexibility to start any week or month that works for you
Go here to see the Clever Fox Planner.
Having the right college planner can make a difference in your success in college. Get your favorite college planner today.
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