“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” as the great Robert Burns so aptly put it, so it’s always worth keeping alternatives in mind for any contingency. A good planner can help you do that.
If there’s one lesson from the year gone by, it’s that things can change at a moment’s notice so it’s always best to plan for several scenarios should your initial plans fall through. It’s not always apparent how many variables have to fall neatly into place for things to go according to your initial outline—that almost never happens, so you need to keep stacking contingencies like some sentient, ever-growing Matryoshka doll.
When getting a 2021 planner, look for something that’ll be there for you for an entire year (or 18 months, as the case may be). That means whether or not you end up using the whole thing like a proper Type-A business magnate, or sporadically doodle in them like the Type B Aquarian you are, you’re making at least several months’ commitment. Because if there’s another thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that a single year can feel like a very, very long time.
With those considerations in mind, here are four beautiful journals that may be just what you need.
Available in A5 and A6 standard sizes, the Daily Planner 2021 boasts two page markers, a three-year overview, a gusseted pocket, eight perforated sheets, numbered pages and a blank table of contents to help you decide which items deserve a bigger and separate heading. Deceptively simple, this planner has everything you might need to run a personal empire or figure out logistics.
The price of a Moleskine LE is nothing to sneeze at, but its quality and the overall aesthetic of “Alice in Wonderland” make it worth the cost.
Apart from the style points earned for its tie-in to Lewis Carroll’s 1865 classic, the planner comes with useful features like time zones, international measurements, dialling codes and flight duration indices.
“Techo” is the Japanese word for a planner, with the brand-name “Hobonichi” translating to “almost daily”. That gives you a bit of an insight into the overall aesthetic and philosophy of the brand. The planner’s classic line merges style and function as well, with its yearly index and a full calendar, not to mention trivia about Japanese bread shops, conversion tables, size charts and free-wheeling Memo pages.
While there are options to accommodate various handwriting styles and sizes, there’s simply no substitute for the freedom afforded by being able to draw your own lines.
It’s a far more involved process and it’s going to be difficult to achieve the same level of precision or cleanliness of execution that many high quality, mass-produced planners have by default. But technology is a marvelous thing and it’s remarkably easy to pick up a good printer and some high-quality paper, and download templates off the internet with which to base your very own layouts.