for the Creatives, Showcasing other Creatives

The top 6 planners & systems for creatives to tackle their dreams

We all need a new planner to try every now and again, right? Here are some of the top planners for creatives in my mind: My favorites that I’ve tried, plan to try, or that I think are a super cool system even if they don’t work for me.

(Disclaimer-y thingie: Most of these are not affiliate links, it goes directly to the small business I’m recommending just because they have a super cool thing I gotta geek out about with you. If there’s a specific option on Amazon I love, I do use an affiliate link and will receive a small portion of sales made through that link.)

1. The Makers Yearbook

This is the one I’m excited about digging into next year!

Me holding a box saying the "Maker's Yearbook" on it. I'm sitting next to a christmas tree, but don't be fooled, it's not an early christmas present. I just decorated early :)

It includes strategizing for the year, social media and sales tracker, goal setting and review areas, and probably about ten other things I didn’t mention here. If you’re a creative, you should take a look. (Oh, and I share some pics of the inside in this blogpost, too.)

2. The simple & ginormous deskpad weekly planner

(That’s an affiliate link, I may receive a portion of sales thru that link). And here’s another option if you like the wooden look instead of the bold designs.

View of weekly planner with various tasks and appointments scribbled across. It's sitting on a desk, with coffee and roses in view as well.
pic from Amazon listing. This is an affiliate link and I may receive a portion of sales from purchases thru this link

Sometimes simple is effective without all the fluff. This was my go-to as I was juggling dayjob, publishing I Know You Like a Murder, plus regular home and family to-do’s. I didn’t need some complex system, I just needed a quick view to keep each piece moving in small ways. It took up half my desk and I had an area to list what I planned for each piece of my life.

3. The Finish calendar by Jon Acuff, for when the ginormous deskpad isn’t ginormous enough

View of large markerboard yearly planner propped up on an office desk. At the top it says "FINISH 2022".
Pic from sale listing at link above.

You got big plans for the year, and now you can track it all in one view. It comes in paper or markerboard option with both portrait and landscape views, and super reasonably priced.

4. The home planner, money planner, and student planner

Because creatives gotta stay on top of other stuff too.

Pic collage of various home planners and journals
Pic from sale listing at link above. This is a referral link where you’ll receive $5 off your purchase!

This year I used the home planner from Passionate Penny Pincher. (The link is a referral link where you’ll get a $5 off coupon, and I’ll get one too!). She also has a student planner and this money planner (this is an Amazon affiliate link, I may receive a portion of sales).

5. The Hero’s journal, for the less structured, more go-with-the-flow adventurer

To document all your quests for future generations, or, okay, just to keep track of it yourself 🙂

A grey hero's journal with gold embossing and an elastic band around.
Pic from sale listing at link above.

If all the dates and structure of a typical planner just boxes your dreamer spirit in too much, this may be the solution for you. Put on your (metaphorical or literal) hero hat and document your hero’s journey because you’re the main character of your own story. Includes both print and digital option. It’s an undated journal with a section to list your 3 tasks to “seize the day”, as well as allies, threats, and more.

6. Trelloing

Is it officially a planner? No. Does it help me stay on top of to-do’s and track my tasks with start dates and due dates and everything? Absolutely.

View of my public Trello board for what I'm creating currently. You can see cards about my various creative endeavors, items on my to-do list, what's scheduled and launches, and what's one step completed of a bigger project.
This is my public Trello board for what I’m creating currently. You can set up Trello in a way that works for you, even if that looks different than what’s working for me 🙂

Plus, it’s free and user-friendly, available on web and mobile app, and lets you invite members to your boards to manage family or business team tasks all in one place together. So versatile and still simple. Try it out!

And bonus planners if ya just want more:

You can also try out these amazing looking planners that I’m digging:

  • The Practice Planner, a great tool for any artist looking to consistently work on their craft.
  • The Passion Planner, for structure and creativity all in one space
  • The All-in-One Planner, with a unique layout to see the weekly and monthly view at the same time
  • The Clever Fox Planner (affiliate link), with multiple versions to scale up or down as you see fit. This planner is built to build harmony in all the pieces of your life coming together in one clear place for you.

Tell me about your fav planners!

I’m always on the lookout for a new planner tool to geek out over. There are too many planners in the world to choose just one, am I right? So what’s your fav? What’s been working for you, or what are you excited to try out next year? Tell me in the comments, I wanna hear all about it 🙂

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