There are tons of planners for artists out there. But if you’re the type to just run to the nearest office supply store, you definitely won’t find them. (Nothing against standard office supply stores. It’s just that there are some amazing planner companies out there, and they make products that lend themselves to that day job-side hustle lifestyle.)

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Planners for Artists

Orignal photo by Nathan Dumlao
I’m definitely the crazy woman that brings her planner with her wherever she goes — to the bar, nail salon, work, family vacation…I have to have it. Without my planner, I can’t balance work tasks and life events, block out my time, or track personal and freelance writing deadlines.

But the main reason I’m obsessed with my planner is because I know I need it. I have to keep day job tasks in order as well as personal and freelance deadlines. I also need to track habits I’m trying to build and keep future hangouts and events written down.

Basically, without my planner, I’m nothing.

But not all planners are created equal. And I’ve found some planning systems work better for artists than others. So, with that, I thought I’d share my favorite planners for artists.

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Printed Planners for Artists

The Passion Planner

It’s no secret that I love the Passion Planner. I’ve been using it for the past 5 months and I’m really enjoying the layout. I’ve mentioned how nice it is to use highlighters to block out my time in the planner. And I love all the extra space at the bottom of the weekly spreads to track to do lists and other things that come up. If you are juggling a lot of things, it’s nice to use the to do list portion of the page to figure out what needs to get done, and then you can block out the time you’ll complete them during the half-hour blocks on the days. Sadly, this may be the last year I use the Passion Planner. They’ve changed the size of the planner, and you can no longer get it in the compact version I’ve been using.

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Erin Condren Life Planner

I used to be an Erin Condren girl. I loved the size of the planner, and the bright colors really made me happy. But the weekly layout no longer works for what I need from a planner. But I definitely recommend this planner to people who know they need a planner, but don’t know where to start. The planners are very customizable, and you can make the cover and insides whatever you’d like. I will say that it can be a little overwhelming for the planner newbie, so stick with one of the pre-designed ones if you aren’t sure of all the bells and whistles you’ll need.

Self Journal

My friend, Audrey, introduced me to this planner, and I absolutely loved it. However, it had a lot of spreads that I didn’t know if I was ready to use yet. So I went with the Passion Planner instead, to build myself up to the tracking and accountability that the Self Journal asks of you. If you have a goal you’re tracking, this is the planner that will get you there. (That goal could be writing a novel, running a marathon, or knitting a sweater — it works for pretty much anything.) The one thing about this planner that I absolutely hate is the material the cover is made out of. I’m probably the only person who doesn’t like the hard cloth cover. The texture feels really weird on my hands, and the sound of fingernails scraping on that kind of material literally makes me want to puke. (This is a weird thing about me.)

Hobonichi Techo

If you love Japanese stationery (who doesn’t?) then you’ll love the Hobonichi Techo. I’m interested in someday owning a Hobonichi, but know that they don’t make one that’s the right fit for me right now. You can get them in daily, weekly, and monthly layouts, and they’re made of super high-quality Tomoe River Paper. I’ve considered the Hobonichi Techo Cousin A5 planner as an alternative for the Passion Planner since it has the daily layouts I like, but it also includes a lot of things that I don’t want.

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DIY Planners for Artists

Traditional Bullet Journal

If you’re a no muss, no fuss type of person, I think the traditional bullet journal is a good option for you. This video from Ryder Carroll explains how it all works, and you’re pretty much able to use whatever notebook you have on hand for the task. It’s a good way to keep everything all in one place, and you can track pretty much anything you need to with it. I’m currently using a bullet journal-esque system to track my novel outline, and so far I like it. And I’m always flirting with the idea of using it as a planner for everything, but I want the ability to calendar block, and I’d have to draw that all in, which I find exhausting.

Artsy Bullet Journals

If you’ve ever watched a bullet journal video on YouTube, then you’ve probably run into this. While it’s technically the same principle as the traditional bullet journal, the artsy bullet journal is just..well, artsy. Some of my favorite artsy bullet journals are from She Meets City, Jenny Journals, and Amanda Rach Lee.

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What planner do you recommend for artists?

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