If Yearly Planners Aren’t Your Thing, Here Are 3 Alternatives That’ll Actually Keep Your Life On Track


Yearly planners are a great idea in theory. Month by month, they prepare you for the year ahead by zeroing in on your short and long term goals, and giving you some much-needed motivation along the way. Perfect recipe for success, right? Well, not quite. 

One thing these yearly planners don’t factor in is that it takes more effort than you think to consistently flip open the same notebook every day, week, and month until the year is up.

We skip a few days and then we lose the book completely. We start it when we’re fiery and motivated to do and be better—but where do we go when we lose that spark? Not to the notebook, that’s for sure. 

So, we’ve determined that a yearly planner is a great idea, but maybe not your thing. Don’t give up quite yet! Here are 3 alternatives that’ll actually keep your life on track.


Wall organization system.  

Wall organization systems are like whiteboards on steroids. It often includes a whiteboard calendar, a chalk or corkboard to write and post on, and then folder boards and holders where you can conveniently place all of the supplies you need. 

This is so much better than a yearly planner because you can’t just close the notebook and put it away to never be seen again—it’s always on your wall, right in front of you.


Daily planners. 

black woman daily planners

I know the word “planner” might have thrown you off because aren’t we trying to get away from those? Well, yes and no. We’re trying to avoid falling into the useless cycle of buying yearly planners and then never utilizing them after the first month.

A daily planner is different. You have no choice but to hold yourself accountable because you’re taking time out to create relevant to-do lists, goals, and objectives every single day. 


Self-care tools and workbook.

Sometimes keeping your life on track is a lot less traditional. You might be someone who doesn’t do well with organizing what you want out of life into nice, neat steps and projections. In this case, perhaps some daily, weekly, or monthly reflection is for you. 

Self-care workbooks and tools (like affirmation cards and engaging in hobbies) are a great place to start because they allow you to get to the core of your habits and behaviors with no judgement, no time limit, and most importantly—no yearly planner. 

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Senior writer and graphics editor at EmilyCottontop. Patrice has been a member of the Emilycottontop team for over 4 years. For strategic partnerships, advertising, and sponsored content ✉️ inquiries@emilycottontop.com


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