Since I started The Therapist’s Bookshelf, I have really enjoyed getting to see a different side of my colleagues. We therapists are a finicky bunch. We tend to be pretty particular about the books we read, the theories we practice, and the resources we recommend. I shouldn’t have been so surprised at how passionate the responses were when I asked about the best planners or journals but wow! I was overwhelmed with advice on the absolute best planners available. Last year I compiled your suggestions into a planner roundup but this year, I personally reviewed every planner and journal on the list. You can see a recap here and click to grab the one you fall in love with or follow the links to the full reviews. After spending time with each of them, I can understand why people feel strongly. Each of these has a unique focus and strengths that will serve people on different parts of their journey.
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The Erin Condren Lifeplanner came up again and again when I first asked other therapists about their favorite planners. It is a complete planning system that is designed with room for creativity and is by far the most customizable of the planners I looked at. My favorite thing about the Erin Condren Lifeplanner is the space to decorate my schedule and notes. Somehow when my calendar is more aesthetically pleasing, I feel less overwhelmed. Read my full review or grab your copy here.
The EVO Flow System is unlike any other planner because it is customized to how you approach organization. Before ordering, you take a “brain type assessment” and are put into one of four categories. You get the planner that is specifically designed for your brain type. The idea is that we have different perspectives, needs, and ways of approaching organization so this planner works with our natural strengths and weaknesses to help achieve our goals. I’ll admit that I initially wasn’t sold on the idea of a planner based on brain types because I thought it seemed gimmicky. Within a few days of using it though, I actually really liked it. The planner limits the daily priorities and makes you allot time to them which was significantly more efficient than the pile of sticky note to-dos covering my desk. I also really liked that each day I needed to add something for wellness and fun because it helped me realize how often I was skipping those. Read my full review or grab your copy here.
Focus: A Guided Journal to Create Lasting Change in Your Life was designed by a therapist to help you carve out a space in your day for intentionality and gratitude. Each entry includes space to recognize recent wins, notice something you are thankful for, reflect on a powerful quote and journal. My favorite thing about this journal has to be the affirmations. There is a long list in the back of possible affirmations for the day plus instructions for creating your own. I enjoyed finding a few that fit and using them throughout the day to keep me focused. Read my full review or order yours here.
Order your Focus journal and use code TB15 at checkout for 15% off!
The Ink+Volt Planner has monthly and weekly calendars for the year but that’s where its similarity to typical planners ends. At the beginning of the year, and then at the start of every month and week, users write down their goals and make plans to achieve them. I absolutely loved this goal system. It is simple enough that doing it feels sustainable. Plus, it is designed so that your yearly and monthly goals stay at the forefront of your mind. This is helpful for people like me who can get bogged down in the little tasks and lose sight of what I’m actually working towards. Read my full review or order yours here.
My Discovery Companion is a combination journal and planner that is designed to be used while going through a transformation. The creators believe that we all have seven aspects of our lives: family, relationships, spirituality, health, career, finance, and personal. Users are asked to create short-term and long-term goals in each of those areas and track their progress. This planner is a great supplement to therapy and even has pages for clients to make notes about their sessions with you. Read my full review or order your here.
The My Next 90 Days Daily Action Planner starts with self-reflection and self-care then returns to those themes continually. Each week you start by evaluating your to-do list, defining your priorities, and making a plan to work towards your goals. This is an excellent planner to start the new year with because it guides you in creating habits that align with your goals and values. Read my full review or buy yours here.
We have more planners on the way and I’ll be adding to the list as I get a chance to try them out so keep coming back and make sure you’re following The Therapist’s Bookshelf on Facebook and Instagram.
Many therapists enjoy recommending books to their clients to supplement the work they are doing together. We also use books to help ourselves grow as people and practitioners. Remember though that books are never a replacement for real human connection or for therapy when it’s needed. If you find yourself needing a therapist, a great place to start is Psychology Today. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.