Life is chaotic as an entrepreneur.
You need to make sure sales are rolling in, your clients are happy, recruiters aren’t poaching your staff, and the market doesn’t completely wipe out your business.
It can be stressful. And it doesn’t stop.
I know this because I’ve had the pleasure of bootstrapping a profitable startup that was eventually acquired. One method of dealing with the stress was to spend time writing in my dedicated business journal. Not to mention writing down my tasks and my OBT or “One Big Thing” (..shout out to Shaan Puri for this one) each day helped me plan ahead and focus on what mattered.
So in this article, I’m going to share the best planners and journals for entrepreneurs that need extra clarity and organization in their lives.
First, why should entrepreneurs journal?
After reading Keith Cunninghams’ book “The Road Less Stupid” I realized journaling needed to become a key part of how I operate. Asking the right questions and reflecting on them helped me unblock many decisions.
This isn’t all, journaling can be an incredibly powerful tool for entrepreneurs looking to improve their success. By regularly recording our thoughts, ideas, and experiences, we can gain clarity on our goals and strategies, identify patterns and areas for improvement, and track progress over time.
Journaling will also help you manage stress, cultivate a growth mindset, and foster creativity and innovation. So if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re serious about winning in business, I highly suggest getting a journal and making it a daily (or at least weekly) practice.
A planner is more or less the same, although it will have some additional prompts and formatting for your tasks and goals. I’ve used both but it will come down to your personal preference on style, price, and features.
Top 7 Planners & Journals for Entrepreneurs in 2023
1. Smart Planner Pro
The Smart Planner Pro Journal is a high-quality 12-month planner. It features all 52-week splits, a habit tracker, a gratitude tracker, and three bookmarks for the busy entrepreneur. You can even choose from 10 colors and 3 different sizes making it extremely easy to find the perfect one for you. I like the flexibility this journal offers considering it doesn’t have the dates attached to each entry. This is particularly useful since most people are going to buy it within the year so it would be a real waste if the Journal started in January.
Material: Vegan leather cover with 120gsm bleed-proof paper including a closure strap.
2. Daily Greatness Success at Work Journal
The Daily Greatness Success at Work Journal is one of the few journals crafted specifically for career progression. Not many journals are built for this use case, so it’s refreshing to see one that takes into consideration the problems entrepreneurs and busy professionals face. Whilst it’s one of the more expensive journals its price is justified in my opinion. The journal includes science-based prompts and structures, along with detailed guidance. If you have clear goals and you’re familiar with OKRs (objectives and key results) you’ll appreciate the structure of this journal.
Material: Vegan cover with 336 85gsm FSC uncoated pages including 2 ribbons.
3. The High-Performance Planner
The high-performance planner was created and tested by Brendon Burchard, a leading high-performance coach, and best selling author. Whilst the journal isn’t specific to entrepreneurs it is crafted for high performers making it a natural fit. The planner features a 2-in-1 structure so you can journal and plan ahead. Not many planners or journals on this list have features for both, so if you’re looking for a journal that also acts as a planner then this could be for you.
Material: Vegan cover, 216 pages with ribbon.
4. SP Journal Productivity Planner for Entrepreneurs
This one is for the true entrepreneurs out there trying to scale their businesses. The SP Journal Planner is structured with a simple layout and hourly scheduling. Every seven days there’s a weekly review that covers your biggest wins, progress, fulfillment focus, and inspirational quotes. As an entrepreneur, I find this incredibly valuable, and in some ways a necessity. If this wasn’t enough, there’s a habit tracker at the bottom of the page which can be customized to your specific goals.
Material: A5 Soft Leather Cover with 244 pages.
Check the best price on Amazon here.
5. LEUCHTTURM 1917 Bullet Journal Notebook
This particular journal is quite unique and special. It’s a rare collaboration between LEUCHTTURM 1917 and Bullet Journal. It features a smart grid (or dot grid) that allows ultimate flexibility so you can structure your journal the way you want. It’s an A5-sized journal with 204 pages of 120gsm paper, making it extremely nice to write in. Something I liked about this journal is the stickers. I could easily use them as visual reminders. So if you’re the visual type of entrepreneur you also would love this feature.
Material: 204 Pages of 120gsm paper with three ribbons and a closure band.
6. Clever Fox Planner Pro Schedule
When it comes to planners, this lives up to the “pro” title. It comes packed with features including an inner pocket, lay-flat binding, over 600 stickers (yes…600!), a weekly layout, a quick start guide, premium paper, and a vegan leather cover. If you’re looking for a guided planner that takes the guesswork out of structuring the page then this is the planner for you. With more features than its competitors and over 10 different colors to choose from, it’s no surprise there are 2,000+ ratings.
Material: A4 sized planner with soft faux leather cover.
Check the best price on Amazon.
7. iFocus Business Planner
The iFocus business planner is an essential item for all entrepreneurs. The format makes it easy for business owners to stay on top of their tasks, goals, and habits. One feature I find particularly helpful is the project decluttering and brainstorming pages. Unlike other journals, the IFocus business planner allows you to dump your ideas and work through them in a structured manner. This is a great option for business owners that overthink or have multiple projects on their plate at any given time.
Material: A5 sized journal with leather cover.
Check Amazon for the best price.
Frequently asked questions
Which planner is best for entrepreneurs?
Finding the best planner will take some work. You need to first understand why you want a planner or journal and then work backward. Some journals are more structured whereas some don’t have a single prompt. Understanding your style of working will impact the type of journal you choose.
My personal favorite is the Daily Greatness Success at Work Journal since I personally love the additional prompts. Sometimes I’m stumped with what to write or how to plan my work. Not to mention, the extra encouragement is always nice!
What should I plan or journal about?
There are endless things to write about in your journal. You can simply write your thoughts or you can follow a structured approach like the five-minute gratitude journal. As an entrepreneur it’s not a bad idea to journal about any of the following topics:
– What’s on your mind
– Issues in your business
– Goals for the year
– New ideas
– Your thoughts on staff
– Your plans for the week/month/year