10 Best College Planners for Thriving (& Not Just Surviving) in 2020

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The planners college students NEED if they want to live their best lives

Ready to get your life together with a college planner?

I’ve rounded up and compared all the best planners for college students right here in this post.

best college planner for college students

The last of spring college classes are winding down, and we’re all ready to enjoy a lonnnggg summer break.

But the fact of the matter is:

The fall semester really isn’t that far away.

As a student who’s been there and done that, I know that those few months of reprieve never seem to last long enough. And while that may be the last thing you want have on your mind over the summer:

It’s always a smart idea to think ahead.

A little preparation now can do wonders for your future self.

Today I’m going to help you choose a student planner so you can preserve your sanity when the new semester rolls around.

Deciding Between College Planners

If I know I can save myself from a major headache later – I’m all for doing a little work upfront.

That’s why:

I like choosing a college planner during the summer. You know, before things get really busy around back to school time.

It gives me plenty of time to shop around and find the best planners to suit my needs.


Without all the usual college life stress, I can make a more level-headed decision vs a snap one I might make if I waited until the last minute.

Being prepared is a simple yet really powerful way to set yourself up for success in college.

And trust me:

I need all the help I can get when it comes to managing my life and keeping my shit together once school is in session!

After all:

There’s A LOT to stay on top of as a college student. Between new classes, assignment due dates, social outings, and extracurriculars…the list goes on!

Having the right planner to sort it all out is an important key to managing time during your college years.

How do I find the best college planner for ME?

Figuring out which college planner will work best for you is actually pretty simple!

You’ll just want to consider a few things:

How Busy is Your Schedule?

Start by thinking about how much you’ll have to do in a day.

Do you need an academic planner that has space to track everything (down to the hour) or would a minimalist planner work better for you?

How much do you like writing?


Is writing a lot (or often) something that bothers you?
It’s an often overlooked detail, but it’s an important factor in your decision.

Writing in a planner is a part of using it and if you can’t stand your own handwriting – well, maybe a bullet journal is more up your alley. A digital student planner could even be the one for you.

Are Size and Weight Important to You?

And finally…

The SIZE of your college planner is another option to mull over.

The point of a school planner is to keep track of your schedule, and if it’s not with you at almost all times then it’s not doing its job!

Do you prefer to carry light when going around campus or is there plenty of space in your backpack to accommodate a bigger notebook?

Once you’ve taken a moment to think about what type of planner would suit your schedule best, I have 11 AWESOME student planner options for you.

3 Types of College Student Planners

I organized this list of best student planners by HOW MUCH planning you can do with them.

I’ve included three types of planners, they are as follows:

These ones have the MOST space for planning.
The style and layout of these ones lean towards the “less is more” mantra.
Planners in this section fit in between the other two categories!


Because I know the typical college student doesn’t have a ton of money to spend, all of these planners are affordable and cost $35 or less.


Don’t let the inexpensive price tag fool you! They are all ridiculously useful planners for school.

The Best Planners for College Students –
Ultimate Planners

The Clever Fox Planner

Clever Fox Planner colors

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LENGTH: 12 Months

DATING: Undated

SIZE: A5 size (5.5″ x 8.5”)

PAGE TYPE: Monthly, weekly, daily, note and goal pages

COLORS: 10 colors

Clever Fox Planner pages

The Clever Fox Planner is a product that’s newer on the market, but already it’s a big hit with reviewers.

It’s a handheld-sized planner with a soft to touch cover that has room to plan it all. While it does allow you to track weekly goals, priorities, habits, to do lists and more – it does so in a way that’s not overwhelming.

Which makes it a good candidate as a best planner for students!

With this planner, you can track a few goals at a time, which helps your focused efforts to be more effective.

And if that wasn’t enough already:

The notebook has premium paper that doesn’t bleed, an elastic band, a pen holder, an accordion folder, 3 colorful bookmarks and it even comes with a few sheets of stickers.

It comes in a weekly and daily planner version.

Want to take a look inside? Check out my full, in-depth Clever Fox Planner review.

Bottom Line:

The Clever Fox Planner would make a great college planner for students who want to plan A LOT, but don’t want planning to become a chore.

This planner has tons of great extras without feeling like TOO much. It’s smaller, but not so small that it’s difficult to fit everything you need to write.

I think it’s a very well rounded planner and it’s one of my personal top picks.

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The Live Whale Planner

pink whale planner

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LENGTH: 12 Months

DATING: Undated

SIZE: A5 size (5.5″ x 8.5”)

PAGE TYPE: Monthly, weekly, goal, note, habit tracking and budget tracking pages

COLORS: 2 colors

live whale daily planner pages

This best college planner option is small, making it easy to take with you and it has a hardcover with thick pages (so that ink won’t bleed through).

It has lots and lots of space for writing!

You can track your schedule down to the hour and there are quite a few extra pages for more self-tracking.

Other pages include a budget tracker, new inspirational quotes for each month, a goal date countdown tracker and “brain dump” space.

I love the little whale on the front cover!

Bottom Line:

The Live Whale planner is the right college student planner for you if you need MAXIMUM planning capabilities for your busy schedule.

The small size also makes it optimum for slipping into a purse, which is a perk because this planner will be going just about everywhere with you.

This is a great choice for students who have a FULL course load.

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Erin Condren Academic Planner

erin condren cover designs

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LENGTH: 12 Months

DATING: Undated

SIZE: 7″ x 9″

PAGE TYPE: Monthly, weekly, note pages + detailed pages for projects & exams

COLORS: 100+ colors & designs to choose from

inside the erin condren student planner

This brings us to my next ultimate planner for college type pick: the Erin Condren Academic Planner. Gotta say it’s one of my favorite planners on this list.

This planner is designed specifically for students which means there are pages you wouldn’t normally find in a regular planner. Like an assignment tracker page, and a place to write your classes, assignments and due dates on the weekly planning pages.

Which is all super handy for busy college students!

But, if it wasn’t good enough already:

The Erin Condren Academic Planners have a HUGE selection of covers! There are tons of cute designs to choose from and you can even personalize it by adding your name to the cover.

Oh, and these planners come with a sheet of stickers. All in all, it makes for a pretty sweet planner.

Bottom Line:

In my opinion, this academic planner is a smart choice for just about any student since it is specifically made for them.

It has room for a good amount of planning and it’s a moderate size. All the little extras tailored for students really takes it over the top!

Video: Erin Condren Planner for College Students

Class Tracker Ultimate Student Planner

light blue ClassTracker best student planner on purple background

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LENGTH: 12 Months

DATING: July 1st – June 30th

SIZE: 7″ x 8.5″

PAGE TYPE: Monthly, weekly, note, goal setting & assignment tracking

COLORS: 4 colors

Classtracker planner open showing weekly pages

Finally my last ultimate college planner choice:

The ClassTracker Ultimate Student Planner – it had ultimate in the name, how could I not include it?

This one is another one of my personal favorites! It’s also another one that is made just for college students.

Because of that:

The weekly layout pages include space for tracking assignments and upcoming quizzes/exams/paper/projects. Which of course is VERY useful for staying up to date on ALL due dates and upcoming tests.

There aren’t a lot of extra pages outside of the monthly and weekly pages, but I really like the simplified design.

Want to know MORE about this college planner?

Check out my in-depth ClassTracker review for more details.

Bottom Line:

The ClassTracker Ultimate Student Planner is the perfect option for the student who’s concerned with planning JUST their college schedule.

It’s a no-frills type planner that doesn’t skimp on the planning capabilities. And it’s the right size to take anywhere without being a chore to haul around.

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Best planners for students –
Middle Ground Planners!

Bloom Daily Planner: Academic Year

best student planner, purple with unicorn pink background

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LENGTH: 12 Months

DATING: August to July

SIZE: 7.25″ x 9″

PAGE TYPE: Monthly, weekly, class schedule, goals, note & resource pages

COLORS: 2 designs

monthly spread with stickers in Bloom planner

When it comes to the best planner for students, you can’t go wrong with a Bloom planner!

This planner has a nice amount of space to write a daily student schedule and to-do lists. It’s made of sturdy materials with thick bindings so it’ll hold up to the daily use a student will put it through.

Extra pages include: personal info, goals for this year, class schedule, contact, password, notes and year in review.

Want to know more details about this college planner?

I wrote an in-depth review of the Bloom Academic line!

Bottom Line:

The Bloom Daily Planner strikes a nice middle ground for school planners.

It would be great for someone who wants to track a moderate amount but still wants a smaller sized planner.

They’ve made some changes for the most recent version which have improved it for the better. That’s why Bloom gets a spot on my list of best planners for college students in 2020.

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Lemome Academic Planner

black 2019 - 2020 lemome planner for students

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LENGTH: 12 Months

DATING: July to June or Undated

SIZE: 5″ x 8″ or 8″ x 11″

PAGE TYPE: Monthly, weekly, note, goal & other extra pages

COLORS: 2 colors

grey/brown lemome undated planner, pen loop

This college planner is great for the moderate college planner. It has 48 pages just for NOTES (the pages are thicker, too).

Because of all the extra note pages, it can even double as a bullet journal.

Extra features include an elastic closure, a convenient pen loop, an inner pocket, 2 bookmarks, and monthly sticker tabs.

Bottom Line:

The Lemome Academic Planner is yet another fabulous option for those who have a fair amount of planning to do.

It is medium size, making this school planner easy to keep in a back pack or mid size+ purse/cross body bag.

The best part is:

If you decide that the Lemome isn’t your personal best planner for college, they’ll offer you a refund guaranteed. They’re that confident that you’ll love it!

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Day Designer for Blue Sky

best academic planners - day designer floral design

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LENGTH: 12 Months

DATING: July to June

SIZE: 5″ x 8″ or 8.5″ x 11″

PAGE TYPE: Monthly, weekly & note

COLORS: 10+ colors & designs

daily spread in college planner

May I present to you, the Day Designer Planner for Blue Sky!

Inside it, there is a weekly calendar view that has a decent amount of space to keep track of your schedule. Plus there’s a daily to-do list.

Additionally this student planner has lots of bonuses like: inspirational quotes on each weekly spread, pages to fill in your morning/nighttime routines, space for notes, yearly goal tracking and more.

With a thick and flexible clear cover, strong twin-wire binding and durable coated monthly tabs, this school planner is on the weightier side.

Bottom Line:

This Day Designer planner would be a good fit for those who want to do a moderate to high amount of planning and don’t mind a larger size notebook.

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The Best Minimal Academic Planners

The Minimalist Planner

white minimalist planner on desk

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LENGTH: 12 Months

DATING: January to December or Undated

SIZE: 4.75″ x 6.75″ or 8.5″ x 11″

PAGE TYPE: Monthly, weekly & note

COLORS: 1 color

college student planner open on desk

This simplified planner design allows for not only more room for writing, but also offers less visual distractions.

It has heavy duty, wire binding and a rugged cover that’ll withstand lots of use.

Each planner contains 140+ pages of monthly planning calendars, 2-page weekly calendar spreads and a wide open notes section making it an excellent school planner option.

Bottom Line:

The Minimalist Planner really delivers a minimal planning experience leaving pages more open-ended, so you have more freedom to personalize it.

There are size options to fit any preference, too.

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Orange Circle Monthly Planner

monthly college planners llama design

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LENGTH: 17 Months

DATING: August to December

SIZE: 4.5″ x 6.5″

PAGE TYPE: Monthly

COLORS: 4 colors & designs

open planner for college students on desk

Next up on my list of best academic planners is:

The Monthly Pocket Planner by Orange Circle Studio!

It has nice full-color pages and is small enough to easily fit into a purse or backpack – hence the name pocket. Note that the cover is soft, making it not as heavy duty as some others.

These planners for students include tear-off notes for shopping and to-do lists, a handy pocket for storing loose papers, and an elastic band closure.

Bottom Line:

The Just Right Planner is a nice choice for those who like a college planner that looks pretty, is easy to carry and offers minimal space for daily planning.

This is the most bare bones option out of all 10 planners.

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Bloom Weekly Tear Pad

planners for students - bloom colorful tear pad

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LENGTH: 60 Tear Off Sheets Per Pad (more than enough for a year!)

DATING: Undated

SIZE: 8.5″ x 11″


COLORS: Multiple designs

woman holding bloom weekly planner for students

This last best college planner offers a whole new way to think about what a school planner should be.

It has minimal space for a daily schedule, and even less space for weekends (which may or may not be a problem for you).

The tear pad still has ample room for other things one would want to keep track of though, like: water intake, to do lists and healthy habits.

Bottom Line:

The Bloom Weekly Tear Pad Planner is the best pick for those who need to do minimal planning.

It can stay on your desk, or it’s just as easy to tear off your plans for the week and take them with you. 

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2019 - 2020's best academic planners for college students. 10 affordable picks that'll make staying organized during the school year actually possible. #college #collegelife #planner #planners #planneraddict #plannerorganization #collegebound #senior #freshman

The best planners for college student this 2019 - 2020. 10 ridiculously useful school planners for students who want to actually get shit done. Planner options for every type of student. Click to get started on staying organized for the next semester! #college #collegelife #planner #planners #planneraddict #plannerorganization #collegebound #senior #freshman #freshmantips #collegetip #plannerlove #planners #backtoschool #student #productivity #studentlife

Final thoughts on the best planners for college…

Alright, those are my 10 affordable picks when it comes to the best college student planners. Hopefully one of those is your holy grail to organization!

Do you use an awesome planner that’s not on this list?

I’m always on the hunt for more college student planners and I’d love to hear about what you’ve found on your own planner hunt. ?


Don’t forget to have some fun and to check some things off your bucket list this summer!


So, which planner ended up being the best college planner for you?


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10 Best College Planners for Thriving & Not Just Surviving

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