After looking at a lot of different options, I decided to go with the Goal Digger planner from MiGoals in 2018.
It’s an A5 notebook with 100gsm paper and a weekly two-page layout, and the week view doesn’t have any preset time blocks for me to ignore. There are also dedicated planning pages for both monthly goals and longer term projects. The planner includes some nice extras, like two bookmark ribbons and a section for notes in the back.
I love the weekly layout, which fits the calendar blocks on one page and packs a lot of great features into the other. There’s space for weekly goals, a habit tracker, a to-do list, notes, a gratitude log, and a list of the week’s accomplishments. The calendar page is half lined and half blank, giving some visual separation between your schedule and whatever tasks or time-dependent info you want to write down on that day. The design is structured but also flexible, and I can’t wait to start using it.
There are a few parts of the planner I’m less thrilled about though. The monthly calendar has oversized, highlighted blocks on Saturday and Sunday, but my weekends aren’t any busier than the other five days. So for me, that calendar design is both weird-looking and pointless. I could do without the vague motivational quotes, and I wish the note area at the end used a dot grid instead of a mix of lined and unlined pages. There’s also a monthly budget form I’m not going to use. Those are mostly minor things though, especially when compared with everything this planner gets right.
For more info, I’d suggest visiting the Goal Digger Kickstarter campaign. It’s over, but I think it includes better photos and a more thorough overview than the MiGoals website does. If you’d like to buy your own copy, you can get one here.