The best diaries for 2020
The time has come to choose your 2020 diary, a task which wields huge responsibility – the year ahead depends on it. With so many different kinds on offer, we've put together a list of Mumsnet favourite paper diaries to help you choose
1. Moleskine 12-month agenda, £15.20 (was £18.99)
If you're looking for sleek and sophisticated, you can't get much better than Moleskine. Available in six colours (and other beautiful designs for 2020 which include Alice in Wonderland and Le Petit Prince), you get the week ahead on one side and some plain lined paper on the other – perfect for writing out your
“I like Moleskine diaries. I've used them for the past eight years or so, and they do plain colours or design link-ups (The Little Prince, Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland).”
“The best one ever is Moleskine's week-to-view. It meant that I could take notes on the right page linked to what happened on the left and always know when I took them. Flipping genius.”Buy now from Amazon
2. Busy B Diaries, from £7.99
Perfect for planning out your weekly and monthly schedule, Busy B diaries really do have a little bit of everything. Mumsnet users love the To Do Diary thanks to its month-ahead calendar pages and selection of nifty tear-out list sheets at the back. But, if you're after something for more than one person, the Family Diary is laid out in a grid so there's space for each member of your family.
“Busy B To Do – the only diary I actually stick to!”
“I have used a Busy B diary at work for three years now.”Buy now on Amazon
3. Boxclever Press Life Book, £14.99
For just shy of £15, this diary is an absolute steal. With dedicated spaces for budgeting, a section for Christmas, and tear-out shopping lists and to-do lists for every single week, you'll wonder what you did without one. Plus, there's a set of 288 stickers included (if that's your kind of thing).
“I always get the Life Book from Boxclever Press. I've been looking at others this year but think I'll get the same again. I'd be lost without a paper planner. I never know where my phone is – one of the kids has normally wandered off with it!”
“I love Boxclever, especially all the accessories and the fact you can clip sheets in and move the pages around. Best diary I’ve ever had.”Buy now from Amazon
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4. Dodo Pad A5 Diary, £14.26
For a fun alternative which can double up as a journal, Dodo Pad diaries are half scrapbook and half organiser, which is perfect for more creative types. Each week has a different theme and beautiful illustrations to match it, with a blank facing page for lists/notes/doodles. You can also get a matching wall pad for the whole family to use, or if you're wedded to your Filofax, Dodo Pad do inserts for those too.
“I usually get a Dodo Pad diary. They're great and fun. I've found it best for family use, but you could use the sections for anything you wanted.”
“I use a Dodo Pad diary – five columns, with week-to-view on one side and a blank doodle page facing it. I stick school notices, invitations, cinema and theatre tickets etc on the blank side, which makes it a bit like a journal.”Buy now from Amazon
5. MUM's Office Mum's Diary, £17.50
Absolutely categorically not just for mums, these nifty little organisers give you the space to plan out the week for more than one person (be that the people you work with, the people you live with, or even the cleaner). They're the perfect size for keeping on you while you're out and about, have an elastic closure, and for each week you get one full page for your own plans and a page split into columns for everyone else.
“They're great. A week to a page for you and the page beside in columns. Comes in gorgeous colours too.”Buy now from Amazon
6. Cath Kidston Pembroke Diary, £12.60 (was £18)
If you're after something of beauty, Cath Kidston is a pretty good bet. Week-to-view with a lined page alongside and a mini month-long calendar on each to help you keep on top of things, these diaries are not just pretty faces. We like the blue and pink cover, but this yellow one is beautiful as well.
“My DS bought me one for Christmas three years ago and I loved it so much I have bought myself one every year since. It's compact so fits well into my bag. I rate it highly!”
“It's pretty and ticks all my boxes. It has a week-to-view on one page and a blank space for lists on the other. It also has lovely perforated bits at the back where you can tear out little notes for people.”Buy now from Cath Kidston
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7. Filofax A5 Organisers, from £28
The queen of the organiser world, a Filofax is a sort of mini ringbinder, the idea being that you keep the same cover and pop in new inserts every year. We say 'idea' because once you've seen the beautiful range of binders on offer, it will be tough to commit to just one. The range of inserts is huge, too, with everything from coloured lined paper for notes to world maps and even budget trackers. This means you can pick and choose what it is you actually need, which is what Mumsnetters particularly love.
“I succumbed to (feels like there should be a mini-trumpet thrill here)… a Filofax A5. Oh. My. God. I stupidly love it. I have had an hour's fun rearranging the pages and setting it up for myself. Even the 20-something guy at the till admired it.”
“I like that I can take pages out to write on them for added neatness.”
“I've had a Filofax for eight-and-a-half years and it still looks great. I like that I can get all sorts of different inserts (usually have week-to-view, plus a year planner to plan travel, plus note sheets and a calculator).”Buy now from WHSmith
8. Leuchtturm1917 Weekly Planner and Notebook, £18.95 (was £19.90)
Similar to Moleskine, but with the added extras of a detachable notebook, an expandable pocket, and a yearly overview, these little books are a diary, address book and project planner all in one. Available in 12 colours and three sizes (up to A4), there will be something to suit anyone. Plus, they look über professional so you'll feel mighty smug each time you take a moment to check next week's availability.
“I use a Mumsnet recommendation – Leuchtturm1917. The brilliant thing is that it has a transferable address book, a wallet for notes etc, and a page of notes next to each week. It's also A5 and thin so it fits in my handbag easily. On the note page I make the week's to-do list or just carry the same one over from the previous week.”
“They're similar to Moleskine, but have a better colour choice and nicer paper (well I think so). I also love their notebooks!”Buy now from Amazon
9. Orange Circle Studio Do It All Mom Planner, £13.31
If planning and organising
and re-organising your family feels like all you ever do, then this planner by Orange Circle Studio is a pretty good bet. The week's schedule is separated into rows, which you can either use for different members of the family or different times of the day – whichever works best for you. The ring-binder style doesn't suit everyone, but it does mean the planner lays out totally flat and is properly sturdy. You also get 300 stickers to mark appointments and tear-off notes for shopping and to-do lists.
“Without it my family would be chaos!”Buy now from Amazon
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10. MUJI A5 Vinyl Cover Diary, £8.95
MUJI are renowned for their simplistic and neutral design for everything from Tuppaware to bedding, and their range of diaries are just as aesthetically charming. They're really pared back, which is perfect if you want a bit of flexibility, and the added inclusion of square paper could be the perfect way to dip your toe into bullet journaling if you're not ready to commit fully. Plus, it's made from recycled paper – excellent.
“MUJI diaries are my favourite! I love the week-on-left side and the squared-paper-on-right layout, which is perfect for my needs. Lots of space for notes and scribbles. I have a faux 'traveller's notebook' cover from Etsy that I keep it in, along with a small sketchbook for design work. Works perfectly.”Buy now from MUJI
11. Quo Vadis Septanote Club Diary, £30.95
This wonderfully competent-looking diary is another refillable one, meaning once you've bought a cover, you only need to buy yourself the inserts each year. It runs July to July, unfortunately, but is a really great option if you're looking for something which is office- as well as home-friendly. It's also a little bit bigger than the other diaries featured on this page, meaning it's not one for carting around in your handbag all day.
“I love it and it's the best diary I've ever used. There is enough room for writing my to-do lists as well as reminders for school stuff etc. It is also a Beautiful Thing.”Buy now from Amazon
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