10 Handy Notepads for People Who Can't Commit to a Planner

Get your life together with these handy to-do lists and schedule organizers!

Muji Organizers and Desk Pads
PHOTO BY Shopee, MUJI ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) When the clock struck midnight on January 1st, it was the final nail in the coffin for pretty much everyone’s 2020 planners, which we assume were mostly left blank after the year that just took place. We understand if 2020 left you with some trust issues when it comes to keeping a weekly or monthly plan for your life—what’s the use in making long-term plans in this unpredictable, pandemic-stricken world, after all? We urge you, however, to keep on keeping on, as they say. Go ahead: Plan your birthdays, holidays, long weekends, travels, and vacation leaves. According to life coach and psychologist, Dr. Ali Gui, "With or without a pandemic, there will always be uncertainties that can derail you from your plans. Planning is how we cope with uncertainty." That is to say that all this uncertainty gives us all the more reason to plan.

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So if you’re ready to dip a toe back into the realm of being hopeful about the future, we’re right here with you. We recently rounded up a list of the 50 best 2021 planners you can shop now, but just in case you can’t quite overcome your existential trust issues and don’t want to commit to a planner, we found a handy alternative: desk pads! Below, we round up pretty notepads that will help you organize your life this 2021. Don't worry: Your relationship with these handy writing pads can be as casual as you please. No strings attached—you’ll commit to the real thing when you’re good and ready.

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Also read:
50 Best Planners, Diaries, and Journals for 2021
Here's Why a 2021 Planner Still Makes Perfect Sense

Can't commit to a 2021 planner? Try these handy desk pads instead:

No More Procrastinating Writing Pad (P29) from Papemelroti

No More Procrastinating Writing Pad (P29) from Papemelroti
PHOTO BY Papemelroti
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As its name suggests, this writing pad from Papemelroti wants you to stop procrastinating—and isn’t that the whole point of a to-do list anyway? The notepad helps you get your life together with handy writing sections for your tasks.It has spaces reserved for your to-do list, chores, appointments, priorities, and more. It even has a hydration tracker at the bottom. Best of all, it’s only P29!

Available online; see a list of Papemelroti stores.

Daily To-Do Desk Planner (P128) from Printcafe

Daily To-Do Desk Planner (P128) from Printcafe
PHOTO BY Printcafe

Here’s a tip if you find yourself overwhelmed with daily tasks: Break your to-do list down into specifics. That is to say, instead of jotting down a big undertaking like "finish this project," list down small tasks you need to do to finish it (i.e. e-mail that person, read that document, et cetera.) This daily to-do list from Printcafe will help you do just that. It has enough space for you to jot down all your tasks, appointments, and deadlines down to the nitty-gritty details. You can get a weekly version, too!

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Available online.

Calendar Pad (P228) from Crazy About Paper

Calendar Pad (P228) from Crazy About Paper
PHOTO BY Crazy About Paper

If you prefer to have a monthly overview of your schedule, this calendar pad from Crazy About Paper would be right up your alley. It gives you lots of writing space per day as well as a section for extra notes on the side. Though mostly plain, the calendar features a pretty illustration on top (you can choose between a crystal pattern or a paisley print). It’s undated, so you can use it any time of the year!

Available online.

Table Top Planner (P255) from Thingamabobs Collective

Table Top Planner (P255) from Thingamabobs Collective
PHOTO BY Thingamabobs Collective
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This handy desk pad from Thingamabobs Collective features different kinds of notepads on one memo board including a sheet for notes, one for your to-do list, a general checklist, and an extra notepad for other doodles, sketches, and ideas. That way, you’ve got every kind of list at your disposal on one handy memo board that would easily fit in your bag.

Available online.

Sticky Note Weekly Planner (P65) from MUJI

Sticky Note Weekly Planner (P65) from MUJI
PHOTO BY MUJI

MUJI is known for their minimalist-chic life essentials and their itty-bitty weekly planner notepad features the same no-frills, form-meets-function style you would see on their apparel and home finds. Thanks to the sticky-note design, you can easily attach these notepads onto your desk, wall, or office memo board. You’ll want to cop their popular gel pens, too (which now come in a complete pack!) so you can color code your to-do list.

See a list of MUJI stores.

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Desk Pads (starts at P129) from Design Hatch

Desk Pads (starts at P129) from Design Hatch
PHOTO BY Common Room

Design Hatch offers different kinds of desk pads for every need and personality. They’ve got weekly planner pads with lots of writing space as well as a monthly spread and even a memo pad for keeping track of your habits and goals—perfect to stay on track with your New Year’s resolutions. 

Available online and at Common Room; see a list of stores.

To-Do Notepad (P129) from Common Room

To-Do Notepad (P129) from Common Room
PHOTO BY Common Room
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These adorable notepads from Common Room feature cute designs as well as motivational reminders that will push you to stay productive in a positive way. You can choose between the colorful "No Bad Days" memo pads, which has a simple checklist, the "Get Sh*t Done" notepad ,which looks like a notebook from your high school days and even has a handy column for keeping track of due dates, or the "Today Is Going to Be Super Duper" pad, which has sections for your notes, to-do list, and important reminders.

See a list of Common Room stores.

Grid Memo Pad (P99.75) from SM Stationery

Grid Memo Pad (P99.75) from SM Stationery
PHOTO BY SM Stationery

This grid-marked memo pad from SM Stationery lets you jot notes down in any layout or style that works for you and your daily routine. It’s available in three cute color schemes, each featuring a variety of pastel shades.

Available online and at SM stores.

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The Weekly and Monthly Times Planners (P346)

The Weekly and Monthly Times Planners (P346)
PHOTO BY Shopee

These undated weekly and monthly memo pads are perfect for getting an overview of your schedule and to-do lists over long periods of time. They’re called The Weekly Times and The Monthly Times planners—their newspaper-like names suggest a no-nonsense design and that’s exactly what you get thanks to the abundance of writing space and the minimal but functional layouts. Each memo pad has 60 pages, so they’ll last you well into next year.

Available online.

The Self-Care Daily Planner Notepad by Inky Livie (P99) from Adarna House

The Self-Care Daily Planner Notepad by Inky Livie (P99) from Adarna House
PHOTO BY Adarna House
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"Sa araw na ito, mamahalin ko ang sarili ko," reads the header of this Adarna House memo pad and fittingly, it features gentle reminders to relax and take care of yourself amidst a bi-hourly layout designed to help you keep your days in order. Aside from little callouts to take breaks and have moments of silence, it also has small sections dedicated to keeping track of your exercise regimen, your daily mantra, and even the vegetables you eat.

Available online.

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