11 of the best hardcover diaries busy small business owners can buy

- January 13, 2020 3 MIN READ

It’s one of my favourite rituals of the year – yet every year I am faced with the same question… Which hardcopy diary is right for me?

I marvel at people like British author and journalist, Maggie Alderson who’s in the habit of gleefully posting the arrival of her super posh, monogrammed diary to social media. 

Kate Toon did a similar thing the other day – laying claim to the Mi Goals diary as favourite. 

Kate wrote: 

Need to work harder on personal goals rather than just business stuff. Life is short. So much potential for shitty things to happen. I want to be more in the moment and focus on things that matter.” 

Desperately seeking my own ‘favourite’ diary, I called on our community of uber-productive solo business owners for their hardcopy diaries of choice. 

With any luck their discerning eye will help me make a choice – and maybe you too! 

Here’s what they came back with:

1.Lucy Bingle, LinkedIn expert and founder of

“I actually use an electronic diary but I also swear by the KIKKI K family wall calendar. Everyone has a column. And there’s even a birthday column! The calendar is large and lives in kitchen so everyone can see at a glance if Mums travelling for work, if Dads got a work dinner, Daughter 1 has a swimming carnival or if Daughter 2 needs to do her hair neatly for school photos! It is indispensable in our household 😊in-depth details on meetings/ events are kept in my outlook calendar.”

2. Annette Densham, founder of Publicity Genie

“My fave is The Most Audacious Marketing  Action Planner – it was created by Lauren Clemett, my partner in shine.  It sets out each month for marketing action and has space for weekly actions so I can keep track of client work, my own marketing and my ever ballooning to- do list. It lists key events for each month to trigger ideas for content to share.  Full transparency, It is a product in our business and comes with free training on how to use it.”

3. Kate Christie, author and time management expert, founder of Time Stylers

I do buy beautiful books to use every day to write work notes in. I am a pen and paper girl, so I tend to invest more in the ‘pen’ side of things. I have a beautiful fountain pen I use. I am a big believer in getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper – particularly your goals.” 

4. Fiona Hamann, principal at Hamann Communication
“I am a stationery freak. Super fussy. Lol. I like Moleskine hard cover day to a page in A5 or Kikki K hard cover day to a page in A5. Obsessed with cream paper that is fountain pen friendly (Lamy). General Notebooks for day to day scribblings are always Moleskine Soft cover A4 grid paper.”

5.  Karen Hollenbach, LinkedIn expert and founder of Think Bespoke, 

“My favourite is Brendon Burchard’s the High Performance Planner. It’s a 60 day diary. It requires the owner of the diary to answer morning and after questions, ensuring pen is to paper and reflection happens each day. I’ve tried many hard cover planners and this is my current favourite.”

6. Jo Palmer, founder of Pointer Remote Roles 

I’m a fan of both Mi Goals diaries and Kikki K ones. They both have goal setting and monthly and quarterly check ins which are awesome.”

7. Ingrid Thompson, founder of Healthy Numbers

My absolutely most useful “diary” I use is a weekly handwritten “Week in Detail” page that is colour coded for all my activities. I write it out every Sunday for the week ahead 😊

8. Emma Delahey, women’s wellbeing coach

“I really enjoyed using this really enjoyed using this Kikki.K diary because it was so small I could easily keep it in my bag and it didn’t take up much space. I also loved the colourful design with some of my favourite foods: watermelon, strawberries and ice cream!”   

9. Katrina McCarter, founder of Marketing to Mums
“I use a Collins A5 each day as it gives me one page per day (which I like to write my lists and appointments). It’s all about size and function for me.”

10. Rashida Tayabali, copywriter and founder of The Newcomer Blog
“I used the Passion Journal last year and loved it. So that would be a clear favourite!”

11. Tammy Tansley, founder of Tammy Tansley Consulting 

“It’s part of my annual end of year ritual to find a diary for the new year. I’ve transitioned over the years from a day to a page to a week to a page as I also use an electronic diary. This year’s is funky (design is important – it’s going to sit on my desk for a year). It has plenty of room for my bullet journaling. It’s hardback so it’s hardy for being moved around all year. And it has an elastic band for stuffing all those little bits and pieces in!”