The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

10 best academic year diaries

Start off the new academic year with the best intentions with a clever planner

Bridie Pearson-Jones
Thursday 20 August 2015 18:11
Get ready for the new school year with a brand new diary
Get ready for the new school year with a brand new diary

If you’re off to university for the first time, getting organised and staying on top of different module deadlines may seem like a massive task - and sometimes even students in their second, third and fourth years struggle.

Luckily, there are a huge variety of diaries to help you get your plans in order, differing greatly in price, size, style and clever extras. Every student is different, with some preferring the detail of to-do lists, note-taking pages and a day-to-view layout, and others something functional, compact and cheap. Whatever your preference, these are our favourites.

1. Paperchase Espresso A6 Day-to-View Diary: £9, paperchase.co.uk

For those who want a compact diary but still the space to go into detail, this simple brown faux-leather A6 diary is perfect. Its day-to-view layout has lines for an hourly breakdown of your schedule, from 9am to 6pm; great for students with a complicated timetable or multiple extra-curricular commitments.

Buy Now

2. Pirongs Unique Week-to-View Diary: £24, pirongs.co.uk

This might be a little more expensive than most, but if you’re fussy about your stationery colour scheme or have specific needs for your subject, Pirongs’ diaries are fully customisable. You can choose everything from the cover image (choose from theirs or upload your own) and ribbon colour to page borders and layouts, with options including graph paper, budgets, gantt charts and even sheet music and chord charts.

Buy Now

3. The Works A6 Campervan Week-to-View: £1.99, theworks.co.uk

The cheapest on the list, this colourful diary is an absolute bargain at just £1.99 so it’s good for those on a tight budget, who aren't too fussed about a pretty diary but need something to help them miss as few lectures as possible. It’s compact and light to carry around, yet still has all the essential time-management tools such as term planners and note-taking space.

Buy Now

4. Weyers and McMillian’s Student Planner: £6.79, waterstones.com

Jonathan Weyers and Kathleen McMillian have written multiple study-help books for students, on topics from writing dissertations and succeeding in exams. This just-smaller-than-A4 planner includes their top tips on managing time, money and studies, along with a week-to-view diary, and timetable and note pages. It also contains a monthly planner, to-do lists, budget pages and revision timetables to help students keep on top of everything.

Buy Now

5. Getting Personal A5 Personalised £9.99: gettingpersonal.co.uk

If you don’t feel like splashing out over twenty quid on a diary but still want something personalised, this is a great option. Add your name to the front of this funny and colourful A5 week-to-view number. A charming present to send a loved one off to university with.

Buy Now

6. Universal Acad-Pad A5 Diary Refill: £11.99, dodopad.com

If you want the function and fun of a Dodopad but the style of a Filofax, this A5 refill pad is Filofax compatible and has 6 holes in different positions so should fit most other ringbinders, too. Inside is Dodopad’s signature week-to-view page with five columns and a note page (complete with doodles) each week. It also contains a master timetable, for lecture and lesson schedules and a weekly timetable to help plan daily schedules.

Buy Now

7. Langham, A4 Diary Appointments: £10.99, ryman.co.uk

The A4 size of this one means it works great as a desk diary and the hardback cover is simple and professional. The page-a-day allows lots of room to keep plans together when you’re busy as it has time slots. It also has a page marker, note pages and also comes in blue.

Buy Now

8. Letts Dazzle A6 Page-Per-Day Diary: £9.49, filofax.co.uk

With its on-trend neon cover and embossed silver dates, this is one of the best-looking diaries in our round-up. The information pages inside are comprehensive, covering everything from the periodic table and world time zones to chords charts and tips for getting through exam period. Its page-per-day view means it has plenty of room to plan out each day with hourly slots (though 8am seems a little unrealistic) and there’s also space for termly timetables and note pages.

Buy Now

9. The Palgrave Student Planner: £8.99, palgrave.com

With CV-writing pointers, recipes, money-saving tips, study skills advice, timetable slots and even a spelling guide, this is more of a life planner than a simple week-per-view diary. It is pretty thick and just smaller than A4, but we can’t see you needing to carry around much more, and it comes with document holders so you can keep your lecture hand-outs and documents safe.

Buy Now

10. Busy B Academic Diary: £9.99, busyb.co.uk

Keep your academic deadlines and your social life separate with this diary, which has a two-column week-to-view format, so you can mark lectures on one side and birthday parties on the other. It also has space for ‘reminders’ for each column, spaces for termly timetables and four pockets.

Buy Now

Verdict

You certainly pay for personalisation when it comes to diaries, but if you’re looking for style and don’t mind splashing out then the Pirongs diary is for you. For all-round organisation and usefulness, however, Weyers and McMillian’s Student Planner is a fantastic value for money.

Read more

10 best e-readers and tablets

9 best laptop bags

10 best wireless printers

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.