January is often a miserable month, with freezing weather and Christmas bills to pay, but a shiny new diary is a joy to populate with exciting plans for the year ahead. Forget Google Calendar and Outlook – many of us wouldn’t dream of ditching our paper diaries for their online counterparts.

But which diary to choose? From stylish, pocket-sized notebooks in jewel-like colours, to planners filled with inspiring poems, we’ve found the best 2019 diaries to guide you through the Year of the Pig. Some have fun stickers to keep you amused, others have motivating maxims to pep you up and keep you on the straight and narrow.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

kikki.K A5 Bonded Leather Weekly Diary in Dusk Blue: £18, kikki.K

We like everything about this sleek leather hardback diary from global Swedish design and stationery business kikki.K. As well as being pleasing to the eye, it’s highly practical, with weekly and monthly layouts, pages to keep track of expenses, books, films, favourite restaurants and bars and space to make notes.

As an adorable extra, there’s a pack of “life’s little stickers”, a selection of gold stars, hearts and stickers to flag up important days in your life, such as pay days, parties and holidays. The diary comes in dusk blue, charcoal grey or blush pink.

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Papier Autumn Bloom Mother of Pearl 2019 Diary: £21.99, Papier

Papier has made a huge impact on the online stationery market since it launched in 2015. The company prides itself on its “carefully curated collection of designs, married with quality printing and premium paper” and produces everything from birthday cards to wedding stationery, often collaborating with well-known designers.

Its diaries are stunning, especially this one, which has a hardback cover designed by east London fashion house Mother of Pearl and which can be personalised with your name. Inside, there are year-to-view, month-to-view and week-to-view pages plus monthly goals, to-do lists, important dates and wish lists.

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Caroline Gardner Hey You A5 Diary 2019: £12.50, Caroline Gardner

Caroline Gardner’s Hey You diary is cheery and positive. With a jaunty hardback cover, a week-to-view layout and a grosgrain ribbon page marker, this diary encourages you to start the year with a flourish. Each month is heralded with an upbeat message – “every day is a fresh new start” for January and “follow your dreams” for December – and there’s plenty of room for notes. It’s good value too.

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Smythson 2019 Soho Diary with Pocket: £155, Smythson

This is the crème de la crème of diaries: an elegant cross-grain leather diary from Smythson, the luxury leather goods brand. Available in eight colours, from candy pink to Nile blue, it features gilt-edged, pale blue paper, a luxurious silk lining and a slip pocket at the back.

It’s a great size (slightly smaller than A5) and gives a week-to-view on the left and a spacious “to do” list on the right, as well as maps of the London Underground, New York subway and Hong Kong Transit. If you can’t wait to get started, it runs from November 2018 to January 2020.

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Faber & Faber Poetry Diary 2019: £12.99, Faber & Faber

Poetry is good for the soul – so how about a diary that features some of the most famous poems from the Faber & Faber poetry archive? This week-to-view planner includes a specially chosen Faber cover or poem for every week of the year, from “Inversnaid” by Gerard Manley Hopkins in January, to Wendy Cope’s “A Christmas Poem in December”.

The Faber poetry list celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2019 and this hardback diary is a great way to enjoy the work of some of our finest poets. The elegant endpapers, comprising a patchwork of Faber covers, are a joy to behold.

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Martha Brook Personalised Smart 2019 Weekly Diary: £15.95, Not On The High Street

Martha Keith quit her corporate career to launch her personalised stationery company in 2013 and has since won a string of business awards. She sells a range of diaries and we loved this softback A5 planner. With an uncluttered layout and lots of space for notes at the back, it comes in eight colours (from mint green to midnight blue), uses good quality paper and can be personalised with your name in gold, silver or rose gold foil.

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Oliver Bonas 2019 A4 Diary: £25, Oliver Bonas

If you prefer a larger diary, this A4-sized beauty from Oliver Bonas will do the trick. The hardback cover is emblazoned with the words “work hard, play hard and be kind” while the inside is packed with weekly and monthly views, jaunty illustrations and bright and breezy slogans.

There’s tons of space for doodles, drawings and notes so if your new year’s resolution is to write that novel or launch a business, this diary will get you started. Smaller versions are also available.

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Partridge & Bell Personalised Week To View 2019 Diary Planner Organiser: £19.95, Not On The High Street

Available in red, teal or grey, Partridge & Bell’s hardback diary can be personalised with your name in a swirly gold, copper or silver font. This A5 week-to-view diary is full of useful information, including lists of holidays and festivals for the next three years, international dialling codes and pages to keep track of your expenses. If you want a diary that will organise your life for you, this is ideal.

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Emma Bridgewater Artichokes A5 Diary: £9.95, Emma Bridgewater

Emma Bridgewater is best known for her eye-catching pottery but the eponymous British brand produces everything from bedding to tea towels. You won’t lose this striking A5 hardback diary in a hurry – festooned with artichokes, it really stands out from the crowd.

Foodies and gardeners will love the artwork inside – each month is illustrated with a different vegetable, including red chillies, onions and peas in a pod. The layout is clear and pleasing to the eye, with plenty of room for notes, contacts and things to remember.

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Tate Picasso 2019 Pocket Diary: £6.95, Tate Shop

Art lovers will enjoy having a reminder of Tate Modern’s superb Picasso 1932: Love, Fame,Tragedy exhibition. This hardback, pocket-sized diary is great value, with a week-to-view layout and a Picasso masterpiece at the start of every month.

Paintings include Nude Woman in a Red Armchair and The Three Dancers. Best of all, there’s a nifty envelope on the back cover to store the exhibition tickets this diary will inspire you to buy.

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The Verdict: Best 2019 Diaries

There are so many gorgeous 2019 diaries on the market, from the plain and simple to the upbeat and thought provoking, that we’re spoiled for choice. Our favourite, however, is kikki.K’s ultra-stylish A5 Bonded Leather Weekly Diary, followed by the Papier Autumn Bloom Mother of Pearl 2019 Diary. If you’re happy to splash out, the elegant Smythson 2019 Soho Diary with Pocket is top notch.

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.

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