With so many options to choose from in layouts, cover design, size, binding and much more, it's no surprise that there were plenty of contenders vying to be named 2020's Best Diary by the Milligram team. The competition was so fierce and the votes so close that we'll be introducing ranked preferential voting for next year's awards just to save everyone the heartache of picking a single standout. Despite all the tension, though, this year's winner came out on top with a solid margin, and didn't need recounts to claim the title.

 

THE NOMINEES

 

Hobonichi Techo Cousin

Hobonichi Techo Cousin 2021 diary in Turquoise

When the 2021 Hobonichi range landed on Milligram.com last year, it caused the equivalent of a digital stampede, as fans raced to grab their dream diary. The very definition of a cult brand, few outside the stationery world might recognise the Hobonichi name, but they've built a committed audience over the years through careful design, attention to detail, and responsiveness to customer feedback.

Because of that cult status, you have to get in early to claim your Hobonichi each year. We've sold out of just about every diary they make, but don't worry – there's always 2022!

 

Moleskine Weekly Notebook

Moleskine 2021 Hard Cover Weekly Notebook Diary

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Moleskine diaries top our best-sellers each and every year. Simple and subtly stylish, these diaries expand on the brand's beloved notebooks with well-honed layouts and sizes to suit everyone. We love the Large Weekly Notebook for the balance of planning space and portability, but you might prefer a Daily Diary, or something more pocket-friendly.

 

Delfonics Rollbahn Note Diary

Delfonics Rollbahn Note Diary with Sky Blue cover and yellow text

The winner of our Best Notebook category, Delfonics came very close to taking out Best Diary as well, and for much the same reasons. Each Rollbahn diary's design is deceptively simple, with clear layouts that look and feel totally natural to use, but that easy feel disguises the years of refinement that led to such a breezy organisational experience. Add in the durable spiral-binding that lets you use every bit of the page, and the humble yet iconic Rollbahn cover, and there's no mistaking it – Delfonics' diary is a modern classic.

Like its Japanese cousins at Hobonichi, most of Delfonics' 2021 diaries have already been snapped up, so set a reminder to grab your 2022 Rollbahn early!

 

MiGoals Goal Digger Diary

MiGoals 2021 Bold Goal Digger Diary in Mint Green, with GOAL DIGGER printed vertically in gold foil

One for the high-achievers (or folks who want to be high achievers), MiGoals has carved out a niche with goal-oriented layouts that prompt you to reflect on where you want to be, and make a plan for how you want to get there. That focus makes MiGoals a perfect fit for our New Year's Resolutions, and our plans to make 2021 a better year than the last one. Lots of keen goal-setters have already snapped up most of the MiGoals range and started shaping their year, but if you're quick, you can still pick up the brand's more subtle (but still laser-focused) 2021 Classic Diary.

 

THE WINNER

 

Studio Milligram Non-Diary

Studio Milligram Spiral Bound Non-Diary with blue Art cover (featuring navy background and abstract shapes in orange, light blue and white)

Since being added to our range a few short years ago, Studio Milligram's Non-Diary has quickly won people over with a barely-there diary layout that opens up endless possibilities. Having spent a great deal of time with our impeccable diary range, the Studio Milligram team distilled the best aspects of our top brands into this – a diary that gives you the most minimal structure so that you can make it your own. 

Each daily page features the date, a monthly overview in the top corner, and leaves the rest up to you. Available in a ruled page layout or the even more flexible dot grid, the Non-Diary can be a journal one day, a to-do list the next and a minute-by-minute scheduler the day after that. We love that finely-judged openness, balanced by the simple daily structure that keeps you moving forward, and we weren't the only ones – the Non-Diary was one of our best-sellers for 2021, going head-to-head with giants like Moleskine and winning hearts along the way.

The spiral-binding makes it easy to use every bit of every page in your diary, though the linen hard cover version feels absolutely beautiful in your hands, with the same understated layout that you can make your own.