Amazon KDP offers such an extensive variety of no- and low-content books that you can find practically anything under the sun on the marketplace. However, the lines between some of these book categories can become blurred.
In this post, we’ll explore the differences between planners, log books, and trackers to help you better differentiate your products and choose the right category more wisely. With this in mind, let’s dive in and discuss what these three book types are and what sets them apart.
What is a planner, a log book, and a tracker?
What’s important to note from the outset is that planners, log books, and trackers all fall under the no-content book categorization. This means that they contain practically no text. Instead, they have strategically positioned lines and grids to help people organize their daily lives. And that’s about it when it comes to the similarities.
Below, we offer a detailed breakdown of the characteristics that define each of these book types.
Traditionally, these no-content books were used to plan time, dates, and events in advance. This is why the most common types of planners are those that contain calendar entries for periods ranging from one year up to five years ahead.
A prime example of this is the best-selling “Black Girl Planner 2023-2027 Five Year Monthly Planner: Just a Girl Boss Building Her Empire (January 2023-December 2027)”. This is precisely a five-year planner that contains inspirational quotes and federal holidays and a monthly two-page spread for each month. It also contains a notes section on the sides of the pages, and a whole lot more.
Despite these more “traditional” planners, this category of no-content books has evolved over time. Now, we have planners that help people plan their gardening, weddings, cleaning chores, and even funerals.
Log books, on the other hand, were traditionally used for legal or tax reasons. Instances of this include people keeping track of mileage in their cars (for insurance purposes), accounting, income and expenses, equipment and inventory, and more.
However, these no-content books have also evolved. Now they help their owners retain control and keep a record of their daily activities. Activities here include health tracking and small business tracking. There are also log books that are targeted at gym and fitness schedules and the gains made through these efforts.
Finally, we have trackers. These no-content books are less for legal or tax purposes but are more of an aide to individuals who wish to keep track of their results. These may manifest themselves in the form of savings and bill trackers, password trackers, menstrual cycle monitoring, client appointment trackers, and Christmas card address trackers, to name just a few.
As such, these books have an organizational nature to them but in most cases, these are not for professional, but rather personal reasons.
What are the differences?
While all three categories of these no-content books are for organizational purposes, there are some important differences.
Planners are used to help people literally “plan” ahead of time. This means leaving notes whilst consulting a calendar. These planners make it easy for people to view dates at a quick glance and add notes in margins or in blocks so that they don’t forget important dates and events.
Log books, meanwhile, are used predominantly for professional reasons in accounting, vehicle maintenance, mileage monitoring, and more.
And as for trackers, these are more personal and self-oriented no-content books that are used for literally tracking progress made in various fields or aspects of one’s life.
Therefore, although they may seem similar in terms of their organizational nature, they fulfill different functions. It’s crucial not to get this wrong when you’re creating your no-content book’s title or its interior. The reasons behind this are clear. Saying you’re offering a planner while you’re actually helping a reader track their menstrual cycle can be misleading and offputting towards your audience.
What are the different subgenres and what are they used for?
Broadly speaking, each of these three no-content book categories contains a number of subgenres that can be explored further. We kick off our discussion with planners.
Some of the subgenres of planners were already mentioned earlier, and these include “when I’m gone” planners that deal with a family member’s passing. These planners can specify things such as insurance and assets, final messages and planning, funeral arrangements, and more.
Other planners that are popular include planners related to weddings. These can be broadly categorized into planners for the bride, the mother of the bride, the maid of honor, etc.
Further subgenres include:
- Health planners
- Education planners
- Small business planners
- Social media planners
- Household planners
- Debt pay-off planners
- To-do and goal-setting planners
- Project management
- Life coaching
- Productivity planners
However, the most common planner is related to calendar planning. Despite the number of years that these future planners can offer (ranging from one up to five years), they all contain an accurate monthly depiction of days, dates, and months to help people determine what is coming next at a quick glance.
As mentioned previously, log books are usually used to help individuals in their professions. As such we have inbound and outbound call log books for lawyers and estate agents. There are also income and expense log books that help households and small businesses. Mileage logbooks or car maintenance log books also fall in this category. And furthermore, there are accounting ledgers for bookkeeping, inventory log books, daily timesheets for employees, etc.
On the non-professional side, we also have baby shower logbooks, wedding logbooks, scuba diving log books, as well as sailing, boating, and ships, and others.
Trackers are predominantly for personal reasons and this is exemplified well by health, fitness and runner’s trackers. Blood pressure, sugar, and caregiver trackers are also important subgenres in this niche.
Trackers can also be used to literally “track” periods, ovulation, and migraines; daily, weekly, and yearly habits; farm animal tracking; exercise and food trackers; sports scorekeeping, and much more.
What are some typical niches?
To determine the most typical niches for each of these three formats, we used Book Bolt’s Cloud module. This is an important differentiation factor and one that you should keep in mind when it comes to exploiting the various types of books and their subgenres.
The dominant niche in the planners category has to do with calendar planning of daily activities. The second most popular niche is related to one’s final wishes upon their passing. These are the two main niches in this category, although as mentioned above, there are many other sub-niches.
The main niche in this category is all about accounting and income-vs-expenses tracking. The second most popular niche deals with mileage tracking and vehicle maintenance.
The primary niche within the trackers category is health and fitness related.
Although there are some blurred lines between planners, trackers, and log books, their fundamental purpose differs. What may appear a mere set of lines, grids, and tables will take on an entirely different meaning whether you’re trying to help people plan their days ahead or whether you’re helping accountants keep track of income and expenses in a log book.
The key takeaway from all this is that despite their similarities, each of these categories serves a different function. This is why it’s so important to get it right from the outset – it ensures that you don’t end up misleading your audience, and hurting your bottom line in the process.