The most recent atrial fibrillation (AF) guidelines delivered by European Society of Cardiology (ESC) offer an updated approach to AF management, with the perspective of improved characterization of the arrhythmia, the cardiac substrate and the patients profile in terms of associated risk factors and comorbidities. Recommendations were based on careful scrutiny and assessment of all available evidence with the final aim to offer to practitioners a lower level of uncertainty in the complex process of decision making for patients with AF. The 2020 ESC guidelines on AF propose a paradigm shift in the clinical approach to AF patients, moving from a single-domain AF classification to comprehensive characterization of AF patients. Given the complex nature of AF, an integrated holistic management of AF patients is suggested by the guidelines for improving patients outcomes through the formal introduction of the CC (Confirm AF and Characterize AF) to ABC (Atrial fibrillation Better Care) pathway. In line with this concept, these new guidelines underline the importance of a more comprehensive management of AF patients which should not be limited to simply prescribe oral anticoagulation or decide between a rhythm or rate control strategy. Indeed, each step of the ABC pathway represents one of the pivotal pillars in the management of AF and only a holistic approach has the potential to improve patients’ outcomes. In this review we will discuss the background that supports some of the new recommendations of 2020 ESC guidelines, with important implications for daily management of AF patients.