How to choose the right planner for you


For such a seemingly small purchase, a planner is a big commitment. It’s your personal assistant for one full year. And if you choose right, it’s a tool that helps you stay organized, reduces your stress and ensures you don’t miss out on the most important things in your life.

Choosing the right planner or calendar

But there are so many options. How do you know which planner is right for you?

Daily vs. Weekly

If you want an hour-by-hour view of your day, a daily planner is right for you. It will keep all of your appointments in one easy-to-find place. But if you’d rather take a quick scan to see what’s on for today without breaking it down hour-by-hour, a weekly planner is what you need.

Tabs

Need to flip ahead and see what’s coming up in October? Or do you want to keep your business and personal separate? Look for a planner with tabs. With a glance and a flip, you will quickly find the section you need.

Pockets

For the person with print-outs, receipts and business cards in every jacket, purse or wallet, a planner with pockets is right for you. It will keep all of your important documents in one place.

Note Fields

It’s the all-purpose planner. If you cringe at carrying an armful of notebooks, calendars and planners to the meeting, look for a planner with lots of note space.

Size

Want to journal, stay organized and keep contacts in one place? Go for a large planner. It may seem hefty to lug around, but when you consider all of the items you won’t need anymore — like a date book and note pad — it’s actually a concise way to go. If you want something that can fit into your clutch, forgo the extra features and look for a simple daily or weekly planner.

Mark Your Calendar: 2014 To Be the Best Year Yet


If not for the angry growls coming from my stomach, I wouldn’t have noticed it was already lunchtime. I decide to peel myself away from my desk and grab my turkey avocado sandwich from the fridge in the shared kitchen. On the way back to my office, I bump into Marsha all bundled up in her winter coat and scarf. “A few of us are heading to the café across the street for lunch,” she says. “Care to join?”

I wish. The truth is, I have way too much to do to even consider a lunch beyond the confines of my desk. In fact, I don’t think I have had a lunch over the last two months that didn’t come with a side order of email checking, number crunching or presentation building. “Ah, can’t today. Thanks though – maybe next time.”

It’s just that time of year. On top of my daily workload, I’ve been scrambling to get budgets in and finalize employee bonuses. Not to mention, I’ve had to confirm last minute seasonal planning – including the end of year staff party and selecting this year’s holiday card to send out to clients. ‘Tis the season.

I spend the next hour working away, forgetting about my half eaten sandwich sitting on a plate beside my keyboard. Suddenly, a light tapping on the door interrupts me. “Come in.”

Marsha peeks around the corner. “I won’t bug you for long,” she says nervously. “We were just chatting over lunch about plans for next year…”

Her voice trails off. Or maybe I zone out, I’m not sure. Next year feels so far away – there’s still so much to be done this year.

“We were hoping to meet with you to discuss some new strategies for success in 2014.”

2014 Goal Setting

“Yes, yes, of course. That sounds great.” I say, without moving my eyes away from the computer screen.

I know we need to be planning for the New Year before it actually arrives, I’m just so consumed with the final quarter of 2013 I haven’t had the chance to think about it.

“We know your time is already spread thin with finalizing the last quarter,” she says, as if she’s reading my mind. “So we thought we’d take the lead on this one. We spent our lunch hour assessing our progress this year and have come up with some objectives for 2014.”

Oh Marsha, always taking the initiative. I turn my full attention to her now.

“I was thinking we could set up a meeting to review the opportunities we’ve highlighted, but in the meantime I’ve mapped out some of our major deadlines using the At-A-Glance Monthly Calendar from this month’s Office Plus flyer.”

She holds out the flyer and points to the calendar section.

“I thought it might be helpful if we ordered some more calendars for the whole team so everyone has the same visibility. I don’t know about you, but it always helps for me to see these things in hardcopy, hanging on my wall, rather than hidden away in a digital calendar. Did you know explicitly writing down your goal makes you 10 times likelier to achieve it?”

It makes sense. Maybe mapping out our plans and seeing them in print will help keep us on track so I don’t have to scramble so much at the end of the year.

“Marsha, once again, well done. This all sounds excellent. Let’s go ahead with the order and set up a meeting for early next week.”

“Perfect!” She says, beaming with excitement. She leaves my office in a hurry, clearly afraid of disrupting me for any longer than need be.

I make a note on the ‘employee bonuses’ chart under Marsha’s name. She has most definitely earned it.