As the year comes to a close, the organized among us will be looking for new planners (and the unorganized likely will receive planners as gifts). Whether you’re using a planner to remember school assignments or to plan out a busy day at work, there is a format perfectly suited to your needs. Each planner is different because each person is different. Learning about each format can help you decide which one fits your personality and your needs.
For those who like to focus on short-term goals and plot out each day carefully there are daily planners. In these types of planners, you are provided with one page per day. This will give you plenty of room to pencil in all of your agenda items for the day in question. Each page usually contains an hour-by-hour breakdown of the day for the most detail-oriented. If it’s important for you to remember dates, some daily planners come equipped with each day’s number on the page. If that’s not important to you, or you simply don’t prefer it, planners also come in the undated variety.
You might ask yourself why anyone would want a planner that was undated. With pages that have no labeled dates, a planner can become a journal that forces you to stay within the bounds of a year still with 365 pages. In this format, you don’t have to use just one page for each day. Instead, you can use multiple pages for note-taking regarding one very eventful day and then skip days without important occurrences. If you’d rather not be tied down to just one page per day, an undated planner would be a good fit for you.
Daily Planner Suggestions:
Moleskine daily planners come in an assortment of colors and styles. Moleskine’s daily planners also come in pocket size and standard diary size and are offered in many different colors, as well as hardcover or soft cover.
Quo Vadis planners are bound in handsome grained leatherette and come in pocket size as well as standard size. The Quo Vadis planners are also refillable and their pages come from paper made in sustainable forests, making them the best option for the eco-conscious.
Leuchtturm’s daily planner is offered in a hardcover version that boasts interior pages made from acid-free, archival paper.
The Exacompta Journal 21 Datebook comes in a standard size with a soft, leatherette cover. Its pages, too, are refillable and are made from sustainable forests.
Perhaps, for you, daily planners focus too much on the minutiae of each day. If this is true, weekly planners may be best for you. In most formats, a set of two pages is devoted to one week of the year. These can come in either vertical or horizontal format — a distinction that refers to the orientation of each week’s block of space on the page. Other planners devote only one page to a week, providing for a more compact planner.
Vertical planners with an hour-by-hour breakdown allow you to plan each and every moment of their day. These planners are perfect for the busiest people who need to squeeze every bit of time from each day. If, on the other hand, you need to remember only the most important events of each day—like when big projects are due, or crucial meetings—the horizontal format is more suited for you. This format gives you room to jot down events with accompanying times and locations to remember. If you find that you need to take notes during these events—such as business meetings or college advising appointments—you can choose the planner plus notes format, which is a week on the left page, and lines on the right page for notes.
Weekly Planner Suggestions:
Moleskine’s lines of weekly planners include both horizontal and vertical formats and come in all sizes and colors, as well as both hardcover and soft cover. Moleskine’s weekly planners also come in a cahier (pronounced Cai-Yhay) format, which offers an inexpensive option for shoppers.
As with Exacompta’s daily planners, the weekly planners are all refillable. Quo Vadis, too, offers refillable pages and their planners come in handsome “President” and “Minister” formats.
Leuchtturm’s offering in the weekly planner category is a hardcover, standard sized format with a choice of six colors for the cover. Finally, Rhodia offers its eco-friendly “webplanner” in a small size as well as a medium size.
If you’d rather have a more long-term outlook, monthly planners are for you. Customarily, monthly planners are laid out with one month per every two pages. These planners can come either in a vertical format, opening like any other book, or in horizontal format that opens in a checkbook format. The large squares of a calendar layout provide ample room to schedule events and take notes in each day’s box. Because these planners lay out the entire month in two pages, they are the quintessential planner to see a large scope of time in a quick glance.
Monthly Planner Suggestion:
Moleskine offers a soft cover monthly planner in a large size. This planner is laid out in the vertical style and devotes two pages to each month. Between months there are lined pages on which you can take notes.
No matter what format or brand you choose, a planner is essential for getting your affairs in order for 2012. As for me, though I prefer to take life one day at a time, I find it most convenient to use a weekly format planner with note pages. That way, I can see the entire week on one page and have my cadre of post-it notes plastering the note pages. What kind of planner do you prefer?
Meet the Writer: Mary Egan is a recent graduate of Lewis University and is currently interning with a publishing company in Chicago; she also has more pens and notebooks than she knows what to do with. She is the founder of the Jet Fuel Review, a student-run literary journal, and still blogs for them at Lewis Lit Journal.