Okay, this may seem like a ridiculous thing to sit down and write about but it is important.
As a person that is not exactly organized by nature, its clear to me that a good planner is a very useful tool. I’ve tried all types and had mixed results but have finally found one that I like and can use consistently.
What I am saying is: my only hope for staying on top of things is to keep a planner going and to sort of enjoy the process.
A good planner can help with organization but for some people planners go well beyond that to become a hobby or creative outlet; they use the planner for all types of organization, record keeping and sort of embellish it. Artists and designers create journals that are sometimes combined with planners but I cannot quite make that work.
For me, the planner should be simple and have a good monthly overview page as well as larger spaces for each day. This way I can use the larger, daily spaces for ideas, as a sort of journal and for refer to the monthly view page for appointments. I like a neutral cover and simple page design. And, my planner must be small enough to fit in a bag or purse (say 5 by 9/10 inches) so I can bring it everywhere.
My current planner does all of the above and for a reasonable cost ($20). It is made by Shinola, a company I am happy to support. (sadly it appears they no longer have the 2016 version available –its called a Runwell Planner). Last year I tried to make my own planner by using an online calendar and scaling it down to fit in a moleskin. This years Shinola version shares the what I like about moleskin notebooks (elastic band and page marker) with great calendar and monthly note pages.
My daughter likes a bigger planner that is more like a notebook and she uses it to keep on top of everything; she also does some major embellishing. Her current planner is by Erin Condren (Life Planner).
Some of the students I work with have created their own planners by hacking calendar pages found online and combining them with blank or lined pages for notes. One student has come up with a pretty spectacular version using this process this semester.