So you've decided to get a planner. Simple decision? Yes, but there are some important points to consider before you make your purchase, to make sure that you end up with what you wanted and needed.
Type of CalendarMany families use a combination of personal planners and family calendars. There may be a desk calendar, wall calendar, or refrigerator calendar in addition to the ones each family member carries. Using multiple calendars is a way to have information available wherever you need it. It can be a little tougher to keep track of, though. When choosing a calendar, think about where it will be kept and who will be using it. A calendar to hold all the family events should be a wall or desk calendar. One to help your teenager plan their time should be a personal style.
Digital, Paper, or BothIf you are a digital person who spends much of their time on the computer, a digital calendar may be the way to go. Depending on which service or program you use, you'll likely have a printing option as well. For those who aren't comfortable with digital calendars, paper may still be the way to go. A lot of families are switching to use digital calendars as the main family resource because they may be easier to use when coordinating many different schedules.
SizeYou'll find planners on the market in all shapes and sizes. When deciding what size is best for you, the first question to ask is...where will your planner be stored? If its primary residence will be on your desk, you might want to look at a larger desk calendar. If you're in search of an on-the-go calendar, you may need a compact model that will fit well in a purse or briefcase.
Ability to CustomizeThink about what information you need to keep in your planner. Do you like to have birthday information on hand in a planner? Do you need a note taking section for when inspiration strikes in the pick-up lane at school? It's a good idea to think about how you like to plan your day. If you are a meticulous planner, you'll need daily or weekly pages in your planner. If you like more of a general idea of your commitments, you'll appreciate monthly pages.
Before you purchase a planner, you'll need to examine the wide variance in planner prices. If you're looking for a long-term planner, choose one that offers refill pages. These may be a little more expensive at first, but will often save money
in the long run with refill purchases. If you like to change styles and fashions of planners, go for a more disposable style. Either way, having a budget for your planner will allow you to find the perfect economical fit.
FeaturesIf you've had day planners that worked well in the past, now is the time to think about the features they had that you appreciated. Did you ever use the notepad in the back, or wish you'd had one? Do you think a business card holder or vinyl pouch is a necessary component? Do you want a planner that snaps shut or one with a spiral or binder style? For a lot of people the unique features of certain planners fit well with their lifestyle, so be sure that the one you choose has exactly what you need, or can be customized to provide it.
Visual AppealIt may seem like planner vanity, but if you don't like the way your planner looks, you'll be less likely to use it. For several months I used one of my husband's extra teacher planners emblazoned with a local banks logo across the front. I wasn't as eager to pull it out in the middle of a PTA business meeting as I am with my newest beautiful planner. There are plenty of opportunities out there to find a planner that looks great and reflects your personality, all with the functionality that you need.