For as long as I can remember, I have used a planner. I’ve had several types over the years and I’ve found that the amount I use the planner doesn’t relate to how much I have to do, but how much I like the planner. I could have tons and tons to do but if the planner doesn’t work well for me, I won’t write things in it. Below I’ve listed the three favorite planners I’ve had.
I used the daily planner back when I had tons to do and I was always on the go. It was small enough to shove in even a purse but had enough space to make to do lists. I also liked that you could buy refills so you could keep the same cover. I decorated my cover with stickers, so it was unique to me! The one thing I didn’t like was that it did not have a monthly calendar style page anywhere in it. That would have been helpful when planning future events, although with as much as I was doing, I don’t think I was planning very far into the future. Also, something that bothered me was that it went by calendar year, not academic year. I was a student when I used this planner and I still work in a school setting, so an academic year planner is more useful for me.
Once I started working full time, I needed something that showed the months. Being in a sorority must have rubbed off on me because I bought a Lilly Pulitzer planner. I bought the large one which was slightly taller than my Quo Vadis planner. Just to put it in perspective, the jumbo is the size of a normal notebook. I loved how it was set up with the months breaking up the weekly pages. I also enjoyed all the fun, colorful stickers. I didn’t like that there wasn’t enough space for me to write down my appointments and a to do list. Also, there’s a lot of other stuff in the planner that I didn’t need, like an address book. It got to the point where I used the Lilly planner just to write down appointments and a separate notepad to keep a running to do list.
While I was in undergrad, a friend introduced me to Russel + Hazel. She got all her binders from there and her stuff looked so organized. I had always looked at reviews of their Smartdate system, but it was so expensive. I finally decided to buy it as a reward for my first big girl job…also I already get confused for a student, I might has well have a more grown-up looking planner than them. The thing that drew me to this system was that you can customize it for whatever you need – the paper comes in little packs that you can put in a binder. I chose the mini binder and it’s about the same size as my Lilly planner was. I bought monthly tabs, weekly pages, and filler paper for to do lists. I can put it in whatever order I want!! There are some things I don’t like…the boxes on the monthly calendar aren’t as large as my old one and on the weekly pages, I thought the appointment slots would be by half hour for some reason, so I have to make some adjustments.
Honestly, I haven’t found any sort of online planner that I absolutely love. I enjoy being able to cross something off my to do list and to color code and stick funny stickers on things. For just a straight up calendar, I do enjoy Gmail, but as I use Outlook more and more for work, I am starting to like that as well. The other day, I whipped out my planner at the doctor’s office and got some funny looks…I just most people just input stuff into their phones these days.
What planners do you use? How do you organize your to do lists?