That’s a Plan: Calendars, Day Planners and Other Organizational Tools for Every Type
We all need calendars to keep our lives in order. We need them to schedule appointments, make to do lists, and jot down notes and goals. But we are all different, and besides the general appointment book, need either that or (as many do) much more from our planners, particularly as our lives become more hectic (think Mom with three young children — all with doctor’s appointments, dental appointments, skating/piano/flute lessons, hockey games, etc.). So although the need for some kind of organizational tool is essential for every one of us, what we need in an organizational tool varies widely, both depending on our personality type and our lifestyle. In this article, we’ll go over the best planners and day calendars for you — whether you’re a Smart Freedom with a million thoughts you need to jot down in the moment, or a Classic Structure, with a To Do list for every part of the day.
If you want to go the classic route and like the way calendars look (and actually write in them), get yourself an At-A-Glance monthly wall calendar. They come in small, large, and extra large sizes (for those who like a lot of space to write). If you want a portable calendar (book), check out the Blueline calendar planner, with a soft leather cover. Bound to make you feel like you’re keeping it together and keeping it luxe, too. If you love to read, or you love the idea of looking at something beautiful everyday, visit Rifle Paper Co., an online stockist of all things paper-related, including calendars. We love the Ladies of Literature Calendar as well as the selection of vintage desk calendars (owls AND cats, oh my!).
As for day planners, (a godsend for those who need to write everything down as specifically as possible AND take it with them), there are so many out there it’s almost overwhelming. If you’d like something basic as well as sustainable from an established brand, look no further than Shinola, where the day planners are made from linen and bound using the smythe technique and using materials from American forests.
For those who want more of an intensive reflection of their day to day life and goals, there is the Self Journal by BestSelf. With a spot designated for jots and notes, daily gratitude, lessons learned, daily wins, quote of the day, tasks, and evening gratitude (among other things), this is a planner for the individual with goals and ideas, but also personal goals and reflections they feel a need to record and track. We can see a Smart Freedom potentially enjoying and benefitting from this type of planner — perhaps not in its prescriptive nature, but because it allows for creativity and a structured space for personal reflection. A Classic Structure might laugh at the Self Journal, whereas an Organic Structure or Freedom might really love it and get a lot out of using it. A Smart Freedom or Smart Structure might need a simple blank notebook along with an iCalendar and use both in tandem.
And if you just want something pretty, go to Anthropologie, where they carry some of the most lovely and cheeky day planners in existence. If it looks like all other planners and calendars inside, at least you’ll feel like a fashionista whipping one out of your purse when it comes time to make an appointment.
Of course, there is the iPhone, which has so many different organizational tools and apps it’s as overwhelming as the choice of planners that’s currently out there. For basic tracking, the iCalendar works just fine, and is perfect for a Smart Freedom in that you can just whip your phone out and type in the appointment. In terms of apps, Planner Pro has wonderful reviews and is a full-featured app designed to work for all personality types.
Of course, a calendar or day planner doesn’t have to look like anything traditional. You can carry around a flip top notebook, or a big sketchbook (again for those who like to write all over the place, and in sprawling script) — you could even use a whiteboard or a chalkboard if you spend most of the time at home. And of course, don’t be afraid to have more than one organizational tool in your arsenal. Take your day planner with you and keep it in your purse with your phone (with the iCalendar function). Hang a calendar up on the wall in your kitchen or home office, and keep a desk calendar on your desk in that same home office. Use all you can to stay organized. Of course, this doesn’t mean overload yourself with a) things or b) information. Too many calendars to keep track of sounds like a nightmare to us. The point is, do what you need to do to keep your life running smoothly. No shame, no blame, after all. Even when it comes to something as seemingly trivial as a calendar.