I have been alive for 28 years now and I have yet to find the perfect planner/calendar to organzie my work and life. Anyone else?

To be honest I have this love affair with office supplies. Back-to-school shopping was one of my favorite things ever. The notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, papers – oh my! I’d go back to school just to be able to do that shopping again.

Anyway, for years I’ve been looking for the perfect planner/calendar and I have yet to find one that is ideal for me. Lately, a few of my favorite bloggers have talked about their planning tools. And, as the digital world seems to be taking over, I’m desperate to hang on to my pen and paper planner. I’ve tried several planner and calendar apps and they just don’t cut it. I want to write things down. I want to cross things off my list. I want to be able to see it all at once. Does that make sense? 

So, after doing a little research here is what I found…

My blogger friend Rachel of Funnelcloud uses the ‘Draw Your Tomorrow Planner‘from The Hach. Honestly, it sounds like a great planner, but it’s not dated. I’ve honestly never understood this concept. How does one plan ahead? Or must this become with another planning element?

via Funnelcloud

She also using this Year of Productivity calendar. Which, to me, sounds pretty awesome because you can see an entire year at once. The calendar is designed to plan and organize your schedule by the week, rather than by the month. 

via Funnelcloud

I have also been devouring this new-to-me blog EnJOY it from the crafty mind of Elise. I’m not sure how she plans her days, but she uses the Stendig Calender to plan her blog posts. I’m slightly obsessed and in love with this idea. So much so that I contacted the company to order a 2012 calender at a discounted price since we are half way through the year. They wouldn’t. Oh well.

via Enjoy it

Not only do I love the look of the calendar, her use of it is brilliant. She takes small post-it notes to plan out her blog ideas an places them on the calender. If something changes or needs moved, she just switch around the post-it notes. Genius, right!?

via Enjoy it

And last, but certainly not least, through a google search I found this masterpiece of a planner. It’s from Russell+Hazel, and it’s basically a build-your-own planner.

via The Washington Post

You basically by the shell and every other component to suit you needs. It sounds expensive, but if it would keep me organized it just may be worth it.

Do you seem my problem or do I just sound crazy at this point?

And after all that, being a recent Apple convert, I wonder if should I just use the calendar on my Mac which has recently been upgraded and improved with the new Mountain Lion OS. Plus, it will instantly sync to my iphone which, as of late, I am never with out. Is it time to drop the paper, which I so dearly love, and go digital.

via amog.com 

Clearly, I need your help. I know everyone’s opinion is going to vary on this, but let me have it. What works for your? What calendar or planner has become your go-to year after year. Have you given up the pencil and paper and made switch to digital?

Dear Rachel of Funnelcloud, if you are reading this, as a fellow planner/calender and Apple lover, what should I do?!

Thanks everyone! Have a happy and organized Wednesday!

Comments

  • Tara @ Tara Being Tara at

    So I LOVE my paper planner… but I use my online calendar too. Here’s what I do:

    I ordered my planner from ErinCondren.com. It’s called the life planner. Over the past 10 years I’ve tried EVERYTHING, and this is the first planner I have ever ordered twice, and I’m about to order it for a third time. I love the way the days are organized into thirds, the stickers are ridiculously cute and designing a personalized cover rocks. I use the month pages to plan out my blog posts but there’s plenty of room in the weekly pages to do so, plus spots for goals and to-dos that I use it for also.

    I also use my online calendar because I need reminders!! I spend a few minutes everyday making sure they are both up to date, and it’s sort of my zen reflection time!

  • Ashley at

    I don’t think I could live without my Erin Condren planner. I seriously take it everywhere! It holds everything, but isn’t huge, and you can personalize it with pictures, monograms, etc. BTW – I found your blog via pintrest and love it! You have great taste!

  • Candice at

    the best planners i’ve ever used were the ones i made! i bought a sketch pad and just took a ruler and marker to it; the spaces were just the size i needed and in the arrangement i wanted. michael, you’re so creative – you should consider designing your own too!

  • Janey at

    Couldn’t live without Google Planner. Best part is you can access from anywhere and pick who you want to see and/or edit it. My husband can now bring it up at work and let people know our availability right away instead of saying yes and then asking (blaming) me when we have other plans. You can color code it and move things easily….

  • Tonya at

    I’ve also heard great things about the Erin Condren planners! My friend absolutely swears by them! I have yet to purchase one, but I think I will probably go that route when I do!

  • Jenny Dawn at

    I’m with Ashley– I LOVE my Erin Condren life planner!!!!!

  • Emily at

    I am definitely a pen and planner kind of girl!! Something about everything being digital these days makes it nice to know that my days, weeks, months are in my own world. I prefer a planner that gives me a page per day and then a to do list and shopping list at the beginning of every week. That way when I’m planning my week, my lists are right there with me!

  • Debi at

    I love having the calender/planner on my iPhone but I find I still have to have the paper calender planner on my desk. Digital planning is great for adding important info as it comes up when you’re away from your desk and for reminders but it does not replace the ability to quickly flip through a physical planner and see at a glance what the next month or two holds. Quick update for an entire month all at a glance. No searching through every single last date. As for the perfect one? I’m always on the look out for better options. I find my must have of any planner is to have pages for notes as well as a month at a glance. My preference is to be able to see the month at a glance and then have each month broken up into a week at a glance as well so there’s room for further notes etc.
    So Digital or Paper? I say BOTH!

  • Anonymous at

    cozicentral.com is a great organiser….whole family can access it and email reminders can be sent to more than one person….this is the best online one ive found but you cant beat good old fashioned bulletin boards.

  • Laurie from Amish Country at

    I am still a pen and paper girl. My favorite calendars are the ones that fit in my pocketbook, like the free ones you get at Hallmark store. Yes I am that simple, but we have started keeping two of them. One for my purse and one for the kitchen. Small? Yes, but I am not that busy of a person. My kids are grown, and I really don’t plan my blogs. The entries just happen according to whatever is happening at the time. They are spontaneous. We also keep pen and paper tablet on the kitchen table to write down reminders or to do lists. ( We get so many free little tablets here and there and I have a nice supply of them!) We cross the tasks off when finished and start a new page. I have yet to get into the digital planners and the calendar on my phone. I have the need to write it down…for some reason I remember it better! So that is my simple way of being organized. Although, I should mention that I do follow the Holiday Grand Plan at Get Organized dot com. I love the cleaning schedule and preparations for the holidays and have been following that for several years. I just print out the monthly calendars and keep it in my holiday planner notebook. As a matter of fact, the new calendars for the schedule have just come out and it is time to start planning and housecleaning!

  • debz at

    I like a simple day planner. I’ve gone the gamut from themed, cute, artsy, but for simple day-to-day planning I like an uncluttered calendar where I can see a week at a time. I prefer one with the date and hour-by-hour spaces to write in appointments, etc. I use the top of that column for over-arching things to remember, and use a separate list of “things to do.” For home, I get an oversized calendar to hang on the wall to note all our meetings, appointments, practices, etc.
    My hubby loves his google calendar; can’t make the switch yet!

  • InMyOwnStyle at

    I love how you so eleoquently wrote that you are desperate to hang onto your paper and pen. I feel the same way. I have tried online calendars but they lack style. I need visual and want to put my personality into my planner/calendar. I found a planner that truly has changed the way I do things. I am on my second year and it is working for me. It is called a Planner Pad. I love it so much that I wrote a post about it and gave one away. http://inmyownstyle.com/2011/09/happy-new-year-a-giveaway.html

    My best- Diane

  • Shellie at

    I’ve been thinking about this the past few days!! I’m going just as crazy searching for a good planner. I also don’t want to spend much money… so that makes me even more crazy!

  • the erincondren.com team at

    thanks for sharing this great post with us and we’re thrilled to be recommended! enjoy!

  • Peggy at

    I too have trouble finding a good planner. I’ve been contemplating making my own. Print out my digital calendar from Google or Microsoft ( I have them sinced). They already have everyone’s birthdays & my set schedules. Then I can take them to my local printer or office store & have them bound. I do like the size of the Erin Condren life planner though. hmmmm…

  • Susan and Mark at

    I still use a spiral notebook and a wall calendar at home, a desk calendar at school.
    I am a LISTMAKER plus. Us visual types need to see things all at once, and lists do that.

    I like the three section kind of notebook BTW…one section for personal stuff like workouts, one for house stuff, one for weekly to do lists.

    I LOVE all things digital as well, and when I am teaching I use my Google calendar for lesson plan info and meetings, etc. as well as a desk calendar-color coded( dept. meetings, school wide meetings, kids sport games, etc)

    They’ve shown that people who write down items remember them more easily…not so much typing. Wild, eh? In the end you need to find what works for you. If you love lists, then don’t try to force yourself into some other vibe-it won’t be effective.

  • tamdoll at

    For the last few years, I’ve counted on “theyearofthewhat” calendars – http://yearofthewhat.com/. Low tech but it works so well for me! If they ever stop making these, I will have to make my own, I can’t imagine using anything else.

    It lays flat, I can see week by week, the pages are heavy & permanent marker doesn’t bleed through. There’s a strap to hold it all together, a pocket and fold out flaps that I can use to save a page, or leave sticking out with a to-do list. Best of all is that it’s handmade, the cheeky sayings are hysterical (different theme each year) & it comes with a box of crayons so I can color in the coloring page/dividers.

  • Shannon at

    Late to the party but wanted to throw my two cents in if you don’t mind. 😉 I’m more of a list girl myself so writing it all down works better for me. I just get a simple planner for about ten bucks from Wal-mart or Target each yr (I think made by Mead??) and I use that to plan out appointments, dinners, remember b-days/anniversary, etc. As far as my to-do list or other things I want to keep track of, I bought a three ring binder(also from Target) and some dividers and use just regular old notebook paper in that. Usually that notebook has my to-do list, blog ideas, house projects, craft projects in there. Simple and cheap but it works for me. As far as digital goes, I have a notepad app on my phone that I use if I’m out somewhere & need to make a quick note but I’ve found I’m much more likely to get things accomplished if they are in my planner/notebook. Hope you can find what works best for you!

  • Dancing About Architecture at

    My favourite planner is the Polestar product line. I always get the family one each September (there is a reminder page in that month) and then I slowly start transitioning to the next year. It features one week per double page. I keep it open to each week on a small table near the phone. If it’s not on the planner, I probably won’t remember it! There is room for notes etc and there are lovely quotes on each double page (week) to inspire.

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