Choose the perfect planner for YOU

This post is specifically written for those of you who, like me, embrace paper for your planning.

I love this time of year when all the calendars and planners for the next year start appearing in the stores. And on the blogs 🙂

There is such a wide selection that the choice can get really overwhelming.

So how do you choose the best one for you?

Here are a couple of factors to consider:

1. Paper or electronic?

Do you prefer paper or electronic? Don’t feel pressured to use an electronic diary just to keep up with your friends if you’re actually a paper gal.

I love Outlook as much as the next person but I need a paper planner for 95% of my planning.

That said, if you are techno-savvy, use it happily. Please just remember to back up your data regularly.

2. Size

Your planner has to be portable if you’re going to use it most effectively.

Decide on a comfortable size and stick to that. If your planner is HUGE, no matter how cute it is, you’re not going to use it unless you’re physically strong!

I scaled down a size for 2012 and I’m very excited to be carrying less.

3. Space per day

Do you like a week-at-a-glance or a page-a-day format?

I like the weekly format because I do weekly planning. And there’s just enough space to jot down your 3 – 5 Eat the Frog tasks every day.

But more than that, I like space for notes, not just appointments.

4. Monthly tools

Do you need a monthly event calendar and a budget form? What about a monthly goals form?

Or is that not an issue for you?

I’m giving out a goals form every month to all those on my newsletter list.

5. Other tools

Do you need lots of name and address pages? Or note paper at the back?

My advice to you is decide on your non-negotiables and make peace with the rest. And make sure you LOVE your planner so that you WANT to use it.

I actually don’t think there will ever be a perfect planner for me because I’m quite fussy. You’d never think, right?

My non-negotiables are size, space per day and I like lots of note paper at the back for all my personalised lists. I actually schedule time during this last week of the year to personalise my planner.

Next time, keep these points in mind before you go shopping!

Marcia Francois is a time management coach and speaker who inspires busy women to break out of overwhelm, make the most of their time and take purposeful and focussed action so they have the time and freedom to live life to the full. Visit for your free Time Management Purpose Pack.

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