Updated: Jan 10, 2019
Where has 2018 gone?! Time flies when you’re living your best life 🙂
With 2019 just around the corner it’s time to start thinking about wrapping up 2018, and most excitingly, plan for 2019!
If you’re like me you require a physical, paper planner. There’s just something grounding about hand-written notes that I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving.
Have you noticed that there are SO.MANY.OPTIONS? I always find it overwhelming to figure out which planner would be best and my needs evolve so I’m always on the hunt. Here’s my take on the different types of planners available to help you narrow down your choices. If you think I’ve missed any good options, let me know in the comments!
Pro tip: Close out each day by ensuring your online calendar is synced with your written one. It takes only minutes to do this and will avoid any issues when things inevitably get shuffled!
Note: I’ve broken these down into categories, but many have features from other categories. Be sure to explore more than a few! Many options also have different size options to choose from.
These planners have one page per day, sometimes 2 to span the open planner. There is space to write out your daily items, but many include things other than your to-do list. They often have space to track habits, exercise, mindfulness prompts, and other journal-type space. I find this kind of tracking and reflection helpful, but ultimately I need to see a week-at-a-glance which outweighed the journaling piece. If you like to focus on one day at a time, check these out!
This is what I needed because I need to see what my week looks like so that I can plan each day, often making changes each day. I find it cumbersome and difficult to flip through 7 pages for a week and still never feel like I have a clear picture of my week. If you’re like me and like to see your week of meetings and tasks, explore some of these options.
Time slots - if you have a lot of meetings or time-dependent items, you may want a planner with hours.
If you track more tasks and activities that aren’t specific to times, you may want the flexibility of blank days. You can of course always write the time next to the item, but this only really works if you only have less than 3 or 4 times each day.
Time Slots vs. Open Space
This differentiator applies to both daily and weekly planners. I need to have time slots because I take a lot of meetings and appointments. If you’re schedule is more fluid and you're mainly using it to track tasks rather than times, you very well may want to use one without time.
Goal Setting Planner
A goal setting planner useful if you have a defined goal in mind like finish a project, book clients, or start something new. I don't find that the planners are good for encompassing your whole life in one place, but that's just me! Take a look for yourself -
Full Focus Planner (this is one of the most detailed!)
Mindfulness and Reflection
Mindfulness is so trendy right now, and for good reason. It’s great to have a planner that also serves as a journal, especially for those of you who want to do more journaling but find it difficult. Many of these types are daily planners, but you can find both daily and weekly options. The weekly ones work great for me as I wrap up a week and plan my next
Note that many of the options shared in the other sections also include mindfulness and reflection prompts. Here are some other examples that focus highly on mindfulness and reflection.
There are some companies that have planners that you can customize for things like size, color, daily, weekly, notes pages, reflections, and other inserts. Here are few great options!
Bonus: Use erasable pens for all the times life requires rescheduling!