Choosing the Right Planner for Your Lifestyle

When I left my office job to pursue freelance writing fulltime, I think I went through 6 planners before I found the right one!

See, I had been using a Filofax for most of my life because of its portability and adaptability.  Now that I was working at home, I could get something that would stay at my desk.

It was a whole new world of possibility!

I tried many different types before finding one that worked with my new role (ack!), my tiny rolltop desk and my new (and crazy) schedule.

Here are some things to consider before buying a system for 2010:

Paper or Plastic?

First of all, you should decide if you prefer paper or electronic:

Do you like to write things out and cross them off?

Do you do everything at your computer?

Do you want to be able to sync items with your phone?

Size Matters

Do you work at your desk all day or all you always on the go?

Do you record a lot of information or just a few lines per day?

Do you like to carry it with you in your pocket, purse or briefcase?

Look and Feel

Do you want something covered in sumptuous leather or do you prefer an online calendar with a textured background?

Do you want a vertical or horizontal layout, a day or week per page?

Do you require extra things in your system like an address book, a place for notes and projects list?

Final thoughts:

Many people look at their calendar system as something that they’re going to have to live with for the whole year.

That’s true, but if you find that after using it for a couple of weeks, you’re not enjoying it, BY ALL MEANS CHANGE YOUR SYSTEM!  The whole point is to have one that works for you, so if it’s not, it’s okay to move onto something else!

Your needs change throughout the year, so why shouldn’t your calendar too?!

Stephanie Dickison is the author of the recent book, The 30-Second Commute: A Non-Fiction Comedy About Writing & Working From Home, which covers her career as book, music and restaurant critic.  She has been a journalist for over a decade and now spends much of her time writing about travel, food, beauty, style and celebrities for various publications and websites.

When she’s not writing, she’s eating, cooking, organizing, filing, making lists in sumptuous notebooks (you must use your beautiful journals) and colour-coding her ever evolving calendar.

She is one of the few writers still using technology AND paper.  But at least her paper is organized into pretty file folders…