It may seem like choosing a planner for the new calendar or academic year is pretty easy – you just go to your local office supply store and find one that you like, right? That’s certainly a quick way to do it, and if that works for you then by all means stick with it! But if you aren’t happy with that route, it may be time to think a little harder about what you actually looking for in a planner or calendar.


These are just a few things to consider when picking a new calendar or planner:


  1. What type of calendar or planner do you want? Do you want a physical copy that you can write in and highlight and add sticky notes to? Or do you want an online planner, or an app that you can access on the go without needing to carry something else with you? Think about how and when you want to use it, and which type would be most convenient and productive for you.
  2. What kind of layout are you looking for? Again, you’ll want to consider how you plan to use your new planner. Do you mostly want to be able to write down future events and plan for the coming year or the next few months? Then you’ll probably want a planner with monthly pages. If you’ve got a busy schedule each day and need to keep track of where you should be all day, a planner with daily pages will probably work better. For most people, a weekly planner or a combination of all three seems to work best, but think about what will work best for your needs.
  3. How big should your planner be? A smaller, pocket-sized planner may be easier to carry with you in a purse or tote bag, but a larger planner may have more room to write in. If you’re keeping your planner mostly in one place, like your desk, or you’re carrying it around in a backpack or larger tote bag, a bigger, notebook-sized planner may work better for you. Also think about your planner’s binding – a ringed notebook may take up more space than a book-bound, journal-style planner.
  4. What kind of style do you want your planner to have? Hey, appearance is important here! If you don’t like the way your planner looks, you’re a lot less likely to get it out and write in it. Do you want a pre-designed planner with an established color scheme, or are you looking for a more minimalist design, so you can customize it yourself? There are as many styles and designs as you could want, so take some time to think about it so you aren’t overwhelmed when you start looking.
  5. What’s your budget? No one likes to think about this, I know, but it can really help narrow down your options. There are just so many wonderful planners out there, and it can be easy to get attached to one or the other only to find out that it costs way more than you want to spend. You don’t necessarily have to settle on a specific dollar amount, but keep your budget in mind when looking to save yourself some stress.


Having a planner that you like and that meets your needs is so important for staying on top of your work. Taking some time to think about what you want in planner will help you find one that works best for you, helping you be even more productive!