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Guide To Time Management: Planners

How Do I know What Planner is Best for Me?

There are many types of planners to suit the individuals taste and needs.  Paper planners are a great visual resource that allows you to see an entire week/month at one time.  The act of writing things down helps to secure it in your memory.

Digital planners suit the on-the-go person and can be accessed from a phone or tablet.  However, there are pros and cons to each:

Paper Planner


  • Writing something down helps us retain information
  • Seeing your week and month in written form helps you keep things in perspective which avoids anxiety
  • Seeing everything at once prevents overbooking


  • Paper Planners can be bulky and hard to carry
  • An on-the-go planner is essential
  • Maintaining more than one calendar takes practice to make sure everything syncs


Digital Planner 


  • Digital Format
  • Easy to carry with you
  • Color coding
  • Sync to other calendars


  • Reminders may come too late
  • Overbooking is easy to do if you can’t see the whole week
  • Single point of failure.  Loss is a problem

How to Use Your Planner Once You Have IT

Use the day planner as your calendar for everything. That includes medical appointments, exercise classes, work meetings, and dates to mail bills. If you have recurring events, such as a piano lesson every Tuesday or physical therapy twice a week for three weeks, put that in your electronic calendar once and choose how often it should appear—the calendar will put it on the correct dates for you. If you have a paper planner, enter one or two months’ worth of such appointments at a time.

Get in the habit of carrying your day planner with you whenever possible. If you have a purse or a bag you usually keep with you, that can be a good place to store your planner. Keep it on your desk when you’re at work and take it with you to meetings for scheduling purposes, but also in case you need to write something down and don’t want to forget it.

Refer to the planner regularly. Start by checking your planner no fewer than three times a day: in the morning as you are looking ahead to your day, once around midday, and once in the evening to review and plan the next day. 

Conduct a weekly planning session. Set a scheduled time each week (I prefer Sunday) to do your weekly planning (put it on your calendar until it becomes a habit!). The goal is to plan the next weel's activities and appointments. Doing so will give you a mental map that will help you in completing the tasks on your list.