With so many planners on the market, the thought of sorting through shelves looking for the right one can be intimidating. To help you out, I compiled seven questions to ask yourself before buying a new planner. With these questions in mind, you can rule out options and designs that won’t work for you until you find your perfect planner!
Q1: How will you use your planner?
The design should fit the function, so ask yourself how you will use your planner. Some people use them for work, others for scheduling family activities, studying, lesson planning, or journaling. The possibilities are endless! Once you decide how to use your planner, picking the size, shape, and design will be a breeze.
Q2: Where will you use your planner?
A big planner can get heavy, especially if you plan to tote it in your purse, bag, or backpack throughout the day. However, if you are going to keep your planner nestled on your desk, a larger size will allow more space to write. Who knows, maybe you need a big planner to keep at work and a little one to take in your bag? No matter what you choose, your planner should have enough room to mark important dates and keep you on track.
Q3: What kind of binding style do you like?
Planners come with several different types of bindings. Choose between them by weighing the pros and cons.
Bound: This type of binding is permanent, and your planner will be bound like a book. This option is the least flexible, but often the cheapest.
Coil: This type of binding offers medium flexibility. It is not as flexible as a ring and discbound planner, but with the right coil punching machine, you will be able to add more customized pages. This type of planner lays flat when open, which makes it easy to use.
Ring and Discbound: These type of bindings are most flexible as you can easily remove and add pages. I prefer this kind, as it allows me to remove pages when I am travelling and add pages for taking notes or brainstorming. Similar to coil binding, discbound planners lay flat when opened, which is a feature I really like.
Q4: What’s your budget?
Prices can differ from a few dollars for a simple, bound planner to over $200 for a leather-covered organizer. Think about your budget and whether you will want to purchase any extras for your planner in the future.
Q5: What’s your style?
Do you want a planner that is boldly colorful or subtly classic? If you like to have fun decorating your planner with stickers and other accessories, you might want to choose a neutral design that is open to additional pizazz. Also, some companies offer planners that can be personalized with your name on the cover if you want the design to be distinctly you.
Q7: What’s your layout and setup preference?
Do you want your planner to have daily, weekly, or monthly pages? Daily pages give you a lot of space to write, since each day has its own page. On the other hand, a weekly setup, which can be organized vertically, horizontally, and hourly, allows you to have a whole week in front of your eyes without the need to flip back and forth. Monthly pages are always helpful as they can show you what events are on the horizon, like birthdays and anniversaries that require planning in advance.
Q7: Do you want to add any extras?
How important is it for you to be able to add extra inserts (to track expenses, for example), change the cover of the planner, or decorate with stickers and other planner accessories? Since some planners are more popular than others, consider how easily you can purchase additional accessories that fit the size of your planner.
Now, you’re ready to shop!
Answering these seven questions will help you determine how big your planner should be, what features and extras you want, and of course, how much it will cost. You might even decide you need more than one planner for different purposes! Just remember, no matter what kind you decide on, the best planner for you is the one you’ll use every day!
Hungry for more tips?
Check out my “Productivity + Planning Tips” Pinterest board, where I curate a collection of useful pins that will make you think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Look no further for the planning inspiration you need to get organized and breathe easy knowing your day is planned and under control.
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