Professional Organizers are often called upon to help our clients choose the calendar that is best for their needs. Many times, even though people are very digitally-oriented in their work, they still prefer having a paper calendar. Paper planners provide the benefit of immediate gratification—there is no waiting to boot up or fumble around with “toothpick typing.” You can just write something in and keep going. People also enjoy being able to carry other papers inside the planner, such as receipts and airline tickets and the like.
Lots of people are familiar with the FranklinCovey® planners, Day-Timer®, or Day Runner® brands, but there are other paper calendars out there that deserve mention as well.
One of the common drawbacks of using a paper calendar is having to write recurring events repeatedly, and then, of course, you have the hassle of erasing and updating all of them when something changes. One calendar has changed all of that. WeekDate is one of the most creative things I have seen in a while. You write in all of your monthly recurring appointments, all of your weekly recurring appointments, and then all of your specific day appointments on different folded-in “flaps” of the calendar itself, so that you can view them all at once and have no need to rewrite things.
Another paper planner that gets rave reviews is the Planner Pad. They have been around for 30 years and they offer a six-month guarantee on their product. They have a unique design that provides a funnel of tasks and activities on a two-page view of the week, starting with higher-level projects, then daily activities, then daily appointments. The Planner Pad really helps people manage lists better in conjunction with their daily schedule.
The Whomi (as in “Who, me? Organized?”) helps people who are managing multiple schedules, such as a mother with her various children’s activities. You can track your own schedule along with 3 other people, such as two children and a spouse. It provides an easy-to-read color-coded view of the week for tracking each person’s whereabouts and activities. They have even made perforated corners so you can tear off the corners of previous weeks and tab over to the current week quickly. They have a checkbook-sized planner, a larger planner, and a wall calendar, all with this same color-coded, multiple schedule format.
Some people will always prefer an electronic calendar such as Outlook, but it’s nice to know that we have more creative paper solutions available for those who prefer a low-tech option.
Lorie Marrero is a Professional Organizer and creator of The Clutter Diet, an innovative, affordable online program for home organization. Lorie’s site helps members lose “Clutter-Pounds” from their homes by providing online access to her team of organizers. Lorie writes something insanely practical every few days or so in the Clutter Diet Blog. She lives in Austin, TX, where her company has provided hands-on organizing services to clients since 2000.