2016 Update: Check out our latest discussion on how to find the best planner for you.
Today, reader D wonders if she has to make her own Franken-planner to find the absolute best planner out there…
I realize this may be a bit too late to be useful for the upcoming new year, I would love to see a post regarding the various paper calendars/planners Corporette users prefer. I was digging through archives and read the entire post/comment thread regarding notebook and legal pad preferences, and I thought a similar thread about planners would be just as interesting. A girlfriend and I struggle every year with finding the “perfect” planner, to the point we try to cobble together some sort of Franken-planner on our own. We’ve actually discussed starting our own company to remedy this problem.
- Daily planning: As I mentioned, I recently gave up my Palm Pilot and switched to an Android phone. I looked around for a good calendar program, and came up with the following solution: I use Google Calendar (for free) and sync it with Pimlical (which cost about $25 if I remember correctly). Google Calendar is great because it gives me notifications on my Android, my iPad, by email, and more — it’s very hard for me to forget appointments or whatnot with the system! Pimlical is great, though, for a more permanent record of what I was doing and when. I tend to take a lot of notes in my calendar program — for example, every time I see a doctor I record my vitals and any topics discussed on the appointment in Google Calendar. Oh: another thing that’s nice about Google Calendar is that I can invite Outlook users to events — so when we book an airline flight, for example, I can instantly give my husband the details and put those on his calendar as well.
- Longer distance planning: Something I’ve done for a few years now is to use my Palm Pilot software to print a yearly calendar, with each month getting its own page. I liked Palm because each day was a big enough block that you could write in it, but with only 12 pages the whole “packet” wasn’t too huge or crazy to actually use. I always put all vacation days on it — federal holidays and the like — and would primarily use the packet to plan vacations. (When vacation details are finally set I put everything relevant into the Google Calendar.) When I was planning my “maternity leave” for Corporette I used the planner to keep an eye on which posts I had scheduled for which day, which needed more editing, which days still needed a post or two.
- I also have a big monthly calendar (for 2012 I used Snapfish to make baby-centric ones and then gave them as gifts to my parents, my in-laws, my grandmother, and my brother) that we hang on the wall — I also write friends’ birthdays on that one (and, um, decorate it with stickers, because I like to indulge my inner 8-year-old). It’s great for glancing at the calendar occasionally to see whose birthday is coming up, what the date will be next Wednesday, etc, etc. Something I really liked about Snapfish was that I could select individual dates to recognize — and so, for example, I have a picture from our wedding album on May 30 to commemorate our wedding anniversary… for each grandparent’s birthday I have a picture of him or her holding my son… it came out really nice. (After coupons and the promotions they had going on, each calendar only cost about $9, so it was more about the time invested to make it… but I’m really glad I did.)
- Finally: I have a little teeny calendar at my desk that I got through Vistaprint — basically each day just shows me the monthly calendar (just the big numbers) and a picture (of course this one is baby-themed as well). (Just an FYI: Vistaprint is offering 50% off all custom-printed calendars, including little desk-sized ones like the one I got.)