The first part in my Choosing Your Planner series is deciding if you want a daily, weekly or monthly planner as your Main Planner.
Wall calendars (whether monthly, weekly, wipe-off etc.) can supplement your Main Planner by showing other people in your household what's going on. But for your own personal use, you need your own Main Planner where you write all of your appointments and whatever else you want to write (which could include tasks, lists, and goals). Your Main Planner is your Mission Control. This Choosing Your Planner series will focus only on your Main Planner.
Planners have monthly, weekly or daily formats. Many planners have a daily or a weekly format with monthly views too, which is very useful for seeing daily details and monthly overviews. I personally use all three: daily, weekly and monthly, and I know several other people who do too (click here for Jotje's example).
Let me walk you through the three main types of formats and ways to use each.
Monthly: There are planners that have monthly-only formats. Some examples of this are the Moleskine monthly notebook and Uncalendar's Monthly Planner, but there are others available in stores and online.
If you don't have much to write each day and prefer an overview of your month, the monthly planner is perfect for you. Alternatively, you could use a separate monthly planner along with your weekly or daily planner to have the books open side by side to see the monthly overview alongside your weekly or daily activities.
Monthly calendars are best for seeing overviews of things like bills due, travel, holidays, deadlines, and seeing patterns over a period of weeks.
Click here to see my post on Using Monthly Planners for more details.
Weekly: This is the most popular format of planners, because it allows you to see your entire week at once and plan your schedule easily. There are various weekly formats including week + notes, horizontal or vertical (days as columns). I will compare these different formats later in a separate post.
Weekly formats are good for most planner situations because they allow for detailed daily planning while giving the overview of the week.
I've reviewed loads of weekly planners, click here to see.
Click here to see my post on Using Weekly Planners for more details.
Daily: Daily planners, diaries, or day-per-page planners allow you to focus on each day. The downside of these planners is it can be difficult to plan ahead with only two days visible at a time, so if you use one as your planner I highly recommend combining it with a monthly planner.
Daily planners are excellent for people who have lots of appointments each day, or who want to record details such as phone calls, expenses, tasks, or other information. Click here to see my post about other ways to use a day per page planner, and click here to see how I'm using mine as my log book.
So to summarize:
For long-range planning or if you don't have many appointments, use a monthly planner.
For most planning needs, a weekly planner will probably work well for you.
To record lots of details of your days, you'll want a daily planner.
Which format(s) do you like to use? Why?