You know when you're using a new planner and suddenly you are so much more productive? You tick off your tasks in prioritized order, arrive early and prepared to all your appointments, have your goals neatly outlined and know what you're supposed to be doing every minute of the day?
I call that "New Planner Super-Productivity." And I think it has very little to do with the actual planner itself and much more to do with the amount of attention you're giving it.
It's exciting to use a new planner! It's fun to try a different format, size or brand.You spend a lot of time with your new planner playing with it and trying new things.
But after a few days or weeks, the fascination with the planner's newness wears off. You start forgetting to look at it as often. Your productivity levels fall to near where they were before you started using the planner. Eventually you might even decide it's a Planner Fail despite your initial super-productivity.
This isn't necessarily the planner's fault. Most likely, it will work for you just fine if you continue to pay attention to it. You shouldn't need to pay attention to your planner nearly constantly, because that's too high-maintenance. But with a reasonable amount of attention, most planners would work for us just fine.
The bottom line is, you have to write in your planner and look at it often for it to work well for you. One of my main rules of planner usage is, "The More You Use It, The More Useful It Is."
So when choosing a new planner, make sure you get one you will enjoy using and will pay attention to. Maybe it's attractive to you, or super-cool. Maybe it feels great in your hands, or you enjoy writing on the paper. Maybe it's fun to use, or it just really does make you more productive and efficient.
No matter which planner you choose, the most important feature is whatever will get you to pay lots of attention to it.