It’s getting to that time of year when many of us might be purchasing calendars for the upcoming year. There are many factors involved if you want to consider something different for yourself. And let me say up front, I strongly feel that if you have something that works for you, it’s ideal to stick with what works for you. Period. If the system you’ve been using isn’t working as well, then it’s time to as least think about the options you have. So, let’s jump right in and discuss the variations in the way calendars are designed.
First, we have the big choice between paper and digital. As I’ve already said, if what you use works, then stick with it. Even if that means you have a paper calendar. There’s nothing wrong about sticking with a paper calendar in our growing digital society. On the other hand, if the paper isn’t working for you, then it’s worth considering if a digital calendar would be more effective.
When using a digital calendar, most people think of the more portable – the phone and tablets – although some people still use just their computer calendar. There is a learning curve if this is new to you – as with anything new. You need to get used to how it works and often learn to trust it. The digital calendars often have multiple ways to view it – similar to the paper calendars – you have daily, weekly, and monthly, which give you the flexibility to focus on your schedule in the way that works for you.
One of the features that I appreciate in the digital calendar is the ability to set alarms – I choose the amount of forewarning I want (or if I don’t want one at all). Another positive aspect of the digital is how I can create repeating events easily and have no need to enter the information more than once. It just occurred to me also that there’s no recurring cost for the digital calendars or getting it up to date for the coming year – I have some appointments repeating forever.
Second, when you are looking at paper calendars, you need to decide on the format you want. Most calendars have a monthly view in addition to either a daily or a weekly view. Depending on your needs, a weekly view is usually sufficient for most people as it allows you to put in many appointments as well as some tasks (if you chose to do that). The weekly view also gives you an easy overview of what’s coming up.
I reviewed 2 planners last year, both of which I still think about and appreciate: Planner Pad and Taylor Planner. If I was still using a paper calendar, I would be using one of these and I would be torn about which one.
Something else you want to think about is how you handle your to-dos. Do you put them into your calendar? Do you put them in another place within the calendar or are they completely separate? What other things do you want or need to track with your calendar (or calendar system) – phone numbers, grocery lists, websites, projects, ideas, etc? Digitally, this would likely require different programs or apps on the device, whereas with paper it could all be contained together or divided, as you prefer.
The only time to change your calendar is if you’re struggling with your current system. With so many choices of calendars, it can be challenging to decide on which one to use. Therefore, before rushing out and simply grabbing something, consider what your needs are for your system.