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Daily, Weekly or Monthly Planner?

A Rhodia planner, open, with writingSo you’re thinking of using a paper planner. If you’re not, you probably wouldn’t be reading this. But you’re wondering - what sort? Daily, weekly or monthly? What makes sense for you?

And that’s where things get a bit tricky for us to advise - the for you part - it’s about what works for you, not what other people like or use. And we can’t really tell you that, because we’re not you. But we’ll try to help anyway.

The first question is how you think about your plans. Some people consider a month to be a good chunk of time to make plans for - it’s short enough to set real achievable goals, but not so long that they’d feel like being forever away. But to other people, a month makes no sense, it’s just an oddity of the calendar, following no pattern. If you’re one of the latter group, you can probably eliminate the monthly option.

A daily planner is good for people with packed days, who need to give each day some structure - especially if you have lots of appointments. Keep in mind, though, that if you need reminding of those appointments, you might need them in your phone’s calendar too, so it can beep at you or play a little tune to make you do the things when the things need to be done. But a bit of duplication can be fine if it doesn’t drive you a bit nuts - that paper overview of the day sitting next to you when you’re working can be a real help.

Weekly is a pretty decent compromise between the two - if you don’t need to plan out each day too much, but a quick glance at what’s coming up this week and next could be useful. Is the deadline for that thing you’re working on Thursday or Friday? A quick look to the side tells you.

If your projects are often bigger, or just slower-moving than that, a month might be a better scale to work at - less carrying stuff over that’s still ongoing, and easier to relate those projects to an overall yearly overview.

If you’re still not sure, why not try making your own rough planner for a day, a week, and a month, and try them all out? See which one you use most when they’re all there.

Some planners are undated - a notebook full of weekly layouts, but without any dates on them, so you can use them for any week, or month layouts without the month names. These can be pretty handy, as you can use whatever you need to at the time. Got a lot more to do today than usual? Grab your undated daily planner, and use it for today. Busy week coming up? Sketch it out in an undated weekly planner. When things are a bit quieter, you can skip days and weeks without feeling guilty about wasting pages.