What’s the Best Planner To Make You More Productive?

image1 (1)Last Thursday I went back to Long Island, to the town I grew up in to attend a Listful Thinking event. It was at the library I went to as a child, where I first developed my love of reading. I remember joining a summer reading group there when I was a kid and getting a sticker for each book I completed. What a thrill!  So being there to speak about my book felt very much like an Oprah full circle moment.

My very first friend and neighbor Jackie is a librarian there and set up this event for me. While I was there I spoke to a women who was having issues with buying too many planners and not using them. (Sound familiar?)

image5Her friends all raved about how helpful the planners had been for them, but she just couldn’t get into them. So she assumed the problem was with her.

I asked her if she was having any organizational troubles, besides not using the planners, which she didn’t.

I imagine this may sound like something many of you can relate to, so I thought I would share with you what I told her – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Don’t try to force yourself into a system that doesn’t work for you. You have to find your own unique productivity style and be true to it.

image4It’s almost a psychological thing where we feel the act of buying a new planner/notepad/pen will make us more productive. But the truth is there isn’t any special planner or notepad that will change your life and make you more productive. There is a only the planner or notepad that suits you.

If that’s a simple steno pad or Post-It note then so be it. It’s more important to have a system that works for you. I write my work to-dos for the following day before I leave the office everyday. I do it on a simple steno pad. Where you write the to-dos matters less than the actual system you have for capturing them.

What planners have you tried that worked or didn’t work for you?

2 replies
  1. Kristin Cooke
    Kristin Cooke says:

    There is a growing tide of highly successful people who are noticing that relying on apps alone for planning isn’t very effective. You have to be smart about when to schedule something in your phone, when to write it on a list in the kitchen, and when to put it in your paper planner.

    I keep 3 separate planners for my vacation plans, work projects, and life goal projects. I have several Franklin® Planners and I’ve used a lot of Day Timer systems as well. You really just have to get the right system. I love Franklin’s FC Studio wirebound planner, just released last year, but this one isn’t intended for keeping track of every meeting.

    The key with finding the balance between electronic and paper planners is to not be a slave to writing down every detail. I don’t even mention meetings in my paper planner because I have Google Calendar remind me about all those. I keep carpool info also in Google Docs (with other carpooling moms and dads).

  2. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    The Uncalendar by People Systems Inc. has been wonderful for me.
    It provides enough structure to help me stay consistent but has a lot of freedom in how it is used. I’m into my 4th month with my first one and already plan to buy another one in a year.
    There are so many boxes and spaces set out just for lists. I can have all of my lists in one place but still separated and organized.
    Also, having to rewrite my lists each week gives me that incentive to evaluate the importance of something if it has stayed on my list for several weeks without being accommplished.
    I highly reccommed at least a glance at the Uncalendar.


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