The month of January is often the time that we plan for our year. Choosing your calendar and setting up your system to stay on track throughout the year is very important. You may be a big fan of planners and love the way they help you focus on direction and achieving your goals. Or you may prefer to keep the focus on time management throughout your days. Whatever your preference is, choosing your calendar is the first step in organizing your year. There’s no time like the present!
DIGITAL OR PAPER?
Both digital and paper have their pros and cons. Some may like having the convenience of a calendar that syncs on all devices and can be quickly accessed on your phone. Others may find that they remember appointments better if they physically write them down. Here are some pros and cons of both digital and paper calendars:
Pros of digital calendars:
- You never need to carry around a calendar-just your phone.
- There are alarms and reminders and all entries can be set up to be recurring.
- Information can be synced across many devices and easily shared with others.
- Information can be printed out as needed.
- Space is not limited in a digital calendar and mistakes are easily corrected.
Cons of digital calendars:
- App updates/upgrades/backups are a necessary part of calendar management.
- Information always has the possibility of being hacked, completely lost, or corrupted.
- It can be a bit of an adjustment to go digital if you are used to paper.
Pros of paper calendars:
- Physically writing information down in a paper calendar helps some to better remember their schedule.
- Information written down in a paper calendar is more secure because it is not connected to the internet.
- Some really enjoy keeping their calendars as a journal of their year.
- Writing something in your paper calendar is often more time efficient than entering it into a digital calendar.
Cons of paper calendars:
- If you want to view your calendar, you have to bring it with you.
- It can be difficult to search for information.
- Each entry is separate and you cannot make recurring appointments.
- Paper calendars can be expensive and you need to buy a new one every year.
- Information cannot be backed up and if you misplace your calendar you lose all the information it contains.
PLANNER VERSUS CALENDAR
The words “planner” and “calendar” mean different things. A planner help you to focus on direction and achieving your goals. It helps to keep you on track towards your goals with daily, weekly, or monthly prompts and reminders. Planners are great for people that like to journal and find inspiration from self-reflection and accountability. A calendar is more focused on time and the management of the time. Calendars focus on helping you manage your time by breaking down your day into hours, or your month into days. Check out some great planners and calendars here and here.
DECIDE ON A SYSTEM
Take some time to decide on a system. Think through what appointments, tasks, and information you want to keep in your calendar. Will you put every appointment in the same place or keep work and personal separate? If you have a family, then you may need a family calendar where everyone’s schedule is in one place and a separate work calendar for you. Also think through what information will go into your calendar. Do you want to just put appointments or do you want to include your meals for the week? There are so many different options available to you. You choose what makes the most sense to you.
CHOOSE YOUR VIEW
You can choose to view your schedule by the day, week, month, year, 4 days, and so forth. Both digital and paper calendars have these different viewing options and it can be quite helpful depending on what you need. With digital options, you can toggle between the views. With paper options, your view selections become permanent when you purchase your calendar. Make sure you take some time to think through which view(s) will help you the most and then utilize it to make the most of your day.
TIPS FROM OUR ORGANIZERS
Here are some tips from the organizers at Abundance Organizing for choosing your calendar:
- I enjoy writing down and keeping track of various things in my paper planner such as my exercise routine.
- A digital calendar makes it super easy to add supporting information like location, agenda notes, or zoom links.
- I do have a paper planner…there is just something about physically writing it down that helps me versus looking at a phone.
- Santa brought the Echo Show to our home! I like that it shows my calendar in the kitchen. It helps everyone to know what is going on.
- I like the Simplified Planner for personal and work use.
- Google Calendar is what I use and I love that I can share my calendar with work and my husband.
- I use a monthly calendar and weekly calendar. The weekly schedule goes on my refrigerator with the meal plan – I got this at the Container Store.
- A digital calendar is my preference. I am constantly adding meetings and events to my calendar. It’s very important to me that I can: 1) see an accurate and updated calendar on the go, 2) make edits to my calendar on any device and have it sync up, 3) easily make adjustments or reschedules without it looking like a mess, and 4) have a setting to remind me 10 minutes prior to when I have an appointment.
- We use an acrylic wall calendar for our family. It has a menu for each week, to-dos, and kids’ activities. It looks pretty and is functional.
- A combination of digital and paper works best for me. A digital calendar is easy to use and the paper planner’s daily to-dos keep me focused on my goals.
What tips do you have for choosing a calendar? Let us know how you feel about digital versus paper, planner versus calendar or anything else. We love to hear from you! Don’t forget to share any tips you have in the Abundance Declutter Group on Facebook.