Which is the right planner

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Work your plan with a workable planner
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The right planner helps you be on time and efficient in the office or at home

If you're the type who likes to plan ahead, the first item on your plan should be to get a planner. Yes, I know that every cell phone and tablet computer has some sort of personal digital assistant (PDA) software that can be used to keep track of appointments, but serious planning requires thought and reflection and those are best accomplished with a good quality written planner.

Despite all of the PDAs, there are still many different types of planners to choose from. Deciding which is the right planner for you is the second item on your plan.

Where: home or work?

To choose the right planner, you need to ask yourself a number of questions. Will you be using it for work or home or both?

Office planners are often more stylish than home planners, with rich leather covers and high quality bindings. They can have sections for goal-setting, note taking, project tracking and reviews, phone numbers, email addresses and other office necessities. They also have larger spaces for more details about appointments.

Home planners can be more casual and focus primarily on activity schedules. If you're using a planner for home, it's important to determine if it will be shared by all in the household or if each member needs their own planner.

What size?

The next questions to ask yourself concerns the size of your planner. Do you want a large book with plenty of big writing spaces or a small pocket one that fits in a briefcase, purse or backpack?

Thickness is another important size consideration. Many planners are binder-style to allow pages and new sections to be added as needed. A thick planner may be too heavy or bulky to carry. Size is also determined by whether you need a daily, weekly or monthly format for your planner. If you choose a daily planner to give more space for greater detail and creativity, consider a style that allows you to carry one or two months at a time while archiving the rest. If you need to see large blocks of time quickly to track deadlines, a monthly planner may be best for you.

What style?

A consideration that's just as important as content is the outside style of your planner. If it is seen by others, especially at work, do you want a cover that exudes power or simplicity?

Leather covers and subtle colors are usually preferred for work, while bright colors on covers that can take a beating and resist stains and spills are better suited for home use when many people are sharing it.

If you plan to carry your planner and hold it often, you'll want one that feels good in your hand and makes you remember it and use it.

Which binding?

The final consideration is the planner's binding. While book binding gives your planner a rich and classy look, it makes it difficult to lay flat on a desk or work surface. While they may not be as stylish, coil or ring binders lay flat easily and stay open without force.

Planners start mid-year as well as on New Year's Day and are available all year round so don't wait until the new year to start planning to get one. Decide which planner is right for you, head for your favorite office supply store or site and start being more organized and efficient today!

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