What I wish I had was a reasonably portable personal planner/organizer to jot notes, to-dos, and keep a master calendar. I've always had a penchant for planning and organization, ever since I was a kid with no appointments or to-dos (except for practice piano and ride my bike).
Growing up, I stared longingly and in awe at my dad's Franklin Covey organizer. It was a beautiful mahogany leather, zipped up all around, and had notes on each page...appointments, to-dos, and meeting notes, all in his neat handwriting. I loved that he kept photos of me, my brother, and my mom in the front of his binder, and he carried it around with him everywhere. He had the system down (the actual Franklin Covey personal productivity system, with its check marks, bullets, and arrows).
I was a sophomore in college when I finally got my first Franklin Covey organizer. A good friend, who had listened to me wax on and on and on at length about the merits of the Franklin Covey, gave me a gift card to the store for Christmas, and I remember picking out my binder...it was black leather, compact in size, and zipped all the way around, just like my dad's. I chose the generic Franklin Covey daily filler pack for my first year, to get my feel for the system. It was glorious. I put pictures of my family and friends in the front, and set to work filling the pages with colorful notes and appointments. I marked the day that my now-husband asked me out, the day of our first date, the day he asked me to be his girlfriend, and the day we had our first kiss (in that order...I made him wait).
I stopped using it when I went to graduate school (my calendar consisted solely of school, internship, and homework), but I still have the pages from those first three years, kept neatly in Franklin Covey's archiving binders. Here's the proof:
After graduate school, I graduated up to a classic-size Franklin Covey, and my dad gave me one of his old binders to use (::swoon::). It was filled with wedding-planning activities and social gatherings with friends, but it was so large it was quickly relegated to my desk at home, where I rarely spent time, and it sat largely unused. These past few years, I've tried those purse-friendly, plastic encased monthly planners you can get anywhere (my mom's method), but a month is such a wide view that I didn't find it useful.
After years of this trial and error, I think I've settled on a good medium and now wish for a weekly organizer. It allows just enough detail, and my to-do lists often encompass one week. Plus, it is more likely than a daily calendar to fit in my purse and keep with me all the time. I found some nice options on the web...now to pick just one!
I love how compact this one is (only 2.5" x 4.5") and how the blank spaces give more freedom than lines for notetaking, but like many traditional weekly planners, there's not much space for a weekly to-do list.
The Franklin Covey perspective calendar has a little less space for the daily appointments and more space for to-dos, which is perfect for me.
I've always loved Bob's Your Uncle's Eight Days a Week planner, and I like this mini version, too! It keeps things nice and loose with it's a.m., p.m., and evening designations (instead of set hours), and the Someday... section is perfect for a weekly to-do list.
Moleskine is a classic that I read about often...who knew they had this cool weekly planner - notebook hybrid? Um...perfection?
Since many of these notebooks go by calendar year, I have until January to decide, but so far the Moleskine is the definite Frontrunner.
How do you keep your appointments and to-dos organized? Do you keep a planner or do it digitally?