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Calendar applications are convenient, but no smartphone tool can truly replace a material planner. It’s helpful to have one physical space where you can write down all your important dates and deadlines and be able to flip through it to compare weeks or months at a glance. For most people, this kind of simple agenda is really all you’ll need, although some may like planners that aim to motivate, with sections for aspirations and goal tracking.
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Planners come in all formats, from daily to monthly. You’ll probably start your search knowing which of these works best for you, but when choosing your book, it’s important to think about the binding quality, durability, weight of paper, and compatibility with your writing (or drawing!) medium, in addition to general factors like size and appearance. After all, planners keep you organized, but more than that, they are diaries of how you’ve spent your time and how your life has changed from year to year, and it’s nice to make this act of recording a pleasurable experience. More practically, you want to plan your schedule without fear of distracting ink bleeding.
We’ve found some of the best planners to suit a range of planning styles, including planners for people whose lives don’t fit the January to December model; read about them in our reviews below. But remember: the best agenda is probably the one that best satisfies your individual needs.