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Finding the best calendar or planning device to balance your life

by Alexus Jordan

If my head was not attached to my shoulders, I would lose it. If I didn’t write down every single event, function or ceremony I was supposed to attend, I would probably miss my own wedding. They say a team is only as strong as their weakest link, but to that, I say that I'm only as strong as my agenda. 

Finding the perfect agenda or calendar can be frustrating and annoying, and the planners in the notebook aisle at Target don't always cut it. If you’re like me and can’t even think about making a to-do list before you find the perfect to-do list notepad, then a lack of the perfect planner can be debilitating. 

Luckily, thanks to many years of scouring Pinterest and PaperSource, I've found some of the best tips and tricks to finding/creating your perfect planning device. 

First thing’s first — what is your schedule like? 

As a college student, it’s important for me to have monthly and weekly overviews. My schedule is relatively consistent, and I don’t have several meetings or conference calls that need to be perfectly timed out. If you’re someone who has a constantly changing schedule or who sits in on a lot of meetings, think about finding a planner that has a daily overview and allows space so you can break down your day by the hour. 

If, like me, you find your days are more task-based rather than meeting-based, consider getting a planner with a weekly and monthly overview; I use the space allowed for the day to write down homework and spin class times and use my monthly overview to mark important things, such as exams, breaks and when I get paid. 

Secondly, consider what type of person you are. 

Are you a DIY creative type? Or do you like things to come ready made? There are dozens of printable agendas online or ways to create your own journal/agenda. However, if you lack the time to sit for hours literally drawing out a calendar in a blank Moleskine, consider buying a readymade agenda that fits your needs rather than creating your own. 

Lastly, what do you use the most? Personally, I have never utilized my iPhone or Gmail calendar. I find it confusing and overcomplicated. I also enjoy the feel of a book I can physically hold; I like writing tasks down and the sense of accomplishment that comes with crossing off a completed task. However, if you're the type who will buy a planner only to discover it in 2019 in the bottom of your desk drawer, consider finding online alternatives that can help you balance your life. 

Now that I’ve pestered you with questions, here comes my favorite part — I get to tell you what calendars and planners I absolutely adore! 

  1. Lilly Pulitzer 

 

Photo: Lilly Pulitzer

This is my personal agenda of choice. There are new patterns offered every year, and it’s available in three different sizes. With a monthly and weekly overview, this planner is perfect for those with task-oriented days that need a broader overview as well! Starting at $24, they’re affordable and functional.


  1. Erin Condren 

Photo: Erin Condren 

Erin Condren’s Life Planner allows for almost total customization. From the cover to the layout, this planner is super cute and functional. Starting at $55, they’re a little pricey, but many say it’s worth it! 

  1. Bullet journaling 


Photo: @Bujo_nina/Instagram

If you’re creative and like to keep track of more than just your days, take a look at bullet journaling. There aren’t any guidelines; all you need is a blank journal and your writing utensils of choice! Check out Pinterest for more ideas. 

Online Alternatives

If you’re looking for an online alternative, try the App Store! Some calendar apps that come highly recommended are include myHomework, Setmore and MyStudyLife.