Choosing a Calendar: Make a Fresh Start

Every year offers a fresh start and a chance to create new habits.

Organization, planning, calendar

Make careful planning and scheduling part of your goals with a new calendar or planner. With an attractive and high-quality calendar, it's easy to stay on top of upcoming appointments, make space in the schedule for important events, and meet deadlines.

Layouts for Every Planning Style With New Calendars

One of the first factors to consider is the ideal calendar or planner layout. There are three main options. The first is a daily layout. This calendar or planner type is optimal for those who plan their days down to the hour and need a running list of obligations, appointments, and deadlines. In this category, most planners have a single spread for each day, as well as weekly and monthly layouts for long-term planning.

Weekly spreads are a popular option for many professionals. Each week gets a double-page spread, offering plenty of space to jot down daily tasks and scheduled events. Many users rely on these planners for to-do lists, notes, and an overview of their weekly obligations. In most calendars and planners, each set of weekly spreads is preceded by a monthly calendar that provides an overview of the next four weeks.

Monthly layouts are essential for long-term planners. They're a convenient paper-based option for professionals who use digital to-do lists but still want a physical overview of the coming months. Each spread contains the month broken down into weeks, letting users get an idea of upcoming appointments, birthdays, and holidays with just a glance.

Portable or Stationary Calendar Options

Professionals should think about how they plan on using their calendars and planners. Some prefer to use a planner only while at the desk, so a stationary option is convenient. Others are portable, designed for on-the-go use and reference.

Stationary options offer an at-a-glance overview of the week or month. Some calendars lie flat on the desk, offering a smooth surface for writing or the ideal place to put a laptop while working. This option is also larger than most wall calendars, making it a top choice for those who like to take notes during phone calls or dislike reading the small print on wall calendars.

Tented calendars are well-suited to employees who need constant access to their schedule. Like flat desk calendars, they remain on the desk at all times, but they feature a tent design that holds each spread at the ideal viewing angle. Some options feature a miniature monthly spread, while others have weekly spreads for work week planning. Since this model does not lie flat, it isn't blocked by the computer and is easy to reference when busy.

Wall calendars make full use of available wall or vertical desk space. They're the optimal way to use free space on the side of a desk hutch, on the wall next to the desk, or on the side of a bookcase. This is the preferred layout for users who don't do much weekly or daily planning but do take notes on important dates and times.

Book calendars are portable, which is why they're a popular choice for those who enjoy detailed weekly or daily planning. They provide a simple way to check a daily to-do list, take notes during meetings, or plan appointments when traveling.

Choose an Appealing Calendar Style

Remember, calendars and planners should make life easier but will also be with you for the whole year, so be sure to select an attractive design. There are all sorts of designs and patterns, making it easy to select a style that keeps you encouraged and productive. Some of the popular planner categories found at Staples include:

  • Use of inspirational quotes
  • Animal patterns
  • Bohemian styles
  • Classic and simple design
  • Floral and tropical scenes
  • Food and drink imagery
  • Sports themes
  • Modern designs

Accessories for Easy Planning With Your Calendar

Selecting the right calendar is a big part of getting ready for the new year, but don't forget to stock up on accessories that make planning more convenient and enjoyable. These accessories can help you get full functionality from your planner.

Sticky notes offer a stress-free way to jot down appointments and stick them to the calendar. Use these for daily or weekly tasks. They're easy to recycle when the task is done, and if the task has to be bumped to the next day or week, there's no unsightly eraser marks or crossed-out tasks on the calendar.

Consider whether pen or pencil is the better choice for your planning style. Having a reliable ballpoint or gel ink pen in your planner makes it easy to read calendar appointments, while a mechanical or wood pencil offers more flexibility in rearranging or removing appointments.

Many brands make stickers that are specifically designed for planners. These labels remind users of appointments, paydays, important meetings, and recurring tasks. Use gel or ink highlighters to draw attention to top-priority appointments and jobs.

Setting up a solid scheduling plan is an excellent way to head into the new year feeling confident and prepared.