Choosing the Right Planner for 2012

Get ready for 2011 by using this checklist to choose the right planner for YOU!

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Choosing the right planner for you and your lifestyle is very important, especially if you are busy, overwhelmed by your To Do List and/or have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD).  This is true no matter what profession you hold and no matter what your age.  By third grade, even elementary school students need some type of planner or way to keep track of assignments.

ADHD Creates Significant Challenges

for people when it comes to using a planner and therefore managing their time.  Your list might be too overwhelming, you might forget to look at your planner or perhaps there are other reasons.  I am frequently asked to recommend the best planner for someone with ADHD.  The bad news is that there is not one best planner.  The good news is that I can still help you select the best planner, especially if you have ADHD.


If you have determined that you need a better system of planning (or just need to start one!), I first recommend that you select the planner characteristics that are most important to you.  The checklist at the end of this article will help you identify those characteristics.

To use the checklist, place a check mark next to each characteristic you would like to have in a planner and indicate an A, B or C priority next to each characteristic you check.

  • A = planner must have this
  • B = would be nice for planner to have this
  • C = not so important to me

After you  select which characteristics are important, take the list with you to the store or have it next to you while you search on-line.  This will help narrow your search and end up with a planner that really works for you.

Select Your Planner

After you have picked your characteristics, it is time for shopping.  A couple of sites to investigate are, and  If you are interested in electronic planners, be sure to review free sites (i.e. Google Calendar) in addition to all of the devices that are available.  If you have a smart phone, integrate with available on-line tools if that will help you remember to use it every day.  Once you have selected your planner, work with it for at least one month before evaluating it’s effectiveness.  If it doesn’t work for you after trying a new planner for at least a month, you may want to consider something different.  Commit to USING it before you discard it though.

Using Your Planner

Here are a few tips to help ensure that you use your planner.

  • If you currently use multiple planners, try to consolidate into one.
  • After you purchase your planner, commit to using it for at least one month.
  • Keep it in a location where you will review it every day.
  • Review it at the same time each day to help enforce your habit.

The right planner can make a big difference in getting more done, and more importantly getting your high priority tasks done.  Share your comments to let us know how the check list works for you.  Good luck with your planner search!

Planner Characteristic Checklist

  • _____  Month-at-a-glance view
  • _____  Week-at-a-glance view
  • _____  The ability to see each day separate from all others
  • _____  Spiral bound so I don’t lose any pages and can have the entire year in one product
  • _____  Binder format so I can add and remove pages as needed
  • _____  Zippered binder so I don’t lose any pages
  • _____  Electronic with no need to print
  • _____  Electronic with the ability to print a To Do List
  • _____  Electronic with the ability to print an appointment schedule
  • _____  Paper so I can write in it when needed
  • _____  To Do List available for every day
  • _____  To Do List for the whole month
  • _____  To Do List for each week
  • _____  Room to plan for multiple roles (i.e. Employee, parent, spouse, business owner)
  • _____  Calendar and To Do List integrated into one planner
  • _____  Calendar and To Do List separate from each other
  • _____  Small size for easy portability
  • _____  Large size for ease of writing and room for more items
  • _____  Medium size as a compromise between small and large
  • _____  Time slots for meetings and appointments all day
  • _____  Specific time slots included in the Calendar section
  • _____  Pockets for other items such as cell phone or wallet
  • _____  Wall calendar format
  • _____  Portable format
  • _____  Attached strap so it can be carried like a purse or briefcase
  • _____  Price is no object
  • _____  Budget = $______
  • _____  Add your own characteristics here:  __________________________
  • _____  ______________________________________________________
  • _____  ______________________________________________________
  • _____  ______________________________________________________

© 2011, LSR Coaching and Consulting, LLC

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