I am one of those people.
I have tried to go all electronic, and as soon as I do, my life falls apart. I'm just no good at planning for things when all I can see are small entries on my tiny phone. And I'm terrible at keeping my Google calendar updated. In fact, I think it still has my teaching schedule from 2 years ago as my current schedule. Partly this is because I am a little bit stupid when it comes to figuring all the techy stuff out (for instance, I still don't know how to get my phone and computer synced for Google calendar), and partly it's because I just LOVE my paper planners. I don't think I'll ever have that same kind of love for my phone calendar, sorry.
I've used a lot of different planners over the years, and I have learned exactly what I need in a planner. It changes as my life changes, but I have become rather planner picky.
In college, I carried around a big, ol' Franklin planner and man, I loved that thing! I kept with Franklin for a while after I had Bria, but I soon realized that it was way too much planner for a SAHM with a baby, and I started looking around at other planners.
Now that I am a working mom of three busy children (9th, 6th, and 3rd grades), my planner needs have continued to evolve.
Here are the things that I personally consider when looking for a planner:
1. Academic Year vs. Calendar Year. With both The Maestro and I working in academia, plus having three kids, having an academic year calendar works best for me. I have occasionally purchased a calendar year planner and then been annoyed when it ends in December because I like to have one school year all in the same place.
2. Size. I need it to be small enough to fit into my purse, but big enough to actually contain my entire life and brain.
3. Sturdiness. I carry my planner with me EVERYWHERE. I need it to be super sturdy so it can last me a full year.
4. Writing Space/Page Organization. My planner isn't just for me and my schedule anymore. It has to include my children's and husband's schedule as well, because their schedules directly affect me. I need a good page organization and lots of space to accomadate all five of our schedules.
5. Extras. Most planners include extra things like pages for taking notes, birthday pages, budgeting pages, etc. I know which of these I will actually use and which I won't, and I know which ones I can't live without. Ideally, I'd like a planner that doesn't have a lot of extra pages in it that I won't use, but I can overlook that if it has the extra pages that I want.
6. Cuteness Factor. I admit, I'm a sucker for all the cute planners out there, but it's low on the list. This is one area in my life where function trumps aesthetic (and believe me, usually it's the other way around). If it's cute but not functional, I would miss every appointment I have. My planner is literally my brain.
I thought I would quickly review several of the planners I have used in the past few years. I always save them, as I consider them a type of journal of my life, so I got out the pile that is still in my office and hasn't yet been relegated to a bin in the basement. I'm embarrassed at how many are not in the bin, but hey! More planners to talk about, and I do love planners.