So, my dear friend who works in a stationary shop across the country offered to buy me a 2017 planner for my birthday, but even with photos, I couldn’t really pick one out from a distance. Same with the Internet. I need to feel the heft, to make sure the essential spiral binding works smoothly, to check if the cover is hardy enough to withstand going from my desk to bag to suitcase, to being taken out and put back a gazillion times over the year. Hopefully the paper doesn’t bleed through and it is light enough not to ruin my back when I’m carrying it.
Last year I got my 2016 planner from Ocean State Job Lots for $2 and it worked well for me until about September when it started feeling overworked, shabby, not so neat. Pages curled, the cover got wrinkled. It is really looking forward to retirement at the end of the year.
I do everything online except for my Planner. It’s my daily anchor: my appointments, my to-do list, my phone notes, my deadlines, my reminders. I’ve used one all of my adult life and know exactly which kind suits me.
I tried an independent bookstore first. They had well over a dozen, all of them arty, with one page full of an image on their theme (women authors or cats or birds or meditation sayings) and the facing page squeezing the week into tight horizontal slots. Half the weight and half the space is taken up by the kind of pretty pictures you could Google for.
I went to the big drug store but either those planners were too floppy or the cover was hard and awkward. I bought one but returned it when I realized how heavy it was.
Then I looked online at Target and saw what a big selection they had. I drove many miles to the largest Target within an hour’s drive. They had plenty of choice for weekly planners, but most of them were attractively designed to be difficult. One had the dates written in gold – I could only read them by holding them under the light and twisting the book this way or that to catch the glare. Another had everything in script that look all very calligraphy but impossible to decipher in a glance. In the end I bought one that is plain, not an ounce of decoration, but with a strong enough font that I can actually tell what’s written on it.
One more beef. Every 12 month planner should be 13 months at least and include the December of the previous year so that we can make a smooth transition without lugging two volumes. If they want to be extravagant, designers could include January of the following year as well.
Those designers who waste the majority of each page’s space on baubles and fireworks clearly don’t depend on planners like I do. I want a workhorse. The essential thing is that it gets the job done, although I do wish this one were prettier. If you have a sticker I’d love to slap on the front, send it my way!