Happy Friday Word Nerds! Today I want to talk about one of my personal obsessions: planners. In high school and college, one of my favorite yearly purchases was the perfect planner, always bought in August, in time for school. The options were basically what the bookstore had to offer. But now, there are so many options for planners. You can really tailor them to your taste. A good planner can be an invaluable tool for helping manage your writing and your life. The trick is to find the one that works for you. With that in mind, here are five types of planners for five different types of writers!
1) For the Big-Picture Writer: Moleskine Weekly Planner
Moleksine has a variety of different planners, but the weekly one is particularly useful if you’re looking to jot down big events and goals, and keep a running to-do list. Each week has one page for notes, and one page with the week divided into days. The upsides? You see your week at a glance. The notebook is durable, and the medium size is really portable. The downside? Unless you buy the large one, there’s not a ton of room on each day, so if you’re big on lots of daily lists, a Moleskine daily planner might be a better way to go. They’re smaller and fatter, so still easily fit in a purse or backpack, but give you room to map out each day.
2) For the Super Busy: The Day Designer
If you’re a writer with a lot going on, and you need one place to plan everything from work to writing to meals, the Day Designer is a great option. It’s big, and each day has its own page, with a section to write down your daily schedule, your top three goals for the day and your to-do list. I just bought one of these for this year, because I’m juggling so many different things. Having a place to write down your top three daily goals, especially, is helpful because it keeps you focused in the midst of craziness! Upsides: it’s gorgeous, has a space at the beginning for goal-setting, plenty of space on each daily page, and a calendar overview of each month. Downsides: it’s really big, although it does also come in a mini size, and is on the more expensive end, as far as planners go.
3) For the Non-Planner Crowd: Calendar and Stickers
I first saw this idea on Victoria Schwab’s blog, and think it’s a great tool for writers. If you’re not into planners, but are still looking for a way to motivate and keep you on track, try buying a monthly calendar and a set of star stickers. Color code them for different goals. For example, if you read fifty pages, you get a red star. If you write 500 words, you get a gold star. Tailor the goals to fit your lifestyle. Upsides: total flexibility, writing incentives, super cheap. Downsides: If you buy a wall calendar, it’s not portable
4) For the Goal-Oriented: The Passion Planner
Are you always looking ahead and setting goals? Do you have a one year plan and a five year plan and a three month plan? Would you like to be the kind of writer who has these kind of plans? The Passion Planner might be the perfect planner for you. Like the Moleksine, it’s divided into a two-page spread for each week, but with more space for each day. The real value, though, of this planner, is all the worksheets and exercises it has to keep you mindful of your goals throughout the year. Upsides: It has lots of exercises and a nice layout. Downsides: It’s also on the more expensive end of planners, and the large size isn’t as portable, although there is a miniature edition available.
5) For the Independent Planner: Bullet Journal
This isn’t actually a planner you can buy, but a technique you can use to create one in any notebook. It gives you ultimate flexibility because you create each day as you go, making lists, goals and plans that stretch as long as you need them to. Upsides: You have all the space you need for each day, and can create it in any notebook to suit your taste and price range. Downsides: It’s harder to look ahead and plan the year or month at a glance, since you take it one day at a time.
Do you use a planner for writing? Is it one we missed? Let us know in the comments, or using the hashtag #5OnFri!
Bess Cozby writes epic stories in expansive worlds from her tiny apartment in New York City. By day, she’s an Editor at Tor Books, and Web Editor for DIY MFA. Her work is represented by Brooks Sherman of the Bent Agency. Tweet her at @besscozby, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website at www.besscozby.com.