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Monthly Planners: Is There a Point?

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Disclosure: The following product(s) may have been sent to Earn Spend Live in exchange for a review. All opinions are the author’s own.

Monthly planners are the forgotten stepchild in the planner family, but they’re more useful than many people realize. They don’t come with all of the bells and whistles of weekly and daily planners. Instead, they keep it simple and classic with the basics. Sometimes, less truly is more.

Looks can Be Deceiving

At first glance, it doesn’t look like a monthly planner can help you do very much with a simple monthly calendar and a column list. But it can hold just as much information as a weekly planner. A monthly calendar has all the room you need to write down the large meetings, events, and holidays you need to remember each month, plus any important tasks you want to dedicate a specific day to, like a study or spring cleaning day. No, you won’t be able to write down a detailed hourly schedule every single day, but chances are you have work around the same time every day and it’s not necessary.

You can still get everything you need out of a monthly planner even if you’re the kind of person who needs to write down a lot of details. You simply have to think a little out-of-the-box to find the methods that work for you. Instead of writing everything down in longhand, you simply have to use color coding, shorthand, and symbols.

For example, if you dedicate certain days to different things, like Monday and Tuesday are for handling business details while Wednesday is for cleaning your entire house, then you use highlighters to outline the individual boxes in the month calendar as a way to signal which days are for which focus. With a little creativity, you can find easy ways to make a monthly planner highly detailed and organized.

#GoalDigger, amiright?

Aside from the times and dates you need to remember, a monthly calendar is a useful tool for keeping track of large tasks, goals, or attitudes you want to work on the whole month. Monthly planners always have a column list where you can write down these things. If you want to use this space for both tasks and goals, then you can color code or use stickers to create some visual distinction in the list.

In addition, monthly planners are convenient. Since they only have two pages per month, they’re slim and lightweight. This makes them easy to carry around in conjunction with other items and to store without taking up a lot of space. If you’re the kind of person who becomes easily overwhelmed seeing every little detail for every single day, then a monthly planner can help you avoid that by only showcasing the important things. This is a win-win for your productivity and emotional health.

Useful for Errbody

Anyone can find a use for a monthly calendar. They provide an eagle’s eye view, which you can benefit from no matter if you’re a stay-at-home mom or a business executive. A family monthly calendar is a great way for parents and children to keep tabs on everything everyone has going on. This can help parents find ways to sync schedules and car pools, and can provide a way to track children’s chore progress. If you have a family, then you can all sit down at the beginning of every week to go over what each person has and then store the planner in a place everyone can check it or change it when necessary.

In an office setting, a monthly planner is a great way for team leaders to track employees’ time off, project deadlines, team goals and progress, and certain events going on at work or in the area. Monthly calendars are particularly useful for executive assistants who need to keep track of schedules for multiple people.

What Monthly Planners Should You Buy?

Nicole Miller Monthly Planner 2016-2017

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This is an excellent example of a classic monthly planner. With a colorful decorative inner-cover protected by a sheer plastic cover and thin, but stable coil, it will survive the entire year with you no matter what you put it through. The thick paper won’t tear or bleed through easily, so you can use whatever pens, markers, or highlighters you want to color code it without worrying. Inside it comes with a contact page, a quick reference page, and a healthy number of note pages so you have all of the miscellaneous information you’ll need as you go through the months.

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The size and spacing of each month are ideal for writing. The boxes are larger than most, so you can write down multiple meetings or events when you need to. The column list is also a good size. It’s not incredibly long, but it’s wide enough that you can write down the full tasks instead of keep it all in shorthand or use more than one line per item.

Sugar Paper 2016 Monthly 22×17 Desk Pad

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If notebook style isn’t your thing, then try a wall or desk pad. This one from Sugar Paper can actually sit flat on your desk or hang on the wall. It’s the best of both worlds essentially. Because it’s so big, you have more than enough room to write down various things for each day, and the column list on the right side is long enough for absolutely everything you want to write down there. You can use it track how often you work out, what meetings you need to be at every day, or simply to mark the exciting weekend and vacation plans you have coming up.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your weekly or daily planners, or simply think you don’t need that much space, then try out a monthly planner or calendar. They offer all of the basic tools and space you need to stay on top of all the meetings, plans, birthdays, tasks, and goals you have, and they don’t demand a ton of attention or time you aren’t willing to offer.

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Last modified on June 1st, 2017

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