I am a pen and paper kind of girl when it comes to keeping to a schedule and to-do list. When I say "I'll pencil you in" I would like to actually do just that instead of type it into iCal. Call me crazy. My planner is used as an all-in-one and includes blog post ideas/schedule, appointments, travel dates, to-do lists, meal planning and grocery list. For me, keeping all of this in one central location is crucial instead of having lists, sticky notes (both the paper and digital kind) scattered to and fro. I will admit though that I do additionally put important appointments and dates, the kind that require reminders, on my iCal. That way I can quickly scan through the notifications panel on my phone in the morning and have a quick snapshot of major events for that day.
What I look for in a planner/agenda:
1. Month view and week view: I like to put what weekends I'll be out of town on the monthly view as well as longer events to get a quick overview of the weeks ahead. The weekly view then becomes my daily to-do list, etc.
2. Medium-large size: For everything I try and write in my datebook, a pocket size won't make the cut unless I don't mind getting carpel tunnel from writing so small.
3. 17-month academic length: Some habits never go away, but for some reason I still associate August with picking out a new planner rather than starting fresh on New Year's. Perhaps this will change as time goes on?
4. Finally, it should be pretty. It's always sitting out on my desk and almost always in sight, so might as well have something nice to look at. My favorite trends right now are gold foil, kraft paper and oxblood. I also love the Lilly Pulitzer artwork on the month divisions.