Many years ago, I had what we used to call a “desk calendar.” I had a choice of weekly or monthly pages. There was only one cover choice: fake black leather.

Those simple days are gone. Now, we have “planners,” and they come in a dizzying array of options. Daily, weekly, monthly, horizontal layout, vertical layout, grid layout, goals at the top, goals at the bottom, pocket in the front, notes in the back …

Choose wisely, because the proper planner can change your life.

Listen to this description of the Passion Planner:

“It’s more than just a planner … Think of it as a 24/7 life coach that fits in your backpack — always ready to challenge you to focus on what is most important, accept your thoughts and ideas without judgment, and prompt you to reflect on your everyday life. We hope that it becomes a place where you can declutter your mind, allowing you to focus on the present moment.”

This life-changing book — a book in which you have to write all the words, I might add — can be yours for only $30 ($35 if you want a color besides black).

Or here’s the Panda Planner: “Reclaim your happiness! Our scientifically designed tools empower you to take back control of your life and flourish in every way.” $24.97 for a three-month planner. (Because reclaiming happiness is not for the long-term.)

The Poketo Planner can “encourage goal-oriented and idea-driven scheduling” with “a durable, fabric-like cover.”


Also, in this planner, you have to fill in the dates yourself. This will cost you $34.

The EVO Planner calls itself “the world’s first personalized flow system … designed for your unique Brain Type … helps you get the focus, flow and freedom you need to thrive.” To discover your unique Brain Type, you must take the “proprietary Brain Type Assessment Quiz,” which will sort you into one of four houses: alchemist, oracle, explorer or architect.

I’m an explorer, and my planner is designed to help me think in “chunks” to “accomplish activities and maximize fun.”

A year’s worth of planners costs $127. I can think of many better ways in which $127 can maximize my fun.

The Plum Paper Planner doesn’t purport to mystically transform your life. It’s just a “personalized planner to fit your planning needs.” Plus they get points for working a third P into the name.

I seriously contemplated purchasing this one. But then I discovered that there are unwritten rules, prescriptions for proper planner parlance:

1. One needs a set of colored pens to color-code one’s entries. Red for school events, green for grocery lists, etc.

2. One needs to have the RIGHT KIND of pens. If you have to ask what the right kind of pens are, you don’t deserve to have a planner.

3. One needs fancy patterned tape and personalized stickers with which to decorate one’s planner. (I will sometimes stick a Post-it note in my planner, when I’ve run out of room to write on the page.)

4. One must use fancy calligraphy for the important words. (Does highlighting count?)

5. One must illuminate one’s planner with hand-drawn illustrations.

OK, if you have enough spare time to illustrate your daily chores, you don’t need a planner.

Meanwhile, I’ll be over here scribbling down my to-list on the back of an old envelope.

Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or

Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.