Getting Organized: The Daily Planner

I might be on my own here, but even with cell phones, apps, and all the other fancy-schmancy ways to communicate and organize our lives, I still have the desire to do things like doodle in a notebook, or send a card in the mail, or even write out my weekly grocery list. The same goes for using a daily planner, which I've continued to use and write my schedule in, despite the fact that my cell phone and computer have the ability to keep track of such things. Maybe it's the feeling of promise and the renewed sense of energy that comes with opening a fresh, clean planner at the beginning of the year, or maybe it's that I like being able to look back at old planners and see the things I was doing at different stages in my life, or maybe it's a little of both. Regardless, having a daily planner is something that, in my opinion, modern technology cannot trump, and it's one of the things I look forward to at the start of the new year. Since I'm still on the hunt for my 2013 planner I thought I'd round up a few cute ones that have caught my eye so far: 
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Things I always keep in my planner:

- Pen with a cap to hook on the binding or cover
- List of important phone numbers (doctors, pharmacy, neighbor, and a few "in case of emergency" places like alarm, gas, and water company)
- Immediate family member & a few friends' home addresses
- Sheet of postage stamps paper clipped on inside of front cover
- Any business cards I receive (I usually stash them in there and then transfer them to a drawer in my office every few months)

Some other fun ways to use a daily planner:

- Editorial calendar for your blog or website. Planning ahead for a week (or month's) worth of posts is the saving grace for me when it comes to blogging. Even if it's just an idea and you're not sure about the content, jot it down for a particular day and build the entire post later at your workspace.
- Food and/or health journal. Write down the things you ate throughout the day, what type of exercise you did, or how you felt in general that day. Even though my food allergies are under control, I still journal what I eat every day, this way if/when issues arise I can go back and look at the things that may have been the cause.
- Monthly budget. Track the days when bills are due, what payments will be received, and your monthly expenditures like weekly groceries, medications, and others. Yes, online banking or a spreadsheet can monitor all of this, but if you're on a mission to pay off debt, build your savings, or pay cash for that next vacation, than sitting down to see exactly where your money goes each month might be a great way to get on the right track. Even if it's just for a few months, you might be surprised at the things you're spending extra cash on. I'm a little (okay a lot) obsessive about our monthly budget, and having a planner for the first few years out of college strictly for budgeting has helped me to get on the right financial path.

What are your thoughts on using a daily planner? Do you keep one, or do you prefer using your cell phone or calendar apps?

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