I recently wrote about the Best Planner for Small Business Entrepreneurs but have realized that my planning style may not be the best fit for everyone. The selection of business planners for entrepreneurs is vast and includes a wide variety of calendar features.
This year I found the Kate Spade planner, which fits my business and personal life perfectly. I take elaborate notes and jot down details galore. This planner fits all of my business planning needs and planner personality.
However, I had a reality check last week when speaking to a client who read my blog post. She asked questions like, “Do you think I should keep a daily and monthly calendar?” “What if I run out of pages?” I clearly didn’t address important details in my post. Kate Spade was perfect for me, but many entrepreneurs have needs that differ from my own.
Not one of us is the same, nor does one exact strategy work for everyone. Our businesses are unique and we have preferences intrinsically our own. I want to share a few aspects to consider in narrowing down your search for the planner that works best for you and your business.
Consider Your Business Planner Needs
Do you find yourself not prioritizing well enough? Do you have difficulty with planning ahead? Do you need a way to see your schedule as an overview?
Choosing between a daily, weekly, and monthly planner can be hard to figure out at first. Ask yourself the questions above and jot your answers down. Remember that you can easily blend a couple of these formats to get your business needs organized.
Daily planners are great for business owners who have many client appointments, various daily tasks or need to take quick notes throughout the day. If you thrive on tackling one project at a time or work well with simple lists, then a daily planner is most beneficial for you.
Weekly small business planners usually incorporate daily schedules with a plan for the entire week. A good weekly planner will allow you to keep track of goals and categorize by importance, keep track of activities, and give yourself time frames for task completion. Weekly planners help with ever-changing days that need to remain somewhat organized.
Monthly planners are exactly what you need for deadlines and due dates to avoid delays in delivering a service or product. Business owners who don’t do much writing and prefer simplicity work best with this type of format (i.e. photographers, artists, clinicians).
Consider a Business Planner Style
Choosing between a linear or vertical planner is a matter of how you would like to organize. Do you like to write or make lists? Do you like lists or in-depth details?
A linear horizontal style planner like this Erin Condren planner allows the calendar room for writing long tasks, to take notes during meetings, and to quickly jot down ideas. This is my preference however, not everyone has long thoughts and ideas to write down on a whim.
Vertical planners like this Bloom planner usually hold about three or more categories per day and space to list tasks in a simple and clean manner. If simple words can help remind you of what needs to be done, then this is perfect for you. This style is ideal for stickers or if you are color-coding your tasks or meetings. Bloggers may prefer this style since they can easily list and organize ideas.
You also want to decide whether you prefer a refillable planner or a planner you can retire after the year is over. I prefer non-refillable small business planners since a new planner provides a fresh start for me each year. Refillable planners allow for inserts to keep all the pages you need in one planner. You can add or remove the pages as necessary and keep the planner cover you love.
Consider a Business Planner Price Point
The right small business planner should fit your personal, professional, and family needs perfectly. Keeping life in order, in one planner, is priceless to any business owner. Thankfully, you can find a good planner at any price point between $30 and $100.
What are your goals? What meetings do you have? Where can you jot down your ideas to grow your business? Perhaps after considering these questions, you will see that the benefit of a planner is worth every penny for escalating your business to the next level or just to keep it running smoothly.
Consider Your Business Planner Personality
Small business planners give you a wholistic view of where you spend your most time and what you may need to spend more time on. They are useful in determining how you can adjust to make time for business growth opportunities.
Planners have ad-hoc products to work well with your personality. They now come with stickers, post-notes, decorative tapes, and precious designs. Get as creative and colorful as you want, or as professional and neat as you want!
I struggled for a while to find the perfect planner. Finding the Kate Spade planner has been an invaluable low-cost investment with a great return.
Which of these small business planners do you plan on trying? What is something in a planner you just can’t live without for your business?