Get Organized in 2018

In the week that sits between Christmas and New Year’s Day, many people begin to reflect on the year that has just passed and the one that lies ahead. You may be one of the people who hope to become more organized in 2018. For me, keeping a paper calendar on hand in my bag has been immensely helpful. So I wanted to share some of the products that I have used or may be helpful to you. As a note, the links in this post will be affiliate links


In our house, we use Cozi Calendar to keep track of our family’s comings and goings. It is a great app that is free to use and has some great features. Each member of the family has their own calendar, there are shared shopping lists and contacts. If you haven’t tried it yet, you can try it for free.

However, as helpful as a digital calendar is, over the last two years, I have found that a paper calendar is still the best tool to stay on top of things. In a world with numerous screens per person, why should you keep a paper calendar? Because writing it down works. And in the world of paper calendars, Moleskine Planners are as ubiquitous as New Year’s Resolutions. They come in numerous formats, sizes, and colors; and I have tested most of them.


Moleskine Daily

The daily planner is not one that I have used. It comes predated and pre-lined with time segments. My work schedule does not require me to set up my day in such a way that I need to know what is going on in any given half-hour time slot. However, if you are one to make appointments throughout the day, or need to designate time for particular projects. This may be a good option for you. Moleskine offers it in a POCKET and LARGE sizes.


Moleskine weeklyThe weekly calendar is what I used for the last year and a half. During the first year, I used the LARGE version. Then last year I switched over to the POCKET size. The setup in the weekly planner was more suited to my needs than the daily. As a funeral director, I am usually making arrangements 4 or 5 days in advance. Having a whole week viewable on one page is helpful, and at most, I need to simply turn the page to see what is scheduled the following week. The bonus to this setup is the notes page included with each week. On each two-day spread, the days are on the left-hand page, Monday to Sunday, top to bottom; the facing right-hand page is lined to accommodate notes. Moleskine also offers an EXTRA-LARGE version of this as well.

If Moleskine isn’t your style, the Passion Planner may be helpful. I have this planner, but I did not find it helpful for my uses. It has a 12-month planner in the beginning, and then a weekly planner following that. The planner is un-dated and is intended to help you implement your plans from the monthly view into your weekly plans. This was a novel concept, but the days were broken down by time slots, and it was too cluttered for taste. It is available is a COMPACT and CLASSIC formats.

Another popular planner is the Panda Planner. It comes in a HARDCOVER or SOFTCOVER and includes a monthly, weekly, and daily journal all in one. I have not used it so I cannot speak to its usefulness. The same goes for the SELF Journal from Best Self Co. It is a popular product, but I have not used it.


Moleskine MonthlyThis year I have switched from the pocket weekly planner to the pocket monthly planner. I made the switch to this for some of the same reasons I like the weekly format, I am able to see more at once. This planner has a whole month spread across two pages; then there is a two-page spread of note pages. There are also 50+ blank note pages at the end. My hope is that I am able to see all my funeral service, meetings, and days off at the same time. It comes is a POCKET, LARGE, or EXTRA-LARGE format.



big-grid.jpgPerhaps you would rather use a desk or wall calendar. Hannah is using the Big Grid Wall Calendar by Amy Knapp for the second year. This calendar hangs in our kitchen and has become the central location for all that is going on in the family. The calendar is large enough to see on the wall, even by the kids. Each month has lots of space for notes, some designated for projects around the house and other for big plans. Each day also has designated space for a meal plan, which has come in very handy in our home. A similar calendar to this is the Busy Family Calendar, I would encourage you to check out either one.

At the office, we use a standard desk calendar to keep track of services, appointments, and tasks. These are a classic design and very helpful when it comes to managing busy weeks.

If you don’t like any of those, has all kinds of choices and colors.

Everyday Carry

Notebook Wallet

NotebookShortly after buying the pocket-sized calendar to carry with me each day, I purchased a leather cover to place it in. This allowed me to carry a pen, some notecards, and the sheets of paper that I needed to write on when I received notification of a death. It easily became one of those things that I take with me everywhere I go and helped facilitate my use of a paper calendar that much more.

eBags Professional Slim Backpack

I have been using this backpack for a little over a month now. I love it. It has the space for the things that I like to carry and keeps it all organized. I am able to carry my laptop, tablet, notepads, camera, paperwork, and all the pens, pencils, and cords I could possibly want. They have a “Junior” version of the back that is a little smaller. I think it would actually be perfect for someone who has a smaller laptop. Take a look at the bag, it comes in a few different colors. (I have the gray).

The Bellroy Hide & Seek Wallet

bellroy.jpgI love this wallet. I have had this wallet for several years, I am pretty sure I got it the year it came out. This wallet has plenty of space for bills and cards, and a couple “secret” pockets that come in handy for larger bills or cards that you don’t want to be visible when you pull your wallet out. It is slim enough to go in your pocket if that is your preference.

If you would prefer, there are a lot of metal or minimalistic wallets out there these days (here, herehere, or here), but, in my opinion, nothing beats the great leather bifold.

Happy New Year!




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