Monthly spread planner vs table calendar

Time Management

Both the monthly spread planner and table calendar have a similar layout- where there are column for you to write down your tasks, reminders and important dates. If you are going to choose between a table calendar and a monthly spread planner, which one would you get?

Let’s look at the usability of a table calendar vs monthly spread planner:

A table calendar

  • something you can place on the surface of your table in your home, bedroom and workspace
  • easy to pick up, write on and glance quickly and then put it back down
  • there can be joint use, for example each family member writes down dates on the calendar such as basketball practice for the kids, business meetings for the dad, weddings and official functions to attend

Monthly spread planners or monthly schedulers:

  • like a book or booklet where you can write down important appointments
  • usually for individual use that the person uses, lightweight and can be easily stored in a bag
  • usually a planner comes with other functional pages such as a yearly spread, calendar, to-do list or blank note pages
  • visitors can just look at your calendar but usually not at your planner. If someone opens your planner without your permission it would be considered snooping around.

My 2 cents:

Which one that we choose to use would depend on our roles in life.

Table calendars are very useful for working life as well as an important item in sales and customer service offices for checking of dates. In your office, you would want to be able to scribble down something important on your table calendar next to your phone or computer. It is something that you can turn and glance on quickly to make decision about something.

But you would not want to write down very personal things that you wish to keep to yourself on your calendar. Even if the calendar is in your bedroom, anyone who walks in your room would be able to see your calendar, pick it up and read it. Furthermore, a table calendar that usually comes in spiral binding and often with additional pages of scenery or pictures is bulky. Not something that we want to accumulate and keep after the next year.

Each year I had always gotten a nice table calendar. But this year, I was actually using a monthly planner only without a table calendar. This is because the phrase of my life now as a caregiver is not target driven. I am a little lazy to write down things twice so whatever I wanted to write down would be in my monthly B5 sized planner.

I admit that sometimes I do not have the tendency to pick up a closed book to flip to the month and write down things. But I do refer to my planner often if I have a goal in mind that I wish to achieve and that I have broken down the tasks in my planner. When I have things down in a planner, I could understand why I need to get up earlier each day or why I cannot be wasting too much of time surfing the net on my phone.

At the same time, it is useful as a brain dump for reminders and appointments. Meaning I don’t need to stress my memory to remember important dates anymore.

Therefore, what I plan to do is to use my monthly spread planner to plot important dates, the goals at the side and then I would write down what I manage to get done on that day. At the end of each week or two weeks, I would compute on what I managed to achieve to see how far I am from my goal.

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