Last updated: August 10, 2021

Welcome to our big personal organizer test 2021. Here we present all the personal organizers we have tested. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best personal organizer for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a personal organizer.




The most important facts

  • An organiser allows you to plan your appointments efficiently and clearly. By thoroughly organising your daily life with the help of an organiser, you avoid time problems, stress and missing important appointments later on.
  • A distinction is made between electronic appointment planners and book planners. Book planners are suitable as a handy constant companion for people who cannot or do not always want to be online.
  • Book planners are available in different sizes, mechanisms, cover materials and page designs in every price category. Depending on personal wishes and ideas, it is also possible to design your own planner.

The Best Scheduler: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a personal organizer

Advantages and benefits of personal organizers

Appointments determine our whole life. Each of us has various daily, weekly or even monthly appointments to attend to. It is not easy to keep track of everything important and to be well organised. Sometimes everything just gets on top of you. It is not easy to plan personal needs and priorities as well as important work appointments and necessities and to keep everything under control. Planning your week over and over again takes time and discipline. But the problems that can arise if you don't plan and manage your time carefully only add to your stress and time problems. Without proper planning, you may set the wrong priorities or be poorly prepared for an appointment.

An appointment planner is an important companion in the office and everyday life. You can spontaneously add appointments or change your schedule anytime and anywhere, so you are well organised at all times. (Image source: unsplash.com / rawpixel)

Keeping an organiser carefully at all times and coordinating appointments regularly will save you a lot of time and stress later on, making your entire week easier. The effort involved in planning pays off every week, as you will never miss an appointment again.

Do I want a digital planner or a book calendar?

There is no right or wrong way to decide between a digital planner or a book planner. Your own preferences and needs play a big role in your choice, and each planner has its own advantages and disadvantages. To help you make an individual decision, here are the most important differences:
Book planner Digital planner
Does not need a battery Advantage of networking
Resistant to shocks Quick sorting, searching, deleting
Quick notes possible Reminder with signals
Effortless and inexpensive to update Password protection possible
Individually customisable Storage of additional notes
Promotes creativity Quick finding of appointments

In a handy book calendar, you can quickly add notes anywhere and at any time. Especially if you use your planner alone, a book planner has an advantage because of the ability to customise it. Tasks and appointments can also be managed quickly and easily.

A book planner doesn't need a battery and is resistant to shocks, electromagnetism and viruses that could damage a digital planner.

You don't have to worry about losing data if your PC doesn't work. The planner can always be updated easily and inexpensively by simply buying a new organiser for the corresponding period. With digital planners, a basic distinction is made between stationary PC software and mobile electronic time planner systems. The advantage of electronic planners is the networking between the end devices and other people. Appointments can be entered and coordinated by different people in different calendars without any problems. Furthermore, digital planners offer fast sorting, search and delete functions, as well as extensive calendar functions. You can invite other participants to an appointment by e-mail, quickly enter information, create appointment series or be reminded acoustically and visually of important appointments. Furthermore, it is possible to protect your planner from unauthorised access with a password. Mobile electronic planners, on the other hand, are web-based. They are well suited for you if you want to access your calendar from different devices. However, you always need internet access. If this is not a problem for you, you can access your data from anywhere. If you want to use your planner in the office, you should also consider what you need in your company:

  • Are regular appointments for on-site customer appointments important?
  • Do all employees need to be able to call up all appointments at any time?
  • What can you and your staff handle best?
  • What type of appointment planner is mainly preferred?
  • Do appointments often have to be coordinated between employees?

For what period do I need the planner?

It is also important to be clear about the time period you want to plan before you buy. Since each person plans their days individually, you should think about which features are of particular importance.

  • Do you need a lot of space for individual days?
  • Are large weekly or monthly overviews important to you?
  • Do you rather focus on detailed and clearly arranged annual calendars?

What other tools are there for scheduling?

In addition to the appointment planner, which allows you to plan appointments in the long and short term, there are other tools that can make your everyday life easier. In order to have a longer period of time in front of you, it is a good idea to hang an annual or monthly calendar on the wall and highlight important dates and appointments. This can also make it easier for employees to coordinate and plan their appointments.
Did you know that there are different time management methods? One of the best known is the ALPEN method, which was developed by Lothar Seiwert in 1984. A stands for "write down tasks", L for "estimate length", P for "plan buffer time", E for "make a decision" and N for "follow-up". For example, tasks that have not been completed can be recognised and taken into account in the planning of the next day.

Furthermore, appointment folders are good for storing documents that are to be processed or submitted by a certain date. This way you can keep a good overview of tasks that still need to be done. Other aids to scheduling are:

  • Appointment cards
  • Planning boards
  • Appointment lists

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate personal organizers

Your personal organiser should be tailored to you in order to support you in your individual organisation. But how do you find out which organiser is suitable for you personally? What factors can you use to compare personal organisers and find your ideal organiser? Here you will find an overview of various features that can be used to compare personal organisers:

  • Size
  • Weight
  • Cover material
  • Colour / Design
  • Time span
  • Number of pages
  • Page design / organisation
  • Mechanics
  • Closure
  • Features / Extras

These factors will make it easier for you to make a purchase decision. In the following, we explain what the individual features are, what the differences are between the various personal organizers and how you can classify them.

Size

The first question you should ask yourself before making a purchase decision is how big you want your planner to be. Do you want a handy organiser that you can take with you wherever you go, so that you can enter appointments flexibly, or do you want a larger planner with more space, because it should give you a good overview at home at your desk? The most common sheet size for appointment planners is A5. Planners in A5 are handy, but still offer enough space for all important information. An organiser in this size is therefore both a practical companion and suitable for you at home. If A5 is too big for you, you will also find a selection of planners with sheets in A6 format. The smaller sheets mean that you don't have as much writing space, but the planner is also smaller overall and therefore fits in every pocket. If you only need your planner at home, an alternative to the standard sizes is an organiser with A4 sheets. However, this format is not very common, so the choice is somewhat smaller. Remember: If you buy an organiser with an additional cover, the sheet size will not correspond to the actual size of the planner. An organiser with a cover and A5 sheets measures approximately 20 x 24 x 4 cm, with A6 sheets the planner measures approximately 13 x 18 x 3.5 cm. The mechanics of the planner play a decisive role in the actual size. You can find more information about the mechanics in detail further down in the article. Here we briefly summarise how the type of book affects the size: Ring binders are sometimes the largest and especially the thickest models. Planners with a spring-loaded mechanism are just as large, but not as thick as ring binders and are therefore less bulky. Bound planners with thread stitching correspond in actual size exactly to the inside page format and are very narrow. Like bound planners, organisers with a spiral are the same size as the page format and are just as flat except for the spiral at the edge.

Weight

Basically, the weight of a personal organizer is determined by the size, the number of pages and the material of the cover. This means that a large planner with 300 A4 pages and a leather cover will weigh more than a small organiser with 150 A6 pages and a flexo cover.

Depending on whether you always carry your organiser with you or only use it at home, the weight plays a big or small role.

The mechanics of the planner also influence the weight: ring binders or hardcover planners with spiral binding are heavier than organisers with spring-loaded or thread-stitched mechanics. If, for example, it is important to you to have a planner with a lot of space for notes and thus a high number of pages, but it should not weigh much, you should look for a light cover material and spring-rail mechanism or thread-stitching.

Cover material

The cover material can be important to your purchase decision for a number of reasons. Different materials feel and look different and are more or less robust. In general, a distinction is made between planners with an additional cover and organisers without a cover. Envelopes made of leather are classic, stylish and feel comfortable in the hand. Although leather is not a rigid material, it is still very robust. However, high-quality leather covers can be very expensive. As an alternative, cheaper imitation leather covers with similar properties are available. If you don't want a soft additional cover, look for a hard cover or a flexo cover. The advantage of hardcover diaries without an additional cover is that they can be opened 180° and thus lie flat when writing. Hard covers are also available with or without a leatherette cover. They are simple, robust and very slim. Flexo covers are not as firm as hard covers, but are still very robust and just as narrow. Flexo covers are also available with a leatherette cover.

Colour / Design

Whether simple and minimalist or colourful and unusual: You will find a suitable personal organizer for almost every taste. Both the cover and the interior are available in many different styles. If you are looking for a simple, practical and high-quality planner, we recommend a classic black or dark brown leather cover with clearly structured pages and overviews in a modern design. Faux leather covers and hardcovers are available in a wide range of colours and patterns. If you don't just want to use your planner to organise your appointments or find it hard to motivate yourself to plan, we recommend organisers with funny jokes, quotes or motivational sayings between the weekly views. And if you don't like a simple design or colourful patterns on and in your planner, you can easily create your own organiser with your own photos and a choice of many different patterns and designs to suit your personal preferences.

Dieter WunderlichExperte für Zeitmanagement
"Experience shows that the way the day starts is usually the way it ends. Fortunately, it is also the beginning of the day over which we have the most control. That's why I recommend developing a morning routine tailored to your individual needs. The goal is to start the day with maximum energy, confidence and focus. Your body needs, for example, a healthy breakfast and sufficient fluids, your mind perhaps 10 minutes of stimulating reading in an inspiring book or the examination of the question: "How do I want to be today and what do I want to do today so that the day is happy and successful for me?", combined with a glance at the day planner. And finally, your soul may be longing for the connection between the now and meaning. Perhaps the conscious perception of the smell of coffee or the fresh morning air or the first warming rays of sunshine or a grateful smile for your partner is enough for this. There are no limits to your creativity. Equipped with energy and direction, you can face each day positively and say to yourself: "Attention world: I'm coming!"

Time span

Even if it seems like it at first glance: calendars in the personal organizer do not always have to cover the period of a calendar year. The classic appointment calendar does go from January to December of a year, but there are alternatives:

If you are looking for an appointment planner for pupils or students, planners are available that allow you to plan from August to August, thus covering a school year or two semesters.

For students, calendars from October to March of the year after next are also interesting, as these offer the possibility of planning exactly three semesters of study in advance.

Number of pages

You should ask yourself whether you need more space in your organiser for ideas, notes or annotations or whether you prefer a compact and thus light organiser with only the most necessary pages. The number of pages is related to the time span of the organiser, basically you will obviously need more pages for an 18-month organiser than for a 12-month one. A common page count for a basic annual planner is around 150 to 200 pages. So if you don't want to jot down a lot of notes about your appointments, this should be enough space.

Page layout / organisation

Not only the number of pages, but also the page design is interesting for a personal purchase decision. Here in particular, there are great differences between the various planners. First of all, you should ask yourself which overviews you need. A yearly overview or an additional overview for the following year? A monthly overview for each month? Or are weekly overviews enough for you? Then consider how the individual weekly overviews are most practical for you. In most planners, a week is divided into two pages so that you have enough space for each day. There are also planners with double weekly views on two pages. This is especially helpful if you want to coordinate two diaries or if the planner is to be used by two people.

Did you know that we remember handwritten notes better? In a planner, you can also write down to-do lists by hand, which reduces the chance of forgetting your appointments and tasks. Planning can also improve productivity.

There are also differences in the weekly views. Either the individual days are listed in columns or arranged in blocks. Neither columns nor blocks give you more or less space. This decision depends only on your personal preference. Often the space for the weekends is less than that for the weekdays. However, if you want to plan your Saturdays and Sundays in as much detail as the rest of the week, for example, because you also work at weekends, weekly views with a lot of extra space per day are the more practical option. The individual days can also be designed differently: There are completely empty fields or fields with lines or boxes and possibly times, if you prefer a predefined structure. Depending on how extensively you want to use your planner, these additional pages can be very helpful. If you want to limit yourself to the most necessary, you will of course save on the number of pages and thus on weight and size.

Mechanics

As already mentioned above, the mechanics play a role in the size and weight of the planner. But other properties are also determined by the type of organiser. Planners with ring binder mechanics are bulkier and thicker than other forms of a book. In addition, the left-hand pages of right-handers or the right-hand pages of left-handers can often be rather awkward to write on. So be sure to read various customer reviews before buying a ring binder. The big advantage of the ring binder is that you can insert many external documents such as birthday calendars, address or contact sheets or pages for notes. This way, your planner only contains the pages you need. It is just as easy to insert and remove additional documents as it is to update the planner at the end of the year by simply buying a new calendar and inserting it. Although you cannot insert or remove individual pages in a planner with spring bars, it is possible to insert additional small notebooks. This mechanism also makes it possible to create a very flexible personal organizer. In contrast to ring binders, spring-loaded planners are very narrow, flat and handy. Organisers with thread stitching are also extremely flat and handy, but nothing additional can be stapled into them. With a spiral planner, there is no danger of being blocked when writing. As with bound planners, it is not possible to add external documents to the basic set. So you should decide for yourself whether it is more important for you to have a handy planner that takes up little space and opens flat, but cannot be updated or personalised, or a somewhat bulky planner that can, however, be easily and individually adapted year after year.

Closure technology

Especially in the case of planners with ring binder mechanics or spring rails and thus an additional cover, the closure technology is of greater importance. To prevent business cards or notes from falling out of the organiser, zips are particularly practical. But press studs also serve their purpose perfectly and ensure that your planner does not accidentally open in your pocket.

Many planners can only be closed with an elastic band. The elastic is simple and practical, but not as secure as a zip or snap.

Magnetic closures are elegant and quick, but not so good for you if you put a lot of notes or business cards in your planner and it might be too thick for the magnet, so it won't close properly.

Features / Extras

Many planners not only have weekly overviews and space for appointments. Many ring binders, spring binders and bound planners with an additional cover have extra pockets for business cards, notes or stickers. Organisers without a cover usually only have one large folding compartment. Other extras in many organizers are pen loops and all kinds of bookmarks. No matter which mechanism you choose, pen loops and ribbons make organisation easier and allow you to work quickly. If, despite all the extras, your planner is still lacking something, additional pages can be added to ring binder or spring track planners, as mentioned above. These must be purchased with the organiser. This free design of the planner means that it can always be kept up to date and adapted exactly to your needs.

Image source: unsplash.com / rawpixel

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