At this moment, there’s a better than even chance that this is just one of a dozen browser tabs you have open along with your email client, maybe a budgeting spreadsheet, and probably your social media manager. You’re also likely to be getting texts periodically, and receiving alerts from your calendar. It’s overwhelming, and the truth is that human beings have a saturation point when it comes to technology. Too much and we become inured to it, practically ignoring it. Which is why, rather than another screen to keep yourself organized, you should consider an EDC planner.
The idea might seem archaic, but scientifically speaking it has been shown that writing something by hand stimulates your brain in a totally different way than texting or typing. You have to think more and work harder, making it much more likely that you’re going to remember it. In addition to helping your memory, with a planner you have a schedule that won’t run out of batteries or shatter when it hits the pavement, making it the best for the tough world of everyday carry. When you’re ready to go low-tech, choosing one of the best EDC planners for 2016 will save you from the machines.
Cambridge Business Planner
Pro: Allows for titling of pages
Con: Ink tends to bleed through paper
Young Professional: Made for the college graduate who has just started their first job in a serious office, Cambridge has crafted a simple planner that is done in timeless black. The look is all business, and the inside is meant to be filled with ideas, ventures, investments, and all the data a budding mogul will need. Each page offers ample writing space for the loopy scrawler or the avid completionist who takes down every meeting point. You can set the dates yourself, making this usable daily, weekly, or monthly, for more flexibility. It’s a little large for pocket carry, but cheap enough that you can just put it on your home desk or in your office and refer to it while keeping a basic notebook for jotting down thoughts and appointments out in the world.
Standard Memorandum Notebook
Pro: Doesn’t carry needless information
Con: Cramped writing space
Old As Time: Around the 1900’s this was everyone’s smartphone, calendar, data planner, and notepad. It’s cut slim for fitting into your back pocket and being taken everywhere. This slender frame increases portability, but it won’t allow you to write more than a couple of lines per day, and even those are going to be crowded. Good for those who can take concise notes or anyone who uses a larger supplementary planner (such as the Cambridge listed above), it’s also handy for chronicling your life or basic journaling on the go. Choose from their selection of leather covers if you plan on sticking with this for the future, if you work and play especially hard, or if you just want a better look to the already minimalist design by Jon Contino in conjunction with Word.Notebooks.
Moleskine Weekly Notebook
Pro: Daily, weekly, and monthly planning options
Con: Weekend planning areas are heavily cropped
Bag Buddy: About the size of your standard tablet, Moleskine has perfected the simple art of the notebook planner. On the left hand side of each page is a snapshot of the week with a full ruled page on the right for all your notions and notations. There’s a monthly calendar for long-term planning, and everything strives to offer both a fast-and-dirty way of scheduling and scribbling things down, as well as an extended format for those who have a lot going on, or who tend to make meticulous notes. A classy strap holds the notebook closed, a fabric marker keeps track of your day, and in the cover is a little document pocket that’s oddly the perfect size for a second, smaller planner or notebook.
Field Notes Shop Planner
Pro: Strong chipboard cover
Con: Limited run
Steno Hybrid: Field Notes always produces quality materials with a no-nonsense methodology. Previously they released an “Ambition” set of notebooks that included a weekly planner. This is that planner pumped up and ready to stand on its own. It uses a dual-ring design to help it lay flat and not spring up or catch like standard spiral binders. At 4-3/4 by 7-½ inches in size, it’s a little bigger than normal, but that space is used to increase the writing area so that you can add more information, or your next million-dollar-plan, along with trips to the dentist and visits to your secret eskimo family. Meant to survive in a shop environment, this can take a beating and keep coming back.
Leuchtturm1917 Black Week Calendar
Pro: German construction and engineering
Con: Lots of small boxes
OCD Assistant: Many of the EDC planners we found increased their girth to give people more room to write all their thoughts and feelings, or perhaps do sketches of unicorns. Not the organized people at Leuchtturm1917. They have project grids for planning timelines, lots of little boxes for appointments, and we’ve counted a half-dozen ways in which they’ve found new strategies for recording all the things you need to get done. You can get a 3-year overview, just in case a 5-year plan wasn’t specific enough, and for note-taking there’s detachable pages that let you put down your daydreams while not interfering with your hard-and-fast plans for the future.
Pro: Fountain pen friendly
Con: Relies on user for most organization
All-Inclusive: The Japanese have a reputation for efficiency, and the Hobonichi shows exactly how they do it. It’s got everything you could possibly want in a planner: Good looks, lots of space, a grid for your own personalization, places for notes, places for appointments, and the capacity to personalize. Each page bears a full day on it, so if you’re a heavy note-taker, this will save your life and prevent your poor hands from needing to crunch down and write in a small space. It lays flat for easy writing on both sides, and can still fit into large pockets or bags without sucking up space. Sketch, draw, notate, measure, and graph; if MS Office can do it, you can do the dirt-world version with the Hobonichi Planner.
Rite In The Rain Field Planner
Pro: Cordura cover
Con: Does not include planner insert
Tactical Trademark: Just because you’re not at home or in the office doesn’t mean that things aren’t still happening. Anyone who spends a portion of their time in the wild – be they natural scientist, hunter, outdoor nudist colony event planner, or just a person who camps – needs a solid planner for their ideas, but also a way to protect it from the elements. That’s where this planner cover from Rite in the Rain comes in. They rewrote the book on tough notebooks, and this is no exception. Able to handle extreme temperatures, wind, water, and everything else nature throws at you, if your life requires a tactical pen, get it a tactical planner to go with it.