I have long used a desk blotter type calendar to keep track of my schedule. I tried lots of different ways before I decided upon my current system. I put the calendar on the wall in my kitchen with a little bucket of Sharpies next to it. Every morning I look at the calendar and take note of what I have to do that day. I write appointments, lists, and reminders on it.
If it's not on the calendar, it's not happening. And if Alex and I both have things we want to do on the same night, it is almost always the person who writes it down first on the calendar who gets to do what she (you know, or he) wants to do.
The biggest problem with this system is that it is not portable. Because I don't have my calendar with me, it is difficult to make commitments when I am out. I've tried to find a portable solution that I like for a long time. I think I have finally found one with the BusyBodyBook.
This book works for me for several reasons. The reasons are simple, but they work. First of all, it has a plastic cover and is spiral bound. I like spiral bound books, and the plastic cover keeps the paper from ripping out or getting damaged.
But the best thing is that there are multiple columns for each day on the page. These are meant to be used to keep track of the schedules of multiple family members. I use them to keep track of different parts of my own schedule. I have a column for my appointments and commitments. One of the columns is for menu plans and another is for workout goals. (Those two columns are often blank. Cut me some slack; I'm working on it.) Lists for quick shopping trips, or things that absolutely have to happen that day go in another column.
Each two-page spread includes the calendar page on one side and an entire page for lists and notes on the other side. It's a perfect place to put to-do lists for the week, or shopping lists, or reminders for things you need to do. It also gives you space to staple itineraries, directions, and more right in the book. And because the book is slightly larger than an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper folded in half, it's easy to put those things in. There are also pockets at the front and back to hold things.
The only thing I think I would recommend on the BusyBodyBook is that the company perforate the top corner of each page so the user could rip the corner off, making it easy to find the current week. I currently have to cut the corners off each week.
The BusyBodyBook retails for $17.95, but you can find current year versions on sale at their website. The Staples desk calendar is $5.29.