Ask Lifehacker: Is There A Software Equivalent To A Wall Planner?

Ask Lifehacker: Is There A Software Equivalent To A Wall Planner?

Dear Lifehacker, It’s that time of year again, and I’ve got to say I just can’t find any software tools that replace a full size wall planner. Maybe it’s just a size thing, and there’s too much information to fit on a single screen? Does anyone know of a good (affordable) solution that lets me view and edit a whole year of appointments on screen?

A couple of years ago I came up with an ‘almost’ solution – I took a photo of my wall planner and used it as wallpaper on my laptop. A bit awkward for adding new appointments though. Thanks, Phil C

Dear Phil,

A plunge through the Lifehacker archives doesn’t show up any software that specifically replaces the functionality of a yearly planner by providing a full-year view on a single screen. If there’s a good standalone option out there, I’m sure readers will let us know.

Fundamentally, I think you’ve already answered your own question. Even with the mega-sized monitors many of us sport these days, fitting an entire year on the screen would be pretty difficult. Most calendar software maxes out at offering a month at a time — that’s what happens with Google Calendar (sand the Labs add-in) and Outlook. Google Calendar will let you see a whole year on-screen if you enable the Year View option in Labs, but you can’t see any meaningful detail about individual appointments at that scale, or even click through to days with activities booked. Project management software offers more complex views as well, but that’s a cumbersome and possibly expensive solution for basic calendar tasks.

I tend to think that a wall planner is better for planning large blocks of time than for specific appointments. Once you’ve got to fit half-a-dozen appointments into a day plus reminders, the wall planner becomes entirely useless, while an on-screen calendar shines. A wall planner view is also a total no-go on a mobile phone. Of course, that doesn’t mean they can’t be useful — it’s just one of those cases where you have to trade off the convenience of sync for the convenience of a year-long view.



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