This one's for the Japanophiles and notebook nerds: Hobonichi Techo planners are finally coming to an English speaker near you. (Pronounce it "tetch-oh" or look a fool.) These addictive planners are one part sketchbook, two parts calendar, three parts diary, and 100% obsessed over in Japan. They've got the good bits you can't leave out of a decent planner: multiple attractive calendar views for your yearly/monthly/daily/hourly calibration, gridded paper with plenty of room for notes or drawings, and a binding tough enough to take a year of questionable treatment. They also offer niceties like moon phases, space to write weekly goals, printed month tabs for easy navigation, customizable daily timeline, and vital information like international sizing and global tea types.
To get pumped, I recommend this interview with the Hobonichi Techo designer Shigesato Itoi, in Ping Magazine. They cover the un/importance of note taking, writing all over Nietzsche novels, picking up girls by sketching floor plans, intentionally unhelpful design, and channeling Obama's spirit at funerals. Clearly your life plans are in good hands.
In addition to the rote duties of day-planning and life-organizing, people use them for all manner of art and expression. This absurdly adorable video covers some of the creative capacities you didn't know you needed in a calendar:
Screw remembering assignments, buy one of these things and you'll be drawing food and cats like a pro in no time.