Even people who don't use a planner often have a simple monthly calendar for keeping track of appointments and events.
In my planner, the monthly area is guarded carefully so that tasks almost never end up there. As a result, it gives a great overview of my actual schedule.
Monthly Spread Tips (clockwise from upper left corner)
*There isn't a lot of room, so write times as simply as possible.
*Sometimes, a task is particularly time-consuming and worth scheduling. Those entries should be rare, but grocery shopping is definitely one of those in my planner.
*When there is a month-long plan (like my blog plan), track it on the monthly page.
*Use a question mark for uncertain events. Otherwise, you won't consider those when scheduling something else.
*Mark out undated squares completely.
*Key due dates that affect the schedule go on monthlies. For example, my time sheets are due every two weeks. Since they dictate the days that I work or don't work, TS goes on my monthlies.
*Use a bar to cover several dates with travel or one event.
*Include locations of events, where necessary.
*The monthlies are the best place to track workouts or billable hours that count toward a monthly goal.
*Circle repeating events so you know to recopy them once the event passes.
I'd love to hear how you use your monthly spreads, especially if you do things differently than I do!