As much as I love technology, the easiest way for me to organize my daily and weekly tasks is with a paper planner. Although many people are loyal to a specific planner that meets their needs, I’m always looking out for something that’s just a little bit better than what I’m currently using. You could almost call it a hobby, but it would probably be more accurate to call it an obsession.
When I wrote Paper Planners: The Showdown nearly three years ago, I was quite taken with the functionality of the Planner Pad Organizer, due to its distinctive layout. I decided against ordering one, however, because it lacked visual appeal. Maybe it’s silly, but since my planner is open in front of me whenever I’m at my desk, I like something with a little color.
I was therefore pretty excited to receive an email from Bill Crosson, President of the Planner Pads Company, offering me a review copy of their colorful new version of the Planner Pad Organizer. I’ve been using it for three weeks, and so far I am delighted with it.
Here’s what I like about it:
- It’s pretty (see photos above)
- Each weekly spread has seven columns labelled Weekly Lists of Activities by Categories. I have one column for personal activities, one for my professional association, two for my business (one for admin and one for marketing), and three columns for client work (regular, project, and other). With this new Master List, I no longer need to use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of what I have to work on.
- Each day has separate sections for Daily Things-to-Do and Appointments. By looking at my scheduled appointments for any given day, I can estimate how much time I have to complete tasks from my Master List. I generally plan my activities at the beginning of each week, leaving time open for other important things that may crop up.
- Each week also includes a column for jotting down phone messages or other notes that don’t fit into the other sections, as well as a small monthly calendar for the current, previous, and following months.
- There’s also a full calendar for each month which is perfect for planning my blog posts.
- It’s well made, with a sturdy cover and coil binding.
- Along with my planner, I received a CD and printed material with guidelines and suggestions on how to use the Planner Pad.
In other words, it’s pretty well everything I’ve been looking for!
If I could change just one thing, it would be to make it slightly larger. At 5½” x 8 ”, it’s designed to be compact and portable, which is great if you carry your planner in your purse. Since mine rarely leaves my desk (I rely on the calendar in my iPhone when I’m out and about), I’d prefer a bit more writing space, but I guess it’s true – you can’t have everything!
Do you buy the same planner every year? What do you like most about it?