Product Review: “Seasons” Organizer by Planner Pads

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“Seasons” Organizer by the Planner Pads Company

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.
  • Planner Pads Stressed Businesswoman Banner

  • 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?

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Gravatar mystery man

A former professional organizer, I'm now a Website Design and Care Specialist. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years! When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

6 Comments

  1. Avatar Marie-Renée Buczkowski on July 24, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Janet,

    Thank you for the review, I found it useful.

    I’m using Blueline Planifi-Action for some years (mine is in French but there is an English version as well).
    I suspect that I feel much more confident with a big planner, with lots of space to write down. I’m a virtual assistant, but I have to admit that I’m stuck with pen and paper. I love to write by hand. I even like the smell of ink and paper, so I guess I will never be able to use only the electronic calendar.

    To my surprise, I found out that I don’t write much information inside my big planner… Hum, I guess your post made me reconsider my need for a huge planner. (It’s almost like a 11×17 when it’s open). I may have a look to your compact and portable version!
    What I like about it is to see one week on a spread page and a full month calendar for each month, at the beginning of the month.
    The Telephone & Address Book is useless, thought. Every contact is in Outlook now. Who will copy all the information from one year to another?

    Well, keep on the good work. I hope you’ll find the perfect tool someday. And if you do, please share!

    MR

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on July 25, 2012 at 6:49 am

      Thanks for telling us about your planner, Marie-Renée! I totally agree with you about the address book. Even someone who doesn’t store their contacts electronically (as unlikely as that sounds), a small separate address book that can be replaced on as needed basis instead of every year is much more practical.

  2. Avatar Jennif Kubilis on July 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Hi Janet

    Wonderful review. Years ago when I worked at the clients office I carried a paper appt book, very functional. One pager per day to hold appts and notes/stuff.

    Now I work from my office and I use a program called The Journal. I track appts and daily to-do stuff in the daily calendar. It also has notebooks that I use for tracking client information.

    I still buy a yearly desk pad calendar but its used mostly as a scribbler these days. I don’t even think its on the correct month…lol.

    Jenn
    Bookkeeping Solutions
    jkbs.ca

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on July 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      That sounds like a really great program, Jenn. I’m surprised I’ve never heard of it before!

  3. Linda Linda on July 30, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Janet:

    I have been using Planner Pad for 7 years now and love it. I recommend it to all of my clients. The season planner is a great idea for those who want something “pretty”.

    I will always use a paper planner. The Washington Post interviewed me about 6 months ago and we found out that a lot of people will continue to use a paper calendar – mostly for fear of losing their technology. It can be a risk to keep “everything” in just one place.

    Linda

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on July 31, 2012 at 6:37 am

      I’m afraid I have to disagree with you on that point, Linda. My electronic calendar (which is used for some things, just not planning) is regularly synchronized between my laptop and my iPhone, and my laptop is backed up daily, so I’m not afraid of losing that data. On the other hand, I actually did lose my Day-Timer several years ago. I was lucky because it was the very start of the new year, and I’d kept the previous year’s, so I didn’t really lose my calendar or address book, but I did lose a list of books I wanted to read, business ideas, and a lot of other information I have never been able to recover.

      However, like you, I’m pretty sure I’ll always use a paper planner. I tried going 100% electronic for two or three years, but I’ve never found a system that’s as user-friendly as a weekly planner.

      Thanks for stopping by – I hope to see you hear again!

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