Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Post on Planners, Part One

I decided to begin keeping a planner again in 2010.  In previous years, all I had was a to-do list, which I kept in a small Mead notebook and transferred to a fresh page whenever it became too messy to read.  In addition to this notebook, I had a small pocket calendar to keep track of important dates.  This year, in an attempt to be more organized and to get more things done, I decided to go back to using a planner.  Actually, two planners.

My first planner is a 3 3/4" x 6 3/4" 6-ring Buxton planner with a black vinyl cover, a snap closure, and a pen loop.  I bought it at a secondhand store.  It already contained many blank undated planner pages, and I also added some other pages from a previous planner (which was also purchased used).  This planner also has pockets on the inside front and back covers and slots for business cards.  A previous owner cut a slit in the inside back cover so that a notepad could be slipped inside.  I have added a couple "Today" markers and some plastic pockets.  A black 0.5mm Pilot G-2 has found a home in the pen loop.

This is the planner that I use for school, for keeping track of assignments, due dates, and upcoming exams.  I also use it to jot down ideas for blog posts and other things that I need to do or to buy.  This planner is with me throughout the day, staying open on my desk when I am at home and travelling with me to class.  It has several sections, including the following:
  • Monthly - I use to keep track of important dates, such as dates of exams, due dates of major assignments, field trips, and birthdays.
  • Weekly - for things that need to be done on a specific day, such as minor assignments, quizzes, reminders to bring a certain item with me to class or to lab, and more detailed descriptions of the items entered in the Monthly section.
  • Today - this is meant to be used for appointments, but I usually don't have any appointments so I use it as a general to-do list and place for random thoughts and ideas.  Every morning, I transfer the relevant contents of the previous day to today.
  • Projects - this is a section I currently don't have a use for, but I may try using it in the future.
  • Finances/Expenses - I have been trying to use this section (mainly because I don't want to waste the paper), but I am more accustomed to organizing this information on the computer.
  • Notes - any other random jottings, especially ones that I may want to refer back to often (such as lists of pens I want to buy).
  • Addresses - again, I don't have much use for this section; I am an introvert so I only have a few addresses entered.
This planner is not ideal.  I probably don't need both weekly and monthly pages, and some sections are hardly used at all.  Furthermore, it is in an awkward size and style (6 rings) that makes adding custom pages more difficult.  On the positive side, it is small and portable, and has a snap closure so it doesn't come open in my backpack.

Tomorrow, we'll take a look at my personal planner that uses pages from D*I*Y Planner.  Until then, what sort of planner are you using this year, and why?


  1. I used to have a planner like this and it kind of worked. It was a Filofax, I still have it somewhere, and I've added all kinds of things like maps and pockets etc. The thing is it was way too bulky to carry around. Do I have a planner? In various locations in my head, and scraps of paper lying around on my desk.

  2. I am currently using a Day Runner, by Franklin Covey. It's too big to carry all the time or fit in my purse(s). I like all the room it has...but, I will be downsizing to a more compact one. It's a Winnie the Pooh Day Planner, that I bought 18-20 years ago. I can carry it everywhere and put in my purse(s). I made a cute charm for it & it is pretty well stuffed! LOL. I just have to get used to writing in a small space again (monthly & weekly calendars).


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