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  • Good Planner Covers/Accessories?

    Ok, I'm looking for a good planner cover, preferably loose-leaf (unless someone can tell me the benefits of wirebound that I'm not yet seeing)...
    Any good ones....I personally don't like zipper, but then again, I want it to be safe; what options do I have? Is there anything that has one side fully protected like this:
    http://day-planner.daytimer.com/Cove...1E8/False/4591
    (design doesn't matter, but leather, quality, and POSSIBLY day-timer if nobody can suggest a better brand is highly preferred)

    As for size, I want 8.5x11 and 2pgs/wk.... For ring size, I'm not really sure; I can really just throw away anything that no longer has relevance (that's where loose-leaf is useful). Also, I plan to take on many projects from May, so I'm wondering if the ring size should be larger or the same (in case I plan to move to 1 or pgs/day and should the paper size be smaller or am I worrying too much that it's too big.

    If it has a notepad holder great, but I'm not sure if I need that.

    Benefit of wire-bound, easy to store, but is this (storage) a major benefit that I'm not able to recognize yet?

    The greatest worry here is that I will have bought something that I do not like and I do plan to use my planner for several years (as many as possible) so I want to actually like it.

    Any accessories or other things I should consider when buying?
    I want a cheap one, but I also want a high-quality one and am willing to sacrifice price for quality. I don't plan to buy immediately, but whenever I can get a great deal on the one I'm looking for or must start using this system (when my organization is a critical process and can no longer be held off/when I assign myself several large projects which should start in May).

    Essentially, I want opinions of what other people have used and what planner works for them....a bunch of options I should consider, etc.

    I'll worry about the planner pages next because the sizes for the pages seem standard, so I shouldn't really have a problem with that. In terms of electronic organization, I will worry about that later.....but are there any other methods that are available (paper, electronic[phone+pda/computer], etc.)......

    Thanks for the help!
    Last edited by dextrone; 02-17-2009, 02:18 PM.

  • #2
    Not everything has to be theoretically perfect before you make a commitment. Just about everyone here has experimented with different formats and found that hands-on experience provides the most useful information. You might try getting a cheap binder in the size and ring size you think most likely to fit your needs, just for a trial period. Then upgrade the quality if it works well for you, or change the specs and do another trial.

    Comment


    • #3
      Planners

      After having researched on this site and others, I just setup my new Day-Timer planner. Last year I tried a 8.5x11 planner and found it too big. So, now I'm using a 5.5x8.5 and I like the size. Much more portable. My only complaint so far is printing and punching holes to fit a 7 ring 5.5x8.5 binder is a pain. Zipper, latch, etc are personal choice. I did read (not sure where) that with the zipper you get more room. In using the planner for about 2 weeks, I realize that I need some dividers to separate the sections (NextActions, WaitingFor, Meeting Notes, etc). Finally, I like technology, but find that paper & pencil for lists, notes, calendars allow greater flexibility, easier review and update, and best of no power cords, adapters, plugs, crashes, etc.

      And search online for e-coupons. I found a 20% coupon for Day-Timer online purchases.


      Good Luck,
      Mark.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Day Owl View Post
        Not everything has to be theoretically perfect before you make a commitment. Just about everyone here has experimented with different formats and found that hands-on experience provides the most useful information. You might try getting a cheap binder in the size and ring size you think most likely to fit your needs, just for a trial period. Then upgrade the quality if it works well for you, or change the specs and do another trial.
        I second that excellent advice. If you think 8.5 x 11 is the way to go, start now with a standard binder. Print calendar pages or just draw lines on pages. And don't wait until May. You will learn ton about your needs and work habits. Start now.

        Comment


        • #5
          So, I should just go with whatever I think would fit my needs....
          Hmm, that could work, I guess I'll have to explore....

          Comment


          • #6
            Time/Design

            I've had a lot of success using a Time/Design (now Time/System?) binder. Right now the actual binder I use is the basic vinyl version with 1" rings.

            I love the size and the Daily page format. It's got space for Appointments and Day-Specific Actions on the right and Day-Specific Information on the left. And, of course, the fold-over Activities Checklist forms are the key to making it work as a true GTD-style system. I use them for Projects, Waiting For, Someday/Maybe and Next Actions by Context. The other forms I use are just paper (lined & graph) and Notes.

            The size (A5) is not traditional to the US but I love it. A letter size (8.5 x 11) page folded nearly in half fits perfectly (with six holes punched on top). But a hole punch also allows other sizes to fit also -- DAC junior and loose leaf pages as well as junior legal pad pages.

            The monthly calendar with days by row is also a little unusual but something I've come to find very useful.

            It's my way of easily and quickly merging a lot of digital systems (home, work) all together.

            Works for me!

            - Mark

            http://www.timedesign.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mark Jantzen View Post
              I've had a lot of success using a Time/Design (now Time/System?) binder. Right now the actual binder I use is the basic vinyl version with 1" rings.
              Hey Mark,
              I'd love to here more about how you've setup and used your Time/Design system. I have the compact system, and also the mSystem which is the 7hole 5.5 x 8.5 version of Time/Design (I have been needlessly switching between them - I know, I need to pick and stick with one size). There are very few websites that mention this system at all, and I'd like to get some more real world usage ideas. Do you have any pictures up on the web somewhere of your setup? You mention you use the foldover action sheet for contexts, how many contexts do you have and do you use one sheet for each? Thanks!

              Comment


              • #8
                My System

                Sorry I don't have any photos ... but it's on Someday/Maybe.

                My goal with GTD is to implement it mostly/strictly by the book. I like that "hard edge".

                Here's my structure:
                (Time/System dividers)

                Activities tab (Activities Checklists)
                - Projects
                - Waiting For
                - Someday/Maybe

                Overview
                - Monthly calendar pages (3)
                - My hockey schedules (email printout)

                Daily/Weekly Plans
                - Anywhere (Activities Checklists)
                - Calls
                - Computer
                - Computer - Fidelity (my firm)
                - Errands
                - Home
                - Office
                - Daily Pages (this week, next two)

                (note: on my next actions list I fold over by context rather than fold everything over the daily pages - e.g. three Home pages right now folded over together)

                Databank
                - Notes & IN (lined paper)
                - Action Support (lots of different size pages)
                - Agendas (Notes form)
                - Might Buy (lined paper)

                (my Databank section organization is still in progress)

                I use other digital tools for more permanent things like contacts (Address Book) and higher level horizon lists (Mind Manager).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Page *sizes* are standard, but ring/hole patterns are *not*. Franklin/Covey pages will not fit DayTimer binders, and vice versa. You can use the DIY Planner templates and punch your own holes, but that's kind of a pain in the neck. I think DayRunner pages fit both hole patterns, but I've only tried them with DayTimer rings.

                  The big advantage of wirebound is that it's more compact. The notebook is essentially the size of the pages, without extra space tacked on for rings. Another advantage is that it's more company-independent. You should be able to slip a wirebound notebook into almost any pad holder, without worrying about size/hole compatibility. The disadvantage is that it's not as expandable.

                  You probably shouldn't wait until May to start getting your organizing system set up. You'll want to have it in place and be comfortable with it before you add stress to the system. Flexibility and customizability are among the biggest advantages of paper: there's no reason not to tweak until it's exactly right.

                  For me, ring sizes larger than 1" are uncomfortably bulky. To keep bulk down, I've found it useful to keep my calendar and lists in separate binders, but that's probably not a good option if you need to be mobile.

                  The best quality binder/organizer/notebooks I've found are from Levenger. They are far from cheap, but quality is very good. The downside is that their stuff centers on Circa binders, for which there are not many other suppliers. Don't go with their binders unless you like their pages. (Although check out their pad holders if you have a wirebound system.)

                  I agree with the people suggesting that you start with a less expensive binder and upgrade if desired. The system that looks great in the catalog can be a disaster once you start using it, sometimes for a reason that you would think would be completely trivial. The only way to know what's really going to work is to use it.

                  FWIW, my system uses 8.5x5.5 DayTimer calendar pages, in both 2-page per week and 2-page per day formats. These are stored in a DayTimer ring binder. Next action, project, and other lists are in a separate Circa notebook, also 8.5x5.5. That's a recent change: I had been using a Moleskine notebook for lists, but after a while I got too annoyed with the inability to tear out used pages and went back to loose leaf.

                  Hope this helps,

                  Katherine
                  Last edited by kewms; 02-27-2009, 05:57 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kewms View Post
                    FWIW, my system uses 8.5x5.5 DayTimer calendar pages, in both 2-page per week and 2-page per day formats.
                    Katherine
                    Katherine, I'm intrigued by this adaptation and would like to know more about how you implement it. I too prefer DayTimer and have gone back and forth between 2-page per week and 2-page per day formats. With either, I use the 2-page per month calendar tabs, putting timed appointments on the calendar forms and repeating them on whichever other form I am using that year, along with other details for the week or day. (I inherited this method from an in-house training many years ago, and I still find that it works well.)

                    But with the setup you describe here, do you double-post everything so nothing gets lost? Isn't that cumbersome? What advantages do you gain by having both types of pages?
                    Last edited by Day Owl; 02-28-2009, 06:12 AM. Reason: clarity

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Day Owl View Post
                      But with the setup you describe here, do you double-post everything so nothing gets lost? Isn't that cumbersome? What advantages do you gain by having both types of pages?
                      Basically, I use the weekly pages for planning, and the daily pages for logging. For planning I need to see an expanse of days, for logging I need more room.

                      Since I don't usually have many appointments, the double posting question doesn't come up often. When I have more appointment details than will fit in the weekly section, I just put a note there (Interview client re: annual report 8-10AM) with the full details on the daily pages. To keep bulk down, I only carry the daily pages for the current month.

                      Hope this helps,

                      Katherine

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kewms View Post
                        For planning I need to see an expanse of days, for logging I need more room.
                        Katherine
                        Yes, exactly. The week is a good planning unit, but logging requires more space than the weekly format allows. People here often seem to get stuck on that very issue (as with size of planner). Thanks for clarifying; I may give your adaptation a try.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=kewms;64757]

                          Page *sizes* are standard, but ring/hole patterns are *not*. Franklin/Covey pages will not fit DayTimer binders, and vice versa.


                          Unless Daytimer changed something within the past year or so the pages were interchangeable. I have a Daytimer punch that I punch blank sheets in for my Franklin binder.

                          Back to the Week and Daily calendars, this is the planning system that I am also using. I have began experimenting with a separate notebook for lists since the beginning of this year. Still tweaking. Maybe I need a loose-leaf type notebook. Thanks!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Speaking of the ring/hole situation, I got my classic/desk size binder with 3 rings just to avoid exactly that situation. I can fit any of the sheets they offer. I'll mix and match based on look, functionality, and price. I can't answer to where it's from, since I didn't buy it myself, but I'll definitely attest to the 3-ring feature.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cctraderx View Post
                              Unless Daytimer changed something within the past year or so the pages were interchangeable. I have a Daytimer punch that I punch blank sheets in for my Franklin binder.
                              I stand corrected. I just checked online, and they are indeed the same.

                              My information came from a Franklin/Covey salesperson. Clearly I should have checked for myself.

                              Katherine

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