Friday, July 31, 2015

Those of you who have your own business and use a paper planner, please read!

A friend of mine recently started his own company and was advised by his lawyer to use a paper planner for records and documentation. He knows I'm a planner person so he asked me for advice. I've never been in this situation before so I thought I'd ask experienced folks what they use.

I'm thinking for legal documentation and records purposes he'll need an archival quality book, meaning bound with acid-free pages. He is a techy guy so he probably won't use it as his actual planner, more for documenting phone calls, meetings, decisions etc. He won't want anything too complicated.

What do you use for your business/ self-owned company for documentation and records? Please post a comment with any suggestions. Thank you, your input is much appreciated!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

So that new planner you thought would make your life perfect...didn't. Here's what to do next.

It's happened to all of us planner people at some point, myself especially. You thought that new planner was going to make your life absolutely awesome. Maybe you fell for the hype of the latest planner fad. Maybe you got sucked in by users' testimonials. Maybe you wanted it because it was Just So Pretty! Maybe you needed a change and this one looked like it would do the trick.

Whatever your reasons for trying a new planner, you were disappointed when you finally had it in your hands or had been using it for a little while. It didn't make your life as effortless, organized, or awesome as you expected it to. What now?

First of all, do a reality check. It's easy to get excited about a new planner, but it's less exciting when your planner is full of reminders for work, carpooling, giving your pet their flea prevention, and all the daily details of our routines. Yes a fun planner can make planning more fun, but the reality is it won't make our actual work more fun. If that's what you were expecting, give yourself a healthy dose of reality and move on.

Maybe you really thought the planner would work for you in your circumstances. You saw the how-tos on their website. You read customer testimonials. You joined the Facebook group. You stalked Pinterest and blog reviews. When the planner finally arrived, you were rarin' to go.

But then...deflation at the realization it was a Planner Fail. Been there done that, my friend. Like about a billion times. Here's what to do next:

My Find Your Perfect Planner page has links to lots of posts I've written on how to, uh, find your perfect planner. That's assuming your Perfect Planner is out there. Maybe it's not. Maybe you can create your Perfect Planner. Maybe not. Maybe you don't have the time or energy to create it yourself. Maybe you can't visualize what your perfect planner would look like. That's completely okay.

First of all, keep an open mind about what you think your planner should be. Don't jump into the latest fad just because everyone else seems to be loving it. Unless you have an unlimited planner budget (who does?) and all the time in the world to fart around with your planners (again, who does?), try to be more selective with your planner choices. Focus on formats and functionality first, and aesthetics second.

This is my favorite post for walking you through planner choices: Planner Quagmire. It asks you questions about what you really need and want from your planner. There are links to other posts to help you through the process to determine how complicated or simple you need your planner to be, what you want it to look like, etc.

So there's a start to help you find a planner that will actually work for you. And remember, resist the hype!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

It's Different Every Day 2016 calendar

Here is a calendar I highly recommend: the It's Different Every Day calendar, which is currently on Kickstarter for its 2016 version. I have the 2015 one this year and it is great: fun and interesting facts, little stories, drawing, games and puzzles, etc. I love that every time you tear off the page you never know what's coming up next. My kids (age 8 and 10) love it too.

Check out their Kickstarter page here to order yours for 2016! It's fun, interesting, and Different Every Day!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Offline in July

Hi everyone, I will be offline for most of this month while I travel to visit family. Just wanted to let you know in case you're waiting for a reply! I'll get back to you in early August when I'm back.

Have a great July!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

No Plannerisms planners for 2016

Hi everybody, I know many of you are looking for next year's planners, and I wanted to let you know there will be no Plannerisms planners for 2016.

I ended the partnership with my publisher and am currently looking for a new one. It's too late to print 2016's but I'm hopeful for 2017's. I'll let you know when I have any news.

In the meantime, I'm very sorry to disappoint anyone who was looking for 2016 Plannerisms planners. I hugely appreciate the support from everyone for the past three years and I hope to get the product back in your hands next year.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

17 and 18 month planners

I'm a big fan of planners that start in July or August and go all the way through to the end of the following year. With both kids in school, our household functions on the academic year and I like to be able to plan their entire school year in one book.

Some people are fussed about the "wasted" 5 or 6 months in 17 and 18 month planners. I'm not, because those pages aren't wasted. I start the planner at the beginning, and I use those last 6 months to plan my summer and into the next school year. When I get my new planner, I transfer that info into my new planner. This also keeps me from having to carry around two planners at the end of the academic year.

I wish there were more options in 17 and 18 month planners. There are quite a few but they can be harder to find than 12 or 13 month academic year planners (which I posted about recently here.)

Here are the 17 and 18 month planners I know about. Please post a comment if you know of other ones!

The 18 month Moleskine weekly notebook is always very popular. It is available in pocket, large and extra large sizes. They are easy to find everywhere.

Paperblanks makes beautiful 18 month planners with vertical weekly formats.

Organised Mum makes a couple of different 17 month planners: traditional horizontal weekly, and family weekly grid. The new ones come out at the end of June or beginning of July. You can see my review of the Family Life Book from last year. We've been using it as our family calendar all year and it's been great, I'm definitely getting another one for next year.

One I've never tried is the Amy Knapp family organizer. I like the week + notes layout and that it has month grid calendars.

A quick search shows that Poppin has 18 month planners this year, they look nice.

Here's one that looks good: The 18 month Runwell planner by Shinola. Has anyone tried this one?

Gallery leather has 18 month planners now, they look great. Too bad they don't have monthly calendars or I would probably spring for one.

Leuchtturm makes an 18 month planner but it goes from the beginning of September through to February. Our school year starts in August so this doesn't work for me. (February? Why?)

MyAgenda/ MomAgenda makes 17 month planners (Aug-Dec). I've never tried them but they look nice.

Of course there are the Erin Condren planners, which are big and colorful but be warned, the prices range from shockingly high to ridiculously high.

What have I missed? What other 17 or 18 month planners are out there?

Saturday, May 30, 2015

How to choose a planner for a new upcoming situation

I've been seeing online a lot of people who are about to go through a transition and are looking for advice on which planner to choose. This is actually a big challenge: finding a planner that will work for you in a situation you haven't experienced yet. It's hard to know what you will need before you're there. But those of us who like planners and planning want to have a system set up before we start, so we don't have to spend the first week(s) in our new situation with the added stress of having to figure out our planner setup.

Maybe you are starting grad school or a new job. Maybe you are having a baby, or going from kids at home to kids at school. Maybe (like me) your kids are getting older are starting new activities along with ramped up homework and school trips. Maybe you are moving internationally. (If you are, feel free to contact me, I've moved internationally a bajillion times and know the drill.)

Whatever your new upcoming situation, here's how to figure out a planner that will work for you.

Option 1: Choose a planner that has worked for you in the past:

Even if you haven't been in the same situation before, you might try a planner that worked well for you in similar circumstances. For example, if you had a really busy time in the past and are about to be really busy again, use the same planner you used then.

The year I was really busy working full time, taking graduate classes, applying to graduate schools and getting ready to move, I used a Septanote academic year planner. Years later when I moved internationally with my family, I used a Trinote (which has the same format January-December). That format (vertical days with space for lists) worked well for me during busy, transitional times.

Option 2: Use a planner that works for other people in the same situation:

In my online research on Uncalendar planners I discovered several nursing student message boards asking which planner works well during busy, pulled-in-all-directions nursing school. Over and over again people recommended the full size Uncalendar. Search online and ask people who do what you are about to do what works for them.You might even find planners designed specifically for that situation or profession.

Option 3: Experiment:

Experimentation doesn't have to mean the expense of buying and trying lots of different planners. The only thing that matters right now is page layout and size. Focus on those. Covers, accessories, everything else can wait.

Start with the page size you will need (or think you will need) and draw up or print a page layout in that size. Do you like the look of a particular planner's page layout? Draw up a few weeks' worth to try out and see if it will work for you. You can do this with a few different types and use them sequentially (or even simultaneously if you can keep them synched) to figure out what might work well for you.

Once you have figured out the format of pages you need, then you can figure out what type of book will hold them. Below is a summary of your dilemma. You need a balance of flexibility and portability. 

Bulky and heavy--------------------------------------------------------------------Lighter/ more portable
Ring binder (Filofax etc.)       Travelers' Notebook (booklets in cover)          Bound book

Flexible use-----------------------------------------------------------------------------More rigid use
Ring binder (Filofax etc.)       Travelers' Notebook (booklets in cover)          Bound book

Be open minded. You might need to try something you've never considered before.  And in the end, you won't really know what will work until you are in the situation and living your new life. If you get rolling and discover the planner you're using isn't working, give yourself permission to try something else.

Have you been in this situation before? How did your figure out your planner setup?