Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monthly pages in Trinote

As I wrote in Me and my Trinote, I love my Trinote.  But there is something important it's lacking: monthly pages.

I've gone back and forth on whether monthly pages are really necessary for me, and I've finally come to the determination that they absolutely are.  Thus began my quest to find a solution.

I have a Quo Vadis Monthly 4 planner and I really like its layout, so I decided to try to stick it inside the cover of the Trinote. Unfortunately the Monthly 4 was too fat to allow the Trinote's cover to close. So I went in search of another option.

I wondered if a Moleskine Monthly Notebook would work. I don't have one, but I do have Moleskine Cahier books in Extra Large and Large sizes, which have similar numbers of pages as the monthly notebooks.  I stuck the Extra Large into the Trinote, but the cover was too big to slide into the sleeve of the Trinote's cover.  And again the book was too fat.  So I tried the Large size, but it didn't fit snugly into the cover and I decided it wasn't worth it sliding around and potentially falling out of my book.

Ecosystem Life has monthly calendar inserts (although the 2011 versions are not out yet) that fit into the back pocket of their planners, which would be perfect.  But again size was an issue: from reading the measurements on their website it appears their Large size would be too large to fit, and their Medium size would give me the sliding around problem again.

Then I found what may be my solution:  On the Quo Vadis Trinote page there is a Monthly Calendar download available, so I downloaded it and printed it out.  It prints onto a Letter size page, but I trimmed the page down to just the size of the monthly calendar itself and it fits into the Trinote nearly perfectly with only a tiny bit of overhang.

I have the pages paperclipped onto the front page of my Trinote, and immediately I noticed some advantages:

1) First obvious advantage: it's free

2) Huge advantage: it's loose leaf, so I can rotate the months to always have the current month on top for easy access so I don't have to flip pages to view the current month.  When the month is done I rotate it to the back for reference, and the following months are under the current one for forward-planning.

3) Another huge advantage: if I mess up my page or my plans change radically, I can just print out a fresh page and start the month over again.

This is great!


  1. Another reason I love my Franklin. Monthly pages are an integral part of the system.

  2. Wow, I love this blog. This is the second time that I've found a post about the exact topic that I am thinking about!

    I also have a Trinote and a Monthly 4 calendar, and I also have been thinking about how they'd be just perfect --- if they were fused together in one book! I tried to combine them inside one Club cover a few weeks ago, but they didn’t fit. The widths didn’t match up, the cover wouldn’t close, and the first page of the Monthly 4 refill was very bumpy inside the cover and wouldn’t lie flat. So I was very disappointed and gave up on the idea.

    I haven’t stopped thinking about it though, and over the past few weeks, I have been trying to come up with a way to deal with the situation. Should I carry two different planners (plus my FF, which holds my master to-do lists and other important stuff)? Should I keep the two QV planners at home, and use them to regularly update my FF to carry with me? Should I carry just one of the QV planners --- but in that case, which one? Both formats are valuable to me. I even checked the sizing of different QV products, thinking that maybe I could find one that was just a little wider than the ones I have, then use that cover. Or, should I just give up on QV altogether (despite the fact that I much prefer their planner layouts, materials and capabilities) and return to using FF exclusively?

    Anyway, after reading this post, I was inspired to try ONE MORE TIME to fit the Trinote and the Monthly 4 inside the Trinote Club cover --- and I think it may just work! I'm not sure exactly what happened between now and a few weeks ago, but all of a sudden, the cover closes! The front (where the Monthly 4 is inserted) is still a little bumpy, but I'm wondering if that can be fixed by just folding down part of the front page. It’s not a perfect fit (I think the Monthly 4 is ever so slightly wider than the Trinote), but maybe it will work well enough.

    So now I have the two planners inside one Club cover --- the last page of the Trinote is inserted in the Club covers back flap, and the first page of the Monthly 4 is inserted in the Club covers front flap. I put the Monthly 4 Club cover over the two planners and the Trinote cover and I am holding them altogether with that QV bookmark with the ugly brown strap. I’m going to keep them closed (when not in use) for the next few days while I consider whether this will really work and if I really want to keep them this way. If I decide that I do, I’m going to have to find some way to bind the last page of the Monthly 4 and the first page of the Trinote refill so that they stay together and don’t flop around too much. If not, back to the drawing board!

  3. Thanks Christy, glad you're liking my blog!

    I had an idea that I haven't tried but I wonder if it would work: to cut the Monthly 4's cover a little bit, just trim off 1/2 inch or so of the cover that you are slotting into the Trinote's cover. This would allow the Monthly 4 to fit into the cover maybe a little easier without bumping. But, it may cause the Monthly 4's pages to stick out a little bit. Just an idea.

    My quest continues!

  4. I also have to customize my planner. I'm currently using a lined notebook as my planner (one of those cheapo metal double O- ring jobs you can find in any supermarket). I have to write in the date & print out a monthly calendar which I glue in the front(similar to the 2 pics above).

    I've tried several sites that offer free printable calendars to download. If someone else is looking, here's one in both pdf & Word doc formats that you can size to fit. I had to change the font size when I shrunk it down to fit my 5x8 notebook-- worked out fine.

    There are other sites that offer calendars in different layouts & with different graphics.

    I got tired of writing the date in every day so starting Jan '11 I'm switching to a large Moleskine Daily (about $15 on Amazon). I need the one-day-a-page format.

  5. Hi Laurie
    Have you tried using the scaling setting on your Printer, say 95% to adjust the size so that is fits perfectly?
    Just a thought....

  6. Thanks for the tip, Laurie!

    I am going to use my "Tri-thly 4" hybrid for a little while and see if it works out well. If it does, then I will probably end up cutting off part of the first page of the Monthly 4, fusing the two planners together, and making whatever other permanent changes I need to in order to get the best possible fit. I have a bit of a phobia of making permanent changes (such as cutting, gluing, etc.) before I am positive that I will not want to go back to the original version.

    LOL, that's why I am so glad to have found this blog (and other similar ones)! In real life, most people look at me like I have some sort of strange sickness if I even mention any of this stuff:)

  7. Christy, here's an update:

    I took the plunge and cut my Monthly 4's cover. I figure the planner expires at the end of next month anyway so if I didn't like the result I wouldn't have to live with it for long.

    First I trimmed only a little bit off, maybe less than 1/4 inch. But I still had the buckling problem so I took some more off, maybe totaling not quite 1/2 inch. The result is as I predicted: the cover fits nicely with no bending/ buckling, but the Monthly 4 pages hang out about 1/4 inch. Not enough to be an issue, really.

    But holy wow, the resulting "Tri-thly 4" book is thick! It is nice to have the huge month view and lots of notes pages in the Monthly 4 incorporated into the awesome weekly planning power of the Trinote. But I don't know if I want to carry this thing around with me!

    The saga continues...