Thursday, July 7, 2011

Choosing Your Planner, Part 3: Types of Weekly Planners

In this post I will focus on formats of weekly planners, since weeklies are the most popular planner style.

There are lots of different formats of weekly planners. In this post I will give examples of the most popular weekly planner types, and I'll discuss uses for each.

The Horizontal Weekly format is the most basic weekly format. It has the day spaces across the page with Monday through Wednesday or Thursday on the left page, and the rest of the week on the right page. These formats sometimes have a space for notes on the weekly page to add symmetry to the layout.  The horizontal format is the most popular weekly format in the US, and nearly every planner brand has a version of it. Below is the Plan-It Planner's horizontal weekly format. (Plan-It planners also have monthly calendars embedded between the weeks.)

(Click here to see my review of the Plan-It planners.)

Below is the Paperblanks weekly planner, with an extra space under Sunday:

(Click here to see my review of Paperblanks planners.)

The Vertical Weekly format has days as columns, which is useful for seeing your day chronologically down the column. Some planners have timed columns, some lined without times, and some blank.  Vertical columns are especially useful for planning how long activities will take, seeing how much time you have between events, or for blocking out periods of time. Another useful feature of days as vertical columns is that undone tasks can be arrowed over to the next day without re-writing.  Below is the Moleskine vertical weekly format (see my review here):

Below is the Success Planner's vertical weekly format (click photo to enlarge image). I'll review the Success Planners next week. Be sure to see Rori's excellent review of it here.

The Week + Notes format is great because it allows lists and notes to be written alongside the weekly schedule. This lets you see what you need to do (on your lists) and when you have time to do it (in your schedule).

Week + notes planners can combine notes and lists with either a horizontal or vertical daily format.

Examples of week + notes horizontal are the Moleskine weekly notebook:
(Click here for my review of the 2011-2012 Moleskine weekly notebook.)

And the Ecosystem weekly (see my review here):

Examples of the week + notes vertical are the Quo Vadis Trinote:
(Click here to see my posts about the Trinote.)

And the WeekDate planner:
(Click here to see my review of the WeekDate planner.)
The vertical week + notes format works best for me and that's how I designed my Plannerisms Going Places Planner:

Uncalendar planners have week + notes planners with mixed formats. The Full Size Uncalendar has columns for weekdays and blocks for weekend days (click here for my review):

The Half Size Uncalendar has side by side blocks for the days (see my review here):

These are only the most popular formats of weekly planners. There are other formats available but they may be harder to find. One example of an alternative weekly format is the Redstar Ink planner, click to see the page layout in their academic year and undated planner.

Do you use a weekly planner? Which format do you prefer?


  1. Thank you for the link :D
    I still really love the look of the Trinote...SO. DARN. TEMPTED.

  2. Yay for the Tri-Note... aka QV Timer range for Filofax....

  3. @Rori - I'm ALWAYS tempted whenever Laurie posts something about the TriNote. It's like the Loch Ness Monster in my parts, though, as I've never been able to find one. And when I've tried to order online, I'm shut out because it's when they've been sold out for the year.

  4. Hi,

    I was looking some advice, I like the idea of a weekly planner, i need to see the whole week at once to allow for forward planning, but I also would like a monthly overview at the start of the month to mark important appointments and I would also like lots of space, to track meal planning and it be relevant to each day, I would also like to keep track of my spending in it and appointments.

    i know this is a lot to ask of a planner as i would preferably like this all in one book (and preferably a bound book!)

    But any advice or pointing me in the right direction I would really appreciate it.

    Ps I also like reasonably wide colums to write in so a vertical weekly wouldnt really work for me!

    Sorry to b a pain but I know you guys will understand, everyone has there own ideals!

  5. @terriknits They're harder to find in the US also! And the Septanote and Monthly 4 are next to impossible to get. (academic year) It looks awesome though, huh? And Clairefontaine paper...ahhhh :D

    Laurie, I read @Jemz0001 comment and immediately thought "Uncalendar"! hahaha

  6. @jemz0001 - do you mean bound or coil-bound? Because Blueline/Brownline have a good variety of coil-bound that have both weekly/monthly pages: Their bound books are not as varied, though. Hmm, maybe only the daily ones have the monthly calendars as well ...

  7. Hi jemz001, don't worry, we all ask a lot of our planner!

    I think the hardest part will be finding a planner that can do all that and has the monthly view at the beginning of each month (embedded within the weeks). Planners I know of that do that are the Plan-It and the Success Planners, both are in this post.

    If you can be satisfied with the monthly views grouped together at the beginning of the planner, your choices will expand hugely. All the Moleskine and Paperblanks planners have month per page calendars at the beginning of the book. You might look at the Moleskine Horizontal Weekly which has wide day spaces that should have lots of room for you to write. I just got an email this morning from Moleskine that they now have 18 month weekly horizontal planners in the black soft cover, which is brand new.

    To write all of that each day you'll need a large or extra large size weekly planner. Alternatively you could get a day per page book for maximum writing space each day, with the monthly calendars at the front of the book. (All Moleskine and Paperblanks daily planners have this too.)

    If you don't mind a ring binder (which can be bulky) you might look into Filofax or Franklin Covey. You can have any kind of pages you want, or create sections for each topic. Franklin Covey has the advantage of allowing the monthly calendars to go between the weekly views, which Filofax does not.

    I hope this helps! There are so many options out there. Let me know if any of these suggestions look appealing or if you would like some more ideas!

  8. @terriknits - the reason i prefer not to use a coil book is as I always find that the coils catch when its in my laptop bag and easily falls apart.

    @Laurie - I am happy enough with the monthly sections at the front. I am not sure if you are aware of the company but I currently use and I use the work and home planner. This has no monthly section and somedays I struggle for space with it.

    Thanks for the ideas and I will have a wee look, I previously had a moleskin but i found it a tad...plain. But so glad to have found your blog its great to see other planners esp pics of the planners actively being used.

  9. Personally, I have to have a bound book that lies flat because I'm left-handed. I can't stand anything spiral bound or with a binder. I know I could take it out to write but it feels like it defeats the purpose to me. I'm also fanatically about making mistakes in my planner and it being ruined, which is why I MUST write in pencil. I absolutely LOVE this page because I never knew there were other people out there that are as particular as I am! GREAT blog, Laurie! :)

  10. Hi Becky, I'm glad you like my blog! :)

    I hear ya about taking pages out of my binder to write on them. It takes too much time, and unless the page I'm removing is directly in the center of the rings, I'll have pages spilling out. I'm usually out and about when I'm writing in my Filofax so spilled pages would be a total disaster!

    So, what brand of planner do you like that is bound and lays flat? I know the Moleskines are great for this, but I'm curious if you're using a different brand (and maybe one I don't know about!). I too have to have a book that opens flat. I've rejected planners in the past for not laying flat so this is very important to me too!