Several people have recommended I try a Planner Pad, and for some reason I'm only just now getting around to it! It's an excellent system, especially if you are working on multiple things at once and need to prioritize your tasks.
I ordered the Personal size Planner Pad, which measures 6 3/4 by 8 1/2 inches. You can also get the Executive Size, which is 8 1/2 by 11 inches, or the Professional size which is 8 1/2 by 14 inches. The Personal and Executive sizes come in spiral bound (which is what I got) or loose-leaf hole punched to insert into the binder of your choice (PP sells binders too, or you can use another brand). The Professional size comes spiral-bound only.
You can choose which quarter you want your Planner Pad to start in, and it goes for a full 12 months. I chose January-December 2012.
The cover is very professional-looking, and I couldn't resist the optional personalization!
The first page has space for writing in your personal info, then there are several pages for important phone numbers. (Click on any of the photos for a larger view):
Next there is a three-year reference calendar:
Here is a feature I really love: there are monthly planning pages where the months blend together, so you can see each week intact per row. This format is genius for seeing the weeks uninterrupted for your monthly planning.
There is a reference page of holidays, and a time zones map for the US:
Next we get into the meat of the planner. At the beginning of each month there is a monthly calendar and a notes page. The months are embedded in the weeks, and you can buy month tabs to add on that will allow you to easily flip to each month.
Here is the weekly format. The idea is that it acts like a funnel. At the top you write your categorized lists, in the middle row you write to-dos for each day, and the bottom row is scheduled appointments for each day. Click here to see Planner Pad's details on How It Works.
This is a great method for getting everything you need to do out on your weekly page so you can move it around and know what needs to be done every day.
In the back of the book there are a few pages for notes, then there are 12 numbered pages with a faint grid pattern on them and Sunday through Saturday in light print at the top of the page. You can use these pages to sketch out calendars, write your goals, take notes, or otherwise keep track of anything you need to.
The very last page of the book has quick reference calendars for last-this-next year.
There are various add-ons you can buy separately including the month tabs I mentioned above, and clear plastic pockets that stick into the inside of the cover for holding papers and loose ends.
My friend Rori has done an excellent review of her Planner Pad, with lots of details so be sure to check it out here.
I have to agree with Rori, the Planner Pad paper is fantastic and will stand up to any ink. Even my Sharpie pens don't bleed through.
One definite advantage of a Planner Pad is you can choose any quarter to start, and it goes for a full 12 months. Especially this time of year it's not easy to switch to a new planner, so this is a great option.
The Planner Pad was designed for business and professional use but it would be useful for any busy person. I think this would be especially useful for someone who is juggling multiple roles such as work, family, social, study etc. Having everything out on one spread lets you see everything you need to do and when you have time to do it.
You can see Planner Pad products on their website www.PlannerPads.com.
Do you use or have you used a Planner Pad? What is your experience with them?