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Friday, March 29, 2013

Brush Dance pages in my Success Choice binder

If you've read my first two posts in this series, you'll know I bought the Success Choice binder I've been wanting for so long, and loaded it with Franklin Covey pages that left me meh.

After I loaded in the FC pages, I remembered an experiment I wanted to do months ago but didn't have a hole punch for at the time. But now I do! Let the experiment commence!

I reviewed the 2013 Brush Dance Perennial Grace datebook awhile ago. It is a gorgeous planner and I love it.

But, I have two problems with it:

The weeks are broken at the beginning and end of the month where the tabbed months are put in.

And, the two week spread doesn't give me anyplace to write my weekly lists.

I thought how perfect the planner would be if it were a week + notes format without the broken weeks. I adore the art, the quotes, the colorful pages, the thick white paper, the holidays printed on the days, and the tabbed months.

I had a lightbulb moment when I realized I could use my new hole punch and Success Choice binder to make the planner exactly how I wanted it to be!

I went to work with scissors and the hole punch. In my excitement I didn't take any photos of the process, but here is the result.  Basically, I put a lined notes page between each of the pages. Brush Dance, if I could redesign your planners, this is how I would make them:

Tabbed months are still embedded in the weeks.

The month page is followed by a lined page for that month's goals or notes.

Turn the page and there's the first week of the month. This week the first of the month happens to be on Monday, but even when the first of the month doesn't fall on Monday there would still be the entire week here, not broken. In this planner I'll draw in the days to complete each broken week.

There is a lined page between the weeks:

And after the last week of the month there is another lined page for monthly notes, month review, monthly finances or whatever. Then there is the next month's tabbed page.
At the back of the book are the Addresses tab and pages.

Also at the back I put in the pocket, which is very handy to have.

Here you can see how nice the tabbed months look!

My Perennial Grace datebook didn't have as many notes pages as required for this setup so I had to pirate some from my Brush Dance A Fearless Woman datebook.

The result is perfect! And it looks so great in my binder!

Have any of you hacked a bound planner into a ring-bound system?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New video: the day per page saga continues

I just now posted a new video on You Tube where I go through the day per page planners I've used in recent months including Moleskine, Time Traveler, Paperblanks, Franklin Covey, Textagenda, and Quo Vadis ABP1, why I chose them and why I subsequently abandoned each. Then I tell you which one I've settled on, and why!  Click here for the video.

Franklin Covey weekly pages in my Success Choice binder

In my previous post I wrote about my Success Choice binder and mentioned I bought Franklin Covey Classic size weekly pages for it. Here are the details!

When Josh posted on Adspot that he was selling his awesome Success Choice binder (which is the same size and rings as the Franklin Covey Classic size) for an amazing price, I snapped it up! I've been desiring that binder for ages!

I also grabbed the Franklin Covey Classic size hole punch he was selling too, so I could put whatever pages I want into my new binder. Awesome!!
I ordered the Franklin Covey Classic size weekly Seasons inserts, because I've used the Seasons two pages per day in Compact size before and I like the seasonally-changing images better than the plain designs they have.
 The weeks are not printed back to back. On the back sides of the weekly pages are weekly lists.

The weekly inserts also come with tabbed months on two pages, which is very nice.
The months also have lists space on the back sides of the pages, for monthly tasks and goals and the month index. This allows the months to be embedded in the weeks.

But once I got the FC pages into my binder, I didn't get that thrill of excitement I usually get with a new planner setup. It was just...meh.

THEN. I remembered an experiment I thought about months ago, but didn't have the equipment to try. UNTIL NOW!

See my post this Friday to see what awesome thing I came up with!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Success Choice binder

I've had my eye on this binder for a long time, and I'm SO excited it's finally mine!!!

This is the Chocolate Brown leather binder from The Success Choice (www.thesuccesschoice.com). You may remember I have a leather cover from them as well, which I love. So here's the backstory on this binder:

This binder formerly belonged to Josh, and I have been eying it ever since his video about it. Recently he sold off almost his entire binder collection, and offered this one for an excellent price so I snapped it up!

The leather is thick and smooth, with a rustic look I love. I don't mind the distress marks on the cover, it shows life experience! (That's what I tell myself when I look in the mirror!) ;)
But seriously, if anything is too perfect I worry about messing it up. This binder already has some marks so I don't have to be precious with it. Which is a good thing, because precious things don't stay that way long in my life!

Inside there are pockets front and back, an attached pagemarker, an elastic pen loop on the right and another extra one Josh added on the left, and seven 1 1/2 inch, glorious, vice-like rings!

 These babies snap shut and stay shut!
 I love the hardware used to attach the ring mechanism:

Unlike many other binder brands, the Success Choice binders do not have cardboard or other materials between the layers of leather. The result is the cover is floppier than some. But as you can see the thick leather gives it structure. In the shot below you can see the thickness of the leather:

Below is a closeup of the top of the rings. You can see there is an extra layer of leather at the spine for the rings attachment.

This binder holds Franklin Covey Classic size pages and has the same ring configuration so no punching is required. I bought FC weekly inserts for this binder, which I will show you in my next post. But right after I loaded them in, I decided to try an experiment instead! Which I will show you in a subsequent post, so stay tuned!

The Success Choice leather binders come in a range of colors and are available at www.thesuccesschoice.com, click here to go straight to the binders page.

Don't forget, Plannerisms readers get 15% off your entire purchase of any and all products at www.thesuccesschoice.com using the discount code plannerisms12 at checkout!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Moleskine Action Planner

I've been wanting to check out this planner for awhile, and found it recently at 50% off so I grabbed it!

The Action Planner is part of Moleskine's Professional Planners series. The book certainly does look professional. The Action Planner is Extra Large (7 1/2 by 10 inches), has a hard cover and is very slim.

It has all the usual Moleskine amenities: In Case Of Loss page, rounded corners, elastic strap, placemarker.

There are overview calendars for the current year (left page) and next year (right page).

There are also month column calendars for all of the current year and next year.
International holidays.
Conversions, dialing codes, etc. Also this one has airports of the world (very handy for a business traveler) and a flight times chart.

Here is the weekly spread. It was hard to get a good photo where the lines showed up well. Each weekday is a full column, Saturday and Sunday share a column, and at the right is a lined space for lists. I don't like that the name of the month is at the bottom of the page, it makes it hard for me to find the month and week I'm looking for. I wrote it in the top right corner, I like that better.

Left page, Monday through Thursday. Countries with holidays are indicated on the day, but holidays themselves are not printed.

Right page Friday- Sunday plus the lists space. I love space for lists on the weekly spread! It's the main reason why I've been wanting to check out this planner.

I was surprised, and I have to admit disappointed, to discover the ruling is wider in this planner than in Moleskine notebooks. I measure usual Moleskine ruling at 6 mm, and the ruling in the Action Planner weekly pages is 7 mm.
Moleskine notebook left 6 mm, Action Planner right 7mm
This might seem like a very small difference, but I noticed it right away. Personally I prefer 6 mm ruling in all cases, because it fits my handwriting best. Wider ruling means I can fit less writing on a page. Just my personal preference, but I wanted to let you know about the difference in ruling.

The Moleskine paper itself is what it is. I go back and forth in my opinion about it. It's not as smooth or nice as Quo Vadis/ Clairefontaine paper, but nothing is in my opinion. Moleskine paper is certainly not the worst paper out there, and in fact feels downright luxurious compared to some brands. In the end it's down to personal preference.

In the back of the book there are a few blank pages for notes, and a removable address book (which I like).
There is a full size pocket that the address book slots into.
It's an excellent planner, and would be appropriate in any workplace. Even though the page size is big, the book itself is very slim so it's not heavy in your bag.

Have you used a Moleskine Action planner? What did you think about it?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Planner Dry Season is upon us

This is the time of year when you'll have a hard time finding a current-year planner if you need to switch due to a Planner Fail or a change in circumstances. April-May-June is when the current year planners are pretty much sold out and are being cleared away to make room for the mid-year planners starting in July and the Academic year planners starting in August.

So if you're in need of a new planner now, you're out of luck.

Just kidding! There are options for you.

Last year about this time I wrote a helpful post on which companies make planners that start quarterly, in any month you want, or are undated. Click here for that post to see your planner options this time of year.

Of course another option is to draw your own planner in a notebook, which gives you the freedom to make whatever size and format of planner you like. I did this last February when I drew the Plannerisms planner format, using a Leuchtturm 1917 dots notebook (which made it easy to draw the lines and is easier on the eyes than grid paper).

Are you looking for a new planner now?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Stepwise Scheduling, Divide and Conquer, or Write It Once?

I am a big fan of the Write It Once idea. I would love the streamlined simplicity of only writing each task, appointment and event once in my planner. For many people, this works really well.

I gave a friend of mine a Plannerisms planner for her birthday and she loves it. She said she used to have things scheduled in different places: in her Filofax, on her wall calendar, written on random pieces of paper. She said now she puts everything into her planner, and it goes everywhere with her, so she doesn't have to worry about anything slipping through the cracks.

Anyone who has been reading my blog for awhile has seen my reviews of WeekDate planners. Their Only Write It Once format means that even recurring events get written in your planner only once, and you can see everything in one view. What a great feeling!

But for many people, myself included, we like to see different views: month, week and day. This is what I call Stepwise Scheduling.

For example, I use my Monthly calendars in my Plannerisms planner for an overview of appointments, birthdays, events, travel, and visitors. I write the specifics into my weekly pages, where I can see the layout of my week along with my task lists so I can see what I need to do and when I have time to do it. Then every day (usually the evening before) I write that day's schedule and must-do tasks in my day per page planner, which I also use to capture information throughout the day.

This requires me to use two different planners, and to rewrite scheduled events, but for me the benefit of seeing different views is worth it. Back when I tried to use just a weekly planner, I had so much written on the weekly pages that by halfway through the week I couldn't even see what I was supposed to be doing. By separating my planning (weekly planner) from my daily details (daily planner) I get to have a clear view of my week's schedule and still get to record lots of details every day.

Of course the danger of Stepwise Scheduling is that you will schedule something on one planner and not transfer it to the other planner. This is what I call things slipping through the cracks. Josh had an excellent video recently where this is the exact reason why he switched from monthly and daily Franklin Covey pages to using only Filofax weekly pages. Now he writes his appointments and events only into the weekly pages, and he doesn't have to worry about missing any appointments.

Another planning system is what I call Divide and Conquer, which is writing different things in different planners: work appointments in a work planner, home stuff in a home planner or binder, etc. In my last post Planners At Work people posted several very interesting comments about separating work planning from home planning. I can see how it would be distracting at work to see all the things you need to do at home but can't do anything about at that moment. Or in other situations, people's work planners may be used as public records so you don't want your personal things in there.

Do you do stepwise planning, writing events in more than one planner format? Do you divide and conquer, writing work and home events in separate planners? Or do you write everything just once into only one planner format?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Planners at work

I know a lot of people use electronic scheduling systems at work (whether corporate-enforced or by choice), but there are still lots of people who use paper planners at work. Some people (like myself) just plan better on paper. Others have to keep official written records. And for many, it's just nice to have a break from the screen.

Moleskine planners are popular at work (as they are everywhere). Mstraat did an excellent guest post here awhile back on how she used her Moleskine Taskmaster planner at work. You can click here to see the details of her post.
Weekly schedule
Weekly lists

Dora did a great guest post here on Plannerisms on how she has used large softcover Moleskine day per page planners as her work diary for several years. Click here to see her excellent post.
Daily records

I've used various planners for work over the years. There are two planners in particular that I used at work when I had to schedule my time heavily.

One of these was a Full Size Uncalendar. I liked the 8 1/2 by 11 inch pages with all the space to write my categorized task lists and schedule each day. But I had to be careful about how much I wrote on the pages, especially tasks. If I had too much written in each page, I had trouble prioritizing my tasks and would just stare at my planner like a deer in the headlights, wondering what I should be doing next.

A planner that worked really well for me was my Quo Vadis Septanote. I used it for everything: work, part-time classes, grad school applications, etc. I liked having everything in one planner.

I have a lot of online friends who use a Filofax or Franklin Covey binder for work, but a common problem is the binder gets overstuffed because people try to put absolutely everything into the binder. Often, work project notes are better off in a separate binder or file at work and don't need to be carried with you everywhere you go.

What planner do you like for work? Do you use it for your entire life, or only work things? I'm especially interested in how working mothers use their planner to coordinate work, kids, after schools, home, and your own stuff. Please post a comment!

Monday, March 11, 2013

French Filofax inserts winners!

Many thanks again to Mstraat for generously giving away the French 2013 Filofax weekly inserts!

The winner of the Week on one page with notes insert is: JasJan!

The winner of the Cotton Cream week on two pages insert is: Liz Vee!

Congratulations!  Winners, please email your mailing addresses to me at Laurie at plannerisms dot com and I will forward them to Mstraat so she can send you your prize 2013 inserts!

Thanks to everyone who participated in this giveaway!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Worldwide giveaway: French Filofax 2013 weekly inserts!

This giveaway is now closed. Please see tomorrow's post to see who won!

Mstraat is very generously giving away TWO French Filofax week on two pages inserts. These both fit a personal size Filofax.

There are two sets of 2013 weekly pages, in two different formats. Here is Mstraat with descriptions:

 Note that these inserts are from Filofax France, so they are in French—days, months, info pages, etc.

Week on one page with notes:  white paper, anno planner for 2013 and 2014, hourly times, lined (lines closer spacing on days than on notes page), same size spaces for weekdays and weekends. Also has the usual pages for personal info, holidays, etc. etc.

Week per page plus notes

Anno planner

Week per page with notes: left page
Week per page with notes: right page

Week on two pages, cotton cream: anno planner for 2013 and 2014, hourly times, lined except in “notes” space, same size spaces for weekdays and weekends. Also has the usual pages for personal info, holidays, etc. etc.
Cotton cream week on two pages, lined

Cotton cream anno planner

Cotton cream week on two pages, lined, left page

Cotton cream week on two pages, lined, right page

The anno planners on these are awesome. They don’t have to be purchased separately but are included, and they are on individual pages rather than a fold out sheet. Each page has three months, so two pages covers the year.

Enormous thanks to Mstraat for this generous giveaway! She is happy to ship these to anyone, anywhere in the world.

So here's how this giveaway will work:

1. To enter, post a comment on this post. Indicate which insert you want: Week on One Page With Notes, or Cotton Cream Week On Two Pages, or both. Your comment is your entry, only one entry per person.

2. Entries will close at 6 pm London time Sunday March 10. 

3. The winners will be generated via Random.org. Remember to indicate which insert you want, or both, because the winners will be generated separately for each insert.

4. The winners will be posted here on Plannerisms Monday March 11. Check back Monday to see if you won!

5. The winners will email me their mailing addresses by Friday March 15. If a winner hasn't emailed me by Friday I will choose a new winner of that insert.

Good luck everyone!