The Empress of Planning Strikes Again!
As the self-confessed Empress of Planning, I've done years of research on just about every planner out there. I'll be using my Tuesday posts to review what I've used. (At least that's the current plan. LOL)
Today's focus is the Planner Pad.
The Planner Pad is available at PlannerPads.com, and they have served me well for many years.
1. A Planner Pad works like a funnel.
Across the top, you have room to make 7 lists. Projects that have tasks for the week. So, you might have "Spiritual Growth" as one topic. Below that you might list: Bible study, Prayer time, Prayer group, etc. A second topic might be Health with Treadmill, Menu Planning, & Water Aerobics. In the center, you select a day for every item on your lists. So Monday gets Bible study and Treadmill. Tuesday has Bible study, prayer time and water aerobics. You have prayer group on Wednesday, and you'll do your menu planning on Thursday. The bottom section has times so you can write down when your water aerobics starts. So, you start with bigger lists at the top, slimmed down to specific days in the middle, and trimmed further to the days themselves.
2. A Planner Pad enables list-making addicts like me.
With built-in project lists above the the daily to-do lists in the center, you can easily get your list making fix for the week without having to invest in note pads or Post It note stock. Each week has a portion set aside for calls to make and for tracking expenses. I never used the expense part for that purpose, but I just used it as a place to plan my evening meals for the week instead.
3. Monthly calendars are found within the weekly pages.
One of my favorite things about the Planner Pad is the idea of putting the monthly calendar in with the weekly pages right as you need them. If the month ends on a Wednesday, for instance, your week continues as usual. But when you turn the page, you get a lined page for notes and a month at a glance. No flipping back to the back or front of the planner to find the month. It's right there in the neighborhood. Sadly, the month is crammed into 1 page, so you must write small if you have a lot going on. The lined notes page across the way is nice, though.
4. A small address book is built into the Planner Pad.
There are a few pages at the front of the Planner Pad designated as an address book. Through several years of use, I became frustrated with this section. Numbers changed or I no longer needed certain numbers. Now all the numbers I need are on my phone, so I no longer would have to recopy and update every year.
5. There is major flexibility in using the Planner Pad.
I have to give a big shout out here because you can choose when to have your Planner Pad start. They offer versions that start every quarter plus an undated version. (I haven't tried that one, so I can't speak to how the monthly calendars are set up there.) This optional start date set up is especially great if you work on a school year calendar like I do. I can go from July to June without a hitch. That way I'm not having to carry around a 2015 calendar PLUS a 2016 planner during the November/December months when I'm planning January events. You can get it loose-leaf or spiral bound. And it comes with a couple of color options, too. There are several pages in the back that can double as tables, charts or a start on next year's calendar if needed. Firm plastic "ruler/bookmarks" pop in and out of the spiral and extend over the page for locating your page. It comes in 3 bound sizes PLUS a desk blotter size.
6. The page weight holds up to some wet media if you are feeling artsy.
If you tire of looking at plain pages, you can add some color. The pages are a nice weight and take watercolor and acrylic paint without excessive warping. Last year I tried adding tip-ins as I worked through the Documented Life Project. But since it was my primary planner, I quickly tired of moving the tip-in out of the way to see my week.
7. Modifications can make the Planner Pad even better.
The company offers heavy vinyl pockets that adhere to the front covers. You can purchase them separately. They hold up well.
I added my own monthly tabs, but they offer some for purchase as well.
I glued elastic loops to the cover to hold pens. I later saw pen loops that you can purchase. (See below) I was thinking the cover was a bit bland, so I worked it over, too. I even added washi tape to the edges.
The Empress's Score?
With a maximum score of 10 in each category:
- Page weight-10 - holds up to some wet media
- Cover-10- Durable and easy to decorate
- Weekly view-9- personal size only goes to 8 pm
- Month at a glance view-8 - could be a 2-page spread, but is located within the weekly pages
- Portability-10 - the personal size is quite portable
- List Making-7- you may run out of lines if any project has many tasks for the week
- Goal Setting/Achievement-6 - Goals could be outlined on the notes pages and then assessed, but there is not a set format or reminder for this. There are no pages for specific goal setting activities either.
- Flexibility-8- Multiple start options and sizes
- Price-9- Depends on size. Today it ranges from $27.99-$29.99. (The desk blotter is $24.99.)
- Bonus points-8- Be sure to get the Introductory Offer your first time and listen to the CD for great ideas that will help streamline your list making. (I've used this product for so long that my Introductory Offer came with a cassette tape instead of a CD...)