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Please help me make the most of a paper planner.
November 27, 2009 2:14 PM   Subscribe

I am thinking of switching to a smaller paper planner for 2010. I currently use the "classic" size where the pages are roughly 5.5" x 8.5." I've become enamored with the DayTimer wirebound 3½” x 6½” planners, but I can't figure out how anyone writes that small on the monthly pages. I'm looking for any suggestions you can give on how to maximize your paper planner (including tasks), especially if it's making the most of a smaller space.

Thanks in advance.
posted by 4ster to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I use a Monthly/Weekly Student Planner. It starts in August, so you might have a hard time finding a Monthly/Weekly one that starts in January, IDK. If I have something going on on a certain day I make a small note on the Monthly page, and then write down the details on the Weekly page. Then I know at a glance that I have 3 things on a specific day, and know to flip to the Weekly page to get the info. I can see at a glance what days I am going to be super busy and what days are going to be slower. I also use different colors of ink for really important stuff. You could use black ink for work stuff and blue ink for personal, or pencil for personal and erasable pen for work if things are likely to change.
posted by TooFewShoes at 4:37 PM on November 27, 2009


Get a pen with an extra fine point in several colors. Alternate which color is on which line.
posted by yohko at 11:12 PM on November 27, 2009


I personally use this QuickNotes Weekly/Monthly appointment book, which is a bit bigger than your target size. Your target size is really too small for me. That said, this product line has a book in the next smaller size that is the size you are looking at. I find the format of the QuickNotes line - the colors, lines and and weekly/monthly design - helpful and easy on the eyes, and you can write a word or two on the monthly section as a reminder and then fill it out a bit more in the weekly section, instead of having to cram it all into the monthly pages.

I usually use Papermate Sharpwriter #2 mechanical pencils (available everywhere) to write in my planners, rather than pen. If you want to use pen, like yohko says, go for fine or extra fine point, and use some color coding. I happen to be addicted to these pens, but you really should go to an office supply store, stationery store, or art supply store (someplace with a lot of pens) and try different ones till you find one that works for you.
posted by gudrun at 6:39 AM on November 28, 2009


Many years ago I did corporate sales for Day-Timers. It comes down to two things - how small do you write and how much do you want to write in the book. It's sounds like you're going down to the compact size, but not the super small pocket.

Call the company and ask if they'll send you a sample. They'll either send you one wirebound notebook for free or at a really inexpensive charge. We did that all the time for people who wanted to try out a size change.

You might find that you can go down in size if you go up in format, perhaps from one page per day to two page per day. That'll give you more writing space on each day. Of course, it may mean that you only carry 1 month instead of 2. Also, you can get a fold out monthly calendar to add to the book. That'll give you double the calendar space.
posted by 26.2 at 11:07 PM on November 29, 2009


Thanks everyone for your help. I called Daytimer to ask for samples as 26.2 suggested, but they do not do it anymore, so I ordered the two smallest wire-bound sizes, and I will just return the one that doesn't work out.

Thanks again to all who posted here.
posted by 4ster at 12:23 PM on November 30, 2009


They don't do samples any longer? That's disappointing. I can't tell you how many times a cheapie sample sold a large block of goods or avoided a return.

Hopefully they've kept the liberal return policy.
posted by 26.2 at 4:21 PM on November 30, 2009


They say they have kept the liberal return policy, although they don't specify if it covers, for example, a calendar in which you have already written.
posted by 4ster at 6:58 AM on December 2, 2009


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