Here is my long overdue Planner Pad review. This should be part of a planner review series of about 3 or 4, so stay tuned! More to come!!
I first started using Planner Pads a few years ago. I read "Take Back Your Time" by Jan Jasper (one of the best time management books ever), and Planner Pad was one of her suggested planners because it has a good week to view set-up:
personal size, and that was ok, but I didn't have much success the first year. Not Planner Pad's fault though, I just didn't know what I wanted in a planner, and I had a hard time figuring out how to use all the blank space at the top. I ordered one again for the next year; again epic fail.
Then I moved on to other things, namely FC or just generic Wal-Mart offerings. Then about a year ago I saw this video. I immediately ordered the personal size Planner Pad, decorated it, and proceeded to use it until my Granny died. After that, I couldn't use it any more because it made me sad, so I ordered the Executive size to start January 2011. I decorated it, and had every intention of using it...but I had also gotten interested in Filofax by that time, and I've waffled between the two ever since.
Inside on the second page (first page is Planner Pad company info), there is a page for Personal Information, that holds the standard name, address, and ICE space for that information.
Then there are eight pages of Important Phone Number pages, broken down alphabetically, with a varying amount of lines according to the letter. (For instance, more G's than Z's).
After that there is the current year dates, next year and the year after that, all in regular calendar format on one page. Then there are 3 annual planners, again for this year, next and 2013. Then there is one page of holidays (only American and some Canadian, unfortunately), then a page of USA time zones. Sadly, this planner does not have world times zones, which would be REALLY useful!
After that, there are the Notes page and month page that are standard every month. Then, the week pages start. On the week pages you have space at the top for categories/to-do's or whatever you want to use it for, then under that you have spaces for to-do's for each day, then at the bottom are the appt. times for each day. Here is the way Planner Pad suggests you use their system, but I use mine a little differently because I don't have many time specific tasks. I still use the top for categories, and I link a couple of the top spaces to use more space for fewer categories. I use from left to right "Dreams" this takes up two spaces; "MIT's" most important tasks, this takes one space' "Work On" one space; "Research" for online stuff, two spaces; and "Blog" one space.
Under the Notes/Calls space at the far right I put extra notes or reminders, then I put my weekly Gratitude List under that and above the Expenses section. I use the Expenses section for extra notes. Right now, I'm using the appointment space at the bottom as a journal of sorts for daily events as they happen. It works ok, but this space is not really optimum for me, and may be the deal breaker with Planner Pad. :O(
After the week pages for the year, there are 3 yellow note pages, and then 12 yellow pages that Planner Pad lists to be used for Goals/Projects/Calendar, but which can be used for anything. There are the days of the week printed really lightly at the top of the page, and then horizontal and vertical lines, but of course those can be written or drawn over however you wish. I use these pages usually to tape/glue in other stuff I want to keep or be reminded of. The very last page is a yearly calendar with last year, this year and next year on it. You can also buy "Insta Pockets" from Planner Pad for the front and back so you can stash other stuff in your planner. I always buy these; this year I only bought the back one because I don't like having junk in the front.
Planner Pads are very durable, and hold up well to a year's worth of abuse easily. Planner Pad paper quality is outstanding, and can hold up to everything but Sharpie markers (although Sharpie pens work fine). I use a lot of Le Pens for the colored stuff and boxes and highlights that I draw around my random writings, and they work beautifully with absolutely no bleed through. Also, the Planner Pad can't be beat for the ability to attach ephemera! There is plenty of space, and the pages hold up well to glue sticks, rubber cement, staples, washi tape, and paper and binder clips. In many ways, this planner works really well for me EXCEPT:
1. Appointment times are useless for me, and a waste of space
2. No pen loop (but not a deal breaker, really)
3. Not really conducive for those "listy" items like Books to Read, Internet usernames/passwords, Bucket List, and the like (although I did start keeping the things I need/want to buy on the Notes page that is opposite the Monthly blocks page, and that works well)
4. I use the Executive Size, and it's a bit bulky to carry around
5. There is not enough daily "journaling" space, although that is easily remedied by using a Moleskine or other notebook for that purpose
Any way, hope you like the review. Kimberly Wilson recently tweeted me, and said she would do a "How I Use My Planner Pad" blog post, so I will let you know when that comes out; it should be fab just like her! I can't wait...
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!!
PS: All pictures are cut out of magazines by me, and added to my PERSONAL PLANNER! None have been sold or used in any way so as to violate any Copyright! Picture on back inside page is of Angelina Jolie, because I think she rocks.