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Day Runner, Day Timer, Franklin Covey, other?

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  • Day Runner, Day Timer, Franklin Covey, other?

    Does anyone use a paper planner with GTD?

    I use a Mac OSX, Entourage for mail and calendar, sync to DateBook 5 on my Palm m515. Use ShadowPlan on Palm, but it has only a manual conduit to the Mac desktop and I am afraid to use that. I await the auto conduit and then plan to look into Omni Organizer (?)

    I still like to see things on paper and wonder if any of the planners on the market fit better into David's life planning perspective of "tarmac; 10,000 ft; 20,000 ft; 30,000 ft;50,000ft.", while still helping keep tabs on current needs.

  • #2
    If you're thinking of using paper for GTD, take a look at

    What with the monthly, weekly, Notes, etc. pages available, I find it supports everything I need (at least, so far: I'm rather a beginner at GTD).



    • #3
      I used Franklin Covey and DayTimer for years (prefer the latter because it is free of distracting motivational quotations). But now, under the influence of the folks here who use Planner Pad, I've ordered one. It's here. It starts in April. The layout is the best yet -- everything you need for the week on a two-page spread, categorized by type of activity, day, time. It thinks the way I do -- and isn't that what we are all looking for?


      • #4

        I like the Plannerpad concept, but I have found that it is too cramped for me .I write big, and the plannerpad lines just seem too tight.


        • #5
          Time/System from sounds attractive (the secret is folding NextAction lists) but very expensive ($180). I'm thinking about buying it myself, but the price ...


          • #6

            Why not create your own? I use Outlook to create my calendar pages (two pages/week) and print my Contacts. I use Word to create "forms"* for everything else as needed. I print everything on colorful 8.5" x 5.5" paper and put it all into a plain half-sized black binder. I use the planner as a creative outlet as well as for Getting Things Done. I've written a basic description about how I do this here:

            You do not have to get as elaborate as this. My point is that there is no need to shell out a lot of money for a system that does not exactly suit your needs.

            *My forms for Projects and Next Actions are pretty simple. The context is at the top. Then, I create a table that has borders on the columns but no horizontal borders. For example, my "Calls to Make" form has four columns:
            date, contact, notes, done. No horizontal lines means that I have plenty of space to write whatever I need to. I manually draw a line between each item so that it looks neat and organized. (I keep a 7" ruler in my notebook.) I hope that makes sense.

            Also, I use Word to create checklists for complex, recurring job duties like prep work for board meetings.


            • #7
              I just wanted to add something to my above post in favor of a DIY planner (however basic or artsy you want to make it). Think of it this way: a planner is essentially a glorified notebook. Do you really want to sink a lot of money into that?


              • #8
                Paper Planner

                DIY what's your webpage to view your system? Thanks


                • #9
                  Web page

                  Originally posted by Unregistered
                  I've written a basic description about how I do this here:
                  Here is his web page address.


                  • #10
                    DIY - more info

                    gator: The above link re-posted by TesTeq is correct. I do want to point out that the article was written for a slightly different target audience than the one that probably frequents these boards. It was written a couple of years ago when I realized that it was taking more energy to fit what I wanted into a premade planner (I am a former Day-timer user) than it would take to just put one together myself. The pictures in the article represent my first attempt. My current system is basically the same, but neater. The two-page-per day calendar section is first, followed by my projects list and context-based NA lists*. I use labeled Post-It flags on these so that I can easily turn to the list that I want. The next section is Contacts, the first page of which is a quick list of our internal telephone extensions here at work. The next sections are: my extensive booklist, a section for notes on articles that I am writing, and finally, a section exclusively for work-related notes (this is where I put the work-related checklists and take notes at meetings). I print the calendar pages and contacts pages out once a year and make changes manually.

                    My system is perfectly customized for my life and costs less for the entire setup than half the price of one Day-timer refill. And I don't have to scrunch up my writing to fit into those tiny, executive green squares.

                    *I'd be happy to send you via e-mail the Word files that I used to create my NA forms so that you can see what I'm talking about.

                    Please feel free to ask me any questions. I should probably register here, but I've lurked for so long that it feels more comfortable this way.

                    Also, I'm a she.


                    • #11
                      Please feel free to ask me any questions. I should probably register here, but I've lurked for so long that it feels more comfortable this way.
                      Dawn, one problem with not being a registered user: we can't send you private messages. Some of us don't like to post our email address on a public forum.



                      • #12

                        Thanks , please email me at Great information, thanks for sharing!!


                        • #13
                          I didn't think of the private message thing. I guess membership does have its privileges. I'm officially registered now, so anyone who wants to ask questions via pm can do so.

                          Gator, I will send the files to you when I get home. For anyone else who may be interested, what I'm sending is the template for my Projects list and the template for my Calls list. All of my other NA and agenda lists are based on these two "forms". I will also send a sample of one of my checklists so that you can see the level of detail that I put into them. I put together a lot of meetings for work, and I don't want to have to remember what needs to be done for any of them.

                          If I can swing it, I will also send along a scanned image of one of my NA pages so that you can see what it looks like in action.


                          • #14
                            DIY Planner

                            Could you please provide me with this information as well?

                            Thanks in advance!


                            • #15
                              DIY Planner

                              Hi Dawn:

                              Could you send me that also. Thanks.