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In choosing a paper planner...?

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  • In choosing a paper planner...?

    After seriously considering the options, I'm sticking with a hybrid system for now. I have never tried PlannerPad or Time Design...I am looking into both right now. I am a mostly happy FranklinCovey user and have also used Day Timer in the past. I am trying to decide if it's time for a tool change based on the fact that I am not doing great w/GTD (mostly a mental implementation problem not a tool problem at it's core).

    Things I love about my FC: Interesting pages (the other two seem terribly bland to me, which although is not of prime importance, I've read a lot about being excited by and loving your tools)

    I love the Design Your Own pages with all my important yearly events already recorded...this because I do not use electronic calendar

    I enjoy the 2 page per week format, but every year I waffle on this...I want to see my entire week at a glance and it really does provide enough room for all my hardscape appts. I always consider the page a day or even 2 pgs per day--maybe because I want to mis-use the to-dos by habit or maybe to journal on the right hand page...still trying to figure this out.
    ...A consideration for 07-Time/Design has undated week at a glance pages that I could use in addition to a page or 2 pg per day planner pages to keep the weekly at a glance if I come up with a good reason why I need more room per day.

    I love all the mission/goals areas for the higher altitudes of my life. My life is really all lived focusing on my higher altitudes, with GTD hopefully to be used to keep getting me going in the right direction on the runway.

    I like the forms...I map projects on the goal planning sheets. The agenda forms I am using for my @agendas--mostly overkill though as I don't have large meetings. The blank pages matching my pattern I print out custom forms on, and the lined matching pages are for note taking.

    PlannerPad's value seems to be in the 3 sections (I write small so size would not be an issue). Spiral-bound is not something I like as I like the freedom to rearrange and group items together. Also some of the sections seem to get in the way of individual NA lists. I am not sure if this is supposed to take the place of such or what.

    Time Design has the advantage of being very GTD in it's setup but in looking at the forms this seems to be mostly because the forms are blank and you head them however you want. I see the value of the foldable Activities Checklists, and wonder how anyone uses them in preference to say the FC forms with the top cut off so that you just keep moving things like NAs along as days progress. (I have never used either of these forms, so I'm just wondering about the benefits/drawbacks of each) The databank and key have the same thing in numbered (or I choose to label them) tabbed sections in FC. I like the Business Meeting forms better than FC agenda sheets, and also the project worksheets with attached graph paper for planning.

    What I am leaning toward doing this year is refilling my FC as usual and adding in the most valuable of the Time Design sheets. Any comments or suggestions on that approach?

  • #2
    I have used: DayTimer, FranklinCovey and now Time/Design. The forms from Time/Design are as you say very GTD friendly, yes they are not 'prettied up' nor can you get the personal dates added.

    Of all these I have been a TD user for the last six years and will not be changing anytime soon.

    The 'values' in FC tend to cause more issues in today's business environment IMHO.

    The forms and how they are used fits both GTD and my own process without getting in the way. These are just lists of items, matters not how they are added to the list of tasks I have agreed to, they all get my full attention ie: while working on the 'call Tim' to schedule server migration - do not worry about the 'pickup furnace filter' until I can do the errand later that day/week.

    Now TimeDesign even has pages with the DayTimer/FranklinCovey holes, so people can save on the binder if they are moving (upgrade?!?) and wish not to lose the investment.


    • #3

      Have you check You will find a lot of useful things...

      Good luck with your serach


      • #4
        Yes, I was glad to have read about DIY here

        They have lots of interesting GTD templates that I have printed out and used in my planner. Also, just yesterday I read about an interesting version of a hipster PDA that used rolodex style disks as hinges and 3x5 index cards with the ends punched so that you can remove them like rolodex files. I couldn't find a punch or the disks without going online, so I bought plastic colored tabs (for covers and dividers), color coded index cards, and hinged metal rings that open and close and made my own using a hole punch! Then I printed out their 3x5 sized templates and trimmed them for my 3x3.25 inch hipster. That way I will always have a "capture" notebook with me, but I will be able to rearrange anything that I record a la a binder....much better than a regular notebook for me!! I can't wait to use it

        So as not to be wasteful, I even made a rectangular 3x1.75 mini hipster out of the trimmed edges and one metal idea what I'll do with that, but it is cute HAHAHA


        • #5
          Previous use for Trimmed edges

          That reminds me of Thomas Jefferson's use of small tabs of paper. See the description at:

          Attached Files
          Last edited by Qeran; 08-20-2006, 08:44 PM.


          • #6
            If GTD implementation is a "mental" issue changing tools is not going to address the underlying issue. You will only defer the issue plus end up spending additional money for a tool that may not meet your needs.

            I would suggest that you stay with what you have plus take the time analyzing the why of you're situation. Additionally, Charles Hobbs in his "Time Power" book (out of print but available 2nd hand) has a whole section on using a paper planner ... you may find his methodology useful.


            • #7

              I know you are right about my implementation problem, but since I've decided to stick with a planner come what may while attempting GTD and since I always re-order my pages around the first of October, I am just trying to decide which planner it is going to be this time

              Thanks for the book suggestion...I will definitely keep my eye out for it!


              • #8
                I always go through several planner types before I settle down on one, every year. This year I finally made up my own dated pages and got them spiral bound at Staples. For 07 I'm thinking I might buy the calendar pages, maybe one of the Exacompta styles at Barnes and Nobles, but take the pages and some additional notes pages and some photos and a pencil holder and other pages and get all of those spiral-bound. I don't see the value in taking the time to create my own calendar pages--it's really time-consuming! So now I'm doing the same thing I've done for the past few years and would like to avoid--buying several different calendar page versions until I decide which one I prefer.

                I think this back-and-forth is the worst thing about paper planners. Or maybe it's a bad thing about me--the difficulty in settling down on a format. It's like a disease that starts up mildly in September and gets really feverish in late December to January.

                It's good to know I'm not alone in this. Maybe we could start a support group.


                • #9
                  I see no reason to replace a fc planner with time-design. I am doing to same as you I use a fc classic planner as my paper tool for notes and tasks and appointments, I use hybrid system with a pda for my contacts (to many to have them in the planner) Important appointments I write down in outlook too.

                  I have modified my FC planner with sections where I have forms from the diy planner pages, this works making my FC planner as GTD as I need.