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preferrred brand /format re: Paper planners/calendars

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  • preferrred brand /format re: Paper planners/calendars

    If you love your paper planner pages and they are working for your GTD implementation, I would like to hear what you are using and how you are using it. It is getting close to ordering time for 2009 calendars!

    If you have already posted on this, please give me a good clue on how to find your post. (Katherine, I know how to find yours! And, I thank you for your many articulate and logical contributions).

    After the long slow death of my Palm, during which time I thought I was developing dementia, I have come to rely on my 3-ring binder 8.5" x 5.5" , but it is bulky, and when I use it I feel like I am still losing my mind because as I flip from one section to another I forget what I am going to enter or want to look up.

    Here is my set up and what I do and don't like about it.

    Monthly calendar is on two pages--great to see the whole month at once, not enough space in each box for more than a few appointments and deadlines; "bench mark" dates get obscured in the hand written mishmosh.

    Contexts- each has a section:

    @adjenda (people) and I have a page for each major place where I see or meet with people (office, church, organization, and a page for nuclear family members and a page for extended family. I keep "waiting fors" on this list with the person I am waiting for it from. In the Palm, I had them in memo and hence they were alphabetical (but not check off-able).

    @c/c=at calendar(s) and at computer (most of the incoming info about dates comes via e-mail or checking a web page); many times I need to note these in my calendar and send a reply (""ll be there" or "So sorry..."). Many of these I have to write on the family calendar as well as my planner and e-mail on the other people.

    @computer r/w = one page for research, one for write/edit/outline

    @ Home-desk

    @ Home-in the house

    @ Home-outside the house

    @LISTS (includes cumulating lists, reference lists (part numbers, sizes, etc), check lists, and "waiting for" list for stuff that is not from a person I usually interact with (e.g., parts I have ordered, a credit to come on an account).

    @office (work place)

    @OUT (errands)


    Projects: list of them, brief description, one per page because I can't remember what I have done and not done and a large portion of my actions are not dependant.

    SDMB: projects that are deferred, undeveloped

    What I miss the most from the Palm is that I can't readily search or carry around my contacts data base.

    What I hated about the Palm was not being able to see the whole month and the cumbersome of entry when I was not at the computer.

  • #2
    I've used a lot of different systems in the 7 years since I've adopted GTD. I keep going back to paper. I am using the classic-sized F-C planner. I have my monthly calendar on two pages per month, use the two-page daily pages because I love the right hand page for recording notes and activities throughout the day, and I have tabbed sections for the following:

    Tab #1 - Projects (just the project titles)
    Tab #2 - Next Action Lists (Anywhere, Calls, Computer, Email, Errands, Home, Office, Online, Waiting for - one page for each context)
    Tab #3 - Agendas (single page for each)
    Tab #4 - Someday/maybe
    Tab #5 - Church (I'm a pastor)
    Tab #6 - Ideas
    Tab #7 - Horizons of Focus/goals
    Tab #8 - Extra Note Paper
    Tab 9 - Receipts folder

    I keep a Weekly Reoccurring Calendar WORD document that has each day of the week outlined with the things I would ideally like to do on that particular (perfect) day. It's a rough outline of the week that I use during weekly review or when my wife and I plan out the coming week(s).

    I also keep a Monthly Reoccurring Events page with each month of the year on it and items that occur monthly (birthdays, anniversaries, monthly church events, etc.). I keep this in my planner so that I don't have to populate my calendar with them until its time. I check this sheet monthly so that I'm on top of upcoming events and can plan accordingly with projects and associated next actions.

    Paper gives me a break from the digital world that I live in so much of the day and I enjoy the full monthly view of my calendar and the daily pages for notes, reflections, reminders, etc.
    Last edited by GTDWorks; 10-06-2008, 07:04 AM.


    • #3
      I use a Filofax A5. I have separate sections for Home and Work (the only two contexts I really use), and detailed actions and projects tabs in each. As for calendars, I use two: Monthly (2-pages), and daily (page-per-day). I typically carry three months of daily pages at a time: the current month, previous and upcoming. Appointments for further out are noted on the monthly calendar, and then transferred when I make the monthly switchover. I like Filofax for many reasons, but most especially because of the clean design (white pages, high quality paper) and minimal formatting. In an ideal world, I'd most like a week-at-a-glance, but I find that I sacrifice the space to put tickler items and notes right on the date, so I've settled on daily pages, which don't require me to censor my note-and list-making. On the daily pages the left column I use for appointments, the right column for that day's tickler or items that must be done. There's room for notes at the bottom as well.


      • #4
        I wrote about how I've switched to paper and what my set up is like here:

        I'm still liking it and going strong.



        • #5
          I just purchased a WeekDate calendar. It offers layers so that you only write your re-occurring events just once. Very clever for a paper calendar.


          • #6
            DavidCo is late.

            In 2009 most of us will have to use third party paper organizers since DavidCo is late with its Mead product announcement.


            • #7
              I bought a Franklin-Covey planner because GTD wouldn't be out in time for me to get set up for the new year. I look forward to seeing it, however!


              • #8
                I use a Franklin planner that I've had for years. You can find a nice broken in one of eBay. Apparently I have one of the sought after large ring binders so I keep it maintained.

                I used to use the Franklin inserts when I wasn't buying them. Now I use pages printed from along with a custom meeting notes form that I created.

                Very much organized like most GTD systems.


                • #9
                  I've spent countless hours & dollars looking for & buying binders, covers & pages that didn't satisfy me. Being a parent & teacher, I needed 3 main things: a calendar, lots of notes pages & no bulk.
                  I eventually found that in my At-a-Glance Monthly Action Planner! It has a monthly calendar thats large enough to pencil in appointments, generous ToDo & notes pages that are seperated by tabs, a plastic pouch (its rather flimsey though), all in a lightweight flexible spiral notebook that feels great in my hand!
                  Only 2 negatives, there's no monthly/weekly combination; it comes in one or the other. Also, the pages are boring & unattractive in my opinion.
                  But, its has 97% of what I want, so I'm happy!
                  If Mr. Covey would update his Her Point of View wirebound planner to include more note pages i'd be in planner heaven!


                  • #10
                    Paper vs. digital (stuck!)

                    I've bounced between paper and windows mobile for way too long. Sometimes I switch back and forth twice within one week. This involves deleting my lists from my outlook task list and handwriting them in my Franklin Covey planner. I've been using GTD for years and I do believe it's the only way to go. Here's the basic problem; I use outlook for my calendar. When I go paper, I still use outlook for my calendar, so when I look at my two page per day planner, I don't want to write my appointments in because we all know the perils of having more than one calender. I don't want to go to the written calendar because my meetings come at me from others and they are usually sent as outlook invites.
                    When I go strictly digital ( I have a Motorolla Q with windows mobile) I find I am not as diligent at opening the lists, reading the tasks, listing the next actions (placemarkers) etc...when I go to my planner, I get a real jolt out of comleting a task and coloring it done. Problem is that when I make my lists, I find myself planning the day and writing a to-do list rather that a list separated by context.
                    Help! I really want to go paper but my contacts and appointments will be in another place.
                    I don't want to drift back to daily planning because the re-writing of tasks seems such a waste of time. One lastthing. I like havinga record of events page that comes with the FC planner.

                    Has anyone else struggled with this and is there a solution??


                    • #11
                      Several people use hybrid systems, with electronic contacts and calendar (usually) and paper for everything else.

                      That's what I did when I first transitioned away from an all-electronic system. I've since gone to a mostly paper calendar as well. I use an electronic calendar for meeting-dense events like conferences, to store conference call numbers and such, and to share with my husband, but I avoid the two calendar problem because my paper calendar is always the canonical version.

                      I too miss the daily log aspect of a classic planner, so for 2009 I'm merging the 2-page per week and 2-page per day DayTimer formats. This is for logging and planning only: I expect my NA lists will still reside in a softcover Moleskine. I'll try to remember to let the forum know how that works out.



                      • #12
                        Thanks for the reply.perhaps I should know this but can you tell me what a canonical paper calendar is??


                        • #13

                          Canonical = generally accepted standard, authoritative point of reference; often used in an ecclesiastical or literary context but appropriate elsewhere as well. Katherine has used the term quite elegantly in applying it to her paper calendar.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GTDWorks View Post
                            I bought a Franklin-Covey planner because GTD wouldn't be out in time for me to get set up for the new year. I look forward to seeing it, however!
                            I too look forward to seeing it! Has there been any sneek peeks?


                            • #15
                              What Day Owl said. If I have several calendars, the canonical one is the authoritative version, the one that "wins" all conflicts among them.

                              I think this usage comes from computer science and the need to designate a "master" version of a file, but I'm not sure.