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Planner suggestions

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  • Planner suggestions

    Does anyone have suggestions on a refill for paper planners? I've been using Franklin Covey 2-pages-per-day, but not very effectively--it seems like such a waste of paper sometime. Any favorite brands and formats?

  • #2

    I've used a huge number of things, and I doubt you will find a paper planner that is much better than Franklin Covey in terms of wasting paper. If I were still using paper-based planning, I'd just implement the DA system with a weekly calender, address book and plain white paper.

    My honest suggestion though is to realize that there are a number of easy paper-saving ways to implement GTD if you have access to a computer and can buy an inexpensive Palm (expensive ones make nice toys, but I don't use all the extra features much) to synchronize with it. In addition to saving paper, the Palm is easier to carry, and you can set an alarm when you need a reminder.

    In my case, my high-level thinking still happens on plain white paper that ends up in project support folders, and I still print out a lot of check lists. Those things satify my brain's need for more tactile planning, while the computer & PDA contain most of the rest of the system in a compact, easily edited manner.



    • #3
      Planner suggestion

      I bought a 3 ring leather binder made by Cambridge. It has a snap closure. It came with "At-A-Glance" brand paper filler. Its monthly calendars, daily pages and note pages. Of course the A-Z contacts as well. It has proved to be very useful. I tried covey and daytimer as well with no luck. I have just discovered that I can use the A-Z tabs to file projects by alph-order instead of contacts that i rarely use.


      • #4
        Plain white A5 paper is my choice. Together with a hole punch, old Time Design folder from eBay and check lists these give maximum versatility and the lowest cost solution.


        • #5
          Since you already have a Franklin Planner binder you may want to consider the 1-page-per-day format (available in the original green color only) in the Compact, Classic and Monarch sizes. This format puts a smaller notes section at the bottom of each page instead of an entire separate notes page.


          There are also weekly view pages available in various sizes and styles.


          • #6
            Palm caution

            I've been using a Palm for years. It's great for keeping a work and home PC in sync. Be aware that you need a Palm with the 5.2 OS if you have contacts with multiple addresses (work & home). Most of the low end Palms do not support that OS.

            The older Chapura Outlook conduit software, that ships with Palms, used to automatically sync additional addresses in a user defined field, the current version does not. I had to spend an additional $50 for KeySuites.

            Palm is great, but expensive! I have no experience with Pocket PC.


            • #7
              Palm multiple address contacts

              In older versions of PalmOS you could use user-definable fields for storing home address and other contact info (for example anniversaries).
              In my opinion the major problem with built-in applications is "no more than 16 categories per application" limit and inability to sort tasks alphabetically.
              They haven't fix it even in PalmOS 5.2 applications.


              • #8
                Re: Palm multiple address contacts

                In my opinion the major problem with built-in applications is "no more than 16 categories per application" limit

                I read somewhere that psychologists generally agree that 7 major categories are about the most that the average person can cope with before his focus becomes too disaggregated and (his system becomes) counterproductive. This presumably applies to Roles, Goals, Contexts, etc. The logical next step is that if you really believe that you need more than 7 Categories, perhaps a Contact Manager or a search-based discrete data system, such as MemoLeaf or Bonsai with Keywords, would be a more appropriate system. The last thing I want is to have to spend time deciding which of many possible Contexts a certain Next Action belongs to.

                Jason Womack has written some interesting comments on this subject. Apparently "Home" for him includes professional work that is physically done in his home. I don't think it matters where you decide for yourself to put the hard edges between Contexts as long as you know where the hard edges are and use them consistently until the allocation of Next Actions to Contexts become (habitually) automatic. I guess that's why they call it a system.



                • #9
                  Re: Palm multiple address contacts

                  In the older Palm app, the Chapura conduit software would sync the user defined fields in both directions - and would automatically map additional addresses to UDF's. When I bought my Tungsten, I had to manually map the second address to the UDF and it would only sync from Outlook to Palm. Apparently, Chapura saw opportunity for profit in charging to overcome Palms single address limitation.

                  I've never had an issue with 16 categories. The most I have for any application is 12. However, it would be nice to assign multiple categories to a task. There are several communications that could be handled as @Call or Computer (email), or purchases that could be in Errands or Computer (to buy on-line)

                  But to restate my original reply, Palm is a good way to implement GTD, and it allows you to keep multiple computers in sync, but you need the higher end Palms to get full functionality. Anything without OS 5.2 is a technological cul-de-sac. Older versions, including 5.0 are not upgradable.


                  • #10
                    Where to get A5 paper??

                    Originally posted by Anonymous
                    Plain white A5 paper is my choice. Together with a hole punch, old Time Design folder from eBay and check lists these give maximum versatility and the lowest cost solution.
                    Would like to print out to a 8.5 x 5.5 paper to place in binder. What is the most economical way to do this?


                    • #11
                      I am a long-time PDA user but still keep a daily journal and some lists using the Time Design Business system. Great leather binder, daily pages, Databank section for my key Areas of Focus, +++.


                      • #12
                        A new low-end PDA is definitely worth a try.

                        I say "a try", because you can get a Palm Zire 21 for about $60 on ebay, and if you get used to it, you don't have to buy any other planners. I you don't use it for NA, you can still have the contacts in there. Or, sell it on ebay and make something back.


                        • #13
                          Beware low end Palms

                          Do not buy a Palm with less than OS 5.2. 5.0 can only hold 1 address per contact, and it's not upgradable. Palm really screwed anyone who bought the Tugnsten T. That said, the Zire 21 does currently ship with OS 5.2, and it looks like a good basic handheld.


                          • #14
                            Paper planners

                            I have used Filofax and Franklin Planner. I find the paper quality of the Franklin Planner to be far superior. I am puzzled by people who are concerned by the paper useage associated with a planner. I use the planner for all of my notes, journal, ideas, dreams etc. I do not use another notebook or other paper sources. I would bet my annual paper useage is less than a person using a plain paper notebook and the print outs of schedules and tasks that many do out of Outlook and other electronic tools. Paper systems seem to be a bit on the 'outer' at this time, however as a person who has been through countless PDAs and reliance on Outlook I have returned to the paper planner as a 'life book' that captures everything.


                            • #15
                              Paper is not searchable.

                              Paper is OK but it has the main drawback - it is not searchable. If you
                              use the planner for all of my notes, journal, ideas, dreams etc.
                              it is not easy to find them after several months. In Palm PDA you have a global lookup function that lists all the items containing the specified phrase. So you can enter "dog" and you have a list of all calendar, address, todo, memo, and other items you have ever entered about your dog (possibly about other dogs too). It is a real time-saver for me. It was always big problem for me to be "lost in paper" desperately looking for information that I knew I had put in my calendar some time ago.