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A Paper Lover’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Planner or Datebook : Part 1of3

11 Nov

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Selecting the perfect planner–the right format, size, layout–can be a fraught experience.  Here to simplify that process is Laurie Huff, the guru behind plannerisms.com. In this 3-part series, she’ll walk us through how to choose the best planner for you.  

We know: online calendars abound! But an electronic device simply can’t replicate the tactile joy of holding a book, turning the pages, and putting pen to paper. There are also numerous advantages of using a paper planner. Studies have shown that the act of writing helps people remember what they have written even if they never look at it again. And, the archival properties of a book are superior to electronics. We can read books hundreds of years after they were printed. Have you tried recently to access data on a floppy disc? What about that website you used to read until it went all 404 on you? Books have a tangible permanence that electronics can’t replicate. european-paper-loves-pen-to-paper-datebook-selection

The purpose of a planner is to help keep you in control of your life. Everyone’s needs are different, and your planner can be anywhere from basic—simply scheduling appointments—to complex. Ideally your planner should be your life management tool. Tasks, goals and projects are much more likely to be completed if they are written in your planner where you will see them often. Students can use their planner to track assignments, papers, exams and homework so that everything gets completed on time. Parents with kids in school can write everyone’s schedule and recurring events into your planner so you always know who has to be where and when. Other functions of a planner include tracking everything from finances and expenses to health matters like exercise, diet, blood pressure and weight. Your planner can also be your creative outlet for journaling and art.

With all these planner uses, how can you possibly decide what planner will work best for you? Here’s where to start:

There are three main types of planner formats: daily, weekly or monthly. Each format provides different perspectives on your time. Below is some advice to help you decide if you would best benefit from the large overview of the monthly, schedule view of the weekly, or lots of details with the daily.

Let me walk you through the three main types of formats and ways to use each.

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Daily:  Daily planners, diaries, or day-per-page planners allow you to focus on each day. The downside of these planners is it can be difficult to plan ahead with only two days visible at a time, so if you use one as your planner I highly recommend combining it with a monthly planner.

Daily planners are excellent for people who have lots of appointments each day, or who want to record details such as phone calls, expenses, tasks, or other information. Some of my favorite daily planners are the Quo Vadis Journal 21 and Daily pocket (which have built-in monthly planning calendars), and the Moleskine daily plannersShop all our daily planners here.

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Weekly:  This is the most popular format of planners because it allows you to see your entire week at once and plan your schedule easily.  There are various weekly formats including week + notes, such as the Leuchtturm Weekly Plannerhorizontal like the Quo Vadis Hebdo, or vertical (days as columns) like the Moleskine Large Vertical Weekly Planner. I will compare these different formats later in a separate post.

Weekly formats are good for most planner situations because they allow for detailed daily planning while giving the overview of the week. Shop all our weekly planners here.

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Monthly:  There are planners that have monthly-only formats. If you don’t have much to write each day and prefer an overview of your month, the monthly planner is perfect for you. Alternatively, you could use a separate monthly planner along with your weekly or daily planner to have the books open side by side to see the monthly overview alongside your weekly or daily activities. Some examples of this are the Moleskine Monthly Notebook and the Quo Vadis Visoplan #67Shop all our monthly planners here.

Monthly calendars are best for seeing overviews of things like bills due, travel, holidays, deadlines, and seeing patterns over a period of weeks.

So to summarize:

To record lots of details of your days, you’ll want a daily planner »

For most planning needs, weekly planner will probably work well for you »

For long-range planning or if you don’t have many appointments, use a monthly planner »

 

In my next post, I’ll help you determine what size planner you need!

 

Meet the Writer: Laurie Huff tests, reviews and designs planners at Plannerisms.com. Over the years she has tried dozens (hundreds?) of planners in search of the “Perfect Planner,” and on Plannerisms she helps others find planners that work well for them. When she’s not writing about planners, she spends every moment she can in the forests of Scotland. Laurie enjoys science and nature, hikes with her family, and reading books by the fireplace.

 

Prep Properly with Refillable Quo Vadis Academic Planners

22 May

Quo Vadis Academic Planners Available now on EuropeanPaper.com!

Planner Sale: Save Up to 45% Off 2013 Planners

18 Feb

Last Chance for up to 45% Off 2013 Planners on EuropeanPaper.com

Don’t Miss Out on Big Datebook Savings

19 Jan

We know how hectic the holidays and the New Year can become. Whether you’ve already bought a 2013 planner and aren’t happy with it, you’ve totally forgot to get your 2013 datebook yet (it’s only mid-January, right?), or you’re a planner extraordinaire and love a second or third datebook, have we got a datebook sale for you! All 2013 datebooks and refills have been discounted and prices are marked on the product page.

See the full selection here >> 2013 Datebook Sale

Save up to 35% on all 2013 Datebooks on EuropeanPaper.com - Don't miss out, shop now!

Small Business Expenses Solution: The Moleskine Daily Planner Set

11 Jan

I’m always trying to balance the digital part of my life with my penchant for low-tech, traditional paper and pen. As a freelance writer and web content marketer, that means I’ve tried just about every system coming and going – both digital and paper.

No matter what I do, I end up at the end of the year, sorting through receipts, checking all my notebooks for scribbles on mileage and lunch meetings, and scouring my email for automatic payments on business bills. It’s humbling, if not downright depressing. It also takes three or four days and I’m in such a foul mood everyone cuts me a HUGE path. For years, “I’m working on taxes” was the only thing I could say that would actually strike terror into my children and make them quiet and cautious.

For 2013, I’m taking a new path. I’m going to use the 2013 Moleskine Daily Planner Set.

Moleskine 2013 Daily Planner Box Set on EuropeanPaper.com

Moleskine 2013 Daily Planner Box Set on EuropeanPaper.com

More to Love; Less to Carry

I like keeping a notebook with me all the time to capture ideas, snippets of conversations, and general information I may need to reference later. The problem is, I usually go out without what I need because I don’t like to carry too much when I leave the house. The smaller size of a pocket planner solves that as it is small enough to fit in my purse (so I’ll always have it with me), yet big enough for my ideas to fill it up before returning it to the binder set.

Why This Will Work

The Moleskine Daily Planner Set meets my needs beautifully by giving me a new daily planner each month with a full page per day for jotting down mileage AS it’s HAPPENING in one place, automatic payments that hit my account, automatic withdrawals to pay bills, who I meet for a business lunch and what we discuss, and I can even record those little office supplies I pick up while I’m out doing personal shopping.

I only wish each month had the expandable pocket in the back to hold those pesky little receipts that are so easy to lose. Since they don’t come with one, I’ll be adding them to each volume myself.

Once the month is over, I’ll return the book to the binder and take out a new one. At the end of the year, I’ll have a complete set outlining my year in business in one convenient place. And I’ll have a written record should I ever get audited (without having to scour my computer system and pull together old files).

My income tracking is handled online (I use Cashboard and love it). I can pull a year-end report and have all the invoicing and payment information in a flash because I do all my billing through that one online system and all my clients pay online. It’s the little expenses here and there, the daily stuff, that make me crazy. I’m confident the Moleskine Daily Planner Set should solve the problem.

Why My Other Systems Didn’t Work

I like a paper version of bookkeeping records – it’s faster to jot down expenses than to power up a computer and open a program to do it – but never could remember to carry my record book with me everywhere (and didn’t want to, since it was so big). I’d also forget to log items when I returned to the office, meaning I’d lose business expenses deductions every year to my faulty system. It also means I always felt like I was playing “catch up.”

I’ve tried phone apps and tablet apps and computer apps. They were always too time-intensive to set up, too awkward to use on the run, or too focused in their application (meaning they would only track mileage and I’d have to open another app to do meals and another to do miscellaneous business expenses like office supplies, professional subscriptions and equipment). The few that showed promise invariably crashed and lost several months worth of data that cost me more time to recover and/or research all over again than they were worth. It also made my language get a little too colorful for comfort. Granted, today’s digital systems and “cloud” backups mean this happens less, but I’ve been burned too many times, now. No thank you.

What I need is a single, portable place to dump and store all my information. I love the fact that this page-a-day format will eliminate my need to write the date of each purchase. I know that’s a little thing, but it irks me. With these monthly volumes, I’ll jot down what it was, how much it was, and where I bought it – and list the project if it’s for a specific client – then slip the receipt in the (soon to be) homemade back pocket.

I Want a SIMPLE System

I can’t wait to get my set to begin my new system. It’s currently on order so I can start the year right – and of course the planner set will be the first items listed in my business expenses for January! I’m going to be so organized and efficient this year! (And I won’t have to lug around a huge book to accomplish it – just a single slender monthly volume.)

The ONLY thing that could make it better would be a built-in back pocket per notebook and access to a set that was varying shades of purple instead of rainbow colors … but that’s just me.

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Meet the Writer: Angela Allen has been creating online content for small business clients since 1999, when she had to use a painfully slow dial-up connection. Now, she specializes in real estate topics and organic content marketing for entrepreneurs on a gloriously high speed connection. When she’s not writing for WickedWriter.com clients, she enjoys the discipline of living small in her high-tech cabin deep in the woods of Kentucky, blogging on WickedBlog, and enjoying the pure tactile titillation of going “old-school” and writing with a fountain pen on luxury paper.

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Editor’s Note: Shopping for a 2013 Daily Planner? Discover all available 2013 day-per-page datebooks here. Prefer weekly or monthly formats? We’ve got those too for 2013: All Weekly 2013 Planners and All 2013 Monthly Planners.

Find Your Favorite: Shop Daily, Weekly, & Monthly Planners

9 Jan

Shop all Daily Planners and Datebooks from Moleskine and more on EuropeanPaper.com

Shop all Weekly Planners and Datebooks from Moleskine and more on EuropeanPaper.com

Shop all Monthly Planners and Datebooks from Moleskine and more on EuropeanPaper.com

Or need a planner refill? Shop all 2013 Datebook Refills here >>

The New Year is Almost Here: Pick Your Perfect Datebook & Calendar

29 Dec

Shop all Datebooks and Planners on EuropeanPaper.com

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And don’t forget – save 10% off your entire order with coupon code NEWYEAR at checkout! Don’t hesitate, this deal ends Tuesday, January 1st.

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Shop all beautiful Cavallini Calendars on EuropeanPaper.com

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Cheat Sheet: Easy-to-Find Moleskine 2013 Planners by Format & Size

27 Dec

Moleskine Datebooks & Planners on EuropeanPaper.com

Moleskine journals are legendary, possessing a minimalism style and quality for creatives and professionals the world around to enjoy. Like the Moleskine Journals, all Moleskine Planners have a sewn binding, acid-free paper, rounded edges, elastic closure, cloth ribbon placeholder, and a rear expandable inner pocket. Below, we break out each Moleskine planner by format, then by size, for the easiest way to find the perfect planner for you! Which planner is your favorite?

Daily

Need a little more space to take notes on the go, plan out your day, and jot down inspirations? The Moleskine 2013 Daily Planner is the ideal planner/diary! Stay organized with a fresh new page per day with the date in the upper-hand corner of the page.

Weekly Horizontal

Dated from January to December 2013, Moleskine’s 2013 Weekly Horizontal Planners allow more horizontal room for notes and appointment details. This popular planner style is perfect to have the week in a quick view as it’s formatted with each week on a horizontal two-page spread: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on the left page, Thursday, Friday and Saturday/Sunday on the right side.

Weekly Vertical

Plan out the hours of each day of the week with the Moleskine 2013 Vertical Weekly Planner. Dated from January to December 2013, the Moleskine 2013 Vertical Planner is formatted in vertical columns to show each week on a two page spread with the days spanning the top of the page. This popular planner style is perfect for people who want to have the overview of the organized week.

Weekly Planner + Notes

Handy and versatile, the planner plus notes format has plenty of room to record notes and appointments, yet also with the freedom of a notebook. Formatted to show the full week on the left page, and complemented by a ruled page for notes and ideas on the right, Moleskine’s 2013 Weekly Planner + Notes has ample space for all your needs.

Monthly

The big picture at a glance just got easier with the Moleskine Monthly Planner. Dated from January to December 2013, Moleskine’s 2013 Monthly Planner shows each month across a two-page spread, plus ruled pages between each month to take notes, jot down ideas, and keep track of the details. Perfect to have the whole month at a quick glance.

 

Happy Boxing Day! Grab Your 2013 Datebook Before the New Year

26 Dec

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We hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas yesterday! Before the clocks run down to the end of 2012, just a quick reminder to pick your 2013 datebook!

Gift Pick of the Week: Moleskine 2013 Daily Planner

21 Dec

Moleskine 2013 Large Hard Cover Daily Planner (5 x 8.25) on EuropeanPaper.com

Find Your Perfect Planner for 2013 on EuropeanPaper.com

2 Dec

Find Your Perfect Planner for 2013 on EuropeanPaper.com

 

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It’s Cavallinipalooza!

14 Nov

Cavallini Datebooks, Calendars, Journals, and more on EuropeanPaper.com