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Save 10% on All 2014 Academic Planners & Refills

10 Jul

If you’re heading back to school and haven’t gotten your 18 month planner yet, you’re in luck! Save 10% on any Academic Planner or Refill now through 7/17, and let these professional organizers save you from the “whoosh” of missed deadlines.
Use code GENIUS10, SHOP NOW »
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2014 Datebook Sale Extended! + Shop Refillable Datebooks & Refills

1 Jan

datebook-sale-10-off-blog_01 datebook-sale-10-off-blog_02Happy new year! Ready to start planning? Save 10% off every single datebook, planner, and refill with code NEWYEAR10.
Shop all Datebooks »
Shop Refillable Datebooks »
Shop Refills »

2014 Daily Datebooks from Moleskine, Leuchtturm1917, Quo Vadis & Exacompta

14 Nov

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It’s a perfect time to get a head start on the new year, and choose from the best selection while you’re at it!
Shop Daily Planners Here »
Undecided on your format? Shop them all right here »

A Paper Lover’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Planner or Datebook : Part 3of3 : Weekly Formats & Cover Styles

13 Nov

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Selecting the perfect planner–the right format, size, layout–can be a fraught experience.  Here to simplify the 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.  

In my previous posts in this series I helped you decide which format of planner will work best for you, and what size planner you need. In this post I will focus on different formats of weekly planners, since weeklies are the most popular planner style. I will also discuss different types of covers and how to decide what to choose.

quo-vadis-2014-club-hebdo-56-planner-6.25-x-9.375-pqu4562-2The Horizontal Weekly format is the most basic weekly format. It has the day spaces across the page with Monday through Wednesday or Thursday on the left page, and the rest of the week on the right page. These formats sometimes have a space for notes on the weekly page to add symmetry to the layout. Some examples of the horizontal weekly format are the Quo Vadis HebdoMoleskine Horizontal and the Cavallini weekly planner.

The Horizontal Weekly format is very popular because it is so flexible in its use.  There is no dictated way to use it. You can use the daily spaces for your appointments, tasks, notes, or even sketches. You could also use the planner as a daily diary. The smaller daily spaces are less intimidating than a full daily page, and if you miss a day or two it’s easy to go back and fill in later. Shop all our Horizontal Weekly Planners here.

exacompta-2014-club-visual-planner-6-x-8.25-pqu4202-2The Vertical Weekly format has days as columns, which is useful for seeing your day chronologically down the column. Some planners have timed columns, some lined without times, and some blank. Vertical columns are especially useful for planning how long activities will take, seeing how much time you have between events, or for blocking out periods of time. Another useful feature of days as vertical columns is that undone tasks can be arrowed over to the next day without re-writing. Some examples of the vertical weekly format are the Moleskine Vertical Weekly planner and the Exacompta Club Visual planner.

The Vertical Weekly format is highly structured and is excellent for very busy people who need to map out their day by the hour. This is especially useful for families managing multiple schedules or students who work a job. The vertical chronological format allows you to see exactly what hours are taken up by classes and work, so you can schedule your study time to make sure you keep up on everything. Similarly, working parents can benefit from seeing the hours of their days so they can meet deadlines and still make it to after-school activities on time. Shop all our Vertical Weekly Planners here

rhodia-2014-pocket-weekly-planner-4-x-6-prh4358kk-3The Week + Notes format is great because it allows lists and notes to be written alongside the weekly schedule. This lets you see what you need to do (on your lists) and when you have time to do it (in your schedule). Week + Notes planners can combine notes and lists with either a horizontal or vertical weekly format. Shop all our Week + Notes datebooks here.   

The Week + Notes Horizontal format is extremely popular, because there are so many ways to use it. The traditional way to use it is with your schedule in the weekly page and lists and notes in the opposite page. But I’ve seen many different uses for this format including uses as a blog planner, a weekly (as opposed to daily) diary/ journal, a fashion diary with pictures stuck into the pages, baby book (recording all those little events in a baby’s first year), etc. There really is no limit to the possible uses.  Examples of Week + Notes Horizontal planners are the Leuchtturm Weekly Planner, Rhodia weekly plannerMoleskine Weekly Planner + Notes and the Exacompta Space 17.

The Week + Notes Vertical format is my personal favorite. I function best with the structure of the vertical daily columns showing me my schedule by the hour, combined with space below or to the side for my prioritized lists (Must Do, Could Do, Ongoing/ Non-Urgent). Seeing my tasks along with my schedule allows me to see where I can work tasks into my schedule and helps me prioritize my time. Examples of Week + Notes Vertical planners are the Quo Vadis Trinote and extra-large Quo Vadis Prenote #24.

quo-vadis-2014-trinote-planner-refill-48-ref.-4801-7-x-9.375-pqu44801-1A final consideration in choosing your planner is the cover.  Here, too, you have multiple options, from basic black to vacation turquoise.  Perhaps more importantly, however, is whether to select a refillable cover or not.  A refillable cover, such as those by Quo Vadis or Exacompta, allows the economic and environmentally-friendly option of reusing your cover and simply swapping out refill each year. This is especially nice when you have a cover you love and can enjoy using year after year (alternatively, you can purchase multiple covers and change up your planner look seasonally or according to mood!)  On the other hand, an entirely new cover and planner may simplify your planner archives.

With all of these planner options, you are sure to find the planner that works best for you!

 

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.

A Paper Lover’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Planner or Datebook : Part 2of3 : Size

12 Nov

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Selecting the perfect planner–the right format, size, layout–can be a fraught experience.  Here to simplify the 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.  

In my previous post, I discussed various uses for planners and how to determine whether you need a monthly, weekly or daily planner. The next step is to decide what size planner you need.

What size planner you choose is a balance between page space and portability. If your planner will stay at home or work all the time, it can be as big as you want. But if you will carry your book everywhere with you, make sure it’s a size you can stand to carry in your bag or hands all the time. Everyone has their own size threshold. Do you need a book you can slip into your pocket? Do you carry a big bag and don’t mind a large book?

quo-vadis-2014-club-miniweek-44-planner-2.75-x-3.75-pqu4442-1When looking for a planner to take with you everywhere, it’s tempting to get the smallest planner possible. There are planners smaller than your phone, like the Quo Vadis Club Miniweek #44 Planners, which can be great for tossing into a small clutch or suit pocket, making it always immediately available.  But, make sure the spaces are large enough to write in everything you need. I’ve had many a planner fail due to too-small day spaces.

Something else to consider is the size of your handwriting. If you have tiny, neat handwriting you’ll be able to get away with a smaller page size (and therefore smaller book) than someone like me who has large handwriting.

Book size may affect what format of planner you choose. If you need to write lots of details every day and you want to take your planner everywhere with you, you may prefer a pocket size day per page planner like the Moleskine Pocket Daily Planner or Quo Vadis Daily Pocket instead of a desk size weekly planner.

cavallini-2014-keep-calm-weekly-planner-4-x-6-pcv2648-1It is possible to have both portability and a large page space. If you want a book with plenty of writing space that you don’t mind carrying, try one of the slightly larger pocket datebooks, usually about 4 x 6 inches, like those from Cavallini (we love their vintage covers!) or Rhodia. These ones easily fit into a larger pocket or satchel.  Shop all our pocket datebooks here.

Slightly larger still are the large datebooks, which tend to prefer living in drawers, backpacks, larger purses and briefcases.  Most popular of these is the Exacompta Visual Planner and its refills, which allow you to keep the same cover year after year.  We’re also keen on the large Rhodia weekly planner and the Leuchtturm1917 weekly planner.  Shop all our large datebooks here.

moleskine-2014-extra-large-soft-cover-weekly-planner--notes-7.5-x-10-mcx514w-1If your planner will stay on your desk most of the time, the sky’s the limit for planner size. The Moleskine Extra Large Weekly planner and Quo Vadis 2014 Club Trinote Planner both have loads of writing space each week to help you keep up on all your lists and notes.  Shop all our extra large datebooks here.

With such a variety of planner formats and sizes from tiny to huge, you’ll be sure to find what works best for you. Feel free to experiment until you figure out what works.

In my next post I’ll discuss the most popular planner formats and how to use them!

 

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.

Early Birds, Shop 2014 Datebooks & Get 10% off!

17 Oct

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Use code EARLYBIRD14 and enjoy 10% off all 2014 datebooks.
Shop all datebooks here »
Grab our most popular weekly formats here »

It’s Book Club Month! How to Find, Join, or Create Your Own…

9 Oct

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It’s October, finally.  The swarm of back to school has abated—and perhaps made us a little nostalgic for long ago days of reading lists—and schedules are beginning to settle back into patterns. The weather is turning cooler, and rain pelts the window. In all, it’s the perfect time to curl up with a cup of tea (or something stronger) and a favorite book.  It’s also National Reading Group Month and, we gotta say, sharing the joys of a great book with dear friends is almost enough to forgive the end of Daylight Savings Time.

Are you in a book club already?  If not, why?  Granted, sometimes book clubs get pegged as wine-sloshing gossip groups—we’ve gone to some like that, and they’re great fun—but they don’t have to be.  Book clubs come in every style, from alumni reading groups led by professors, to re-reading children and young adult fiction from an adult perspective, from avant-garde sci fi to military history or memoirs.  Just like there’s a book or genre for anyone, there’s also a book club.

Getting in to one—now, there’s the rub.  If you’re looking for low initial commitment, we recommend checking out your local independent bookstore or public library.  They often host public book clubs, providing the books in bulk (library) or even at a discount (bookstore).  There’s seldom a need to RSVP or register; just slip into a chair to learn about and discuss Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone or Barbara Kingsolver’s latest.   (See our list of some favorite indie bookstores and their reading groups below).tumblr_m9aj35gJcB1qavvdfo1_1280

Other places to try would be that clearinghouse of social groups, meetup.com, or asking around at your office, gym, place of worship or favorite coffee shop. Someone has probably had this great collective reading impulse already, and it’s fairly simple to join a book club that’s already up and functioning; however, you’ll probably have to RSVP, perhaps provide snacks or take a turn leading, and it’s sometimes more difficult to make schedules align.

And if you’ve struck out at the coffee shop and the library? We suggest starting your own book club.  It takes a little organization, but there’s also a lot more liberty in terms of location, reading specific genres, and so forth. Before you get started, take a few minutes and ponder what you want from your book club: do you want inciting commentary and scholarly contextualization or a reason to catch up over delicious desserts (or something in between)?  To read the classics you only Cliff-noted in college or the fluffy summer fiction you missed?  Do you want to read the collected works of one author? To reunite with old friends or get to know the neighbors better? Where will you meet, will you take turns leading and hosting with other members, and how large do you want the group to be (for meeting in a home or quiet cafe, 6-12 tends to be an ideal size)? Decide if you want refreshments and if they’ll be themed, homemade delectables, or simple cheese and crackers.

When you have a decent idea of what you want in terms of tone and theme, start floating it around your own social group and see who’s interested.  Ask everyone to bring 2-3 book suggestions to a first, organizational meeting.  Set some ground rules about how often (usually once a month) you’ll meet, where, and for how long. Discuss hosting and leading responsibilities as well. Ironing out a schedule can easily be the most difficult part of this process.  Finally, discuss book suggestions and see if a clear favorite emerges for the next text.  If not, take a vote, take turns or even toss them in a hat and draw the first few months’ of readings.

Next thing you know, you’ll be deep into plot points, authorial perspectives and crudités. You’ll be getting to know your books—and friends—more deeply, and what can better than that on a chilly autumnal evening?

To get off to the right start, you can shop book club tools that will keep you inspired, in-sync with your club, and organized. Try scheduling your chapters by due date in a new 2014 datebook. We’d recommend the planner+notes format - dates on the left, your thoughts of the book on the right. If you’d like to keep notes in an exclusive journal, you’ll love Paperblanks journals, with embellished manuscript covers from great authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald and other muses. If you’re into more of a polished/professional notebook, we’d recommend the Rhodia Webnotebook, Moleskine Classics, or the Blackwing Luxury Notebook. Of course, to write all your notes, you’ll love the Blackwing pencils, the preferred world-famous pencil of writers for it’s all around grace, smooth lead, and replaceable erasers. When you’re all wrapped up with your book, check out the unique format of the Moleskine Book Journal, an organized way to record your thoughts for an overall book review, with step by step prompts to draw the most out of your experience. To wrap it all up, carry your book club tool kit to your hip book club meetings in this uber-cool Moleskine Messenger Bag. With the right products, every page turn will bring your well-read adventures in your book club to life!

Here are some of our favorite indie bookstores (you can tell we spend more time in the West: what are your favorite East Coast and Southern bookshops?) and the reading groups they support:

Pasadena, CA: Vroman’s Bookstore

San Francisco, CA: Books, Inc.

Boulder, CO:  Boulder Bookstore

Denver, CO: Tattered Cover

Washington, DC: Politics & Prose

Seattle, WA: Elliot Bay Books

 

Tell us: what is your book club currently reading?

Rhodia Pencils 10% Off with the Purchase of a Refillable Planner

12 Sep

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For a limited time, save 10% off Rhodia Pencils when you purchase a refillable Quo Vadis or Exacompta 2014 planner. Ends 9/17.
Shop 2014 Refillable Planners »
Shop Rhodia Pencils »

Planner Shopping Wrap-Up: 4 Streamlined Blog Posts to Help You Find the Perfect Planner

3 Jan

We know how crazy it can get trying to find your perfect planner before the new year. If you don’t have a format you already know and love, the sheer variety available can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we’re here – to help! Below are four of our most popular blog posts detailing the best ways to find your most perfect planner for 2013.

Learn to Love Planner Shopping With 5 Guidelines to Choosing Your Ideal Planner

  • “Nothing is better than the thrill of picking out a new planner.  However, with so many planners to choose from, which one is right?  As exciting as it is, it can also get overwhelming, and you may just pick up the first one you see.  But that may not be the best idea.  If you take the time to pick out a good planner, you will relish using it.” Read more …

The Practically Perfect Planner: Determining the Right Planner(s) for You

  • “For more years than I care to count, I had the messiest planner on the planet.  It was no wonder I really couldn’t find anything when I needed it or that I ended up missing appointments and other important deadlines. Then, suddenly, I realized something. I played many roles in my life: wife, mother and daughter, full-time freelance writer and author, friend, and volunteer. Why in the world did I think that I could keep all of the details that went with each of these in the same planner? I needed separate planners!” Read more …

Matchmaking Datebooks: Finding the Right Planner for You

  • “As the year comes to a close, the organized among us will be looking for new planners (and the unorganized likely will receive planners as gifts). Whether you’re using a planner to remember school assignments or to plan out a busy day at work, there is a format perfectly suited to your needs. Each planner is different because each person is different. Learning about each format can help you decide which one fits your personality and your needs.” Read more …

The Perfect Planner Refill: Quo Vadis & Exacompta 2013 Refills by Size

  • “We know that feeling: you fall head over heels for your perfect planner at the beginning of a year, you use it within an inch of its life, and … the new year is almost here. Panic mode! What if you can’t find the right refill? We’ve got you covered with some of the most popular and well-regarded planner refills from Quo Vadis and Exacompta. In the list on our blog, we’ve broken out all their refills we carry by their height, so it’s easier for you to find the right one!”Read more …

Have any tips or tricks for planner shopping? Share them in the comments below! And if you still need to shop for a planner yourself, check out our full 2013 selection here.

Learn to Love Planner Shopping With 5 Guidelines to Choosing Your Ideal Planner

5 Jul

Nothing is better than the thrill of picking out a new planner.  What color, type, and brand should you get?  However, with so many planners to choose from, which one is right?  As exciting as it is, it can also get overwhelming, and you may just pick up the first one you see.  But that may not be the best idea.  If you take the time to pick out a good planner, you will relish using it.

Planners and Datebooks on EuropeanPaper.com

When picking out a planner, you should take several things into account beforehand.  What size do you want?  How about a planner for business or personal use?  What kind of design do you prefer, something classic, or something that reflects your personality?  How much money are you willing to spend?  Do you require special function areas – like a pouch, contacts, To Do list, or a notes section?  Do you want a refillable one?

So many options exist, so let us get started!

Size

I generally start with the feature that is the most important to me – size.  You can get planners that can fit into the back pocket of your jeans, get tossed into a small purse or the size of a book!  How do you plan on using your planner?  Do you keep your life in your planner?  If so, something sturdy and relatively bigger would be easier to write all the details in.  Do you prefer to keep your planner at home?  I keep stamps, maps, stationery, pictures of my family and random musings in the pockets of my planner.  So I wanted something that I could toss into an everyday purse!  And on days when I want to streamline, I take index cards and write out my day so I can keep track of my life.

Design 

Ahhhh, design.  You can find planners with Hello Kitty designs to planners that are a solid black/brown/red.  Design reflects personality.  I personally chose a black planner but I have added my own personal touches to it, by adding pictures, and inspirational quotes on the inside. I can still be professional while maintaining my own personality!

Money

Planners can cost from a simple $1 to leather, refillable planners that retail at $500.  How much money are you willing to spend is entirely dependent on your preferences.  You can find a moderately priced, sturdy planner for around $30.  Make sure it has everything you want and then shop around; there are some amazing planners out there for a steal!

Special Functions

What are the little extras you want?  Most planners come with the standard contacts/addresses area and perhaps a page or two for notes.  Do you want a pocket to stash business cards, notes, stamps, stationery?  Do you want a special projects page?  If those extra features matter to you, make sure you look at planners that have those first.

Refillable

Another option is getting a refillable planner and just update the inside paper sections every year.  Those can be convenient and, if you invest in a good quality planner early on, can last you for years.  You can add pockets for business cards and envelopes for your everyday bric a brac, too.

At the end of the day, the planner that you pick is the one that speaks to you.  As long as it holds everything you need it to hold, you have picked the right one.

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Meet the Writer: Akhila Jagdish is a writer and editor in the process of starting her own editorial services company, The Crafted Word. She loves making lists, collecting journals, reading, drinking wine and cooking. 

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5 Tips for Effective Travel Planning With Your Academic Planner

15 Jun

With hectic home lives and crazy work schedules, planning a trip can seem like a daunting task. However, an academic planner can help you do all the legwork well in advance – so all that’s left to do is enjoy the journey! Plus, since an academic planner is built to accommodate summer, it’s the perfect planner to outline summer vacation plans.

Block Out Dates

The first step to using your academic planner to plan your travels is to pick the dates and block them out on your planner. Because you’re able to work far in advance with an 18-month planner, you can plot out all the trips you’re planning and prevent accidentally double booking yourself. Cross out the dates or highlight them in a specific color so that you don’t overlap commitments.

Schedule To-dos

Once you have your trip dates blocked out, use your planner to schedule the entire trip’s to dos. Start with the date of the trip and back up. For example, if you want to start pricing flights four weeks before you travel, flip four weeks before your departure date and write, “Price out flights.” If you want to wait to book the flight until two weeks before (for enough time to check for that last-minute screaming deal), flip two weeks after you put the pricing note and write, “Book flights.” Follow these same steps for each task – booking a hotel, renewing your passport, buying traveler’s insurance, and so on.

Track Your Budget

You know how much you have budgeted for your trip. Jot that amount down on the day you depart. Each time you spend money on the trip – paying for the flight, buying a new bathing suit, or picking up sunscreen – subtract that amount from the total. You can even calculate estimates for your expenses as you plan the trip. For example, back up to the date you decided to start pricing flights. Use that page to write notes on how much the flight will be on various airlines so that when you go to purchase the tickets, you have a budget reference. Bonus: If you don’t spend as much as you anticipated in the planning stages, you’ll have a balance to use for extra souvenirs!

Create Lists

In addition to planning your dates, to dos, and budget, you can use your academic planner to create lists for each aspect of your trip. If you jot the lists on the day you need to do them, you’ll stay organized and won’t forget crucial information. On your planner page for the day before you depart, start a packing list. Even if the trip is eight months away, if you think of something – don’t forget extra camera batteries – write it down.

Get Creative

Use the notes pages in your planner to get creative. Paste images of your destination on the notes pages to motivate and inspire you. During your trip, use the pages to journal or scrapbook about your adventures. And when the trip is through, add your favorite pictures from the trip and archive the planner.

Using your 12 or 18-month planner can help you plan your trip down to the details in advance. You won’t be scrambling around the night before your flight leaves, trying to remember everything you wanted to bring!

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 Meet the Writer:Maggie Marton is a freelance writer who lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and their three darling dogs. View more of Maggie’s work at MaggieMarton.com

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The Practically Perfect Planner: Determining the Right Planner(s) for You

10 Jan


For more years than I care to count, I had the messiest planner on the planet. (That achievement did not earn me a single award, however—unless you count ongoing confusion.) I had arrows and scratch outs, pieces of paper stuffed in every corner, schedules taped in the back and reminder notices clipped to pages. It was no wonder I really couldn’t find anything when I needed it or that I ended up missing appointments and other important deadlines.

Then, suddenly, I realized something. I played many roles in my life: wife, mother and daughter, full-time freelance writer and author, friend, and volunteer. Why in the world did I think that I could keep all of the details that went with each of these in the same planner? I needed separate planners! Since then, I have developed four that I use on a daily basis:

  • Family: This planner has large pages for the month as a whole, plus individual pages for the days of the month. I use separate columns for everyone in my family. I put their names at the top of each column and under them; I keep track of appointments, class and job schedules, and upcoming plans. I keep a schedule of current classes taped in back so I don’t forget which child needs to be in which class on which day and time. Other important papers go in folders as well, such as tickets, invitations, and appointment cards for upcoming dentist or doctor’s visits.
  • Work: My work planner is much different. I use it to keep track of upcoming deadlines on articles, steps involved in writing books, interviews that I am either giving or receiving and more. The days are broken down into individual hours so I can map out each portion of my work day. The back area is used for editors’ contact information,
  • Purse: I keep a small planner in my purse with the bare bones of info in it, such as emergency numbers and major activities coming up. This way, when I run into friends at the local thrift store and they say, “HEY! Let’s have coffee on Friday,” I can quickly check my planner to see if that day is free and if so, what time.
  • Me: I also have a personal ME planner that is designed to be more like a diary or journal than anything else. This is for concerns, questions, worries, reminders—and just thoughts I don’t want to lose.

Along with these planners, I also encourage each of my kids to use an academic planner to help keep track of their own assignments and plans.

Wait a minute. What did I just hear? Oh, that was you. Something muttered under your breath about, “Who has the time … ”  or “Four planners means four times more effort” … (You thought I couldn’t hear you, didn’t you?)

I completely understand your concerns, but what you will find, after a little period of trial and error, is that these planners will actually save you time, rather than take it. By keeping all of your relevant information in a central location, you don’t spent minutes scrambling to find papers, contact information, dates, times or other always-seems-hard-to-put-your-finger-on details. You don’t drive to the wrong place at the wrong time. You don’t miss an appointment and then have to find another open time period to reschedule it. Best of all, you simply won’t FORGET stuff—and that is one of the biggest time wasters of all.

What is the practically perfect planner for you? Consider the fact that it simply may be more than one.  Take a moment to write down what qualities you want in a planner and then start searching for the one that fits that list best. If you’re like me, you may find that multiple planners will keep you more organized than you ever thought possible!

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 Meet the Writer: Tamra Orr is a full time writer and has written more than 300 books for readers of all ages. She is also mom to four and writes an average of 50 letters or more a month.

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