You could spend the whole month of December looking for a planner that's made for you--and fail. In fact, you could spend a lifetime pursuing the same quest in vain. The burgeoning planner industry plays to averages and numbers, rather than personal needs. In your search you will find a bewildering number of styles, designs and sizes:
In my lifetime, I have tried almost every style, at prices ranging from a $5 to $75. The fact that I kept changing shows my dissatisfaction with the industry options I found. I kept looking for something tailored to my needs::
--I have very few formal appointments.
--I don't want a highly regimented planner like Franklin Covey (7 Habits) or DayTimer.
--I don't want to waste my time or tough on extras and accessories.
--Rather than a journal, log or appointment book, I need a planner that's in equal part: organizer, tracker, motivator and ferocious daily nag, An ongoing reminder to: Don't dream about it, do it!
The closest I came to a MacRath-style planner was a pocket-size number from Moleskine, 3"x5" for $18.
--Design: two-page weekly spreads. Left: seven sections for daily to-do's. Right: a ruled blank page for notes, weekly overall intentions, motivational notes, etc.
--Superb Moleskine quality.
--The too easy to lose size for a man on the go. In one month two of these fell from the pocket of my cargo pants or the side pocket of my backpack.
--Plenty of room on the right side, but not enough room in the dailies.
--Cost: I'll spend $18-$25 for a Moleskine writing notebook. But not for a third planner that wasn't made for me.
--The design fails to satisfy my unique need for a turbo-charged blend of planning, tracking and nudging.
I found the perfect planner while rummaging through Barnes and Noble.
Piccadilly rivals Moleskine quality...at a fraction of the cost. I bought the above notebook on sale for $5.88...at least $25 cheaper than I would have paid for Moleskine.
Size: 5"x8"...still portable but not something I'm likely to lose.
Pages: 120 ruled sheets or 240 pages.
Potential: 2 days per page would last a year...with plenty of room at the back for my more stylized needs: notating monthly recharge dates of electronic devices...recording incidents at work with dates, times, detailed notes...logging a job search or ebook promotional campaign...
Strategy: the world was my oyster for those two days per page. I'd been freed. Now, unbound, I had only to decide the right--the MacRathian--way.
Colors: For those who lack the stones to tote a coral-colored notebook, you'll find other colors here:
Next week, in part 2, I'll tell you in detail how I transformed my Piccadilly into my own perfect planner.