Anyone use pocket sized calendars?

I've got a two pages per week planner right now. It's Staples Arc calendar (their store brand version of Rollabind) in a Levenger Circa zippered master folio. It's Junior size. Most weeks, I've only got a couple things written down - doctors appointments, getting together with friends, which weekends I'll be on call for work,

I'm feeling like I'm carrying a brick of a planner I rarely use for much. I still like paper just in case I need to write something down but 90% of the time my schedule is go to work, come home, take care of the kids.

I've been seriously considering using a pocket size calendar as my planner so I'm not lugging this thing around, but I'm not sure which I'd like best. Top contenders are 4x6 index cards top bound with small Circa rings, 3x5 side bound, or pocket size Moleskine.

I definitely want two pages a week plus a few pages (maybe a couple index card) for notes. My address book is in the iPod Touch I keep in my Levenger smart phone wallet. I really just need calendar for the next 2 or 3 months plus some space for important notes.

What has anyone else tried?

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Pocket minimalism

Years ago I was a DayTimer/Filofax user and I carried a large brick-like planner with me everywhere. It got to the point that I spent my time planning and not doing, and I became tired of carrying around a 1kg (2 pound) planner.

So I decided to become quite minimalist with my planning. Over the years I've tried various different things, all based on 1 rule - the planner I carry with me must weight less than a small paperback book and fit into a pocket or small bag.

At the moment my "pocket planner" consists of a small (A7) spiral bound week to an opening diary, an A6 28 page paper notebook for lists and notes, and a print of my work Outlook calendar for the month folded up inside the notebook (I carry this just for cross reference for private invites that clash with lunch time etc).

I've found this works well for me, as I have room to keep extra data in the little notebook and because it's light I'm not tempted to leave it behind.

Edit - I have one other rule. It has to be cheap. The diary cost me $2, the notebook $1.50. The notebooks last me 3-6 months.

Small ring bound planner

I am using a small ring bound planner in the Franklin-Covey pocket size format (3 1/2 x 6 inches; 89 x 152 mm). It contains my addressbook, too.
Together with the moleskine style of dynamic templates you could quickly setup something fitting your needs.
The new Flex from Filofax is with its slim size also in this dimensions and worth a closer look.

Franklin Covey vs. Filofax

Funny thing is I actually have a Franklin Covey slim pocket planner. I can't remember why I stopped using it? Maybe I was trying to use it as a planner/wallet combo and it was just felt way too big in my front pocket and very uncomfortable in my back pocket. I'm sure it would be OK in my back pocket if I take it out when I sit down.

I had to look up the Filofax Flex and that does look very nice. Thing is there were two FC stores in this area so I could have picked up refill pages at either. Both have closed down. But there is a Paradise Pens store and they carry Filofax products... I'll have to check that out to see how it compares.

For now I'll tinker with just carrying index cards for notes and a slimmer Classic size planner or do a hipster PDA calendar just to see what works and what doesn't before going out and buying more things I probably won't use.


It can work!

Crushing my ankle last fall and thus needing to seriously downsize my purse size and weight made me come to terms with the fact that my actual appts/must be done on a certain day items were very few, while my planner was large and lovely (and heavy!). I really didn't want to give up my soft leather planner with it's beautiful scrapbooked dividers and all the notes/quotes/pix/etc. I like to carry around. Fortunately, I found a compromise that is working well. I bought a pocket size spiral bound "Plan Ahead" 2012 calendar. It is week on 2 pages and has enough room for just my appointments and must be done a certain day items. I like that I can see the major events for a whole year in a very small book.
I had a spare pocket Moleskine cahier lying about. In it I copied my work notes (mostly log-in instructions for various websites I use), and my health record notes since I really do refer to those when I'm at work or dr. appts. The pocket calendar and Moleskine Cahier fit my small purse and weigh almost nothing.
So what happened to my planner? It stays on the table by my favorite chair in the livingroom. I keep the reference sections in it (budget, address book, etc.) and use the page-per-day for a daily diary where I journal, draw/doodle, paste cartoons, etc. It's working well and I really don't miss having the "brick" when I'm out and about.

Re. Capture

I forgot to say that I added a selection of post-it notes and flags to the plastic section dividers that came in my "Plan Ahead" pocket calendar. I use these for capture. If a capture turns out to be a long-term keeper, I move it to my planner at the end of the day.

My Pocket Calendar

For many years I carried a Classic size Franklin day planner, and then I got a new job. The desk was quite small, and my planner took up almost the entire desktop. So I downsized to a Pocket Franklin planner. It met my needs quite nicely. And then I bought a Palm V PDA and my organization system fell apart. But I digress....

My #1 rule for planners/calendars is that "It MUST fit in my pocket".

In the spirit of DIY, my current pocket calendar is a monthly calendar made from the Hipster PDA 4-Up templates. I glued them into a Daytimer "work organizer" booklet I had laying around. For notes I use a Clairefontaine Roadbook. Both the calendar and Roadbook fit inside my Daytimer Pocket Wallet. It has one pen loop in which I carry my Hero 330 fountain pen currently inked up with Private Reserve's Tropical Blue ink.

For notes that I know will have a short self life, I use 3 x 5 notecards that I carry in my Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase.

I also use a large Moleskine for daily notes, but I keep it on my desk at work.

I've been considering purchasing a Franklin Pocket planner again, but just don't want to spend the $$.


I definitely want two pages a week plus a few pages (maybe a couple index card) for notes. My address book is in the iPod Touch I keep in my Levenger smart phone wallet. I really just need calendar for the next 2 or 3 months plus some space for important notes.

I guess I would suggest starting with the 3x5 card idea, and not necessarily bound, except maybe with a rubber band. Start simple, and see if it seems to be meeting your needs. If not, you will probably know if a Moleskine will meet your needs, or 4x6 cards.

If I could offer one other suggestion, though...

It's not DIY, but Daytimer has several options. One of the ones I used to use was a two-page-per-week planner: 3x5 2Pg per week

This size is a bit larger: Classic 2Pg per day

They aren't cheap, but they are compact, yet get the job done.

But as I sad at the top, start with the 3x5 hipster cards, and work your way up. :-)


What haven't I tried..


I tried 3x5's in a box, a la Sidetracked Home Executives. I tried quarter-letter disc-bound books I printed, cut, and punched myself. I tried classic pages I made and classic pages I bought, I tried classic pocket protectors as a 43 folders system. I tried a cheap little photo binder (the clear plastic ones) as a 3x5 holder for carrying with me. I tried accordion 3x5 holders. I have a levenger pocket briefcase I adore and continue to use--but just as a capture device.

Consider your level of fuss-tolerance before picking a format. For me it was always the most fun to create something new--and less fun to use it. That'd be the downfall of most systems. So make something where the making takes little time, and the using is convenient and easy. If the using is also fun that's a bonus.

Right now, my calendar is on my android phone with my address book. I have a synch program to synch my google calendar with my phone and my work outlook calendar so I can see key bits (doc appts and conf calls) everywhere.

I think I did once try a bought 'compact' system, back in the days when I wanted to drag lots of info with me all the time. That was BC, Before Children. Now I'm almost ready to sell everything I own and move into a shed in the back yard instead. I am trying to shed all my fuss and botheration, and lugging around a ton of stuff was almost the first thing to go. It's just not entertaining to have a 25 lb diaper bag (twins, you know) plus a 25 lb planner/purse combo to drag around everywhere. Then of course there's the stroller and the kids themselves, all their food/toys/etc. It was quickly obvious that a modular approach is more helpful. Don't take work project data to the mall with the babies. Don't take the kids schedule of bottles to work. It's just not necessary. Of course, you have to have A Place to keep your modules when they're not on you, and a Checklist before you leave the house of what stuff you need with you. Systems shall be your savior. :)

Set up your systems to save your sanity. No muss, no fuss. Autopilot is good as long as it is set up properly and all systems are functional.

It must be time to go sleep, I'm rambling.



I went to They were selling their 2012 Compact size agenda for $3.95. Looks like the paper size is slightly taller & less wide than a 4x6 card. Of course, you can't go to Levenger and just order one thing...

I used my Circa punched 4x6 "planner" for the last week or so. So it's something I'll be sticking with for at least a while.



Shris has hit the nail on the head once again! Years ago I bought into the idea of carrying everything with me everywhere I went. At first I thought it might be kind of hip to carry it like a man purse, but it didn't take long before that heavy binder became a huge burden.

So, I've separated work from personal. My work tool is a large Moleskine that stays on my desk at the office. The pocket calendar is for personal stuff, and I carry it in my bag.

My Levenger pocket briefcase is the piece that works for both. I jot myself a note, and put it in the appropriate place. I carry this everywhere because it fits in any pocket.


pocket planner

I use a pocket calendar I got from Target in their one spot section for $1

Since as you say most of my listings are go to work come home all I really need is a place to list my schedule for work. This usually leaves me enough room to put any other appointment's in place.

I am working on designing a somewhat universal 3x5 card that I can print and use for any possible need. I have been using my design for most things and as I find new things to use my 3x5 system I adjust the design.

I have the date down the left side. I use a numbering system so that I can circle the month and date easily. The main area is blank and at the top I have little icons that I use for the data I use these cards to collect. One is a little envelope for any contact information. I will fill out the information and then when I get home I enter it into whatever database I need it to go in and then file the card in a card file just for that information. I also have a notes icon that I use just for making notes. I have like 5 separate icons but I can't think of all of them right now.