daily, weekly or monthly?

I am in the midst of a planner overhaul. not surprised eh? ;)

Do you keep track of important daily things in a daily, weekly or monthly format?

I was considering printing out 8.5 by 11 inch monthly calendars. then folding them in half to create the 'classic' size... followed by smurfing the fold. I could record important things from the week on the days of that calendar... rather than writing it on my daily pages which i rewrite into my weekly pages...

gahhh... i need guidance... someone tell me what setup to use and ill give it a whirl.

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some thoughts on planners

if you believe in the idea of catching all information as you come to it, then a daily planner may be better for jotting down to-dos and lists and journals. however, in my experience...bound daily planners are big and BULKY. never liked having to carry around 365 pages.

when it comes to actual bound planners, i liked the weekly version better. i used to capture time spent on projects as well as being able to schedule other plans out in the future. each weekly form usually comes with a small section for notes, and i used to use that for journals quotes or whatnot.

these days, however... i use index cards and just date them. that way i can save them all in a shoe box. :)

hope this helps,

per project, with a monthly calendar

I also had a page-a-day system going, but I wound up never using most of the pages, except on days when my note-taking had to spill over backwards into previous days' empty space. A mess!

I've been much happier moving to a GTD-like "page per project" model, a blank pad of scratch paper for capture, and a monthly calendar to jot in the actual hard-landscape-do-or-die items like birthdays, team meetings, and kids' sporting events.

Anything bigger than my calendar gets noted on its own piece of paper and put in the tickler or smurfed and put in front of the calendar page so I have to look at it/deal with it right away. My entire planner has gone from bloated to slim since I did away with my dependence on daily pages.

As I work up my DIYp, I'm

As I work up my DIYp, I'm going to be pinching the format the Moleskine diaries went to last year: seven days on the left-hand page, faced by a notes page.

At first glance I hated it, but I bought one and tried it, and discovered it fits me perfectly. The notes page provides room for more info (directions to meetings, for example) when needed, and also serves as a "to do this week" list. (I know, I'm sorry, I'm really not a GTD guy - this simple way is the backbone of keeping me going!)
Mark Goody

I have a blog.
And various lots of photos.

As I work up my DIYp, I'm

As I work up my DIYp, I'm going to be pinching the format the Moleskine diaries went to last year: seven days on the left-hand page, faced by a notes page.

This is the same format I use, too. What do you plan to do if you find the blank page on the right not enough for a whole week? For me, since I use Circa, I can add pages, not necessarily the same size, but smaller, usually 3x5.


One page per day, at the moment, using the template I posted a couple of weeks ago. I only keep the current month in my planner. Future stuff goes on the monthly calendars. At the beginning of the month I'm copying the items for the month onto the daily pages.

[ web site ]

Darn you people! :)

Every time a thread like this comes up, I post my current setup and then get ideas from other people's posts. So yesterday I changed from daily pages to one page per week, with notes on the left-hand side and index cards for my to-do items. I'll see how this works for a while...

[ web site ]



I use monthly pages for planning next month and beyond, and daily pages for this month only.

I use one page per day, where the day itself is the right-hand page. On the left I keep my action list a la GTD. I take the day out of the planner when the day is over and stuff it in a separate book. Also, when an action list is full, I move it to the same separate book after noting the date I retired it from service.

So I never have more than about 45 'day' pages and 12 or less 'month' pages. I might not use some pages much, but I would miss them if I went to a weekly format, I think.

In daily practice, I rarely update the monthly page after I've printed the daily pages that correspond to it. So, for example, I just did print out my July pages today. I'll punch them and insert them, then transfer the appointments from the month-of-July page to the daily pages. Tomorrow, though, if I schedule something for July, I'll stick it on a daily page instead of both the daily and the monthly. I'm just lazy that way, I hate double-entry. When the month is over, the month page and the daily pages will move to an archive notebook for another month before they're filed in my file system, along with the action lists I used during the month. After six months or so in the file system they'll move to the trash. So I have the calendars and the to-dos archived in one month chunks when I need to look back at them.

If I have a question about a particular appointment that occurred in the past (for example, the date of a dental appointment for claims purposes), I'll flip through the daily pages if I don't see it on the month page. It won't take long to find it, because the daily page is big enough to hold everything about the appointment--time, duration, who I saw, and a brief note about what was supposed to be done.


All of the Above

I'm busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest lately, so I'm the wrong person to ask.

I keep my calendar in Outlook, and have just started (today in fact) printing out my daily appointment schedule on these cool forms from FC that are blank on one side (for my outlook calendar) and a "to do" list and "notes" section on the other side. Since it's letter sized, I may be able to get away with printing off a full week of calendar and full week of To Do items.

I've switched from notecards to a pocket size Moleskine Cahier for random capture. I've labelled it "Notes to Self" and carry it in my shirt pocket with a Uniball Micro Vision pen.

I still haven't received my iPAQ yet, so I'm just experimenting for now.


No More Digital Sara?

Have you given up on digital, Sara?



All in all it is a good thing i never bought a palm pilot device... i find it cumbersome. Its great for addresses and appointments (cause it beeps at me) but... not for my weekly and daily tracking.

i think that was the source of the derailment. I'm working on getting back to my classic sized routine... trying to tweak it and get my butt in gear. i'm losing track of things again and that is a big nOnO.

my artwork | my blog

Just one to rule them all

For me it's deadly to divide my organizations efforts between multiple calendars, even if it's all in my planner. With the best of intentions I've tried to jot notes on my monthly calendar intending to transfer them to my weekly calendar, but I'm just not mentally organized enough to do so. Therefore all time notes go on my weekly pages from the start. And I carry the entire year, or at least six months ahead. Right now I'm starting to work on my 2008 weekly pages as a slow period work-wise is approaching.

Unfortunately I sometimes agree to appointments and meetings without consulting my planner, so still get things messed up. I blame ADD. Things that should be simple can be complicated if you're not organized in your mind or if it's not yet permanently engraved into the habit set.

Also I print six months of the year down the right-hand edge of a landscape 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, punch the left 8.5 edge, fold it in, and fold it out to see it while going through the weekly pages. This lets me see the six-month view and my planner pages at the same time. Since I don't make notes on the monthly calendars, they're for reference only, and it's nice to be able to see six months at a time. And two years fit on four sheets of paper.

I also like the Moleskine-style weekly page with the days on the left and the notes on the right. Time Design has undated pages in the same format, and Time System UK has downloadable pdf's of the same pages at the following link:

A5 Undated Weekly Plan

But I do my own, with no header and tiny margins all around to maximize writing space.


...things get an alarm on my Palm. ;-) Everything else gets on paper. I use the PCEO series ETP forms--which are daily, and carry over things to a new page if they aren't completed. But my life works that way...

In the past, when I had the kind of schedule that demanded it, I used two-paga-a-day Daytimer forms. Later, I was able to switch to weekly forms. With the daily system, I used the month pages _only_ for future months. If something came up that didn't fit in my current pocket filler booklet's pages, it went into the next month's page. Overflow went into the notes, with a notation on the corresponding page on the monthly calendar. When I would put a new filler booklet into my wallet, I would re-write all those items into the proper days. Later, when I went to the weekly format, I would use the monthly pages for dates that weren't in that filler.

Later, I went to a loose-leaf system, and used weekly and monthly pages. I learned then, that I can use a month form with either weekly or daily pages, but not all three--all three are overkill, and confusing, but using a monthly page as a divider for my weekly or daily pages works very well, as it's always in front of you. Plus, you keep monthly pages for all the months in the year, and as you add months into your book, you simply copy over all that's necessary. Since it's a one-way transfer--from monthly to weekly or daily, you don't have the "sync" problem of trying to go back, but you have the benefit of having a monthly summary.

With that in mind, I suppose a compromise could be worked out, that everything gets entered into the monthly pages first, and during your daily and weekly reviews, you transfer them to your daily or weekly pages. That would keep things in "sync" as well as provide an "inbox" for dated or semi-dated items (taking out trash, for pick up, for instance) Plus, the exercise of rewriting everything from your monthly summary to your more detailed planner pages adds a bit of redundancy, to help you remember these items. ;-)

That all said, I find it easier to set my Palm, and forget about them! Of course, the added benefit of _that_ is that once it's on my Palm, it's in my iCal and on my Google Calendar, as well, and now, I get the reminder on my Palm, on my desktop, and then, a third reminder (right before the event) from Google, and if I wish, I could have it SMS me or email me! How cool is that! And yes, trash pickup is one of those items that I get multi-alarms about! (with trash pickup only every other week, you _don't_ want to miss it!) ;-)

I hope this stuff helps...

P.S. Anybody else trying to avoid the iPhone news? I just ran screaming from my RSS feeds--that's all they are about today!!! ;-)


monthly works for me

Monthly works for me. Time moves really fast because I do more than one thing---most of which require planning ahead more than a week--journaling classes, particularly the internet ones, need to have notices sent out 4 weeks in advance; creativity coaching clients often make appointments two weeks in advance; my speaking/training schedule books several months in advance--a week at a time doesn't do it.

I keep the monthly calendar in a Rollabind disk format. I then keep things that MUST be done this week on a 4x6 card in the month it belongs in. For alerts (call Jane at 2) I use the smallest post-its, because that's nothing I need to keep after I make the call. It works really well for me.

certified creativity coach

just weekly

I used to have a weekly and monthly calendar in my planner, but thanks to comments on this site I decided that this was a waste of time. Monthly pages don't give me enough room to write all that much stuff down, plus the stuff I do write down, I have to remember to copy over to my weekly pages.

My first planner was a FC with the daily page starter pack, but I found there are VERY few times where I can't fit all the stuff specific for a day on 4 or 5 lines. If I put a todo list on a day, I nearly always end up rewriting most of the items.

The setup I've settled on is a 2 pages per week with a 4x6 index card for my todo items. picture on flickr.com I also really like the layout with one page per week on the left and one page per notes on the right. Pictures of this setup are also on flickr.


I recently did the same

I too dumped my monthly pages from my planner. I still keep current and next monthly cards in my hPDA since I only keep a current and next weekly cards. Which reminds me I should put current pics on flickr too.

"It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy." -- Steve Jobs

How much is in zour planner. then?

I mean. for all you folks that use weekly and daily forms. How many weeks/months do you keep in your planner? How do you plan/track long term items that don't fit into the range that's _in_ your planner--when you don't have monthly pages?

I found I could never live without month pages, but I never kept more than a couple month's worth of "detail" pages in my planner... maybe that's the difference?


The contents of mine

Your question, jonglass, is a timely reminder that today is when I should be updating my planner. The first of the month is usually when I take out old pages and put in new dated ones. Only the daily section gets updated like this; I have year planners for the current and next year plus month planners for the entire calendar year.

Daily pages cover about seven weeks in total; all of the new month plus the previous week and maybe two weeks of the next month. I need to know detailed timings for assignments I accept so these pages are needed to make sure I don't cause myself to be double-booked.

Keeping it all updated is a little tedious but necessary. I have developed a routine for making sure that all these dated sections are up to date; I do it there and then.

I usually add new yearly/monthly sections around late-October and make the cull of the previous year's stuff at New Year.

How much I actually have in the binder is dictated entirely by weight and capacity. If the combination is too heavy then I cull the previous month's pages completely and may take out the second week of the next month.

So far I've not encountered a problem with this scheme.

Forgot to say

Ther's one thing I omitted from my description. I currently use filoFAX's time management inserts in my planner. Sometime soon I have to decide what to do for 2008; do I continue with filoFAX pages --- they work for me --- or switch to D*I*Y Planner pages --- I've explained elsewhere how some of the elements are obstrusive on the page --- or create my own pages that merge the features from both filoFAX and D*I*Y Planner that I want.

Be creative -- make it up as you go.

You're in for a penny, might as well be in for a pound.... merge the features you like from filoFAX and D*I*Y, while you are at it, look at DayTimer, Franklin, and Harvard. Make it your own!

"Being able to discern what needs to change and what needs to remain stable may be the greatest challenge of all." (John Hagel)

The Passionate Pilgrim

On making it your own

Thanks Passionate Pilgrim, excellent reminder. There are good points with all these planners; some with many good points, som with just a few. I really like the short-cut extra pages in the DayTimer series; that I'd like to import into my own. I have time over the summer to look again at all the major brands and to think about exactly what I want from my planner. And it's the "making it mine" that I'm really after.


good question

That's a really good question. The weekly planning pages I currently use are Levenger's agenda pages. It is two pages per week, but the first page of one week is on the back of the last page of the previous week (I hope that makes sense). So a whole year's worth of weekly pages is 52 pages. I'll take the month's pages out of my planner after the month is over with. I just took June out last night.

The agenda pages have something similar to what FC called "Future planning pages". Levenger calls it "YearPlan." They have these pages for all of 2008. You get 3 months to a page, 10 lines per month for to write down whatever you've got planned for that month.

It is actually pretty rare for me to plan something more than 3 months out. In the rare cases when I do, I have a blank page at the end of the calendar section of my planner. I'll write stuff down there that is farther out.

Sounds like I'll need to put it on my planner to make or order more calendar pages in October or November :-)


Good question

I have weekly pages for as far as I can print them, at least 52 weeks worth, in my planner. But I do not keep monthly pages in my planner anymore, since I only need to flip pages to look ahead. I need to be able to plan ahead with my projects which can be 14-18 months long. I use monthly cards as a short form of my planner in my hPDA, only current and next month. That way I don't have to lug it around, and it is unlikely that I'll need to determine a appointment "right now" that could not be confirmed 4 hours later when I'm back at home. That's why I have "add to planner" cards in my hPDA.

"It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy." -- Steve Jobs

That's how I use my calendar

That's how I use my calendar too. A whole year in month-per-two-pages, so that I can see at a glance the pattern of my world, including holidays, birthdays, doctor's appointments, etc. And then the current and next month in week-per-two-pages, with some post-its stuck on as future reminders. It works perfectly for me, having the big picture and the detailed week, but I don't need the latter to go back beyond a month because all the big stuff is on the monthly that stays in my planner.

multiple forms

I use monthly and weekly forms. I have the monthly for the rest of the year; and I need to add in the first half of 2008 because things are starting to crop up there already. I keep the weekly forms for the current month, the next 4 months and the most recent month (6 months total).

Monthlies are too small to write much so I use them mostly to indicate time blocks (conferences, big project task that will consume multiple days, out of town things, etc.) Then I write the details on the weekly pages. This way when I win a contest for a week-long vacation to the Bahamas in December I can flip to my monthly December page and see that it has to be the second week because I have at least one firm commitment the other weeks. I could do that by going to the weeklies but I would have to flip through a couple of pages and I like seeing the month on one page more often than you would think.

Me Too!

This is what I do as well - I just hadn't gotten around to posting anything...

I have Monthlies (2 pg per month) going out eth rest of this year, as well as a year-to-a-page for 2008. This lets me block out longer term commitments and bigger-picture stuff. I use Weeklies (again, 2 pg per week) for the whole current year for more detail, simple appointments, etc. I am thinking I dont need 6 months of Weekly pages, but haven't tried keeping fewer pages yet. If I start to fall short on space I likely will do that.

No Daily pages for me - I don't have nearly enough things scheduled to need those.

I never finish anyth

New Planner test

I am working on a new format for my own planner, based on the Circa in 5.5" x 8.5" size. See the details here, and a review of the system by another blogger here.

Send me an email [stephen dot smith dot 893 at gmail dot com], and I will send you a copy of the PDF if you want to try it out.


I stumbled upon your planner pages a week or so ago. I like them. I used them all of last week and will use them again this week. Tonight I may make a few adjustments to it, to customize itself more to my specific job, etc. Hope you don't mind me making some tweaks here and there. Overall, I think they are very good.

See the changes?

I would love to hear your comments and input on the layout/usefulness, etc.

My System

My system is pretty simple and common compared to most that I have read about on this website. But I this thread gives me a good opportunity to tell what works for me, so here it goes:

First of all, I am forced to use Outlook at work, so I have all of my personal and business contacts computerized. I also place all of my business appointments in Outlook along with all my personal recurring appointments (like car payment) in there and set a reminder for everything. Since our Outlook is on an exchange server, I can access my information from anywhere. Personally, I NEVER use the tasks or notes in Outlook. They don't seem to integrate into the rest of the application very well and th reminders on the tasks never work for me the way they should.

Next, I carry a classic-sized paper planner. I have a camouflauged nylon dayrunner and a beautiful leather FC that I alternate my contents between based on my mood. The guts of my planner include my contacts (I converted the DIY template from this site to a form so I could type everything in), and then I use a couple of the other section tabs that came with the binder as a type of quasi-hybrid between FC and GTD. As for the CALENDAR, which is the actual point of this thread... I prefer to use the two page per week. That gives me a little room for appointments, to-do's, and notes. I like to record my workouts, weight, any time off I take (highlighted), etc. I have found that anything smaller than the weekly doesn't give me enough room to write, but anything more and I don't have enough room in my binder for all the other contents I mentioned above. If I go to a meeting and end up taking notes I then put the notes in the middle of the two weekly pages. Unless, of course, it is a project we are working on. At which time it goes in the project section.

I like to keep one past month in the calendar, then all of the future months. If I have an appointment that goes past my future months, I just take the appointment card and paperclip it to the last page of the calendar.

This system seems to work pretty good for me.

My system

I use the Lotus calendar here at work for both business and personal appointments. I have a circa/rollabind letter-sized system that works like this:

At the beginning of every week, I print 3-4 weeks worth in a monthly format, with the current week listed first . This way I can see what's coming down the road.

On the reverse of this page I write my to-do list for the week. Like those who posted previously, I use the right hand side for notes, call backs, etc. I carry only the previous month's worth of calendar/notes, then it gets transferred to archive. I've been doing it this way for over five years and I've slimmed down the amount of paper I carry a lot (especially when I switched to circa about a month ago).

I write my personal to-do's (grocery list, errands) on a compact sized sheet that I can transfer from my letter size to my compact-sized circa that fits my purse to carry around after work and on weekends.