New Member - Converting from Planner Pads

Hello everyone,

I'm so glad I found this site. I've been struggling to get organised for most of my life. I've tried all kinds of systems, DayTimer, Uncalendar, etc. The only thing that ever worked for me was a Planner Pad. I've been using the spiral-bound ones for the last 6 years or so. Recently I've been wanting a more flexible system, one that would allow me to add and remove pages, rearrange things, etc.

I saw Circa mentioned here and decided to give it a try. I've ordered 2 starter kits - one junior and one letter. I don't have them yet. International delivery was too expensive, so I had them sent to a relative in the US, and she's going to re-post them to me soon.

As I'm waiting for the starter kits to arrive, I'm trying to figure out what to do about the pages. I've been looking through the templates here and can't find quite what I need. Emmanuel17's is pretty close, but I need the "To Do's" above the appointments, just like it is on the Planner Pads. My work/home life involves very few scheduled appointments, but it's extremely heavy in the "to do" department. If my "to do's" are at the bottom of the page, I'm sure they'll get overlooked. That's just how my brain works. I think the "funnel" concept of the Planner Pads is the main reason why they've worked so well for me.

I attempted to design my own pages based on the Planner Pad. I've tried OOo Write, Draw, and Calc, but so far I don't have much to show for my efforts except a few grey hairs :)

Would it be possible to buy the loose-leaf Planner Pad pages and Circa punch them? I know that's probably not technically DIY, but I figured that buying the 2010 Planner Pad pages would give me a whole year to come up with something on my own.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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MS Word?

If you have MS Word, you might find their tables feature easier to work with than Calc or other spreadsheet software. The tables are a lot more forgiving and more easily customizable imo.

I've never used OOo Write's tables feature, so I don't know how it compares to Word's.

In any case, I did my calendar pages that way because the templates here didn't quite suit my needs or my great love of all things visually stimulating. :^)

I'm sure you could also Circa punch the Planner Pad pages to suit too.

Yes, Word!

I feel like such a dummy. I haven't used Word in so long (ever since I got OOo) that I forgot I even had it. Thanks for reminding me.

I played around with Word this afternoon and came up with something that actually has the potential to be usable. It's not as professional looking as the Planner Pad, but it's definitely something I can live with.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to format it. I've put 2 tables on an 8-1/2 x 11 inch page in landscape orientation, but the margins are whacky, and every time I try to change them my second page disappears.

I've just discovered that Circa punching the Planner Pad isn't an option unless I go with the letter size, and I'd rather not carry anything that big. I've been using the personal Planner Pad, and it's a good size for me.

Word margins and tables


In landscape orientation, are you using the 'columns' to get your tables on the page? It sounds like your tables are so close to the size of your printable area that any tiny change in word wrap or spacing moves everything from the right hand column to the second page. At least, that's what happens to me sometimes.

I am pretty good at Word tables and images and stuff, but it's still finicky and annoying even after 17 or 18 years. I actually like Excel a lot better for table-type stuff. Stuff doesn't wander around on you when it doesn't fit on the page.


I tried with and without columns

I think the main problem is that I started out wrong. I created the left-hand table complete with headings, numbers for the appointment times, etc., and then tried to copy & paste it onto the right-hand side of the page.

I started over, this time creating one long table and letting it wrap into the second column, and that worked a lot better.

You're probably right about the printable area, too. I hadn't even considered that, but now that I'm looking at it, the tables are pretty close.

You're obviously more proficient with spreadsheets than I am.

Perhaps a simpler option for me would be to design separate left-hand and right-hand pages using 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 as the paper size and then cut the paper in half before printing.

Text Boxes Work Great!

Have you tried using textboxes in MS Word? They will allow you to print much closer to the of the page. They can overlap, be made transparent if something needs to overlay something else, etc., etc. You can do tables and all that within text boxes. I use them almost exclusively these days when creating forms.

Never thought of text boxes

I actually had no idea that tables could be created within text boxes. Now I have something new to play around with. Thanks!

MS publisher

If you have word, you may have MS publisher (mine came as a suite). I find it works pretty well, once you get the margins right.

To do that, I printed test pages and measured them to find out how the margins work. I find printing a booklet (it automatically makes 2 pages per sheet) with an extra band for margins works perfectly with my printer.

No Publisher

Unfortunately, I only have stand-alone Word, and getting a new MS Office is out of the question right now.

If Publisher will make creating my planner pages significantly easier, I will look into getting an older version on eBay.

MS publisher

If you're interested, I'd get a demo and/or play with someone else's before committing... It's great, but it does have some quirks.

Free Trial

I just found a free trial version to download. Thanks!

Some feedback

Would it be possible to buy the loose-leaf Planner Pad pages and Circa punch them?

Depending on the size of the page, some of the holes may interfere with the Circa punches. Does Planner Pad sell them unpunched ?
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)


I was thinking that the holes might interfere too. I was hoping somebody here had already tried it and could share their experience, but I just did some more research and discovered that the sizes are too different. The personal-size Planner Pad is 6-3/4 x 8-1/2, and on the Levenger site it says that the junior-size pages are 5-1/2 x 8-1/2.

Does Planner Pad sell them unpunched?

I don't see that anywhere on their site. I wish they did. That way I could Circa punch the pages and make my own cover, maybe cut down the letter-size cover...

I suppose I could just buy the loose-leaf Planner Pad and one of the Planner Pad punches, but I don't particularly like any of their binders, and besides, what would I do with all that lovely Circa stuff that I ordered? :)

Sorry. They do not

I asked. They replied
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Thanks, Ygor

That was very sweet of you. Many thanks.

I have found

that making templates in any program with a print preview (mostly Excel) works out great. I use a junior sized circa notebook. I've done a few where I just play with the margins until it's within 1 sheet. Then set the print job up to center on the sheet and fit 1 by 1.