Size switching

This is a problem that has plagued me ever since I started messing with this planning thing back in the 90s.

I'll have one size and then I'll start feeling like I need more space or less space so I'll buy, or in the case of D*I*Y, make another size.

Am I the only one who does this, and if so can I have my own entry in the psychology wiki?

I'll submit a photo.

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Switching sizes

Many years ago, when I was a teacher, I got used to toting around a letter-size planner between the prep room, the classroom, and sometimes home. However, once I got out of the school system, the idea of carrying such a best around with me all the time became enough of a hindrance that I started leaving it behind.

Now, I do tend to switch between a classic size and a Hipster size, but that's mainly for testing purposes, and only occasionally for portability. By keeping the classic size as a "hub", and the hPDA as a satellite (helped by the judicious use of Satellite Action Cards), I find it all works pretty well together. Although I've occasionally felt the lure of a portable size planner, the lack of a punch, along with the pains of cutting all the pages to size, has been a bit of a deterrent.

Anybody else here feel the need to constantly switch sizes, or is Raymond truly a weirdo among us? ;-)

all my best,

Hfuhruhurr syndrome...

I have heard of spontaneous macroplanner disorder but have yet to witness a case myself. As for dialectic plannatrophy, I can honestly state I have never come across such a thing and would welcome a picture of it... ;)

I like my 6 3/4" x 3 3/4" (175mm x 95mm) planner and have been this size since the 80s. I have on occasion dabbled with alternative methods. First was a micro-cassette recorder. That lasted a week before I gave it to friend. Next a Sony Clie. A cold spell flattened the battery rather unexpectedly. Then a small notebook costing less than a US dollar. It was no less obtrusive than my Filofax - I like taking notes at the dinner table -, the pages are fixed and it didn't have the kudos sad to say.

Will the photograph be of you or your planners, Raymond?


I do the same thing myself. First, I start out with a medium size, but it's too heavy to carry around, so I switch to a tiny size, but it's too small to write or draw in, so I switch to a large size, but it's too big to fit in my purse, so I switch to a medium size.

You see how it goes.

However, I realize that much of my size switching is function based. As long as I keep a small on for carrying around, a medium one handy at work/car for spontaneous creativity, and a large one at home for major writing, I think I'll be ok.

Otherwise, I'll be joining you on that wiki entry. :)

I've done it, but I'm not compulsive

Before GTD, I tried to use a classic size Franklin planner a few times. The last time I seriously used it, things got crazy enough for me that I eventually "upgraded" to the "monarch" (letter) size to keep more notes.

The next time I tried to use a planner, I started with that letter-size planner, which I soon recognized was too bulky/heavy for my new situation. This was what put me into a pocket Moleskine for my first GTD system.

I did switch from the Moleskine to a classic size D*I*Y Planner after a while, in order to take more notes. With the D*I*Y Planner, I can just add more "notes" pages to capture as much (or as little) stuff as I need.

Things have been pretty stable for the past 8 months or so.

Do you procrastinate?

I am in the middle of the

I am in the middle of the same transition - I badgered my company to get me a planner, but the classic sized franklin covey is too much for me to carry around with me. so I went out and found a 3x5 planner and am gearing up to use it, instead.

Size matters, but other things are important, too

Shuttercat, maybe we're obsessive or picky, but you're not alone. This is something that has been a problem for the past five years, but this year I think I've got it beat.

I've had a hard time settling on a size, too--and a format.
The big binders are too heavy and bulky--Franklin Covey is nice but they're built for linebackers to tote around. I've found several binders that are light-weight and flexible--several have the three-ring binders for forms and also slots for a purchased calendar.

This year I bought a Moleskine A5 week on two pages but didn't like it because the printing was too faint.

Then an Office Depot month on two pages--nice buttery soft plastic cover, day blocks were big enough, and there were lots of pages in back for notes--really liked it but it was a little big too big for my purse.

Then a Filofax pocket size--a gift--in a nice microfiber binder with a change pocket outside--haven't seen it online or at Container Store, but the format is too small unless I went to one day per page and I like seeing the whole week on one page.

Husband gave me a little book about the size of the Filofax pocket size, but that was definitely not workable, though it did have some of those fold-out year to a page calendars with the month going in one column down the page--I love those for tracking things. But I have my own versions of those that I made up several years ago.

Then ordered an Exacompta, A5, but the format didn't really satisfy me--it wasn't 7 days to the page, Sunday was on the bottom of the facing page by itself. Don't like that.

Bought another format of Exacompta from Borders but didn't like that, either--it had so many extra pages, maps and international dialing codes and European-American sizes for men and women and children, that I'd never use and didn't want to be carrying around. When I saw them in the store I liked them--but they made the book so heavy. I tore out the extra pages and took the binding off, trying to reduce the weight, but then it looked too messy. I don't care that much about appearancees, but there are limits.

Bought a Filofax slimline personal because I read about the format here and it sounded like a good compromise, but it didn't give me enough space to write notes for voicemail, etc. And the format wasn't exactly what I like.

Oh, and in July last year I ordered a Harvard planner--it was a nice size and the format wasn't bad, but you'd have to spend a week working out how to use it the way they suggest, carrying codes and to-dos from one week to the next and tracking delegations and using various codes and signs--not what I want to spend my time doing, and even if I just didn't do that, all that would distract me, and I'd be worrying about why I'm not doing these things, shouldn't I do them? Why am I so lazy or careless, how much would it improve my life if I started doing these things--ultimately I never used the planner at all, though it did have some nice summary pages and plastic pockets that I pulled out before I threw the rest of it away.

I think those are all the ones I tried this past year. I also have five or six leather binders I got in previous years in A5 and A4 sizes when I was going back and forth before figuring out that in planners, smaller is better, as long as usability is maintained. It's always been a search for a reasonable size that will provide the week at a view and space for taking notes--not really journaling but just jotting down voicemails, addresses, notes about work done that day, etc.

Finally I made up my own--and it's so simple, and no imposition was involved. Used a Word file with the week --Monday thru Sunday--on landscape pages 2 to a page--one week on the left and the next week on the right. Then I made up a notes page, also two to a page. The lines are faint enough that it doesn't impose its structure on me (can't stand having things imposed by lines like that---probably a hang-over from the sixties) yet visible enough to provide guidance when desired.

I printed the weeks first, then flipped them over and printed the notes on the back of the weeks pages. The imposition issue doesn't come up because the calendar pages are printed out first, then the notes pages are printed on the back of the calendar pages. Then I cut the left and right sides of the pages apart and put them in order.

This is nice because when I tried to do this several years ago I tried to set them up in the right order in the file and I had to have a map in front of me while I was re-ordering the pages--it worked finally, but it was hard enough to do that I didn't try it again.

Anyway, I made up a pocket and put it at the back, for receipts etc. and took my pages to Staples, and for $2.00 they put on a clear plastic front cover and a black back cover and plastic spiral binding. I love it.

Next month when things slow down a little I'm going to re-do it and add some pages for miscellaneous notes at the back, some photo pages, more pockets, some pages for miscellaneous information I need to keep up with, and will get my binder re-bound. And I'm making one for my aunt and daughter, too, with pages for the types of info they need.

So I have a planner that's a practical size for me, in the format I like, lighter weight than any three-ring binder, and I am happy.

The only problem is that there's no pencil holder. I've seen the pencil-holder hacks people have devised for Moleskines and may do soething like that, or I may engineer some sort of page for my planner that has a tab sticking out that I can clip a pencil to.

I would also like to find some way to perforate the corners so that as the weeks go by I could tear off the corners as a bookmark and open right to the current page. I've looked in Michael's and Hobby Lobby shops, thinking I might find one of those scrapbooking corner punches that would do the job, but no luck.

I've gone through the madness of buying five or six planners every year since I went into business for myself and really needed something for keeping track of appointments, etc. Now I can make my own and actually feel satisfied with what I have, instead of it being an annoyance that strikes every time I have to use the thing.


Fiskar offers some rotary cutter blades that do perforations (not holes).

Spiral Planners & Planners Annon.

I too have switched around over the years. I'd jump from classic to monarch and then to compact. I seem to have settled with my Franklin Covey Compact homemade spiral bound version. Using FC 2P/Day filler sheets and various other additional sheets like DIY and my own homemade forms, I created my own artistic looking laminated covers and get OD to punch it. I have them punch several sheets for me at a time, and then spiral bind 3 weeks worth plus misc sheets. At the end of my third week, I remove the binding carefully and rebind the next set myself. You can re-use the spiral several months if you remove with care and getting advanced sheets pre-punched limits my trips needed to OD. No rings in the way, keeping it to 3wks plus other sheets at a time keeps my spiral binding at it's smallest size and it fits easily in handbags without bulk. I also have 3 tabbed sections for my longer term note storage that re-insert in the back of each new 3wk pack I make up. I use a post-it for a "today" page marker and keep 3 months (1 previous/1current/1next month) in 2P/month monthly format in the front. My favorite place to carry it all day while I am running around troubleshooting on a manufacturing floor is waiter check style centered in my pants back waist band. Keeps it with me and yet keeps my hands free. A larger spiral would not allow me to carry it there and only clown pants would accomodate a rind binder in the same place.

Franklin Covey makes 1/mo spiral fillers but they never have the sheets or the layout that works for me and that spiral can't be removed for options to be added.

I think it's safe to say there are many of us that belong in planners annon. :-)

regards, Carla

I do whatever my rice krispies tell me to do.

I have a very advanced case of this disease...

Yeah, I do. I've switched many times... but my problem is even worse than this! For instance, a while back I decided that 3x5 was too small, so I moved up to 5.5x8.5. But then, it didn't fit right in my purse, so I *had* to get a new purse... then the wallet I was using didn't fit right in the new purse, so I "needed" a new wallet... it's a snowball effect and it's a terrible disease! I am always obsessed with improving on whatever I have; modding my planner, stitching pencil loops into my purse, etc etc.

I need professional help!

I thought I was the only one

I thought I was the only one who drove myself crazy trying to figure out the right sized planner! I sure feel better knowing I'm 'normal'.

shb: Since you like sewing in pencil loops, you'll probably enjoy sewing one of these purse organizers. I've made myself 4 and it's the best thing since sliced bread!

You mean we're not special?

So many sizes. Glad to know it's not just me.

I agree, it depends on what you need at different times. Things change, for some of us, a whole lot, quite often. Jobs, where you work, where and how you carry out your social life, how much you can carry at once, if you live in a car-centric place or NYC, your changing sense of aesthetics, how much time you have to futz with things, what nifty new office supplies and paper products came out this year, how much disposable income you have, etc.


I'd been wanting one of these. It will stop me digging around trying to find my cell phone when it goes off!

Switching Planners

Hi. My name is LeRoy, and I'm a planaholic.

I, too, must admit to this weird affliction. I started out in 1987 with a Classic size Franklin Day Planner. Since that time, I've tried the Compact Franklin, the Pocket Franklin, the Daytimer Jotter, the Hipster PDA, and the Classic D.I.Y. I have 3 cardboard boxes in my office closet; one with Classic size supplies and binders (2); Compact supplies and binders (3); and pocket size supplies and binders (2 in the box, and 3 that I'm using for various purposes).

At the current moment, I've gone back to the Franklin Pocket size planner, with the Monticello 2 pages per week format. It's small, but just almost everything I need a planner to do. Almost.

I would seriously consider going to a 3X5 (Hipster?) system IF SOMEBODY WOULD PRODUCE A SIX-HOLE PUNCH FOR 3" X 5"!!!! I've found several very usable binders for 3X5, but nobody makes a six hole punch in that size. Mead or somebody needs to wake up and smell the coffee, and come out with a reasonably priced, durable punch.


Getting in late on the thread, but...

I have had all different sizes. I ended up blowing money on an FC Classic size planner only to figure out I didn't like it much. If I get one too small, it is more portable, but the binder rings annoy me and you are limited to the amount of information you can write down.
I finally found a cheap Dayrunner 5x7 with spiral inserts that I like just fine. Unfortunately, you have to fill in the dates yourself and there is no monthly view, just weekly. And it is not refillable. Hmm.

6-hole punch

Leroy, there is one on E-bay that might work for you - #190025467386, going for 12.50 (U.S.) I saw it earlier in my Eternal Quest for the Perfect Planner...I would get it myself but I still haven't decided if I'm sticking with that size...(sigh)


Lisa P.

Still Switching

I'm still riding the "size-switching roller coaster". This summer I switched from my Daytimer Wirebound Pocket planner to the Hipster. It was fun! I loved writing on card stock. I could stuff the cards in my pocket, and carry them with me everywhere. But then I was bitten by the "more is better" bug, and my stack of cards grew to a deck of cards. I was upsizing my binder clips from the smallest size to a more medium size, to a still larger size. Transporting the cards around was getting problematic. Plus I was spending an inordinate amount of time printing off / trimming new cards. Change was imminent. Somewhere in the midst of all of this I also purchased a three pack of Moleskine cahier booklets, thinking I could use them as "capture books". They are small enough to comfortably fit in my pocket, plus I like the feel of the paper. But, it turned out to be yet another thing to carry around.

I recently downloaded the Classic size DIY templates, and resurrected my old Franklin Covey vinyl binder. I went on a shopping spree (the most enjoyable aspect of size switching) at the FC store and bought a classic size hole puncher, an assortment of tabs/forms/blank pages, some quad pen refills, and left with a fresh feeling of optimism that the classic is the right size for me, if tweaked properly. Ahhhh yes, I just need the right tweaking.

Last week while book shopping, I stumbled across the Moleskine Memo Pocket book, a note card sized book of accordion pockets to carry small papers, i.e receipts.....note cards? Yes! I found a new way to carry my note cards instead of clipping them!!! I purchased one only to discover I couldn't carry many cards in it. Ugh!

So, what size am I using now? The better question is, what size am I NOT currently using? My "system" is out of control with all of the various components of varying size: Pocket Daytimer Advance Planner calendar booklet, Classic FC binder with GTD tabbing system, Moleskine cahier capture book, Moleskine Memo Pocket & supply of fresh note cards, standard 8.5 x 11 pad folio for carrying files and large note pad, and and Extra Large briefcase to carry everything around....if I'm so inclined. It's a mess. But I'm close to the "right" system....I can feel it in my bones.

Size Switching

This thread has had a healing effect on me and I appreciate others' candour about their experiences with planners. I tend to switch between the 'Classic' size (FC and A-5 Filofax) and the Filofax Personal size. I guess one issue has been the availability of Filofax refills and add ins. There are so many more availalbe in the Filofax Personal. Filofax does not send the two page a day Classic or A-5 to Australia. The crux of the matter is the Classic is far more realistic for journaling, sketching, meeting notes etc but the Personal is easier to tote and use as a my GTD capture tool. This site has helped a great deal by providing a good solution for Classic size users; and at least now I will no longer suffer in silence realising I am part of a community of strangely fixated paper planner users.

Size Switching

Im new to 'PLANNERS ANONYMOUS' but i am going through the same turmoil. I have tried the A$/letter size too big A5 size sometimes toosmall , personal ideal for the pocket but no good formeetings..i have now landed on the Filofax B4 ( Deskfax - 176mm x 250mm ) size. This seemsto be a good all rounder and the B4 blankpaper is easily obtained. All i have to do now is resize/design some pages.....anyone elseusing this size that can help ?

I did forget tomention that the Filofax personalpages fit in also so it can combine the two sozes ..

On checking the size actually turns out to be B5 and not B4.....
im still suffering from PAD ( P-lanner A-quisition D-isorder )


Question for people who use Personal size

Filofax Personal size vs Classic size--

What do you do with paperwork and mail you need to carry with you?

I've been thinking about using my Filofax personal size (slim) planner next year, but how would I deal with the papers I pick up or need to carry with me? It's so easy to fold a piece of letter size paper in half and stick it into my classic size planner, but those papers don't fit neatly into a personal size binder.

That's my main sticking point--I'd love the smaller size of the personal, but how do you deal with carrying miscellaneous papers or mail around? I don't want to punch holes in the papers, just want to slip them in and have them stay safe and neat and clean, but they tend to get dirty and ragged pretty quickly when they're sticking out of the personal binder, whereas the classic size binder protects them. I don't want to carry them separately in my purse because I need to grab the planner with the papers--otherwise they'll get lost.

The personal binder is lighter and can slip into my purse, but it isn't big enough to carry the other papers around.

The classic size binder is heavy and too big for my purse but it can accomodate all the other stuff I pick up and carry around.

What to do?

Big Bag, Little Planner...

Hi Glenda

I carry a rather large briefcase for my 'other' paperwork which is even heavier than a 'classic' binder. However should I find myself trap anywhere you will be happy to hear I can survive happily for a fortnight on it's content. :)

Have you considered using a zip up Filofax? Obviously bigger than the one you have now, yet smaller than the classic.

File Transport

In addition to the other goodies I use in my "system", I also carry around a zippered folio with a large gusseted pocket that comfortably holds two or three thin file folders for those papers that need to be carried to and from meetings. It is the one staple in my system that never changes.