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Tools of the Trade: Planners.


As 2009 comes to a close my thoughts turn to Weekly/Monthly/Daily Planners and whether I will find one to hold my attention for the better part of 365 days. Throughout most of the year I have been working with this oversized portfolio I turned into a Franken-Planner using bits of other planners, which on their own failed to impress me or keep me well planned. The current one, while totally wonderful in its ability to keep me both well planned and occupied during extremely boring meetings is not as portable as I would like. When people see me coming towards them with this ginormous hulking piece of organizational furniture they seem a little nervous.

I tend to view planners as the grown up version of children’s activity books – a way to keep minds occupied and wet fingers from finding their way into the ear canals of seat mates. I really love them in theory, particularly as I am a person who prefers writing things by hand, but I am kind of fickle and a year is a long time to make a commitment to any one office product, which is why I tend to purchase them, yet rarely make good use of them.

Moleskine Color a Month Planner

The initial concept behind this planner is very much appealing to me. I love the colors of the notebooks and stickers are always a good idea. However, I need lots of space to get my plan on. These are cute for jotting down a few things or maybe keeping track of my wayward menstrual cycle, but I don’t think I could do any real planning. Maybe in a bigger size I would be tempted to make a go of things. But honestly, at $40, it’s just not that appealing to me. I should also note I haven’t drank the Moleskine kool-aid so perhaps that is largely the problem.

Quo Vadis Trinote Weekly Planner

The kind folks at Exaclair, Inc were generous enough to send me a sample of their Quo Vadis Trinote Weekly Planner. I do believe I squealed upon opening it. Before I get on with the review, let me first state how much I really love the Quo Vadis Trinote Planner day goes BEYOND 5pm. The chief issue I have with Planners is the unwillingness to accommodate activities/tasks which take place after banks and post offices close. It’s a major frustration of mine.

I love the “Anno-Planning” in the front of the planner which would allow a person more organized than myself to plug in events/tasks well in advanced and have a cheat sheet for the year. So far I have jotted down the few birthdays (besides my own) I recall from memory and the approximate dates for Nordstrom’s Semi-Annual Sale.

I really like the way the days/dates run across the top of the page, though I wish Sunday had more than merely a scant corner at the bottom right of each page. Honestly, that’s my only issue with the planner, which is otherwise perfectly suited for my needs and incredibly well designed.

I can see myself hatching out my day in any number of cheap notebooks I currently own before transferring the “best of the best” into this planner. Yeah, I’m weird that way. Also, I’m fairly certain carrying around this gorgeous planner will soften some of the sting of rejected project concepts, magazine articles and book proposals.

2010 Barnes & Noble Black Hardcover Desk Diary

This was one of my first grown up planners. It was fancy and I was intimidated. I have since gotten over my fears and use this one to plan/organize my creative projects. I enjoy reading the sanitized quotes and random facts about writers whose work I haven’t bothered to read. In addition to caricatures of prominent literary figures such as James Baldwin, Stephen King and James Joyce, the desk diary also includes a list of all the Fiction Pulitzer Prize winners to date. If seeing The Road in the same phrase as “Pulitzer Prize” doesn’t compel you to organize and complete writing projects – either because you’re inspired by the work, or simply cannot believe such dreck wins major book prizes – this probably isn’t the planner for you.

When I say it’s “fancy” I mean it’s got gilded edging, high quality paper and is reminiscent of a black bound sketchbook. But at the not-so-fancy price of $8.97 (50% calendars + 10% Membership Discount) I enjoy using it and don’t feel too badly if I jack it up.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. redlami permalink
    12/28/2009 1:35 pm

    You tuck some good advice into these reviews… the more I read, the more I understand how you manage to keep so well organized.


  1. Planning Cheek to Cheek « Does This Pen Write?

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