If you are a busy professional like me, you probably have tried all kinds of planners before! Tiny planners and wide planners, cute planners, oh and nevermind the notebooks. Moleskines and Erin Condrens, Dyan Reaveley and all the other ones out there too!
Each of these seems to be a different size and require a whole new set of “stuff” to make it work effectively. For example, I got a Happy Planner and needed new sticky notes that would hook inside and those really cute folders. Or when I had the Erin Condren and got the super cute planner cover… I LOVED that thing.
But the bad part was that I was spending so much time tricking out my planner, that I was losing time actually WORKING in my planner. Are you kidding me? I am time challenged already and now my planner is killing more time?
Wouldn't it be nice to stop worrying about new planners and get to work actually using your planner to make your life better?
Using A Full Letter Sized Planner
So now, what size? If you look in most office supply stores, the popular size seems to be 5.5 x 8.5 or a half sheet of paper. Sure it might be a bit more portable but for many purposes it's not as helpful as a 8.5 x 11.
Each size has pros and cons, but think about it this way, using a standard paper sized planner means that you know you'll have the same size as most people are using for purposes other than planners.
What do I mean by that? Well, let's say that you are going to a seminar for the day. You know that you will be taking notes, networking and getting handouts from speakers. Guess what size those handouts are?
Want more reasons why? If you get the half page size, you are stuck buying those expensive inserts from the office supply store. Either that or you have to cut pages down to fit.
If you use a regular paper sized planner, you can do a DIY replacement each year. How? Well, print out the pages you need for a calendar from your home or office printer.
There are tons of types of calendar templates to be found and personalized. You can use notebook paper for your notes section and either page protectors or standard size folders.
When you first set up your planner you can find everything you need at the office supply store, then reuse the tabs and different page protectors (full sized, one that will hold business cards, etc.). The money saved each year printing your own calendar pages will more than make up for the size.
And about that size issue… who says a standard size planner is too big to stow? It will fit in any briefcase, tote bag or backpack.
The time savings in trying to make big things fit a small planner will be worth it too. Have you ever folded something up, stuck it in a small planner and then lost the folded paper? You know you have.
A full size planner will give you the space and means to not have to fold up important papers and receipts. No more lost information.
And those bigger calendar pages? Well have you ever written something in the miniscule boxes they give you on a smaller planner calendar page? Later you need a microscope to read it! And that's supposed to be easier to find and see on the fly? Hardly.
Anyone who has kids and multiple activities knows that small calendar blocks don't work. Anyone with a calendar with tons of meetings and appointments knows it too. Give yourself room to write so you can actually read it later.