I adore day planners, always have. There's something exciting and fun about a fresh calendar. Personally, I'm more productive when I write my daily goals out, and it only makes sense to keep them in one place. So with a Staples coupon in hand, I trotted to the store and debated on the best planner.
Photo by mcgraths
Many of them come wire bound. I don't like this kind because it's impossible to add sections or to take a paper out temporarily. I do like Franklin Covey planners. They have great preprinted sections and usually come with a three-ring binder. However, they are almost always too big for my needs. I don't want an 8.5" x 11" planner, and the smaller versions are too thick.
In the past, I've made my own planner out of a blank three-ring binder, and this year, I decided to weigh the other options first. My planner should be a certain size. It would need to fit into my everyday purse for when I head out on my weekly Idea Hour dates. It would also need to have a yearly calendar with sections for each of the months, tabbed dividers for my business categories, and at least one pocket to store slips of papers or index cards. I vowed I would buy or create the perfect planner, regardless the cost.
The calendar aisle scared me. It's a big aisle, folks. But I gamely perused the selections. You would not believe the prices! Or maybe you would and I'm just super cheap. I liked one but it was too large, and I fell into a coughing fit when I saw that it was $42.99. Ouch. Then I picked up several other models, disregarding each for lacking something in my above criteria.
Thankfully, Staples has an entire section of refills. I snuck to the three-ring binder section and actually found the exact size binder I had in mind. Only 1/2" thick and a compact version (I'm guessing 6" x 8"), I snatched it up even though the price made me cringe.
Then I headed back to the calendar aisle and spent another twenty minutes deciding which refills would suit my needs best. I opted for a smaller version of looseleaf paper, a package of 15 small, clear protective covers, and a tabbed monthly calendar insert. I did not purchase a one-sheet calendar of 2012. They didn't carry any. But I did find a slew of free printable options online when I got home.
My day planner ended up being expensive: $7.29 for the binder, $3.79 for the looseleaf papers, $4.99 for the protective covers, and $10.99 for the tabbed monthly calendar insert. I also threw in a ten pack of colored Sharpies on sale for $3.00. You would have too, admit it. :)
So, not including the Sharpies, I paid $27.06 excluding tax for the exact day planner I wanted. Normally, I would have found a way to create a day planner for under ten dollars, but there comes a time when you know what works for you and what doesn't. This one works, and hopefully, I would only need to replace the looseleaf paper and the tabbed calendar next year.
I don't feel too guilty about the price either. I use my planner every day, and at the above price, that's about $2.25 a month for recording, meeting, and exceeding my goals. Not bad!
Now that you know all about my thrilling day planner adventure, I'd love to hear how you keep track of your schedule. Do you have a day planner? Use your phone? Google Calendar? Do tell!
Have a fantastic weekend!