43 Folders

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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

The *Perfect* Weekly Planner?


For most of my adult life (well, high school and beyond), I have been on the search for the perfect weekly planner. For a while, I was convinced that I found it in the mid-sized Gallery Leather weekly planner, but as I switched jobs, and realized that I need to keep an active to-do list for myself, I've realized that it doesn't do for me what I want it to.

See, I've tried and tried and TRIED to computerize my planner and to-do list. I have a Mac at home and at work, and I love them! I even love Apple's software (especially the Leopard OS X upgrade) iCal and the Mail app. But I have found that as I start out updating it diligently, I just fall out of the habit of using it if it is on the computer. I also love the Google Calendar interface, but I run into the same thing. I just need paper.

Here's where I need your help -- below is a list of requirements. Do you use a planner fitting these criteria? Are you looking for the same thing I am?

• Needs to be in the 5.5" x 8.5" range -- slightly bigger or smaller is all right.

• The week has to fit onto one page or one spread.

• There cannot be markers on the day for hours. My day doesn't start at 8 and end at 5, so don't fence me in!

• I would really like some extra space on each page or spread to make notes or to-do lists.

• It has to have simple styling -- one simple color or design. None of this "180 Great Views of Ireland's Splendor" kinda stuff.

• I need a bookmarker or tabs to indicate where I am in the book, so I can easily turn to the right page.

• No spiral-binding. Yes, I know that makes it lay flat easier, but I'm left handed. That binding hurts. Plus, I like to feel like what I'm writing in is a book.

Sound picky? Well, it is. You looking for the same thing I am? Or do you have any suggestions? Anything a must in your weekly planner? Please, share!

Wild Rye's picture

Runs Circas around the others

You might also take a look at Levenger's Circa notebooks. Yes, they are ring-bound, but you can easily remove pages for writing and replace them for keeping.

The thing that's nifty about the Levenger system is the flexibility. For instance you can set up a section for a project that includes lined pages for actions, address pages of project-related contacts, a financial ledger for tracking expenses. As the project grows you can add pages.





An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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