43 Folders

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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!

jtheiss's picture


I'm finally down to the last couple of weeks on my 18 month Moleskine. When it comes to the format, I've been very happy w/ it. It's been great for me w/ both a calendar and notes each week. Unfortunately, I absolutely hated the soft cover and the craptastic, unusable pocket in the back.

I bought the RED (it's very, very red) hardcover version. The construction on it seems to be very good w/ the typical Moleskine pocket. The downside to it (other than its extreme redness) is that, instead of more than the typical 10 extra blank pages following the 12 months, there is some sort of removable address book. It, frankly, sucks.

Maybe they'll get it perfect next year with a black hardcover 12 month w/ more extra notes pages.




An Oblique Strategy:
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