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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!

Rerun's picture

little known innovative calendar from germay

I am using a notebook/calendar system called x47(www.x47.com).

It uses a unique way of binding the inlaying "books", using a spring-locking mechanism like those that hold wristbands at watches. The benefits are, that the pages lie flat and no ringbinding or spiralbinding is in the way. They claim to increase the usable writing area by 47% compared to a equally sized file-o-fax, thus the name.

Though it is intended to be more of a file-o-fax like personal management tool, I use it mainly as a notebook with added weekly planner. They offer inlays with different designs, blank, lined and sqared pages, monthly, weekly or daily calendar and a unique daily calendar called time-circle, based on the face of a clock (12hour circle) where you mark dates pie-chart-like, see http://tinyurl.com/yqgqmz

The main benefit for me is, that I have a reusable cover (soft leather) that holds three inlays (I use two blank and one half-year calendar) with space for a pen (for me: Fisher Bullet Pen), business cards and two marker-strips (probably the wrong term, but hey, I am german ;-)

There is also relative new second, and less expensive line, which uses rubber-rings to hold inlays and cover together: www.myx17.com




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