I will admit when I first got the Planner Pad I thought it was going to be overwhelming and too much to actually work.
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I was presently surprised by this little gem!
The Planner Pad does come with instructions in front of the planner and a link to watch a video on their website. It feels intimidating but once you read through the instructions and/or watch the video it makes more sense. They also include ideas for how to use the calendars and notes in the back.
After the instructions are important phone numbers with room for names and numbers followed by a three-year calendar (mine has 2022, 2023, and 2024). After that is yearly planning for the same three years, then holidays, and a time zone map before we get into the actual planning pages.
I used it for three weeks to get a good feel for it. The first week I used pencil because I wasn’t sure exactly how to use. You are given seven categories and I tried to think of seven areas of tasks that I had. I ended up changing them a bit for week two and liked those better and continued them into week three.
Once you pick your categories you fill in the activities or things you need to do in those categories. Then you go through and assign them to a day of the week and put them on the to-do list (middle) section. The bottom section is for appointments. The first week I tried to assign all my to-dos to a schedule and it did not work for me. It felt messy and redundant. For week two and three, I put in appointments, meetings, and a couple of the to-dos that I knew I would do at a certain time.
The side bar in the personal size has a notes/calls section and an expenses section. I used the notes spot to jot down my thoughts on the planner and I attempted to use the expenses to track how much I spent each day. You could also repurpose it for tracking other habits with a little creativity and dot markers or highlighters. The instruction photo shows the dated executive size and the side column features mini months for the previous, current, and next month. I do not like mini months on ANY planner and am glad the undated personal size had none of that. Mini months take up valuable real estate! And if I wanted to see a month, I could flip my planner or use my Google calendar (which is what I do).
In the back of the Planner Pad are 12 goals/project pages and twelve note pages. You could use the goals/project pages as a monthly calendar. They also suggest using these for collecting info, taping in things you cut out of magazines, charts, quotes, or other items. They suggest using the notes pages for meetings, discussions and other such items. Personally, I probably wouldn’t use them. I rarely use note pages that in the back of planners.
I think this could work really well with practice. Once you figure out your top categories, it becomes much easier. And I realize, as of writing this, you don’t actually need to fill all seven categories. If you only have three? You only use three of the columns. This may also change from week to week depending on what you have going on. Yah, not sure why it took me so long to figure this out. I guess I don’t want to waste space when testing something out?
I also felt the first week felt a little redundant doing the daily to-dos and then trying to put them on the appointments. If you are a timeblock type scheduler it may work for you but I tend to rebel against my schedule when I try to timeblock. I found it works best for me to just put most things on a daily to do list and not try to assign it to a time. But that’s me, you make LOVE this feature!
In week two I realized I kept putting appointments and items on the wrong day. The bottom section does not have the days of the week like the middle section does and I put all my Thursday meetings on Friday and needed to white it out and move them. I think the Planner Pad would benefit from carrying the days of the week to the bottom section as well.
I happened to have some days of the week stickers leftover and I used them in week three for the appointment section. It was much easier once I had the visual reference there. I looked at the dated ones on Amazon and they don’t have the days of the weeks in the appointment section either. I get most people will look at the middle/to-do section then follow down to the appointments but when I was adding meetings, I wasn’t pulling them from the to-do section as I don’t consider those to-dos!
- Steeper learning curve than a regular planner
- No days of the week on appointments section
- Appointment section runs from 7 am to 8 pm
- No monthly calendar
- Only available on Amazon
- Extremely Flexible
- Spot to cross off in to-do section
- Saturday and Sunday do not share space
- Undated version means you can use as needed
- No monthly calendar
- You can be creative with color coding, dot markers, or highlighers
- Slim enough to carry in purse, briefcase, or laptop bag
- Price ($32 for undated personal size, $34 dated personal or executive size)
No monthly calendar gets put on both good and bad. For me? Fine, don’t need it. Don’t really use it. My monthly calendar gets filled in before the month starts and never referenced again. But I know others depend on it so that may be important to know.
The Planner Pad is a great tool and for some with ADHD would really help with what to do and when. It does take a little effort to figure out the best way to make it work for you but it just might be worth it! You can really personalize it to suit your needs.
By my third week, I had settled into my categories and set up my appointments to really work for me. I also loved using highlighter to add some color and be a little creative. The days of the week stickers would be something I would continue to use or a white gel pen to put the days on the black bar that seperates the columns. I need the visual reference for the section.
I debated about keeping this because I liked it so much but I cannot part with my daily planner. I thought about using it for work next year but I’d prefer the dated version for work. I actually need it every week and don’t want to waste time dating it.