The planning community is so amazing. It's fun and creative but OMG it can be sooooo overwhelming! There's so much to see and learn and obssess over ;) There are so many different types of planners and inserts and stickers. So I've got this great series for you coming over the next few weeks. It will help simplify everything and make choosing your first (or next) planner much easier.
Today we are talking about PLANNER SIZES and I'll go through and help give you an idea what size can work for you. Planners seem to come in as many sizes as they do colours!! 8.5x11, A5, personal, pocket and a variety of other sizes in between! How to choose if you've never used a planner before?
Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding what size planner to choose. Now I can't answer them for you, but I'm going to give you some food for thought so that you can make the best decision for you.
How PORTABLE does this thing need to be?
If you plan to take your planner with you on errands or whenever you are out and about, it needs to be portable. If you want a big planner you can always buy a bigger bag, or you can get what Jenny Penton calls an errand runner. I have one that doubles as my wallet and it has a simplified copy of our schedule so that I can schedule appointments and things when I'm not at home.
Portability is usually the first thing that people consider when deciding on what size planner to buy. Will it fit in my purse? Often times, it's the only thing they consider, but I've got more questions below for you that are just as important so keep reading :D
How much space do you need to WRITE?
This can mean how busy are you, do you have a lot of tasks and appointments to write in your planner? Or maybe you like to journal in your planner as well. Maybe it's not just space for writing that you need, but also room for stickers and other decorations. The more space you need the bigger the planner you want. If you like to write a lot but don't want a huge planner, you can always use a traveller's notebook. Because they don't have the bulky rings, they are not only a lot slimmer but the whole notebook tends to be smaller. For example, my Cakedori holds A5 sized notebooks inside, but the book itself is only slightly wider (less than an inch) than my personal sized Color Crush.
How many SECTIONS do you need?
This will determine more how thick of a planner you need. The more sections you want the bigger the planner ring or spiral size needs to be. Even if you have a lot of sections but there are only a few pages in each, if you laminate each of those dividers, that takes up a lot of room.
Do you have space in your home to LAY IT OUT?
Your planner needs a place in your home. If you are going to use it and make it your minion, then it needs to be open, laying on some sort of flat surface. Some planners will fold back over on themselves, but some won't and if you have a ginormous planner that's a lot of desk or counter space to take up.
Of course, it won't always be open, but I know a lot of productive people who always have their planner open and at hand at all times. Do you have room for your planner or could you clear some space for it?
Do you schedule your WHOLE FAMILY in your planner?
Who are you scheduling for? Is it just you, or do you need to fit your entire family's schedule in there. Maybe you don't plan for your family, but for an organisation or church group. Or maybe you are a school teacher with 25 children :) Who ever you are planning for you need to consider their schedules too.
I have 6 children and to schedule everyone in my planner would be impossible! Or at least it would have to be in a very large planner. So to get around this I only schedule my tasks and appointments in my planner and I use a wall calendar for the family. I like this global view so that I know (and everyone else knows) what every one is up to on a certain day, week, month. This keeps my planner trim. Maybe your children are older and have a busy schedule, maybe they can have their own planner.
Here is a short video that shows some of the planners I have on hand and I compare their sizes.
So to wrap up, I'll run down my planner system to give you an idea of what I do. Hopefully it can help you in your decision in what planner size is best for you.
My main planner is an A5 notebook inside a wide traveller's notebook, which is slim and small but has lots of room for writing. Next is our wall calendar to keep the family organised and last is a simple copy of the family's schedule in my pocket planner that doubles as my wallet.
If you liked this post you can check out the other posts:
Newbie Planner Girls START HERE!!
OMG Where do I Start? Planner Series: Choosing a Binding
OMG Where do I Start? Planner Series: What inserts to choose
OMG Where do I Start? Planner Series: How to Make Multiple Planners Work
OMG Where do I Start? Planner Series: 4 things to do Before you Buy All the Things!
And if you're new to the Planner World and would like a free (and pretty) Planner Newbie Cheat Sheet with some of the definitions of those terms and acronyms that seem so foreign to you, but everyone else seems to know what they mean, then just click here:
See you next time when Team Horizontal and Team Verical battle it out :D