Size matters

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There’s a forum about notebook sizes over at the Fountain Pen Network that got me thinking recently…

Like CharlieB and others, I use differently sized notebooks for different kinds of writing (though I prefer a more eclectic assortment of Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Habana, and whatever else is around). And while I don’t like writing in anything smaller than 4 x 6 inches, I love the tiny staplebound Clairefontaine 3 x 4 notebooksespecially when I don’t feel like carrying a big handbag and I still want to have something to write on.

When it comes to planners, though, my needs are dictated mostly by considerations of portability and schedule. I don’t usually have a ton of meetings on any given day, and I keep track of phone appointments on my Outlook calendar since I’m absolutely dependent on their automatic reminders when I’m at my desk. So the Sapa X is perfect for me, and it doesn’t take up a lot of room in my bag, either.

Nonetheless, we’ve definitely gotten emails from customers who say they select their planner format because they prefer to write on a specific size. Some of them are very particularone guy even told us that the best size for a planner was around 5 x 7 inches, in his opinion.

So how about it? What size is your ideal calendar? Do you select a bigger or smaller size because it’s what you prefer to write on, or because it’s what fits your schedule?

9 thoughts on “Size matters

  1. P.S.: My ideal size for a planner is the Textagenda/ Notor size, but unfortunately that format doesn’t work for me. I never think to look at the top of the page for my appointments, I always look for them down the left side of the page to get a chronology of my day, and also to see where I can fit in tasks, which I write as a list along the right side of the page. I think my ideal daily planner would be the Journal 21 format in the Notor size.

  2. I change my size and format of planners all the time trying to find the best one for my needs. I travel frequently so I need something portable and comprehensive, but still with plenty of room to write. I have used Filofax for years (Personal size until last year when I upgraded to A5). My problem with those is that I put too much into them and they get too big and heavy to carry around. This year I’m doing the same thing I did a few years ago: leaving my big heavy Filofax at home and using the Exacompta Pocket Diary as my planner. I love the page per day for writing notes and scheduling my day. And it is so portable, it fits in any bag.

  3. When I was working, I needed two pages for each day and the Day-Timer Sr. pocket calendar worked well for me, especially on the road. Now that I’m retired, I prefer a desk calendar and like to see a week at a time. I also wanted fountain pen friendly paper as I write exclusively with them. The Trinote filled the bill nicely – though I’ve already relayed my displeasure with some of the Trinote changes for 2009.

  4. My preferred notebook size depends on usage. I tend to like 3″x5″ or 4″x6″ journals, because I like to jot down quick entries and not feel like I’m wasting a whole page if I don’t have much to say that day.

    However, I prefer larger calendars/planners. Right now, my schedule doesn’t change that much from day to day, so a 5″x7″ or a little larger is sufficient. I’m currently trying out the Journal 21, but more for a journal than a planner, at this point.

    When I had millions of different appointments each day, I used something similar to the Quarter #26 (I didn’t know about Quo Vadis back then). I really liked having the 15″ slots to block off appointments and travel time precisely, yet have an overview of the whole week so I could space out my appointments accordingly. The Quarter also looks great because it has lots of little pre-designated areas for important items of the day, to-do lists, and other little notes. So I guess my selection of planner size depends upon my schedule, not my actual writing preference!

  5. I have this thing about simplicity. I can’t stand planners that have an “every day” thing, with numbers for the hours of the day. I’m not THAT busy. I will probably eventually be that busy. But I’m currently not THAT busy. And most of the time I find it impossible to plan how much time certain classwork or writing will take. So the best thing for me is a daily to-do list of some type(for stuff that needs immediate action and so I won’t forget it) and then a weekly planner so I can write down stuff like assignments, homework, and appointments to meet with friends or study groups.
    The only variation for me might be the size of the paper allotted to each day. Too small, and I can’t fit everything on it. To big, and you waste a large part of the planner simply because you’re not doing anything on those days.
    Hence why I usually buy fill-in-the date planners from last-year’s stock at stores. Then I don’t feel guilty when most of the pages are empty.

  6. I chose the Journal 21 because of the multiple appointments and commitments in my life. It’s nice to have a quick overview to see which days are available, then drop down into detail to see if I’ll have sufficient time. For those of us running tightly scheduled lives, being able to see down to the half hour so we can figure commute times in, as well as having more than 12 hours to a day for extended assignments or personal commitments is important as well. I like the extra space at the top of the page on the Journal as well, as it lets me add in the feasts and holy days for my religion so I don’t miss them or book something on a day I’m not supposed to be working.

  7. Until I worked for the government, my choice of planner was governed by size, cost, attractiveness and availability.

    I’ve used the Amex calendar, Moleskines, and gift calendars over the years.

    Right now, I wouldn’t mind having a smaller version for portability in my pocket so the Sapa X sounds intriguing.

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