How do you use your Anno-Planner?

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Image by Mia Balaquiot

There’s lots to love about monthly calendars, but what about the semi-annual pages that are found at the start of planners like the Space 24 and Rhodia (and that we often refer to as “Anno-Planners”)? I have some in my Space 17, but I’ve never touched ’em. I was spurred to recently, however, when we received the following email:

I was a faithful APB/1 user until it was discontinued. I recently purchased a Space 24 and LOVE it, especially the monthly calendars so I can put all of my bills due and paydays in that area. However, there is a semi annual planner and I’m not sure what to do with it. I’ve never used it before even though it has been in some of the planners I’ve used (the President). I’m sure it can be utilized effectively but I don’t know how. Could you please do a post based on possible utilizations of this area?

One of our guest bloggers wrote about her Anno-Planner (“I have a hard time visualizing time, especially long-term, and having six months on one page really helps me with the big picture,” she wrote). Laurie of Plannerisms wrote on Flickr that she finds hers “extremely useful to plan travel, see due dates and deadlines, and indeed to see the entire year at once.”

Do you have an Anno-Planner? What do you do with it?

12 thoughts on “How do you use your Anno-Planner?

  1. I use the a anno-planner to mark my husbands work schedule. He is on a 2-2-3 rotating shift. So instead of having to count out the days each time we need to plan something, I have his shifts for the entire year marked. He works only 12 hour shifts, so I simply pencil in “day” “night” or “off”. My Quo Vadis is the best planner I have ever had!! I especially like that each day has it’s own page and isn’t entirely divided by hours like full page days normally are.

  2. In my professional life I’m a project manager, and I find the anno-planner indispensable for planning out long-term milestones and due dates across multiple projects. I also use it to block off my travel dates and vacations. It’s very easy to tell at a glance if I’m available on a given day and whether I have any big deadlines approaching.

  3. I’m in agreement with Pensive, here. I like the idea of having a yearly overview, but I just can’t seem to utilize the tiny spaces well, and sometimes these pages feel too busy. Furthermore, I don’t really like using it for appointments because I don’t like constantly transferring the same appointment between different calendar pages. I’d rather just write it down once.

    Secret admission: sometimes the anno-planning pages make me panic. “Oh no – that’s it! My whole year is right here! All those days, right here, side by side! How will I ever fit everything in!”

  4. I’ve never been able to grasp the column format conceptually (or visually), so I’m watching this comments section closely. Images would help, too! The space is too small for more than one appointment, etc., per day, so that’s another problem. I really like the idea of listing the “wooly” projects by month, but I do have a hard time ignoring the preprinted guidelines (which is why I am taking a vacation from Quo Vadis, as I am temporarily having a problem with the “see, do,” etc., divisions.

  5. I love the anno-planner. In fact, after years of using the Moleskine weekly pocket planner, I switched to the small Rhodia planner this year because Moleskine replaced their yearly overview pages with monthly pages. I note my doctor/dentist appointments and important meetings in the anno-planner section, plus my vacation time and any blocks of days when someone will be visiting me from out of town. The details go on the weekly pages, but it’s essential to me to have a quick overview of the current year and the next year. When I need to set up new appointments, it’s much easier to glance at the full year on one page to see any conflicts instead of having to leaf through the weekly pages. I also note anniversaries of important events in the anno-planner–both for the current year and the upcoming year.

    Will I still be able to get the soft-covered small Rhodia planner next year? All I’m seeing online is a “Web Planner” which looks the same but appears to have a hard cover.

    • I’m not sure about our plans for the Rhodia planner, Susan, but I’ll forward your question to Karen and let you know.

      Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who weighed in here! Very practical suggestions all…

    • Susan, I am so sorry I didn’t get back to you on this sooner! Apparently, we’ve decided against the soft covers this year… I haven’t seen the new planners but Karen assures me they’re quite handsome.

  6. I do pretty much the same as Marty described above. It’s used for planning ahead in the longer term; things that I booked months ago that block out the schedule for a given day. At the beginning of each month I try to remember to transfer all of the pre-booked appointments for that month onto the weekly pages and to block out the time needed. That way I hope not to double-book anything. This seems to work reasonably well and the Anno pages give me the longer term view.

  7. I used an annual planner one year to plan out a “year of living more interestingly”. Every month I picked an activity to do that I’d always wanted to try, or learn, or just something that was different from my usual routine. The annual calendar format was perfect because it didn’t matter WHEN in the month I did the activity, just as long as I did it. It turned out to be a fantastic year!

    I find annual calendar pages really useful for other kinds of”wooly” planning. Anything that is weather-dependent (e.g. garden work, outside home maintenance) can be recorded in the month it needs doing and the first fine weekend is when I do it. It helps keep things on track without requiring constant rescheduling.

  8. Holy Days and feasts for my Faith. Doctors appointments. Alas, they’re too small for much in many of the planners and only pencil as my fountain pens are too wet to fit between the lines. But they’re great for showing days that are FULL and not to be scheduled on.

  9. I love the Anno-Planners and the monthly calendars in the front of the Space 24, so much that I’m going back to a Space 24 for 2012 instead of the Note 27 that I tried for 2011. I plan to supplement the Space 24 with your notes inserts. I use the monthly calendars and anno-planner more for events, like birthdays, anniversaries, semi-annual trips to dentist, annual trips to various physicians for wellness visits, annual tasks like assessing my vehicle and paying household insurance. Also for tasks or events with a fuzzy date such as something I need to do within the space of a month or even 3 months. The Anno-Planner is also great for a visual picture of larger blocks of time than shown in daily or weekly planners. I would never be happy with a planner that didn’t have the Anno-Planner and monthly calendars in the front. I hope you aren’t considering discontinuing those!

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