Making plans

I’d originally meant to post about this topic back at the end of last year or the start of this one, but day job + state of the world have pretty much crushed my motivation for a while. At any rate, the subject is timely again, so better now than never…

One of my favorite parts of the end of a year is buying a new planner. (Yes, a paper planner. If your apps work for you, that’s great, but this post isn’t for you.) I’ve never been quite satisfied, though, with any of the ones I’ve tried. In my case, I don’t have that many things that have to be done on a certain day (so I don’t need a huge space for each day), but I do have things that need to get done sometime that week. Inevitably, I’d wind up writing a bunch of to-do stuff in the Monday and Tuesday slots, only get a couple things done, and then wind up highlighting the rest so I’d still pay attention to it by Friday. Or I’d find myself keeping a to-do list elsewhere, of stuff that needed to get done that week or that month, just not on a specific date. I also hated that my planner didn’t have a monthly calendar page integrated with the weekly layout.

The other issue for me was trying to figure out how to organize both my regular day-job/household-type planning needs with my writing/creative planning needs. For 2015 and 2016, I’d tried having a separate writing planner, but even though I loved the idea of that, in both cases it never quite worked as well as I hoped. It was too much separation. I needed both aspects of my life in one place, but my writing planning really didn’t lend itself to a regular day-by-day layout.

So as the second half of 2016 came around and the 2017 planners started hitting stores, I looked at all different brands and styles — Japanese imports, the Leuchtturm planners since I’d liked their notebooks, the usual B&N offerings — but there was always something missing.

Finally, staring at Google one day, I told myself, “That’s it. It’s 2016. We’ve had print-on-demand technology for years. There’s GOT to be somebody online offering customizable planners.”

Enter Agendio.

(Can I just say, I love their name? It’s like a Harry Potter spell to create a to-do list.)

I found other companies selling “customizable” planners, but the options tended to be more along the lines of, choose what picture you want on the cover, put your name on it, choose which type of layout you want (always the same types of layouts you can get in regular planners).

With Agendio, you can customize pretty much everything — the full layout module by module, the font, the colors, whether you want lined pages added in, or a pocket, or an elastic band, or tabs. You can have all your family’s birthdays printed in there (one of my favorite things). You can choose which holidays to include based on what country you live in or faith you observe. If some event happens the same day and time every week, you can have that printed in there automatically too. I spent hours — wonderful, happy, nitpicking hours — tweaking every last thing.

(For the record, you wouldn’t have to spend hours building your planner. It’s not that the process is difficult or massively time-consuming; it’s just that I was a kid in a candy store with all the options.)

So now I have a planner with the left page showing the days of the week and the right page made into two to-do lists: Household and Creative. The household one has a bulleted list format; the creative one is just a blank shaded block. There are monthly calendar pages (to keep track of bills and pay dates) interspersed where they should be. It has lined and blank pages in the back for notes, a pocket for business cards and clippings, and a lovely charcoal gray cover.

In short, it’s pretty much perfect. (And yeah, it’s more expensive than your average B&N planner, but I expected that. Still, even with all the bells and whistles I added on, mine breaks down to be a cost of about $5.83 a month, which to me is pretty good for something I was able to build to my own specs.)

I mention all this now not just because I’ve had a couple months to try it out and still love it, but also because Agendio has a sale going on right now. Until March 12, using the code INeedAnAgendio will get you 15% off any planner or refill (they print refills for Day-Timer, Filofax, etc, too).

And just to cover the fine print:  They’re not paying me to post this and I don’t get a percentage of clicks or anything; I just like signal-boosting good stuff, and they’re a relatively new company that I’d love to see thrive. That said, if you want to see my layout, I do have this referral link that will show it to you, and if you buy a planner from that particular referral link, I do get a credit toward my next purchase. So there’s that.

*opens planner, checks off “Write blog post about Agendio”*

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