- Organizing Paper & Mail
- Keeping Papers Organized
- 9 Ideas for Paper Overflow
- 5 Ways to Deal With the Never-Ending Stream of Paper
- Shredding: What, Why And How
| Home Office & Home Office The Organized Papers Paper Organizers
Digital organizers synchronize with your computer and hang on your hip. But millions of people swear by their trusty paper planners and organizers. Discover why.
After work, you may have to stop at the bank, the post office, pick up dinner and the dry cleaning. You get home only to realize you husband or wife asks what time the cable guy is coming to hook up the new modem. In the midst of all your errands, you forgot to make the phone call. There’s a point in most everyone’s life when they realize they cannot remember everything. Enter the personal organizer.
Enlisting the help of a trusty day planner is one way to keep your priorities on track. There are three major brands that come to mind in thinking about personal organizers: Day Runner, Day Timer and Cambridge (At-a-Glance.) All three of these major brands, as well as others, offer various solutions to meet the different organizational needs of busy people.
For some, such as traveling salesman, their car becomes an office. How does one organize a portable office? For others, even though they have a real office, need to bring their schedules home or to meetings within other departments or at a client’s locations. That said, portable organizers are great for this purpose too. To top it off, parents in general will need some sort of planner, to not only keep track of their work obligations, but also after school activities, meetings, sporting events and more. And, aside from parents, professionals without children may also need to keep track of volunteer activities that may be a part of, community committees, league events and other meetings. Although the needs of the above scenarios differ, a personal “paper” organizer can do the trick to keep these very different lives in order.
There are two major types of day planners- spiral-bound and loose-leaf (held in a three-hole binder). Both work well, but for those who are looking to customize their agendas and perhaps will have a lot of things to hold, the loose-leaf will work best. With these organizers, people have the versatility to create their very own planner, such as at DayTimer.com. At this website, in a few clicks, customers can choose every element of their planner, and have it shipped. At a store, customers can browse the inserts they need.
When putting together a personal organizer, people should start by choosing which size they would like. There are small 5” size binders right up to 81/2x11 folio type binders with handles that emulate a briefcase. A busy mom or dad may choose the latter, while a radio station salesperson, always on the road, would choose the folio. The more standard the size, the more inserts are likely to be available. So, when considering your size, you must also consider your needs. If you’d like to keep handouts from meetings in your binder, chances are a pocketsize will not do. But, if you do not see yourself wanting to lug around a big binder, then maybe a pocketsize that can be held in your purse or laptop bag would be better.
After the size is chosen, people can choose appropriate inserts to place in their binder. The obvious place to start with these inserts are with the calendar. Some people may like to plan day-by-day, while others always like to see a full week or month in front of them. Most companies offer a selection of calendars. Sometimes, people like to use a combination. For instance, someone may want to glance at a whole month at once, as this may make it easier to schedule appointments. But, the same person may also want to include daily checklists. With that, they can be more detailed on a day-to-day basis and include smaller things like errands and phone calls, while still have major events mapped out by the month.
Another important insert of the personal organizer is the contact insert. This is crucial is part of your daily activities will include contacting others. There are various address-book type inserts available from all the planner companies, but most are the standard A-Z. Some will offer more room for extra numbers, such as cell, fax, e-mail, website, as opposed to some that just may have a line for address and phone number. In addition to address book inserts, there are also business card holders that are available for several planner sizes. If you are in the business of exchanging cards, especially for a sales position, this may be an item you’d like to add to your daily planner. You can put them in alphabetical order, or in order by industry. Sometimes, having the card itself in your planner will save you time from copying the contact information into your address book.
Other inserts can be tailored toward the purpose of the organizer. If someone is using it more for school, leisure or life in general, they will probably not need mileage logs, expense reports and a receipt holder. However, those inserts are ideal for traveling salesman and other people who work on the road such as drivers, presenters and counselors. Memo pads and blank loose-leaf are also available for inserts. Aside from just paper inserts, other items are available such as rules, flat calculators, time zone charts, maps and pouches to hold writing utensils.
A final thing to note about this type of organizer is that in addition to personalizing what is inside, people also have the ability to choose a style that fits them. Planners from all three companies mentioned above offer leather covers, as well as the more economical vinyl. Additionally, many come with different designs, even having stationary to match. The companies also will allow more custom options, by adding monograms to the cover. And, with a matching pen, well, you will just be organized with style!
From reading this article so far, you have learned that there are many, many options when choosing planners, and that you can virtually custom make your own. But what about technology? Is that making paper planners a thing of the past? Not yet! For people who like to jot down notes, save business cards and receipts they are still perfect. And still, many people truly like opening up a calendar and being able to write inside. There are many advantages to both daily planners and PDAs. You can read more about PDAs here.