While I have been organizing my life digitally for well over a decade, there are still many people who prefer paper. A paper planner, when used correctly, is a great tool to put everything which requires your attention into one place. Perhaps a paper system is your choice, but you have not found page formats which suit you. Perhaps you don't want to spend money for commercially-prepared pages. If either of these descriptions are applicable, this post is for you. The Free Resources page of my website lists four forms you can download, print, and use. Since it is on the "Free Resources" page, that's a pretty good indication that the price is right.
Paper Planner Daily Page
The layout for this page matches the concepts I teach in my workshops and in my books, Get Organized!:Time Management for School Leaders and Organization Made Easy!: Tools for Today's Teachers. Items should be worded clearly. Like items should be grouped together. You will find a space to list your "Fab 5" for the day. Of course, the page provides a space for appointments. Finally, you have a dedicated space to answer the all-important question, "How did you make today count?"
The page size is 8 1/2 X 5 1/2, meaning you will get two pages per sheet.
Put the pages on a paper cutter, punch holes, and you are ready to go. The back of the page is intentionally left blank. This page is where you take notes from meetings, phone calls, etc. Documentation is easy when you have this space available.
Click the tab for each month and print. Put the pages on a paper cutter, hole punch, and insert them into any notebook designed for pages which measure 8 1/2 X 5 1/2. Use the back of each page for additional information related to that month.
Goals or projects are different, in that they are accomplished through a series of tasks. We need a place to house all of the tasks and related information for the projects we undertake. We then "farm out" the specific tasks to specific days. Having some Goal Planner sheets in the back of your book gives you control of the big picture.
We all have those tasks we want to accomplish "sometime," but do not want to assign a specific date. The "Master List" is just such a parking place. Put some of these sheets in the back of the planner, and you will never be at a loss for a "parking place" for the random tasks which come to mind.
What tool do you use to stay organized? Is it paper or digital? For those who organize with paper, what commercial pages do you use (if any)? For those who organize digitally, what software do you use?