Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Building a Planner (that Works) - Step One - Begin at the Beginning!

Do you remember the song from The Sound of Music that starts, "Let's start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start..."?  But what IS the beginning when building a planner?

I think most of us would say, "The pages!", but let's start even further back than that and spend some time today looking at a basic Basic...  The Binder.

Of course, I know perfectly well that any binder will hold my pages together, but I also know that type of binder I use... size, color, ring style, closure type, material... make a big difference in how I feel about my planner, and, I'm afraid, how I feel  about my planner makes a big difference in whether or not I enjoy using it.

Let's take a closer look at some Binder specifics to help you decide which size and type is right for you...

Petite Binders

Classic Binder
Size:  At GraceWorks we carry three different size planning pages:  Full size (8.5" x 11"), Classic size (5.5" x 8.5"), and Petite size (3.75" x 6.75").  The binders for each of these page sizes present their own set of pros and cons.

First, the full size binder.  This notebook size binder is roomy and convenient because you can use it not only for your planning pages, but you can easily punch and keep other   letter sized papers at your fingertips.  Unfortunately its larger size makes it less convenient to carry with you outside the home.

 The petite binder is a perfect size to tuck in your bag and carry with you.  It does, however, have a less standard page size which makes it difficult to add your own pages. It also presents some problems for those with larger handwriting... or older eyes! : )

The Classic size is a compromise between the petite and full sizes, and is often a good choice when you are beginning.  It offers more room to write without being too large to take along when you leave the house.  However it can be difficult to add your own pages, as the pages all need to be "half-sized".

Personally, I usually have a full-size notebook or two that I am using, and a classic size, as well.  I love the room and flexibility that the larger size gives me, but I have a soft spot in my heart for a number of the Classic sized pages! : )

Color:  It amazes me how colors affect us all differently.  My dear daughter has a room that is painted blue that she finds soothing, but I have trouble sitting in there for a length of time because I feel like I am under water.  Certain colors in my planner will draw my attention and encourage me, and other colors will cause me to feel depressed.  Choose a color binder that you enjoy, and that causes you to feel comfortable, or smile when you look at it, not one that agitates you.

Ring Binders
Ring Style:  The two most common bindings for notebook planners are Ring Binders and Disc-Bound Binders.  Ring binders come in many sizes and thicknesses from basic to beautiful.  Adding pages is easy, just open the rings and insert the new papers.  These binders have a long history of organizing everything from planning pages to recipes, and they do it well.
A disc bound binder with GraceWorks Home Journal Daily Pages
Disc-Bound notebooks like the Levenger Circa Line and the Arc notebooks by Staples, are  another choice.  They consist of covers (from basic to beautiful) that are attached to a number of discs.  The disc size can vary depending on how thick you would like your notebook.  The discs allow you to turn the pages like a spiral notebook -- even flip the cover back on itself! -- and the notebook lets you add and reorder pages like a ring type binder.  These notebooks are perfect for people who find the rings in the ring style binders get in their way when they try to write, but the pages will not be as secure in the disc binders if you allow them to get too full, and the hole punch can be pricey.

Classic Size GraceWorks Full-Color Tab Set repunched for a Disc Bound Binder
  Except for the Home Journal line, all of the GraceWorks pages are punched for ring-style binders, as we carry a beautiful assortment of ring-style binders in our store at EXCEPTIONAL prices.  . Although we do not carry disc-bound notebooks in our store, we are more than happy to add the disc-bound type punching upon request.

Closure Type:  When discussing binders, another option to consider is the type of closure that would suit you best... basic notebook style (no closure), a snap or strap closure, or a zipper.  The type of planning notebook you are creating may dictate which closure you would prefer.  A recipe / menu planning notebook might warrant the openness of having no closure, but if you will be tucking things in your binder that may or may not be secured by the rings, you might prefer to have the extra protection that a zipped binder can give.

GraceWorks Canvas Binder - Available in Black, Navy, Hunter and Cranberry

Material:  At GraceWorks we offer a FREE basic Classic sized binder with a number of our Starter Sets.  The starter binder is pictured above and is a splendid canvas binder with an embroidered Day-Timer logo.  It is available in 4 colors and both functional and beautiful.  Along with our canvas binder, our basic vinyl / plastic binders and large-ring vinyl storage type binders, we are also blessed to  carry a large assortment of other gorgeous, retired Day-Timer binders in both petite and classic sizes.  These come in a variety of other materials including faux leather, tapestry and genuine leather, and our prices are fantastic!  We are so thankful to be able to offer these to you at a just fraction of the original retail prices!!

So... here's your homework.  Do some thinking about your personal style.  Which size would be most comfortable for you?  What is your favorite color?  Which ring style would fit your personality?  Do you have a specific material or closure style that you prefer?  Take a moment or two and browse our binders, then come back on Friday
for Step Two of Building a Planner {that Works}.  Be sure that you are signed up to receive our blog emails, or have us in your blog reader!!  See you then!



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