Friday, March 23, 2012

Personal size PlanAhead for less than $12! Cleverly designed.

I bought this PlanAhead ring binder from CVS the other day for less than $12!  It's vinyl, of course.  It's not horrible, either, it actually feels pretty good in the hand.  It has some padding and heft.  It's on the left, below.  My personal Amazona is next to it for scale, not for intimidation.

I bought it for three things.  The calculator is one of them (visible through the semi-opaque page lifter, which I will definitely cannibalize, too).

Note the full length pocket  - such a great feature.  So convenient for stashing receipts, grocery lists, checkbooks, etc. 

And I also bought it for the vertical WO2P, below.  My MO2P is getting mighty crowded, so I wanted to experiment before spending time printing out homemade ones with pretty colors and nice paper.  BTW, the paper is definitely mediocre, but not horrible.  Not rough.  Note pages are undated.  Nice empty box at the bottom of each column - put to use to suit your own purposes.  

So nice that they include a page for the month's highlights.  I use that a lot in my current planner, even adding in additional pages. 

Here's the month overview.  Yes, MO2P AND WO2P!

To Do List.  Nothing special.  Nothing bad.

A bunch of reference stuff.

This is the third reason for my purchase, the Budget Organizer.  There are ten pages of this.  I may not use these exact pages, but I'm definitely finding them inspirational.  I'm starting to get into the nitty-gritty of managing my money, which requires awareness at the micro-level.   Wish me fortitude!!

More money stuff.


Mas medical.


More auto.  I'm not ready to be THIS organized.  I rely on the reminder that pops up on my dashboard.  Someday.

A couple of clever things shown in the photo, below.  Well, first, of course, there's a slot for a note pad, always nice.  Secondly, the notepad is pre-punched - love that.  The two things that I found extra-clever are (1) the location of the zipper!  Close to the spine.  Very clever.  Doesn't get in the way of the pen or create a bump under the paper.  However, the pocket is still fairly useless because it's not gussetted, so it's nigh-impossible to access; (2) the pen loop is LARGE so the pen is loose in the loop but WHO CARES! It stays secure due to the clip AND it's easy to get in and out - brilliant.  AND note the location...  it's attached about 2/5ths of the way down the side instead of midway - this prevents the pen from sticking out past the bottom of the planner.  So well thought out.

Kudos, PlanAhead!  Very well-designed.  Great entry item for those afraid to commit to the purchase price of a Filofax.



  1. I have looked at these planners myself (I can't help passing by the office supply section of any store). I like some of the inserts here - but I didn't see them listed separately on the website, so it looks like they cannot be purchased without a binder. Have you seen them sold separately?

  2. Kanalt - No, I've never seen them sold separately. I don't think it would be profitable for them since they don't sell stand-alone binders and the binders that they do sell are so inexpensive you can buy a whole set-up for less than double the price of what you would pay (at least, the price I imagine) for a set of inserts.

    I thought of another use for this binder - storage. Imagine -- rings, not stems!

    This binder is such a bargain. And it REALLY makes me wish FF would place their pen loops higher and make them bigger. I just bought a three-way pen that has black and red ball points PLUS a mechanical pencil but it hangs way down past the bottom of my Amazona when I (am forced to) hang it on the loop.

  3. Juan brought one of these home recently. I liked the calculator too, but no-way-jose is that gonna fit in my stuffed Cavendish! I agree, a great way to try a ring binder without spending a lot of money. And I agree, if you like the inserts it's worth the cost to just buy the binder with the inserts included, as the binder can be used to store unused and been-used inserts.

    @Nancy, have you tried the DayTimer storage binders? Thinking about ordering one.

  4. @Josh - I put the calculator in my personal black Holborn. It's a budget-dedicated FF; contains ledgers for all my bank accounts, credit cards, and utilities. Also a payment checklist for the 1st and 15th of each month.

    And, no, I haven't tried the DayTimer storage binders although I've been eyeing them for awhile. I asked about them somewhere (philofaxy?) and someone said they were very roomy. I've been meaning to call DT to ask if they are stems or rings, but I haven't gotten around to it.

  5. I bought one of these for use as a storage binder last year. I sent the vertical weekly inserts on to another Philofaxy reader and have used some of these for myself. Love the cost and the utility of the inserts. :)

  6. I know! I'm thinking of getting another one just for the storage. One drawback is that I assume it's vinyl/PVC and I'm trying to stay away from that ever since I got a long, explanatory email from Rickshaw bags explaining the health hazards for workers and consumers (not to mention the environment). Hmmm, did I just talk myself out of it? Probably not.

  7. awesome. I love the little goodies they have at cvs or Walgreens. I saw a little canvas Kate spade looking thing for 8 bucks ! didn't buy it though - it was mini and couldn't be used as a wallet as well. oh and, YOU HAVE A HOLBORN TOO?? damn! what cave have I been hibernating in lately? holborn seems to be the new great thing. but you know, I'm thinking of switching to pocket. tis the season (made that switch last year around this time) I'll keep you posted... meanwhile me and amazona are still bffs - another reason why I haven't completely made the switch yet, just oddly love that damn thing bulk and all. however I'm( trying to be) patiently waiting for my nice uniformed FedEx rasta dude to hand me that special parcel...

    1. SNARLing - yes, I have a personal black Holborn for budgeting/bills. Feels so good in the hand and has lots of great pockets. I'm just breaking it in. And I, too, am still loving my Amazona. What's coming via FedEx, HMM??

  8. I've thought of doing the same thing, the price of cheap complete organizers is hard to pass by. In the past I just say no! But after looking at this I will stop and look a little more


    1. Tracy - I'm off to buy another today! I'm going to use it as storage (future and past) for this year. I'll need at least two since I use DO2P.

  9. Storage! Oh course! I'm totally going to do that

  10. Just bought my second one yesterday and ended up with $12 in CVS dollars... so it was, essentially, free!