Circa vs regular-ringed planners like Daytimer & Franklin Covey. Pros? Cons?

I've had planners like Daytimer, etc etc (you name it) for years now. I bought a Circa for 2.97 for the sale and let me tell you I'm NOT happy with it.

Doesn't Circa have one page per day or 2 pg per day pages? Is this something one has to create separately?

Why should a ring person convert to Circa? Convince me-please. It looks nice but for the volume of information I carry I'm not totally convinced it's all going to fit into these rings.


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Have you seen the templates on this site? You can find pretty much whatever you want and print it. I've never actually looked at the calendar/planner stuff Circa offers, because I print from Outlook and add to my Circa. I don't keep a calendar in pen.

The advantage to Circa is incorporating more than a planner. For me, it's being able to add/remove pages like tasks, sales goals, notes, articles, etc. and having all of that info in one place. (Obviously I use a letter size, and yes you can technically do that stuff wtih a $2 binder.) One main advantage is that you can fold the front cover back for writing, which you can't with a binder, and it's much easier to use smaller size sheets in Circa than it is a binder.

If you're looking just for a planner, then Circa probably isn't the best product out there. But if you want flexibility and to incorporate other templates or your own, it's about as good as you can do.

Levenger is not a planner company

This is something that actually came up in a discussion I had with Ryan (one of the members of this site who just happens to be a Levenger employee). Levenger is not a planner company. They sell "Tools for Serious Readers." Their only options for calendars are the yearly fold-out, two pages per month, and two pages per week. If you want something else, you either have to buy something else or make your own. While they aren't a planner company, it just happens that their Circa line of products can be turned into a wonderful planner.

Now here's the good news: Circa rings are available in various sizes. The "Agenda" notebook comes with 3/4 inch rings. Also available are 1/2", 1" and 1 1/2". You can buy the rings and covers in any size and buy a hole punch and make your own custom notebooks.

I personally find a planner made with 1 inch rings in the "Junior" size - pretty much identical to the "Classic" size makes a great planner. 3/4" rings seemed like I could only have my calendar and a few pages of notes. 1 1/2" rings just seemed too bulky.

The Circa system offers todo list pages, project planning forms, address books, various note taking pages, tabbed dividers, binders and notebook holders. In short: everything you need to make a planner EXCEPT a variety of different formats of calendar pages. I suggested that is the only thing Levenger would need to add to make something I could see being used as a serious planner, so it is something they may want to seriously consider.


Page-per day -- coming soon

Keep your eye on the Dynamic Digital Templates. I promised Doug I'd do the Academic Calendar first, but that's next.

BTW, If you are on a Mac, use that Numbers-Spreadsheet that was posted. Very neat.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Circa pros/cons? The Key is The Punch

Anvil -

For me the Key is The Punch... in my case, springing the 'big bucks' for the circa desk punch. I took advantage of their recent sale on 2007 circa agendas strictly for to get the rings and covers for a couple bucks -- not the agenda pages.

The Levenger project and to-do list forms are nice and I am sold now on the Cornell-style of ruled notepaper they use. Even though I really like their paper quality and order many of their forms, I'm not all Circa. (The beauty is you don't have to be.) I use Time-Design's Business A5 daily pages (not T-D's Franklin copycat, MSystem). I lop off 1/4" from the left side and re-punch them with my circa punch. And I use self-printed DIY forms for lots of other purposes in my Circa notebooks. Ygor's new software has great potential, too!

Besides, circa/myndology-style discs are so much easier for writing then getting those bulky metal FC rings in the way, no?

In short -- don't give up on Circa/Rollabind just cause the agenda pages stink -- if you like the feel and size. The flexibility is impressive.... and circa-punched sheets fit in Myndology covers, too -- and vice-versa.

If your goal is to: a) save money in the long run; and/or b) use a calendar format you like with the advantage of adding various 'other forms' to your system, then grabbing a punch and shopping at , , or is where you need to go!

(Boy, that post got long in a hurry!)

"We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then is not an act,
but a habit." - Aristotle

You may be in luck, Venti

First of all, verify that I'm looking at the correct planner pages. I found this. About half way down is a picture/link that says "View A5 Samples"
Now, may I direct your attention here because this is the design I will be implementing. Can you liove with the differences ? I will make my daily pages so that you can put the calendar page on either side -- I heard you SouthPaws !! My mum was one !!
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Adapt timeplanner to Circa?

Everyone thank you for your replies. Very helpful! :)

So, could I just take the timeplanner and adapt them to Circa by punching in the holes?

ygor's upcoming template & timedesign comments

You did find the correct daily planner page that I currently use. Yes, adding a link like this would have been helpful. (Convieniently for DIYers and my budget, you can order annual refills of only the daily pages.)

Now, as to the daily template that you will likely use in your next software contribution: I think that it would be very useful and a fine model. As Doug noted in his comments, it is pretty much the industry standard... and I might go back to trying it if it can be produced in your "iDIY" format.

But frankly, it is very 'FranklinCovey'. (Not that I have a problem with that -- in fact I used to work at an FC retail store.) However, the features of the TimeDesign Business template that I have found appealing include:
- the appointment section on the right page (FYI, I'm right handed);
- the split of the to-do column into two distinct lists;
- the extra hours laid out for my evening activities on the back of the page; and
- that 'statistics' mini-matrix comes in handy for my daily logging.

Granted, any form is going to be hand-tweaked, hen-scratched and utilized differently by different people.... and I encourage you to and thank you for your efforts to produce the daily template software! Just getting my little PSA in for TimeDesign's form and why I currently use it. (And I guess trying to push Anvil off the dock into Lake Circa.)

"We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then is not an act,
but a habit." - Aristotle

Anvil is sitting in the

Anvil is sitting in the Time/Design boat in Lake Circa.

I like all of the pages this system comes with to begin with, and now I've been reading your responses and looking at the vast number of possibilities with Circa. This could be the answer for me. Thanks!

Try this before buying the punch...

You can snip the holes in your 3-ring pages (from the hole to the edge) and get the same flexibility as with the Circa. It's working find with my binder, with regular paper. But might work even better if you need to move pages around a lot, if you get heavier paper.

I spent $140 for the punch and four starter sets and some extra discs (and the shipping!) but don't feel it was worth it.

The heavier paper does stand up to manipulation better than lighter-weight paper does, but the binder gets full faster, and it gets heavier. But if you want the heavier paper, you can use it in your 3-ring.

Also, I punch 4x6 cards and stick them in my 3-ring binder, which is one of the Circa features--being able to put various-size pages in. Granted a 3-ring isn't as flexible in that regard as a Circa, but I didn't find for this that frequently during the couple of months I was using the Circa.

I tried Circa-fying some business cards and put them in a Circa notebook but didn't like the result as much as I do the business card holders from Day-Timer--I'd rather have the cards stay neat and tidy and un-punched in their plastic sleeves. I have two of the business card holders that each have 14 or so sleeves and have found them very handy for years.

Eventually I'll see if I can sell my punch and unused starter kits. I suggest that if you like your 3-ring binder, you try and see if you can adapt some of the Circa features. You may not feel the need to buy the Circa things.

What I did like about the Circa was the translucent covers. I got scrapbook paper and even printed some color pages as my front pages and really enjoyed them. But I've since put in nice pages at the front of my binder and enjoy that just as much.

YMMV always, of course, and everything is personal.