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The Better Dayplanner by Chris Lake

The Better Dayplanner is the creation of Chris Lake and is worth considering if you currently use DayTimer, DayRunner, FranklinCovey or any other calendar.

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It’s Christmas season. Almost the New Year.

Time to get organized, right?

I’ve been there too: make the annual resolution to get more organized, buy a day planner, use it for a few weeks.

By Valentine’s Day I’d usually forgotten it and lost the thing under piles of paper on my desk.

Another 40 bucks down the drain – and the feeling of guilt every time I found that expensive paperweight.

Often I’d try again in summertime, and maybe even buckle down and use the day planner for few more weeks, but for some reason I couldn’t — or wouldn’t — stick with it.

Then last year it dawned on me: I was trying to use something that didn’t fit the way I work. Like tight, uncomfortable shoes that come with a rented tuxedo (you know, for the June wedding I neglected to write in my planner back in March).

That’s Why I Created the Better Dayplanner

There are a few things wrong with every other product I tried:

  • Not enough hours to fit my wacky dawn-to-midnight schedule
  • Too many complicated rules and symbols for maintaining my ever-changing schedule
  • Too few reminders of what I’m hoping to achieve with this crazy schedule

Before I became a full-time entrepreneur, I was a normal 8-to-5 employee like most people. I had to work on my own business outside of regular office hours. (Well, maybe I used a few hours on the job for my own work now and then….)

Here in Arizona, the days begin early to beat the heat. It’s common to rise by 6:00 AM or even earlier. My day starts at 5:00 AM for several reasons, one of the most important being I can get some quiet time in before the family wakes up.

How Many Day Planners Have You Seen That Start at 5 AM?

When I was running the rat race, the “paycheck day” ended around dinnertime, but my own work didn’t. I’d schedule meetings after hours, go to networking functions, or block out time for my writing up to 8:00, 9:00, and sometimes even later.

Most of the dayplanner designers’ worlds quit at 6 PM at the outside.

I tried to fit my day job and my own business onto the same calendar, but it was just like trying to cook two recipes in the same bowl. Messy, unusable, and a waste of effort.

So I realized if I was going to make my calendar work, I was going to have to make my own.

No Off-the-Shelf Planner Fits Entrepreneurs Like the Better Dayplanner

If you’re an entrepreneur or self-employed, you know that “banker’s hours” aren’t close to the days you lead. (Heck, even bankers don’t get those enviable 10-to-4 hours anymore.)

You probably find you have to do a lot of scheduling in the margins above and below the printed hours in your planner.

Or you might be a sticky-note addict with all kinds of irreplaceable information just waiting to unstick and slip out onto the sidewalk.

Like they say, I’ve been there, done that, got the T-shirt. (And lost my shirt once or twice when I misplaced a phone number or email address.)

I’ve looked in a lot of bookstores, office supply warehouses, and mail-order catalogs, and I’ve never seen anything comparable to the Better Dayplanner. I guess the folks who make up calendars aren’t the kind of people who need to work 12- or 14- or 18-hour days.

Oh, You Wanted a Cover on Your Book? That’ll Be $30.

I know one company – and you probably do too – that brags about its super-duper time management system and sells expensive planner pages to keep you organized. I got all excited and shopped with them one year, but the funny part was this: you don’t get anything to put your seven-hole-punched pages into.

You have to buy your binder separately.

For as much or more than the planner pages themselves! Ka-ching!

Sure, there’s a huge catalog of designer binders in all colors, shapes, and sizes to choose from. Starting around 30 bucks and going sky-high. Maybe some people want a turquoise faux-crocodile zip-up folder with pockets for your credit cards and iPod and nail clippers.

Personally, I like my books to come with their own covers. And I think ring binders are clunky and difficult to write in. But that’s just me.

Wait a Minute, Your Way-Smarter-Than-Me-Phone Has a Great Calendar Built In, Right?

Two words: dead battery.

I know, I know, you can put in recurring appointments and awesome Star Wars light-saber battle alarm tones and sync up your schedule with your computers at work and at home and never be out of touch with your calendar again.

But I bet I can flip my planner open and write down an appointment faster than you can click and drag and type and save. And I probably won’t accidentally delete what I wrote in pen.

Maybe I’m just old-school, but I like having things in writing.

Plus I can scribble a quick arrow or star to make a change. Or add a quick note on the page without fumbling around with my phone or iPad or SuperDuperTablet3000.

Trust me, real men (and women) still use paper.

So … What Is This Better Dayplanner?

I designed the Better Dayplanner to fit my long days – 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM – with ample space for notes. I included a page for planning the month and another at the end for marking achievements, follow-ups, and other notes. (That page is graph paper because I sometimes like to sketch things to scale. And I think it looks cool too.)

I start the work week at Monday, which puts the weekend days together on the right side of the planner. Let’s face it, we often plan something for “sometime over the weekend,” and those Saturdays and Sundays can blur together. With the Better Dayplanner laid out this way, I can plan my weekends more loosely and keep the Monday through Friday week more focused.

I listed the major holidays but skipped the cute features like moon phase and birthstones.

But I did use some space for inspiration … the kind that is meaningful to success-minded people. Each week has a quote from an entrepreneur or other legendary success story. We can always use some motivation, and I’ve tried to choose many quotes with a sense of humor to lighten things up on bad days.

Plenty of Space for All Your Planning

In the very first week you use your Better Dayplanner, you’ll see why it’s so much easier to use.

For one thing, I used a full 8-1/2 by 11 inch, letter-sized layout, so you can actually write at a reasonable size. There is room for everything you do before, during, and after the “normal” workday. There is space for notes, but not page after page of blanks. That keeps the Better Dayplanner as thin as practical, with a total of just 142 pages in all: 2 pages per week, plus 2 pages per month. (And for a bonus, I threw in next January too — in case you just checked my math!)

I also spiral-bound the book so it will easily lay flat – and also can’t lose pages like a three-ring binder could.

With an understated, brown cover and minimal text, you won’t feel like your planner stands out and draws attention, but you also won’t feel self-conscious that’s it’s not a super-premium leatherbound planner carried more for show than actual work.

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And There is No Risk!

I’m sure you’ll say the Better Dayplanner is the best calendar you’ve ever used. But if you don’t agree, you can return it for a full refund anytime in 90 days — no strings attached, no questions asked.

You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. For less than the price of dinner for two you’ll own a tool that will help you be more efficient, more organized, and more successful. You could even say you’re buying yourself extra time that you might have wasted through disorganization.

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“Those who fail to plan are planning to fail.”

The wise man (or wise-guy, you decide) who wrote those words knew that success starts with organization. You’ll be on the golden road to success if you start planning with the Better Dayplanner.

Looking forward to meeting you on the way!


Christopher Lake

P. S. If you aren’t sure $29 is worth it for my Better Dayplanner, you probably haven’t priced out some of the alternatives. Even if you’re just buying refills I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how affordable the Better Dayplanner really is. Order yours today!

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"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve." What if you read this each time you made a phone call, or texted, or received a call? Imagine the possibilities of auto-suggesting this into your mind hundreds of times per day.

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