In yesterday's post I speculated about what planner might work best for me in my new life. Meanwhile, I'm experiencing a full-blown Planner Crisis right now, before my big move. Even worse than your typical Planner Fail, a Planner Crisis is when my planner system has an Epic Fail right when I need the most planning power possible. This normally happens to me during a move.
So I contacted my most trusted Planner Adviser, my sister, to beg her advice. She asked me what I'm currently using and I told her my Personal size Filofax with the Week on 2 Pages. Her reply was, "WHY in the WORLD are you using the personal size weekly pages???? You know they are too small for you!!!!!" And of course she is absolutely right. The last time the Personal Wo2P ever really worked for me was grad school, almost a decade ago. Ever since then (with my increasingly complicated life), they are just too small. I've tried several times since then to use them, and they do indeed fail me every time. I love my personal size Filofax, and I keep trying to "make it work," without success. (You can read about two such PWo2P fails in my 13 Planners post.)
She talked through my needs with me and asked a crucial question about my To Do list: what is more important, chronology or categorization? I said mostly categorization, because the only real chronology besides actual scheduled appointments is what tasks I have to do specifically during a particular week.
My sis recommended the Quo Vadis Trinote, which she has been using with great success this year. I have a 2010 Trinote, generously sent to me by Karen at Exaclair, that I reviewed here not long ago.
The Quo Vadis Trinote is very similar to the Quo Vadis Minister, which I used at the beginning of this year and really liked. I abandoned the Minister when I decided to hack my own self-made planner in a Moleskine notebook, then I went on to my A5 Domino, then back to my Moleskine weekly notebook which recently experienced a "crash-and-burn Epic Fail crap-tastrophe," then turned to my Personal size Deco Filofax. Fascinatingly, my sister had a similar journey from Filofax to Moleskine to Trinote, which she chronicled here in her guest post.
Some readers commented on my last post with the very valid point: why not just switch to an A5 Filofax? Actually, I've done that twice before (once being two years ago during my last move, and again this past April) and both times they quickly failed. The book is just too big and heavy for me to take everywhere. Honestly, I could take my Trinote (as my planner) AND my personal Filofax (as my reference book) with me everywhere in my bag and the two of them together would still be lighter and less bulky than my A5 Filofax. I know some people do carry a Filofax and separate planner/ diary book, so this wouldn't necessarily be completely insane if I decided to do this.
Additionally, the Trinote has features that no Filofax pages can replicate. First of all, the pages are even larger than A5: about 1/2 wider and 1 inch taller. (Trinote measures 7 1/4 by 9 1/2 inches, very generous page size.) But, the book itself is only 1/2 inch thick and very light, and therefore very portable.
The weekly layout is just what I need right now. This is some serious planning power (photo of my sister's Trinote):
Timed day columns, with Notes space at the bottom of each day. And, categorized list boxes at the right, so I can keep all my tasks straight.
I considered just going back to the Minister since it is so similar, but decided to go with the Trinote for 3 reasons:
1) The Notes boxes at the bottom of each day's column are similar to the Recurrent Weekly boxes at the bottom of the day columns in the WeekDate planner, so I thought that might give me enough of a fix to sustain me until January when I can start using my WeekDate! (Edited to add: the 2011 WeekDate planners are already shipping!! Mine could possibly even be already there waiting for me when I get to Scotland!!)
2) I like the Trinote's Sunday Situation better than the Minister's.
3) I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use the same planner as my sister uses!!
Many, many thanks to my wonderful sister, who is always there to talk me through a Planner Crisis! I love you sis!! :)
So last night I set up my Trinote, and immediately felt better and much more in control. The large page size gives me plenty of room to write. The weekly spread with the large daily columns lets me see what I need to do, and when I have time to do it. And the categorized list boxes at the right allow me to group all of my phone calls/ emails/ paperwork tasks together so I can streamline my time. I can see everything all at once, so there is NO "out of sight, out of mind."
Edited to add: the large daily columns are key. They give me space to write in little details that otherwise would slip my mind. You would think I'd have learned my lesson back in March when I wrote about this exact same issue in How Big Is Your Day? Note to self: I need a LARGE page size with BIG daily spaces, a WEEK to view, with space for LISTS ON the week view pages! Don't even bother with any other format!
So where does this lead? Who knows. Maybe my Trinote will get me through the move, and once I settle in I'll go back to my Filofax. Maybe I'll even use the Trinote through the end of this year, then switch to my WeekDate in 2011. The good news is, if I'm completely in love with my Trinote by the end of this year, I can always get one for 2011 because they are sold in the UK! Planner Win-Win!