I really like this layout! Please read below as Avrum explains the hows and whys of his planner:
After trying (and dropping): GTD, AF, DWM, ZTD, 7 Habits, GSD and god knows how many other systems, I came to the conclusion that I needed to create my own system. To do this, I borrowed the best (for me) of the aforementioned systems, as well as my own motivating principles:
* nostalgia - the joy of being transported back to a certain date as I read my planner
* meaning - a list aligned to my principles & major projects
* creativity - a place to park my ideas, sketches etc
The end result looks something like this (click to enlarge):
Nostalgia, accountability and creativity are the motivating principles behind my planners. The daily sheet is a hybrid of a few systems/ideas:
1. Gratitude: Mostly taken from Dr. Ben Tal-Shahar's work. While I don't subscribe to the hyped claims of positive psychology, I find some of the tools helpful, both for my clients and me. The gratitude section gets filled out before I go to bed.
2. If I... I will: Choosing 1 significant (read: scary or something i'm resisting) task per day. Inspired by many: Leo Babauta, Stephen Covey, Tim Ferris and others. Influenced by David Seah's work (design and process), I use prompts i.e. I will... to increase mindfulness vis-a-vis benefit/cost ratio for a significant task. Without the prompts (and general design aesthetic) all tasks look the same and, in my opinion, reduce motivation.
3. Numbered list: I've tried every time management system you can think of, but I find Bill Westerman's Getting Sh-t Done - http://www.utilware.com/gsd3.html - to be the best for my needs.
4. Dotted section: General note taking
I use a Levenger Circa Wrap Notebook (which I love). - http://www.levenger.com/PAGETEMPLATES/PRODUCT/Product.asp?Params=Category=326-339|Level=2-3|pageid=7227
This allows me to punch (yes, I splurged) sketching paper, and place my sketches besides my daily sheets. This provides an excellent snapshot of my business/creative interests and how they played out on each day. The idea of combining everything (to-do's, journal, sketches, etc) was taken from Danny Gregory's wonderful book: The Creative License. http://www.amazon.com/Creative-License-Giving-Yourself-Permission/dp/1401307922
I track my habits, exercise data and other metrics via Joe's Goals. I use stickk.com to establish new habits via Leo Babauta's 6changes method: http://6changes.com/post/284548235/method
It may seem odd that a family therapist would spend so much time on a daily planner. A little context - I run a private practice:
Produce a podcast:
As well, my wife (a child and adolescent psychiatrist) and I are co-authoring a book. We also have a 5 mo old baby boy.
As you can see, a trusted system allows me to stay on top of all these projects.
Avrum thank you so much for sharing your system and methodology with us! I love how you've combined professional, personal, organizational and creative all in one!
Avrum, congratulations on reaching your own Planner Nirvana!!!