It's Day 3 of my Filofax 2 Days Per Page diary experiment, and things are going well. I thought I'd take the time to discuss why I decided to give my Filofax another try, and why this diary setup in particular might just be The One.
First of all, I experienced a Trinote Fail. Imagine a 2-page spread, 14 inches across and 9 3/8 inches tall, filled top to bottom and side to side with writing. Really, the weekly pages were so full I didn't even know where to look first. My day columns were filled with tasks and appointments in such a way that I could hardly see what needed to be done. Faced with all that writing, I couldn't even prioritize what to do next.
I actually went back to my Large Moleskine Day Per Page diary for a couple of days to try to regain some focus. But two days is about the longest that a DPP works for me due to the lack of forward planning. The other issue I have with a large day per page is I tend to over-task myself and write more things on the page than I'm able to accomplish in the day.
Then the other day I was looking for planner inspiration by going through my favorite photos on Flickr and noticed that gcm2011 uses a 2 Days Per Page diary format in his personal Cuban.
I noticed that each day's space (half the page) is about the same size as a normal size Post-It note. And that made me think of the post If It Won't Fit On A Post-It, It Won't Fit In Your Day that I had on my post A Collection of To-Do Tips. It occurred to me that this size for the day spaces might just be the ideal size: plenty of space to write details, but small enough to keep me realistic about what I can accomplish in one day.
When I posted my Philofaxy post Your Stories: Reaching Your Goals With Your Filofax, under You Might Also Like a post came up that I wrote in November 2009 called Goals and Tasks. Obviously goals is a topic I come back to often.
But upon reading my Goals and Tasks post I discovered a recurring issue. If you can sift through that wordy post you'll find that I wrote:
My problem is, I am terribly "out of sight, out of mind." So if my tasks are behind a tab somewhere, they are forgotten indefinitely. But if I write everything on my weekly pages that I want to do, the low-priority tasks mingle with the more urgent ones, my page fills up with tasks, and I get overwhelmed and don't know what to do next.
Obviously I was having this issue more than a year ago. I need to figure out a system that allows me to see the important stuff, while having the lower-priority items off my weekly page but not lost forever.
So I have very high hopes for the 2DPP diary. Big enough to record details. Small enough to keep me from becoming overwhelmed. My Lists section can hold the lower-priority or long-term tasks so my weekly page doesn't get too full. Sounds great!
Some potential pitfalls to look out for and figure out how to manage:
1) The 2DPP doesn't allow me to see the entire week in one view. It's Monday-Thursday on one two-page spread, then Friday-Sunday (plus a very handy notes space) on the next 2-page spread. Also, the days are not columns, which has been my preferred format for awhile now. Will this be a deal-breaker?
2) No specific place for task lists separate from the day spaces on the Mon-Thurs spread. I'll have to assign tasks to particular days.
3) I was really hoping I could find a bound-book planner that would serve my needs for 2011. I tend to lose Filofax pages, and I really like the idea of having my entire year encapsulated and archived in one bound book. But if I can be diligent about archiving, maybe I can almost recreate this effect. The flexibility of the Filofax (being able to have my various sections, goals, add in pages as needed etc.) might just outweigh the archival qualities of a bound book.
I love everything about my Filofax except that I've had no luck finding a diary format that works for me for the past several years. I've had enormous success with my Filofax in the past, so I know this system can work for me. But over the years as I've become busier the small day spaces failed, and day per page diaries don't work for me despite multiple attempts.
Could the 2 Days Per Page be the compromise that solves all of my Filofax issues once and for all??
Only time will tell!
But don't worry, I'll still do my WeekDate and Moleskine Vertical Weekly experiments in January. You know me, I can't pass up the opportunity to try a new planner! ;)