Thursday, February 10, 2011

Update: Moleskine pocket daily planner

I am happy to report that more than a week later, my Moleskine pocket daily planner experiment (which you can read about here) is going great!

There are two main reasons why this is working so well for me: the pocket size, and the monthly calendars.

1) The pocket size is great for so many reasons. It's easy to carry in my bag, and around the house with me (which I've been doing constantly lately). And the daily page is the perfect size: smaller would be too small, and bigger would cause me to write more things than I'd be able to accomplish in one day.

2) The monthly calendars have solved my planning-ahead issues with the daily planner. In fact, I find myself planning ahead even better than with a week view because I can easily see what's coming up beyond the current week and plan accordingly.  Even though the spaces are small, I just write tiny and it's fine. I'm using these monthly calendars intensely as the weeks until our move count down.

I've been using this planner constantly for the past week while my moving plans are really gearing up.  The page size is big enough to capture those little tasks that I need to write down before they slip my mind completely.  And I'm so busy, and scattered, that I carry my planner around in my pocket to refer to and write in often.

I'm utilizing the method I used back in 2005 when I used an A6 size day per page planner for the entire (!!!) year: sticky notes inside the front and back covers for my longer-term (beyond today) lists and notes that don't belong on the day pages.

This is key so that I don't have to rely on flipping back through daily pages to see undone tasks or goals. This was a big factor in the failure of my large Moleskine day per page planner.  Sticky notes inside the covers gives me only two places to look when I need to refer to lists and notes, and they stay there until they are done.

This is working especially well for my multiple-step-process lists of things that need to happen chronologically.  Rather than break these task lists into "To Call" or "To Do," it's more helpful for me to see all the steps in the order in which I need to do them to reach the end result. Whenever I do a task that's on a sticky note, I record it on the day's page when I did it so I have a record of what I did when.  This record is already proving extremely valuable when I need to reference when I spoke to that person about X, when I mailed that payment, etc.

I know Moleskines are famous for their durability, but I'm already worried about my planner's ability to survive the year under such heavy use.  Partly for that reason (but mostly because I love the look and feel of the leather) I ordered the rustically gorgeous Renaissance Art leather cover (which you can click here to see).  I am getting a little desperate for it to arrive!  I have a leather cover from Ren Art for my large Moleskine notebook, and I love the way it looks and feels.

I'm really enjoying using my pocket daily Mole! It's working great for me, and really helping me keep everything straight during this very busy time.

In fact, I even had a dream about it a few nights ago! In my dream I was digging through my bag to find my planner and pulled out a book with a very pretty lavender-colored cover, lavender elastic strap and pagemarker ribbon, and even the pages were a gorgeous light lavender color.  Sounds like the perfect book for me, right??  But when I opened it, I couldn't find the information I was looking for, and nothing in it made sense. I remember thinking in my dream, where's my black planner?  So I dug around in my bag some more and pulled out my pocket Mole planner! I opened it to today's page and found my day neatly outlined and detailed, and immediately felt in control.

Dreaming about my planner!  I need to get out more, right??


  1. This was really interesting to read - how it's not the idea of a day-per-page planner that's failed for you necessarily, just exactly what that planner is and how it works.

    I'm using a moleksine at the moment (18 month weekly notebook) and I must confess, I'm less than impressed with durability. Perhaps it gets abnormal wear since it's in my college bag all the time, but it already has duct tape at the top and bottom where there were rips at the edge of the spine and I've had to knot the ribbon marker to stop it from fraying. Whic brings me to my question - do you know of any ways of covering a moleskine, other than a folio (out of my price range) and a custom binding like yours (great, but I don't use leather as I'm vegetarian)? I can live with the duct tape, but it's not the prettist...

  2. I've seen cloth covers for Moleskines on Flickr, but I can't say if I've seen them for sale on websites (although I've never specifically searched for cloth covers, I bet they're out there).

    For crafty folks, it's probably fairly easy to sew/ put together some kind of cloth book cover. Unfortunately I am completely inept at things like this so I can't advise you.

    Does anybody know a source for cloth or some other vegan option for a Moleskine cover? Thanks for any suggestions!

  3. I get this. One of the main purposes of a planner is to get things out of your mind and on to paper to reduce stress. Having an ultra portable planner that you can easily access anywhere and anytime makes sense. It will look real nice with the leather cover. I think your dream was a clear message that, despite your attachment to fancy planners (i.e., lavendar) this little baby just works for you. I'm happy you.

    I wondered where you keep your notes and frequently used info though.

  4. Savannah, to be honest this is a constant issue for me: where to keep notes and other info? The daily Moleskine has a removable address booklet in the back where I keep frequently used contacts. Notes that are not appropriate to keep on the daily pages go in my Filofax where I have various sections, like Lists and Move that get frequent use, or longer-term reference material that I don't need to look at very often but need to have handy. Generally I don't carry my Filofax with me but I do take it with me when I travel.