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Thursday, December 22, 2011

How I use my pocket daily Moleskine diary

Mstraat asked how I use my pocket size day per page Moleskine diary. Here are some details!

Mstraat asked if I designate spaces on my daily page for certain things. I don't designate spaces on the daily page for specific types of things, mainly because I never know how much space I'll need for each thing each day. My page is much more free-form.  If I used a Large daily planner I might delineate spaces, but with the Pocket size I just cram things in wherever they'll go.

At the very top of the page I write the important event of the day, holiday, birthday, anything else of major importance (and have my kids do art there too).
I write appointments into the appropriate time slot, and circle it so I know it's an appointment and not a task. I write in appointments as soon as I know them for all future dates. I carry this planner with me everywhere so I can always reference it to see when I'm available, to make appointments, and record things that need to be done on the days they need doing.

I write tasks in approximately when they need to get done.  For example, if I need to do something in the morning, before I pick my kids up at school, or after school I'll write the tasks in those locations.  I only write things that NEED to get done TODAY on my daily page. Things that need to get done sometime this week go on this week's page in my weekly planner (which I talk about briefly here, and you can see more details of how I use my Organised Mum Life Book weekly planner in my review of it here).

I also write in things I did that day, to have a log of what happened each day and when. Emails sent, phone calls made, other notes get written onto today's page. I'm always surprised at how much stuff I do each day, and it's gratifying to look back and realize, "Oh THAT'S how I spent my morning. I really was busy!"

I usually write what I'm making for dinner in the 5pm time slot, because that's what time I'm cooking so I'm not likely to have anything else scheduled during that time so that space is available.

If I have something specific to do in the evening, like make a phone call to the US, I write that in the evening. I like the open format with the times down the side because it's really useful to me to see my day chronologically. That way I see when I have time do to things.

After the 8pm time slot there are several lines for notes which I use to record details such as expenditures for the day, notes of things that happened, and any other details of the day.

I also record other things on the daily pages. For example: my daughter was ill for a couple of weeks with a recurring fever and upper respiratory infection. I recorded her temperature throughout the day for several days. When I took her back to the doctor because she wasn't improving, he asked what her temperature had been for the past several days. I was able to look back in my diary and see that her fever was relatively low each morning, then got higher and higher as the day went on each day. This, as it turns out, is a symptom of typhoid fever, which is rampant right now during the rainy season. The doc gave her antibiotics and said if the fever wasn't completely gone in 48 hours she had to come back to be tested for typhoid. Luckily the antibiotics did the trick and she only had a respiratory infection. But if I hadn't been recording her temps each day I might not have noticed the pattern. Also now I have a permanent record of her symptoms and how long they lasted, so the next time she's ill I can compare to what she had before.

I record a lot on each day's page, and I was tempted to get a larger daily book for next year.  But for this entire year the pocket size has had enough space for everything I need to write each day. Also, this book has the advantage of actually being small enough to fit in my pocket so I can jot down things before I forget. And, it weighs next to nothing and takes up no space in my bag, so I take it everywhere with me.

These advantages, for me at least, convinced me to use a pocket size daily diary again for 2012. And I got the Moleskine again because the open format allows me to use the entire page without restrictions. To encourage myself to use this planner all year long, I let my kids do art on the pages throughout the book, which you can see more of here.

So there are some details on how I use my pocket size daily Moleskine! If you have any questions or would like any more specifics on useage just post a comment and I'll be happy to answer!


  1. Would you do a post on your system for using all of your planners together (e.g. how do you coordinate between the weekly and the daily and not lose information)? Do you transfer tasks between planners, or do you look at all your planners every day? Info like that would be very helpful. Thanks!

  2. Thank you! This is most helpful. Having survived a large computer problem at work, I am now starting on a review of the Taskmaster. Sorry to be so slow.


  3. You did a superior job of describing how you use your little daily planner, but I still can't picture it! Would it be too intrusive to ask to see a sample page?

    I have a lot of daily appointments and tasks to keep track of (like calls, emails, etc.). I'm trying to figure out if I can actually use a small format to handle the tsunami of information!

  4. Tonya I'd be happy to doa detailed post on how I use my weekly planner together with my daily diary. I'm traveling right now so I don't know when I'll be able to get to it, I might not be able to write it until I get home in about 3 weeks.

    Marcia no rush on your review of the Taskmaster! In fact it will be more interesting after you've used it for awhile so you can tell us how you use it.

    Robin I can't load photos while I'm traveling, but after I get home I'll see if there's a day that's not too personal to show you. But honestly it's different every day. If you have a lot of information to record each day you might be better off with a larger size so you don't have to worry about running out of space each day. That way you don't have to try to evaluate what is important enough to write on the day's page, you can just write everything. You can go for a soft-cover daily to save weight.

    Thanks for your comments everyone!

  5. As always, I love to hear how people are using their planners! I'm not super creative--I have to *ahem* "borrow" ideas ;o) Thanks!!

  6. I wish I could decide which size of the daily planner I should use ;) Currently I'm constantly switching between large and pocket size - and a normal lined notebook...

    1. Mirko to be honest I'm conflicted about the same thing. I love the portability of the pocket size, and most of the time the page size is plenty big. But, I know I would write more each day if I used the Large size. But it's so much heavier to carry around!

      I'm trying to be really committed to using this pocket one all year, but am already thinking of moving up to the Large size next year. I'll be living in Scotland then though, and I walk a lot there so the Pocket might win again for the portability! Anyway, I'm getting both sizes "just in case" and will see which one wins: portability or page size?

  7. Did you ever try out the Rickshaw moleskine pocket folio


    1. They sent it to someone else by mistake!!! I was heartbroken when I saw this video a few months ago!!! I emailed them to tell them their mixup. I never sent them stamps, and they obviously confused me with whoever the Laurie was who sent them the stamps. They even made it in purple, my favorite color!!

      They are planning to do another prototype of their Pocket size folio, and hopefully this time I'll get one to review.

  8. Can anyone recommend an untimed daily planner? Thanks!


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