Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lessons Learned 2011 and Planner Plans 2012

I've spent a lot of years searching for The Perfect Planner.

Recently I was looking back through old emails with my sister from back before I started this blog. Back then my sister was the (very patient) recipient of all of my planner angst, and there was a lot of it.

At that time I was cycling through these: my Filofax to have my planner and information pages all in one book; a large weekly planner (the Full Size Uncalendar at that time) for more planning space, and a day per page planner for detailed records. For those of you who have been reading this blog awhile, that pattern should sound familiar, because it's the same pattern I've been cycling through ever since.

Until recently.

For the past couple of months, my system has been working very well. I've been using my personal size Aqua Finsbury Filofax as my Medical and Info Filofax, which goes in my bag with me everywhere.  My pocket daily Moleskine also goes everywhere with me, and is my main planning and recording book.  My 2012 Organised Mum Life Book is my planner, goals workbook, holidays and birthdays planner, budgeting assistant and all-around life management tool, and it stays home almost all the time.
Wait a second you might say, this sounds suspiciously like the Life Book + Daily Diary system I used last year that quickly failed. Why is it so successful this time?

Here's the difference: last time I used the weekly Life Book as my main planner, and my daily Textagenda as my go-everywhere record book.  The problem was, my Life Book stayed at home all the time, but I didn't do any forward planning in my daily Textagenda. So to make any plans I had to wait until I got home to consult my Life Book. I was constantly going back and forth between the two. It was a confusing mess.

Now the difference is subtle but significant: my daily planner is my main planner. All future plans are recorded in it right away. It goes everywhere with me, even around the house and to my bedside table to capture everything I need to do or remember. I synch it with my weekly Life Book, which stays at home on my desk, open next to my computer.  I record all my appointments and household tasks, and do my meal planning each week in my Life Book. It is more like a workbook to help me organize my thoughts and see the pattern of my week (and month, on the monthly calendars). And like I mentioned before I use all the other pages too like holiday planning, budgeting etc. It doesn't need to go everywhere with me, but when I do take it somewhere it zips securely shut in its lovely purple cover and off we go.

I tabified my Life Book to be able to flip easily to each monthly calendar:
This system is working brilliantly for me. For years I cycled through Filofax, large weekly and small daily planners, and now I'm using all three. Because I don't carry all three with me, it's not a ton in my bag. Because I have very specific purposes for each, I don't feel scattered.  I love all of the books I'm using, and I plan to use this system indefinitely.

Have I reached Planner Nirvana?  Maybe for now. But guess what: there is a 99.9% chance that we'll be doing yet another international move next year. And you know how moving throws my planner system into a tizzy!

So, stay tuned for more planner antics in 2012!


  1. heh heh. i'm intrigued by you making the pocket daily moleskine work for you. i've tried the moleskine planner several times (pocket monthly, extra large monthly, & pocket wpp w/notes) and can't seem to get into it. we'll see for 2012 when i use the large daily moleskine specifically for journaling about the day. i will continue to use compact filo (just got the osterley - will write about it soon) as my main planner.

  2. I'm just so who will I go through Planner Angst with??? :/ Just joshin' ya... Glad you've found what works!!