Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Did Santa bring you any cool planner/ stationery goodies?

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

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!

Reader question: US planner similar to Organised Mum Life Book?

Reader Amelia emailed me recently to ask if there is a planner in the US that is similar to the Organised Mum Life Book (click here to see the product page, which has a direct link to my review! I'm so flattered they posted my review!).

Organised Mum does international shipping at very reasonable rates and with fast service. But Amelia would like a planner with similar features that has a US focus with US holidays etc.

I know there are a million "Mom planners" out there. Does anyone know of one in particular that's like the Org Mum Life Book?

Amelia, please post a comment and let us know more specifics about what features you are looking for: Budgeting pages? Menu planning? Tear-off shopping lists? Holiday planning?  All of the above?

Thanks in advance to everyone for any suggestions!!

(PS I'm having a WONDERFUL time in Scotland!!  I love it here!!!!!)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Offline while traveling

I'm off to Scotland! I'll be offline for 3 weeks while I'm traveling.  I have a couple of posts scheduled while I'm gone.

When I get back in January I have a bunch of products to review, so be sure to check back in to see cool new things here on Plannerisms!

Happy Holidays everyone!

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!

My Planner of the Year 2011

Is my pocket daily Moleskine! I'm still using it along with my weekly planner to capture all my daily details, and it's working wonderfully.

I use it to list all the things I need to do today, and to capture information throughout the day. Then it is a permanent reference of what I did each day.

Another reason this planner is a winner is because even though it's so small it really does fit in my pocket, there's lots of space to write on the daily pages. In fact I measured the pages and this has as much or more writing space as larger daily planners because the open format allows me to write from the very top to the very bottom of the page, and to each side (which I often do). In other daily planners, a more cluttered format provides less actual writing space.

You might remember this planner was my mid-year planner winner too.  I love it so much I plan to use my 2012 daily pocket Moleskine the same way.

To liven up the cover and pages, I had my kids decorate it for me. Here is my 2011 Mole on the left, and 2012 on the right:
 I have added monthly indicators as I love to do.
 I love the decorations!

 My kids colorized the formerly boring map:
 and decorated holiday pages too:




I'm planning to use my daily pocket Moleskine for all of 2012. That's a big commitment for me!  You can see my next post for more details on how I'm using this daily diary along with my weekly planner.

Weekly + Daily Planner

I've had several people ask me if I know of a planner that has weekly pages followed by daily pages. I don't unfortunately, but reader Fanny emailed me with a great idea to create your own:

The At-A-Glance Circle The Date Planning Notebook has lined pages and dates printed down the side of each page. The idea is, you circle today's date on the page. That way if you use several pages in a day, they are all indicated. Or you could use one page for each day.  These books also have other planner features like reference calendars and contacts pages.  They come in a couple of different sizes so you can choose what works best for you.

Fanny's excellent idea is to use a two-page spread to draw up your weekly format however you like it: week + notes, horizontal or vertical. Then, use the subsequent pages as a day-per-page diary.  Repeat for each week.

I think this is genius!  You wouldn't be able to get an entire year in one book, but it's a great option for this otherwise impossible to find format.

Many thanks again to Fanny for sharing your great idea!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Collins pocket weekly planners

Here is a selection of pocket size weekly planners from Collins UK (http://www.collinsdebden.co.uk/):

Collins has partnered with Disney for some of their diary designs. This Tinkerbell design is very cute:

The diary is packed with features like information pages, planning calendars, and even budgeting pages. There is also an annual planner:
The weekly pages have a Tinkerbell design each week:
In the back are pages for quick contacts reference:
My favorite of these three weekly planners is the Domani pocket weekly diary. The padded cover is elegant and looks very professional:
The gilt page edges, cream paper and ribbon pagemarker all add to the look of elegance:
Inside there are loads of info pages including international facts:
Dialing codes, time zones, travel information, year planner, and more:
The weekly format has timed lines for each weekday from 9 am to 6 pm.
In the back of the book there are full-color maps of the UK, a London city map, and a map of the London Underground.
The Bubble weekly diary has a colorful cover:
It also has loads of information pages:
It has an open weekly format with unlined daily spaces:

The Bubble diary also has a ribbon pagemarker, several pages for notes and contacts.

Many thanks to Collins for sending me these pocket diary samples to review!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Collins Vanessa weekly diary

Here is a diary I had never had the opportunity to try before: the Vanessa A5 weekly desk diary from Collins:

This is a weekly diary from Collins Australia (http://www.collinsdebden.com.au). Like other Collins diaries for 2012, this diary supports the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, which I really appreciate:
  
 
The diary is double wiro-bound in a removable cover, with a pocket in the front for holding papers, tickets etc.

There are loads of information pages at the front of the book including reference calendars, public holidays and Australia school holidays, world holidays, international dialing codes, conversions and other measurement info, annual planning pages, monthly expense records, cash summaries, forward planning calendar, and pages for frequently used contacts.


The weekly format has timed lines for each day from 9am to 5 pm. Holidays are printed on the day spaces. There are six months of reference calendars along the top of the page.
The paper is cream colored and smooth.  There is a ribbon marker to mark the current week.  This diary measures 22.5 cm tall, 16 cm wide and just 1 cm thick.

In the back of the planner there are several full-color city maps from Australia and New Zealand:
The Vanessa line of planners also come in day per page format, and in a variety of sizes. Click here to see the entire collection.

Many thanks to Collins for sending me this diary as a sample to review!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Calling all Uncalendar users!

Please read this!

I'm very interested in how you use your Uncalendar.  There are endless ways to use the weekly Worksheet and all the Data and Graph boxes throughout the book. If you could share how you use these spaces, it would give us all ideas of how to use Uncalendar planners in new ways.

So if you use an Uncalendar, please either:

Upload your image to the Uncalendar Group on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/uncalendar/

Or, email your photos to me at: Plannerisms (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll load the photos for you.

I'd love to see how you use your Un, and want to give other Uncalendar users ideas on how to best use their Un!  I'm especially interested in photos of how you use pages other than the weekly and monthly pages such as the Data pages, Goals, graphs, etc.

For example, here's something I thought of: using each week's graph as a daily Goals tracker:
This is a great way to remind yourself of daily goals, a way to reward yourself for doing those things that need to get done each day, and a quick visual to see if you are achieving your goals each day or letting things slide.

If you haven't seen an Uncalendar before, check out their website www.uncalendar.com!

Also you can read my posts about Uncalendar planners:

Do You Uncalendar?  (Uncalendar Full Size review)

Uncalendar Half Size review

Time For New Goals! (How I used my Half-Size Uncalendar last year)

Secrets For Success (Ideas on using your Uncalendar for goal setting and progress tracking.)

PS: I am not at all affiliated with Uncalendar, I just really like their products!

Ecosystem and Whomi planners not produced for 2012

I've had several people email me to ask if I have any information about Ecosystem and Whomi planners. 

I don't personally, but from what people have told me, they have received replies from Ecosystem (www.ecosystemlife.com) that their planners are not being produced for 2012 and they hope to bring them back for 2013.

Whomi planners (www.whomi.com) also hope to return for 2013, you can read more about their production plans here.

I was very surprised and disappointed that these two excellent planner brands are currently out of production. Tough times for the planner industry!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Collins Home and Work Diary

If you are managing work, home, personal and/ or community responsibilities and need some help keeping everything straight, check out the Collins Home and Work Diary.
This is a new diary for 2012, and is specifically designed for very busy people who have a lot to manage. It is absolutely packed with features. Below you can see the Table of Contents listing the pages. (Click on photos for larger views.) This is way more than just a diary, this is a method for managing your seemingly endless tasks, and your stress levels.
Before I get into it let me say that I appreciate the charities this diary supports: saving the Tasmanian Devils to try to prevent them going extinct:
and the Fistula Relief Aid Fund to help women in Africa who have had problems in childbirth:
Now on to the diary itself. It is designed by a psychologist who specializes in stress-related disorders.There are several pages of text with advice on reducing anxiety, preventing feelings of pressure about the future, helping you through overwhelming household chores, action planning and goal setting.

There is a page to help you set your goals for all of 2012, in a variety of categories:
Then for each month there is a page to set your goals for that month:
Also for each month there is a page for your expense summary:
This is a day-per-page diary, and each page is a large 24 cm wide by 21 cm tall. Each daily page has your appointments schedule along the edge of the page, with 24 hours starting at 3 am and ending at 2am. This 24 hour schedule is great for people who work shifts or need to record medication dosages around the clock.
On each day's page there are task lists for Personal, Family/ Community and Business, and space for Journaling/ Notes.  There's a space to list errands for the day, record important totals and an inspirational quote for each day.

Along the edge of the pages the months are indicated, to help you find the month and day you are looking for easily. There are also two ribbon placemarkers so you can mark the current day and your monthly goals page for easy reference.
There are several pages for notes, and in the back of the book there is a top-opening transparent plastic envelope to hold cards and other bits of paper.

Also in this diary are reference calendars, year planners, telephone listings, conversions and international dialing codes, world holidays and more.  There's a household cleaning list to help you schedule and assign chores. There's also a 10 week countdown planner to Christmas, and an undesignated 10 week countdown planner to use for planning a wedding, move, or other major event. There's so much more in this diary I can't even detail it all.  It's very comprehensive!

Many thanks to Collins for sending me this diary as a sample to review!

Images published with written permission from Collins.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ginko Papers Night Sky planner

Ginko Papers sent me this beautiful planner as a gift, to thank me for reviews and posts I have done on their products. I wanted to review it here to show you how pretty it is!
This is the Night Sky planner. It has a clear plastic cover, which I removed for the photo below to get a better view of the design, which is so pretty.

This little diary measures only 4 by 5 3/4 inches, and is super-slim and weighs practically nothing so you can slip it into your pocket or any bag to go everywhere with you. And it is gorgeous, gorgeous gorgeous.

There are reference calendars for 2012 and 2013:
This planner started in October 2011 and goes all the way through the end of December 2012.  The month on two pages calendars are tabbed, and embedded in the weeks.

Each month has a new theme on its monthly and weekly pages.
It has a week per page format for quick reference to your schedule.
So pretty!!


At the back of the book there are several lined pages for notes, and several pages of perforated tear-out notes for those moments when you need to write down your number or website to give someone.

It has a ribbon placemarker, and the plastic cover has a pen loop and pockets for cards.

Many thanks again to Ginko Papers for this beautiful little planner!  Check out their entire calendar and planner selection here: http://www.ginkopapers.com/store/calendars/  (make sure to click through all the pages!).

Last year I reviewed their Rabbit planner that has months and weeks visible at the same time, click here to see my review. This year they have the same format available with a couple of different cover designs:

Here is the Twin Planner with the collage cover:  http://www.ginkopapers.com/store/calendars/?show_item=1423

and here it is with the Clover cover:  http://www.ginkopapers.com/store/calendars/?show_item=1422

They did have this format in a couple of other cover styles, but they have already sold out!