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Friday, January 13, 2012

2012 Moleskine Monthly Notebook

Huge thanks to my mom for getting me the 2012 Moleskine Monthly Notebook for Christmas!!!  I wanted one of these last year but by the time I got around to ordering one, they were tragically sold out. So I've spent the past year pining for one lamenting what could have been looking forward to trying it out this year!

The Moleskine Monthly Notebook is a monthly planner only, no weekly views. It has all the usual Moleskine features including the international information, ivory paper, placemarker and pocket in the back. It comes in Pocket, Large and Extra Large sizes. Mine is the Large size, approximately 5 by 8 1/2 inches.

The Monthly Notebook only comes with the soft cover in black. I had formerly shunned all Moleskine soft covers on principle. I wanted the durability of the hard cover. But I have to say, I'm loving the soft cover, especially in such a slim book. It makes the book very lightweight and slim, so it easily goes everywhere with me in my bag.  And it feels nice in my hands.  Cover Win!

The planner has a few different types of monthly planners. Side by side reference calendars for this year and next year, very handy:

Months as columns for all of the current year, 4 months to view:
And months as columns for all of next year:
The meat of the planner is month on two pages grid calendars for all of the current year (shown at the top of this post), with a two-page spread of lined note pages between each month:

I use these notes pages for that month's goals, specific things I need to do that month (like vaccine boosters, insurance or magazine renewals, etc), and monthly reviews.

Then after December there are 53 lined pages for notes. Even if you use a two-page spread after December like the rest of the months, that still gives you 51 notes pages, which is enough for one page per week of the entire year (minus one week, and there's sure to be a week of vacation in there somewhere when you won't need an entire page that week).

So here's how I'm using it:

I use the monthly columns for overviews, which is extremely useful to see long-range plans like school holidays and travel. 

I use the month on two page calendars for all appointments, activities, bills due and paid, holidays, birthdays, and any other scheduled details.

Like I said above, I use the two-page spread between the months for monthly specifics. I'll use a notes page per week for my weekly lists and to-dos, notes and whatever else.  I'm not too structured about how I use these notes pages, I love the flexibility of the unformatted pages.

I love the stripped-down simplicity of this monthly planner. The monthly grids are completely uncluttered, so anything I write is very visible. I can use the notes pages in any way I need to at the time, there's no set way to use it.

I'm using this Monthly Notebook as an accompaniment to my day per page diary, which keeps my daily to-do lists and details. So I use my Monthly for the overview and Daily for the specifics.

Because the monthly pages are smack in the middle of the book, it took a little flipping of pages to locate whatever month I was looking for. So I used a Sharpie marker to indicate the edges of each month's pages, running down the edges (as I have done in my day per page diaries *1* *2* *3* years in a row now).  Now I can go directly to the month I'm looking for!

Also as I like to do in my day per page diary, I had my kids decorate some of the pages for me. There are so many notes pages, I wasn't at all worried about them using up too many pages. I handed them the book and asked them not to draw on any of the pages with squares (the monthly calendars themselves) and let them have at it. The result, as always, is that now I have original art from my children in my planner, which makes me absolutely cherish it!
"Our house and Christmas tree"

"Walking through the snowy forest"

I am loving this system. The monthly notebook is a great companion to my pocket daily.  It's excellent for monthly and longer-range planning, lists and notes while my daily book plans and records each day's details. They are both light and portable so they go together easily in my bag.

My mom liked this planner so much she ordered one for herself too!

Thanks again Mommy for getting me this planner! I hope this gives you some ideas on how to use yours. Love you!!

5 comments:

  1. So have you abandoned your Organized Mom book in favor of the new Moleskine?

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  2. Yes, see the details here:

    http://www.plannerisms.com/2012/01/what-im-currently-using-why-oh-why.html

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  3. oh, thanks, somehow missed that post! I actually just received mine after a long wait after ordering. I also ordered the 1 day per page Moleskine b/c your system sounded so good! However, while waiting for the OM I got impatient and ended up using Xmas money to buy my first leather Filofax! So now i'm using a personal sized filo and I love it (with one month's worth of 2 pages per day for daily planning - love those!!!! - and a 2 pages per month for planning ahead, plus other inserts). Amazona in black. Feels so good in my hand and not too big in my bag and I'm able to carry a pen, a staedtler marker, and a mechanical pencil by using the rings. I tried the pocket moleskine you use but I need more room per day. I already used the DayTimer wirebound 2 pages per day and knew that was a good amount of space for me and this was only reinforced for me when I tried using the pocket 1ppd. So... now I have the OM and have no use for it since my new system is working. If someone in the USA wants it for a discount, they can email me - $15 including shipping. Like new.

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  4. This simple combination looks like a real winner to me. It seems to resolve all the page size vs. portability issues. Hope it works out for you.

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  5. I use the Italian Legami diary as my regular planner, but inspired by this description, I started using the monthly Moleskine specifically for art goals and reflection. I use the left-hand side of the blank two-page spread to plan goals for that month, I fill in whatever I've done that day related to those projects just before bedtime (OK, when I remember!) in the month's squares and use the right-hand side of the spread to reflect and review at the end of the month. I have a very busy life with a lot of strands, and I can sometimes feel a bit like I am treading water in relation to "what matters most" and forget how much I've actually done; this single-focus retrospective log is a reminder to me that I am actually making progress in amongst all the clamour. Thanks for bringing the format to my attention - I like the feeling of space it allows too.

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