Friday, January 27, 2012

How many times do you write it?

This is a little bit of a follow-on to my previous post, and is another topic I've been thinking about for awhile.  How many times, in how many places, do you write your appointments and other daily commitments?

My limit, apparently, is two. I can keep up with writing this level of detail in only two planner formats at once. Daily and monthly is fine. Weekly and monthly is also fine. Even daily and weekly is fine. Daily, weekly and monthly = planner breakdown.

My recent experiment incorporating my weekly planner into my system with my daily and monthly failed rather quickly. I felt overwhelmed keeping up on all the different planners, and felt scattered instead of in control. I was very surprised! After all, I'd used a daily diary and weekly planner together for most of last year. Why did it fail now?

The answer is, because I'm using a finer level of detail in my monthly planner. When I use a daily and weekly together, my monthly only gets used for permanent reference things like birthdays, holidays, bills and due dates, etc. The fixed, static dates. But lately I've been using my monthly planner in a much more detailed, interactive way by writing in appointments, meetings, reminders, and other scheduled events.

This requires me to look at my monthly planner every day. And of course I have to look at my daily planner several times throughout the day. Adding my weekly planner, where I had to update entries and consult it daily too, was too much.

Not a big surprise really, since I had a similar fail about a year ago.

Which brought me to the realization that my writing and consulting on a daily basis threshold is two places.  Which is good to know, because it allows me to choose the two formats that work best for me at that time.

I know some people who can keep up with daily, weekly and monthly planners all at once (and I would like to be one of these people because each format allows for a different perspective of your schedule). I also know people who have to stick to one format, usually weekly, to avoid redundancy.

What about you? How many places do you write your daily things?


  1. This is my first time commenting on your blog, so hello first of all :)

    I don't like writing my appointments more than once. Thanks to reading your posts on the pocket daily Moleskine I am using one now for 2012 - I love the monthly grids and am enjoying having a page per day (I have always used weekly planners in the past). The idea was to write my appointments in short on the monthly grids, then keep all the detail on my daily pages but even that means I need to keep both in sync with each other!

    I am experimenting with drawing up my own monthly planner in a new A5 Whitelines squared notebook where in each daily square I will have 8am-6pm down one side so that I can still see my entire month but still retain a lot of the detail of each appointment/work shift.

  2. I realised about a week or so ago that I couldn't cope with monthly, weekly and daily all together. Mine was because I didn't know what detail to put in my monthly and put either too much or too little. Anyway, long story short, I have just the weekly and daily (and only a week of the daily at any one time) and that seems to have sorted it.

  3. I have to see a week, and everything has to be on that week. I will absolutely fail at updating dual calendars. The problem is of course how large the page has to be to cover all bases adequately (The Plannerpad I use is 9.25"/23.5 cm x 11.25"/28.6 cm cover dimensions, but only .75"/1.9 cm thick). Am taking Laurie's advice and customizing an address book insert to hold ready reference info formerly in ring binder.

  4. I know from past experience that I cannot keep two separate calendars in synch, and that made me think the "one life, one book" rule should be true. The problem with that was the one book got bigger and bigger and heavier and heavier to carry. It finally occurred to me that maybe for me it needed to be one *planner* but other things could be in other books.

    So this year's experiment is to have a Graphic Image bound planner for personal, Moleskine XL Taskmaster for work, and Uncalendar for goal planning.

  5. I note appointments in two places. 1-in my moleskine planner 2-electronically on my Google calendar so it appears on my cell phone calendar as well.

  6. I write all appointments in monthly calendar pages immediately as I make them. But the key for me is that I also write those same appointments into my daily planner only for the current month and the following month. (This is a long-standing habit from the 20+ years that I used a Franklin looseleaf planner and carried no more than 2 months' worth of daily pages at any time, but always carried the whole year's worth of monthly pages.)

    At the end of each month, I look ahead to the next month of daily pages and fill in appointments from the monthly calendar for that month. (This corresponds to putting the following month's daily pages into my binder.) So even though I now use a daily planner that contains the whole year bound into one book, I still treat it like a looseleaf by considering only the current month and next month as "active" pages.

    I think this system is just a habit from my looseleaf days, but it keeps me from feeling overwhelmed about having to write everything twice, since I only have to do it for a couple of months at a time.

    Years ago I tried using daily, weekly and monthly planners simultaneously, because I saw the value in having different views, but I gave up after about a month. So I guess maintaining two calendars is my max also.

    - Tina

  7. I use a monthly calendar to write in all appointments and a 2-pages-per-day to track my day. I rarely transpose the items from my monthly into my daily until the day arrives and I'm planning it out. This means that I look at my monthly every day and don't have to worry about synching the two. I WAS using the DayTimer original with wirebound daily pages bound in twelve different volumes with a tab for EACH DAY. So sweet! I coupled it with the year's worth of monthly pages (staple-bound, tough, cloth-like cover) and carried both in a Fossil red leather wallet, using the change compartment for my three writing tools. LOVED that set-up but recently moved over to a black personal-sized Amazona ring binder so I could have more flexibility. Loving it so far, though did miss my DayTimer. The pages in the original DayTimer as so smooth, they feel so good. I AM using looseleaf DayTimer monthly pages with my 2-pages-per-day Filofax inserts. I only carry a month's worth of daily pages, but carry the whole year of monthlies.

  8. Thanks you guys I learned so much! I can't wait to try it out!