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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Planner Tally 2011

2011 was another year of switching around in lots of different planners. Here is what I used:

I started 2011 determined to choose one planner that I would use all year by the end of January. That was the plan, at least.  I was very excited to experiment with the WeekDate planner, and a slight tweak of the Moleskine vertical weekly planner.

Then in mid-January my life was completely upended when I found out we would be moving from Scotland to Indonesia in just 2 months. All my goals and plans for the year were suddenly thrown out the window, and I had yet another international move to prepare for.  As I tend to do in these situations, I went for the comfort factor of my Filofax.

When the moving preparations really geared up, I turned to my pocket size daily Moleskine diary, because I was able to carry it around in my pocket to write down all the millions of little details I had to do to prepare for our move before they escaped my scattered and stressed-out brain.

During our moving preparations we all had to get a million vaccines before moving to Indonesia. While scheduling dozens of vaccines over a 6 week period, I realized all this scheduling would be much easier in a weekly planner with days as vertical columns, so I moved over into my Quo Vadis Minister Habana.  This planner got me through my move with my sanity (mostly) intact.

Shortly after my move to Indonesia my real planner crisis began as I tried to figure out what would best fit my new life. I was chomping at the bit to use my new A5 Filofax Domino in the gorgeous Ultraviolet color, so I busted that out. Despite a few attempts, I soon abandoned it because it was just too big and heavy to carry everywhere.

At this point I only had my luggage, and my shipment with a variety of planners would not arrive for more than a month (despite the shipping company's "less than a week" promise). Nothing like having a planner crisis with no planners available! Also considering it was April, which is the Planner Dry Season, I was stuck for planner options.

So I bought a notebook and made my own planner, which was pretty successful.  The day spaces were too small for everything I wanted to write, so I added in my pocket daily Moleskine for the daily details, and this worked well.

Then in June as I was struggling to settle into my new house and new life, I struggled with what planner to use.  After a couple of scary medical incidents, I realized I had to have my Filofax with me at all times with our medical information in it.  With my Filofax as my information book, I tried various planner combinations including going back to my self-made planner and then to my WeekDate, while using my daily pocket Moleskine as my log book.

In July I used the Women's Success Planner, which has loads of goal-setting tips and household reminders. It's very comprehensive and I was very excited to use it.

Then when school started in August I switched to my Extra Large 18 month Moleskine weekly notebook, because I needed the massive amounts of writing space and because I'd been gagging to use it ever since I ordered it back in early March.

The XL turned out to be just too big and heavy to carry all the time in my bag, and I had a planner crisis. On the advice of my sister I turned to the Quo Vadis Trinote, which is the planner that saw me through my move to Scotland. 

Then in October I moved over into my 2011 Organised Mum Life Book, because it's what I was using exactly a year before in Scotland and I was feeling nostalgic. I used my pocket daily Moleskine along with it and this sytem worked so well that I bought the 2012 Organised Mum Life Book and continued to use this setup for the rest of the year.

I've left out a couple of short-term switchings-around, and I haven't even bothered to count up this total because, wow. It's a lot.

At this point, who can even speculate what I'll use in 2012? 

Here is the reverse-chronology I posted on my What I'm Currently Using page, for more information on dates of use and why I used each thing:

October 17-December 31, 2011:  I was feeling nostalgic for my Organised Mum Life Book because it's what I was using about this time last year in Scotland, so I got it back out again.  It runs Sept 2010 through the end of December 2011 so I can still use it now.  I LOVE the month on 2 pages calendars with the pages between the months for goals, notes and budgeting. I also love all the notes pages in the back for annual planning and goals. There's plenty of space at the sides of the weekly pages for my to-do lists, which I can categorize any way I want. The only thing I struggle with in this planner is the day spaces are a little small for me. I get around this by using my Pocket Daily Moleskine as my log book, as I have done for most of this year. I switched straight over to my 2012 Life Book diary (which goes from mid-August 2011 through the end of December 2012) when it arrived Nov 4. It has some excellent updates this year, which you can read all about in my review here.  I also treated myself to the purple faux leather cover which I love!

September 8-October 16: After a total Planner Breakdown, my ever-wise sister convinced me to go back to using the Quo Vadis Trinote, which worked so well for me last year. The XL Mole was just too big and heavy in my bag. The Trinote is much slimmer and lighter and more portable, and the days as (huge) columns give me plenty of room to write the multitudes of things I need to do each day.  The categorized list boxes alongside my weekly schedule allow me to see what I need to do and when I have time to do it.

August 17-Sept 7: When the school year began I discovered I needed the maximum writing space of my 2011-2012 Extra Large Moleskine Weekly Notebook.  On it I have my Dodo Pad Nubuck cover in Aqua. I use my WeekDate Wall calendar on my fridge to keep everyone's activities visible for the whole family.

(September 1-3: In an attempt to incorporate journaling into my daily life, I switched to my Large Moleskine day per page, which you can read about here. Predictably, the day per page didn't allow me to plan ahead so back to my XL Mole I went.)

July 6-August 16: Woman's Success Planner (www.thesuccesschoice.com) with daily Moleskine as logbook

June 21- July 5: WeekDate planner with daily Moleskine as logbook.

June 13-21   Back to self-made planner with daily Moleskine as logbook.

June 4-12  Filofax as information book and daily Moleskine as logbook.

April 10-June 3: Self-made planner in Daycraft Signature sketchbook.  See my May 21 update of how I'm also using my Moleskine daily pocket planner along with it.

April 2- 9: A5 Domino Filofax (in the new Ultra Violet color) with the Quo Vadis Timer 21 inserts sent to me by Steve!

February 21- April 1: Quo Vadis Minister Habana weekly planner, with monthly calendars taped into the pages and a slim Moleskine address booklet in the back pocket.

February 1-20: Moleskine pocket size day per page.

January 16-31: Week on 2 pages in Filofax Deco.

January 8-15: Self-Made planner in Moleskine notebook.
(Concurrently "Calling the Dog")
January 8-15: WeekDate planner.

January 1-7: Moleskine large vertical weekly planner.


  1. Wow. Just..wow. Every time you do these posts, I think how glad I am that it's not just me :D

  2. I'm surprised you stopped using the OM Life Book, even though it worked so well for you? This can only mean that the Monthly Moleskine is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and that we are in dire need of a review ... ;-)

  3. Ah,Laurie, your planner angst makes me feel less nutso about my own suffering over this issue: bound or rings, large or small, one book or two (or more), lines or blank, vertical or horizontal, months or weeks or days. . .sigh


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