Friday, May 4, 2012

Planner lessons learned: Indonesia

Now that my time here in Indonesia is drawing to a close, I can look back over the past year and review what worked well and what didn't.

Most obvious is that the Moleskine Information Book I used to contain all my Indonesia contacts turned out to be unnecessary. Using the Moleskine Info book was a great idea at the time, and I was interested in a permanent reference which of course this book is good for.  I didn't know at the time that I would end up carrying my Filofax with me everywhere. Had I known, I would have just made an Indonesia tabbed section in my Filofax.  Several months ago I realized I never look in my Indonesia reference book anymore, so I stopped carrying it.

My Filofax turned out to be absolutely indispensable as my Medical Journal. I cycled through several personal size binders. I started with my Ivory Deco, but it was heavy and precious so I use it at home instead. Then I moved into my Grape Domino, which is lightweight and indestructible. Last summer I got an Aqua Finsbury that I love, and really enjoyed carrying that. Then my dad gave me a gorgeous Orchid Aston for my birthday, so I used that for awhile until I got a Wine Holborn Zipped, which has wonderful buttery soft leather and is still my everyday, go-everywhere Filofax.

A huge success has been using a weekly planner along with a day per page diary as my logbook.  I've been using a Moleskine Pocket diary for all of 2011 and all of 2012 so far, and it is great for planning each day in detail and as a permanent record. Just yesterday I had to look something up from last year and it was very easy to find in my DPP.  But if I had it to do over again, I would have chosen a slightly larger, approximately 5 x 7 inch book to have more writing space each day. I never did get myself to journal while I was here, which is fine. I wrote things I want to remember, like fun things I did with my family, in my day per page diary. A 5 x 7 inch book would have given me a little more space for this and still been light enough to carry everywhere.

As much as I love my pocket Moleskine for all the art my kids have done throughout it, I may switch over to using my Quo Vadis Notor that I ordered awhile ago "just in case," or the Undercover UK leather diary (in Majorelle Blue) that is currently on its way to me (and that I will definitely review here on Plannerisms when it arrives!). I know I would capture more details in the larger pages, and especially now while my move preparations are gearing up I could use more daily space. 

But no matter what size daily book I use, I expect I'll go on indefinitely using a day per page diary to plan and record each day along with a weekly + monthly planner for planning ahead and goals.

So, predictably, just when I've got a system that works really well for me, my circumstances are changing. Right now in my bag I carry my personal size Filofax, my weekly planner (self-drawn in a Leuchtturm notebook) and my pocket daily Moleskine. But after I move to Scotland next month I'll be walking a lot more, and I doubt I'll want to carry so much everywhere with me.

I love using my Filofax as my reference and info book, and I love the idea of carrying it everywhere and adding to it over the years. But, I wonder if it will become my at-home reference that only comes along when I'm traveling.

My other dilemma is my day per page planner and/ or a journal. I'll have a lot more things I want to write and record. Will I prefer to use a larger day per page book as a combined journal/ logbook, or will I be better off using a separate undated book as a journal? If I can somehow regain the discipline to journal, this might be a good option.

So the good news is, my planner situation is working really well for me right now! But it's all-change in just a month and a half, so who knows what will work well for me then!

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