Friday, November 30, 2012

How to Use Plannerisms planners Weekly pages


The Plannerisms planner's weekly pages are very flexible to use any way you like. You can even use them differently week after week. It’s easy to customize the page to fit your needs.  Here are some suggestions for use:

Use the column on the left before Monday to list your daily goals, then check them off in the day spaces as you complete them. This way you don’t have to write “Exercise” or “Take vitamins” every day.  The checkmarks are a great visual indicator of whether you are meeting your daily goals. The goals written in the column are a daily prompt to remind you of what you want to accomplish each day.
When you record your completed daily goals, you don't have to take up an entire line for each thing. You can just write a checkmark to indicate you have completed that goal for the day. It helps to color-code and correspond the check to the goals. This works well for tracking your water or fruit/ veg intake too.

Alternatively, you can write the names of your family members in the left column, then in the daily columns you can write each person’s activities for each day so you know who is where and when.

Another option is to divide the daily columns into Appointments/ Tasks/ Reminders, or Work/ Home/ Personal, or anything else you like.
In the daily columns, write in appointment times and circle or highlight them to stand out. Write in tasks to do that day.  Arrow over undone tasks to the next day. Too many arrows means you are procrastinating!

Use the bottom of the daily columns for menu planning, daily totals, or any other notes for that day.


The space below the daily columns can be used in endless ways.  Here are some ideas:

Use the space below the days for To Do lists. It helps to categorize lists. You can write a list of Things That Must Get Done This Week and another list of Non-Urgent Tasks. You can categorize your lists into Work/ Home/ School/ Family. Or, you can create lists by project. Experiment to see what works best for you.

This open space is also a great place to capture phone numbers, notes and reminders that otherwise would get scribbled on a scrap of paper and lost.

What I love about the weekly pages is they are so adaptable, I can use them any way I need to! And the flexible format easily adapts to my needs even when they change week to week.

I've had great feedback from customers on how they are using their Plannerisms planners. Customers have told me they are using their Plannerisms planners as a teacher's lesson planner, as a household maintenance and chores tracker for the whole family, as a goals workbook, in conjunction with their Filofax, and more!  Click here to see different ways people use this flexible format!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

2013 Plannerisms Planners Are Here!!

Please note this is an old post and the 2013 Plannerisms planners are no longer available.

They're here! Check out the photos below of my new Plannerisms planners!

This is an absolute dream come true for me! I designed these planners as My Ideal Planner, and holding the finished product in real life is a huge thrill!

I designed these planners to be used by anyone, in any situation, for any purpose. They are great for work, home, school, personal, and any combination thereof.

So let me give you a tour through the Plannerisms planners! Click on any of the photos to enlarge!
The planners are 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches, so approximately A5 size. They are slim and light and will go everywhere with you in your bag.

The covers are soft-touch PU and are so nice to hold. The cover color options are black, pink, purple and teal. The teal photographs as more blue than it actually is, it's really more greenish than shown.  The covers have a very slight metallic effect which makes them change color slightly in the light, which looks really cool!


Here's a closer look at the label. It's called the Going Places planner, for going places in life and in the world.
If you click on the photo to enlarge you can see more details of the label. This planner has each week on two pages with the days as vertical columns, month on two pages grid calendars, and pages for goals.

Here's the inside of the front cover:
Look, it's me!!
Also on the label you can see the paper is 84.3 gsm. It is cream color and suuuuuuuper smooth! There are two ribbon placemarkers, for marking your week and month, and a pocket inside the back cover.

This is my favorite Mark Twain quote:
This quote inspires me when I'm feeling out of my comfort zone, like when I'm getting ready to move yet again or am adjusting to a new situation. It reminds me that I'll look back and be glad I had interesting experiences!

Here's the teal book without the label, love that soft smooth cover:
Here's a closer view of the embossed moon and stars logo in the bottom corner of the cover:
The meaning of the logo is: The phase of the moon shown is a waxing crescent, which symbolizes optimism and growth. The changing phases of the moon represent the passing of time. The stars are reminiscent of celestial navigation used by mariners, representing movement in your world. So together the moon and stars symbol means optimism and growth as you move through your life in time and space!

I am very excited and honored to give you a tour through the book! The first page is Personal Information:
 Next there are reference calendars for the current year and the future year:
Next is a two-page spread to write out your goals for the current year. It's a great spot to get out everything and mind map/ brain dump, then you can organize it more on other pages.
The best thing about all the goals pages is you don't have to use them in any prescribed way.  You don't even have to use them for goals if you don't want to. You can use them for household maintenance, homeschooling, work plans, financial tracking, health and fitness tracking or anything else you want. I've written a separate post with loads of ideas on how to use the goals pages throughout the book, click here to see.

Next there is a two page spread for Quarterly Goals all year.
Again, you can use these pages for goals, reminders, tracking or anything else. For example, on the April-May-June quadrant, I wrote a reminder to myself to have our kerosene heating oil tank filled because it's cheapest that time of year.

Next there is a two-page spread with the entire year at a glance, with the months as vertical columns. I love using these yearly planners for mapping out travel, holidays, school breaks and other major events.
Next there are several pages with international holidays, dialing codes and conversions. Then there is a two-page spread with tips on how to use the different types of pages in your Plannerisms planner, to get you started.

Next are the monthly calendars. I love the big daily squares! There's an empty column before Monday for writing in reminders, things due like insurance premiums or subscription renewals, or your Fly Lady Zones for each week.
The weeks in the monthly calendars begin on Mondays, to correspond exactly with the weekly pages and to keep the weekend days together. But if you really want to have Sunday-start weeks, you could use that column before Monday as your Sundays and change the Sunday column to your notes column.

Every month has a theme, and every week there are tips relating to that theme. Holidays are printed in the day spaces for the US, UK, Australia and Singapore.

After every month there is a two-page spread for that month's goals, monthly review, to-do lists, household or garden maintenance, financial totals, exercise, or anything else  you want to write in here.
Here's the weekly spread (and here you can also see the book stays open and mainly flat on its own without training. With a little use it will stay open even flatter). I've written a separate post with ideas and tips on different ways to use the flexible weekly format and how to adapt it to your personal needs, click here to see.
All seven days are same-size columns, so weekend days have as much space as weekdays. The daily columns are lined but not timed, so you can use them for appointments, tasks, reminders or anything else.You can write appointments at the top of the column and tasks at the bottom, divide each day into work/ home, write timed appointments all the way down, or any combination of these. You can use them differently as you need to.

Before Monday there is a column to write in your daily goals.
You can write things like exercise, vitamins, medications, journaling, working on your report or major project, or whatever else you want to accomplish every day. That way you don't have to re-write them every day in your day spaces. Then each day you accomplish your goal, you either write in the details (cardio 45 mins, strength, etc.) or just check it off on the day you did it. When you look across your week, you can easily see if you've been accomplishing your daily goals or not. It's a very nice visual indicator of whether you are working your plan or procrastinating. At the bottom of the weekly pages is space for lists, notes, and reminders. I'll do a separate post all about different ways to use this weekly format. It's very flexible and can be used in so many different ways.

The right page has a reference calendar at the bottom:
Below you can see on the right page there's space at the top for most important reminders, and space below the days for lists. I like to write my urgent lists on the left page under Monday so I see them at the beginning of the week, and lower priority lists on the right page so I can get to them later when I have time.


There are two ribbon placemarkers, one black and one color matched to the cover, for marking your week and month pages.
After all the weeks there is a two-page spread with the entire future year at a glance with the months as columns, for filling in appointments and reminders into the next year.
After that there is a two-page spread giving you space to review your year:
In the back there are a couple of notes pages, a little bit about me, and a US time zones and area codes map:
The last page is a really nice full-color world map. Inside the back cover there is a pocket that is open at the top for sticking in papers or receipts. This is really nice for longer papers to stick out the top, and to keep things visible.
It comes with an address booklet that you can move to your next year's planner. Also this pocket will fit a Moleskine Large Cahier notebook if you want more pages for notes.

The book is a wonderful sensory experience with the gorgeously smooth paper and the soft-touch cover. The cover is flexible:

But not floppy:

I did a pen test on one of the Notes pages in the back of mine (the purple one of course since purple is my favorite color!). I don't have fountain pens, so I chose my fatter tips and wettest inks. You can see the tips of the pens corresponding to their names below:


You can see on the reverse of the page that there is some show through to the other side with the wettest inks. At 84.3 gsm this paper isn't really designed for broad nib fountain pens (need at least 90 gsm for that) but I think it would work well with thinner nibs and not too sloppy inks. Any type of roller ball or other liquid ink pen works great, and I'll tell ya the paper is so smooth and gorgeous it's a joy to write on!

Here are the cover colors again: aqua, purple, black and pink.
Many huge thanks to everyone who waited until these were available to order your 2013 planner!  Let me know how you like them!!

Click here to see my videos on the Plannerisms planner features, and how to use the Plannerisms planner for goal setting and tracking.

Click here for my detailed post on using the Plannerisms planner as a Goals Workbook.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Malden update and Franklin Covey 2PPD attempt #2

Here's an update on how I'm using my new personal Malden Filofax I got last weekend (which you can read more about here).

I stopped using it as a wallet because it was just too fiddly. I've tried using my Filofax as my wallet in the past and had the same issue so I wasn't entirely surprised. So, I went back to my normal wallet.

I love having a Filofax as my Information book, but it and my large day per page planner in my bag at the same time was too much so I had to choose only one of them.

Since I had just shelled out some serious cash on the Malden a few days ago, I wasn't ready to abandon it already. And anyway, it was nice to have my notes, maps, financial stuff and everything all together in one book.

So I decided to revisit an experiment I did a couple of months ago with Franklin Covey Two Pages Per Day inserts. At the time it failed quickly and now I realize why: I wasn't using my weekly planner with it!  Well DUH!!  I absolutely must use my weekly and daily together. So I thought it was worth trying the FC 2PPD again.

Here are the FC 2PPD pages in my Malden, and even though they stick out they're much better than they were in my Finsbury.
The Malden's strap goes out so the tabs aren't crushed.

I have two months of 2PPD and 12 months of monthly in here. Below you can see how much wider the FC pages are than the Filofax ones. I can't put the FC pages too far toward the back of the binder or else my pen won't fit.
With the diary pages and all the other stuff I like to keep in my Filofax it's still a very reasonable thickness.

I absolutely love this layout with my schedule vertically, a separate space for to-dos, the Daily Tracker where I record expenses, and the entire opposite page for notes.
What's even better is, if I ever need more space on a particular day for notes or information, I can just pop in an extra page. I find myself writing more on these daily pages than I do in a bound book because I'm never worried about filling up the page.

I love this so much! So then why does it make me so nervous?? For some reason I'm still craving the permanence of a bound book, even though I know that no bound book could ever compare to the flexibility and awesome layout of this.

Patty's recent post showing her archived FC pages gives me loads of hope that if I'm diligent about archiving and don't shuffle my pages around too much, I could achieve a similar level of archival permanence with these looseleaf pages as I would get from a bound book. Plus I absolutely love the FC monthly index pages that Patty shows in her post, which my FC pages also have. I'm definitely going to utilize those for easy reference.

So the reality here is, these 2 pages per day inserts in my Filofax could collectively be a combination of my two biggest planner fantasies: daily pages holding all my life's details and my Filofax being my long-term life companion!

And yet, despite the fact that I've searched far and wide for the "perfect" day per page bound book and not found it, I still wish I could manage to find a bound daily book that would hold everything I want to write each day and still be a portable size book.

Would somebody talk some sense into me and convince me the FC 2PPDs in the Malden is the answer I've been searching for??


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Planner fantasies

I have recurring fantasies about certain planner formats that I've tried numerous times and I wish would work for me but just don't. Yet that doesn't stop me from dreaming about them.

One recurring planner fantasy I have is of a large day per page planner containing my entire life. I love the idea of having a big page each day where I dump everything that happens that day. I could stick papers and whatever into the back, tape horoscopes and fortune-cookie fortunes to the pages, and fill the book with all the little details of my life. Saturday on the train the woman sitting next to me had a day per page planner like that, and it made me wish again that something like that would work for me.

Another planner fantasy I have is of a similar situation, in a personal size Filofax. I love those stuffed Filofaxes that people use for years and decades, that become a life companion. I'd love to have my entire life housed in one Filofax for ages, and have it be my faithful sidekick that gets me where I'm going and captures all my memories.

In real life, I have to use a combination of planners: a weekly for planning, a daily for recording and a personal Filofax as my info book. I used to carry all three books in my bag every day, which you can see more about in my short video I did a few months ago

Now I carry my Filofax with me everywhere because it's also my wallet, and usually my daily planner too but not always. My weekly gets used intensely at home but usually stays home unless I know I'll need to schedule something while I'm out and about, which isn't very often.

I suppose I could stuff my day per page planner or Filofax full of my life's details and all those little scraps of things, but it seems diluted to have things in separate books. I guess I like the idea of that intense commitment to one book all year, and that one book holds my entire life that year. I love those books with papers sticking out, corners bent and covers stuffed full.

Do you have planner fantasies that you know don't work for you but you can't help thinking about them?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Philofaxy Edinburgh meetup, and my journey to Malden

This is a story of my journey not only to Edinburgh, but to the Malden!

Saturday was the Philofaxy Edinburgh meetup, which I was very excited to attend! Almost exactly two years ago, I was booked to go to the London Philofaxy meetup but the morning of I had to cancel because everyone in my family was ill and I just couldn't go. So I was especially glad to be able to go to this one!

I took the train down from Aberdeen, and settled myself in for a quiet, scenic 2 hour 40 minute ride. At the next stop, a bunch of guys in kilts piled on. I thought to myself, cool. Dudes in kilts. I love Scotland.

Then they started cracking open beers. At 8:30 in the morning. I looked above their seats to see their reservations and noticed they too were going to Edinburgh. I thought, this is going to be a long ride if these guys get drunk and disorderly.

Then at the next stop, a bunch more guys got on. There were more men in kilts, little boys with their dads, and soon it was standing room only in the car. Everyone was in a great mood, swilling beer and handing out bacon rolls to all their friends.

I thought, what the heck is going on in Edinburgh today? I looked through the newspaper and discovered, ah ha. Scotland vs. South Africa rugby! No wonder.

Well it was one big party the whole way there! Kilts, beers, excited people chatting, and I have to admit when they busted out the bottle of Scotch I eyed it longingly. But I managed not to beg a dram and made it to Edinburgh sober.

Natalie had booked us into the Fruitmarket Gallery cafe, and it was the perfect place to linger over lunch and Filofaxes!
L to R: Steve, Morag, Margaret, Natalie and her husband Gavin
It was wonderful to see Steve again! I first met him in person in London 2 1/2 years ago, and of course have kept up via email, Skype and the blog so it was great to catch up in person with a great friend.

I enjoyed meeting everyone else for the first time in person after "seeing" them around online. We had the usual chat about Filofaxes and planners.

Below is the Tower of Power! There were several A5 zipped Holborns, an A5 Kendal, Steve's A5 and personal Maldens, the A5 Boston I brought (review coming next week on Philofaxy), several vintage binders, Steve's Mini, Margaret's Classic and Morag's stuffed pocket Chameleon she uses as a wallet.
The Leaning Tower O' Filofaxes
We had a great time looking through each other's Filofaxes. Gavin very kindly let me look through his A5 Holborn zip and let me interrogate him about how he uses his diary pages in it. 

I had gone to the meetup planning to buy a compact Pennybridge in purple. I decided I wanted to try combining my wallet with rings to hold my contacts, shopping lists, notes and whatever else. I thought the Pennybridge would be perfect for this. The purple PU material looked very soft online and the price was affordable.

Then I saw this:
Me with Steve's personal Malden in ochre
I've had my eye on the ochre Malden since I first saw one in the Filofax shop in London 2 1/2 years ago. I like the rustic look. I really like that scratches on the cover usually buff out, and just add character.

We went to The Pen Shop at Jenners (who I had forewarned that a gaggle of Filofax geeks was heading their way that afternoon) and they were very nice and let us paw through their entire stock of Filofax binders.

I found a Pennybridge compact in red, but not in purple. At first I was disappointed, but then was actually glad they didn't have a purple one, because I would have bought it without thinking about it. As it turned out, the cover wasn't as smooth as it looked online. Steve showed me the layout, which is nearly identical to his compact Malden (which wasn't with him that day) and pointed out the pros and cons of the zip compact. I realized the zip probably would not accommodate everything I wanted to put on the rings with all my cards in the pockets. So, no Pennybridge for me.

But I wanted to see an ochre Malden, so I looked through their display. They had a Vintage Pink Malden on sale, but no Ochre. Behind the display models were boxes of additional stock. I saw a Malden box, but no it was another Vintage Pink. I kept digging around and lo and behold I found a Personal Ochre Malden! I couldn't help feeling it was meant just for me!

I carried it around with me while making my decision. It was more money than I had intended to spend that day, but The Pen Shop gave our group a discount on purchases so it ended up being a great price for a Malden. I examined the rings carefully and found to my relief there were no problems with gapping or misalignment. It was the binder I've been longing for these two and a half years!
Should I? Shouldn't I?
After an agonizing decision-making process, I decided I would hate myself if I passed by the opportunity to own this binder! You can see lots of photos of it in my post here.

Here's Steve with a Mont Blanc organizer we couldn't help wanting to check out. It was really classy looking, very good quality with a huge pen loop to hold a full size Mont Blanc pen. The pen loop itself was very long to protect the finish on your pen.
Steve really wants that Mont Blanc! Michael was entertained by our goading.

I tried to convince Steve he needed to purchase this one but when he looked at the price tag he said, "Blimey, £320?? For that amount of money I could get a Temperley!  Well, nearly." (Ok he didn't actually say that at all, I completely made that up!)

After The Pen Shop we made our way through Christmas-shopping crowds and drizzles of snow to Paperchase and had fun looking at their selection. Before long it was time to head back to the trains and so we made our goodbyes. We are hoping to do another Scotland meetup in late spring or early summer if anyone is interested!

I had a quiet, no-kilts train ride back, and brought my Malden to his new home!

Many thanks to everyone who journeyed to Edinburgh that day, especially to Steve who had a long and difficult journey to get there! It was great seeing you all and I had a wonderful day!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I'm finally a member of the Malden club!

Yesterday I went to the Philofaxy meetup in Edinburgh, which was so much fun!  I did a separate post on it, but meanwhile I couldn't wait to show you my new Personal Ochre Malden!  Woo hoo!!

I've been looking at these since I first saw one in London when I was there 2 1/2 years ago. I liked Steve's so much at lunch I decided I really needed to get one. At The Pen Shop I dug around behind their main stock searching for an ochre Malden and lo and behold I found one!  I couldn't help feeling it was meant for me.

But this morning as I was loading it up I discovered, much to my astonishment, not only does it not lie flat but it doesn't even stay open by itself! Here it is in the process of closing on its own:
If I have pages to the left, it stays open but definitely not flat:
I wondered what the heck was up, because I've heard so much about the Malden's legendary flatability. Upon further inspection, I discovered there's some kind of reinforcing material around the spine between the leather layers. I can't tell if it's plastic or some kind of cardboard, but it makes a kind of crunching noise when I forcibly open the binder out flat. Below you can see where the cover bends at the edge of this reinforcing material inside the binder:
Here's the front cover:
And here's the back. Unfortunately the edge of the plastic or whatever is right where the front and back full-length pocket slits are, making it difficult to get things in and out of those pockets.
Well dang it. While I was at the store I examined the rings so much to make sure they didn't gap I didn't even notice the stiffness around the spine!  Maybe it's for the best, because I think a totally floppy cover might be too floppy? Oh well it's mine now, and aside from the stiffness I love it.

The only other issue I noticed was when I first put my pen into the leather non-elasticated pen loop, a piece of the leather from inside the loop came out the bottom of the pen loop. I pushed my pen back up from the other direction in the pen loop to stuff that scrap of leather back in, then once the loop was opened up it was fine and I can get my pen in and out of there without the scrap sticking out anymore. The leather loop holds a relatively thin pen. (I told my husband the moment a Filofax has a pen in its loop is like the moment it actually comes to life. It's ready to write in and use!)

I'm using it as a wallet with my payment cards in the front card slots and all my loyalty cards, library card etc. in business card holders at the back. I love that my phone fits into the back pocket:

Here are my tabs:
The Malden came with A-Z tabs, which I took out to save space. It also came with four blank tabbed dividers, which I took out and put in the tabbed dividers from my other Filofax which I already had set up so I just stuck them in there.

I have month on two pages calendars and a 4-year pull-out planner, financial stuff with the calculator on the rings,
an Information section with maps of Scotland and Edinburgh (which would have been handy to have with me yesterday!)
There's still tons of room left on the rings so if I wanted to add more pages there would be plenty of room.

Today's the first day I'm using it as a combined wallet + info book, and so far so good.  I keep my coins and bills in a separate coin purse so the Malden has only cards in it.

It feels good to have a Filofax as an information-on-the-go book again!  And I do love the leather of the ochre Malden. It already had a couple of scratches on the cover around the spine when I got it, so I don't have to worry about messing up a perfect cover. Plus the ochre leather has an antiqued look that I love, and any scratches or anything really would just add to the character of the book, making it look used and well-loved.

Does anyone else have a Malden with the stiffness issues of this one? If so, were you able to get it to lie flat eventually?

**Update June 2013: Eventually I realized there wasn't anything sandwiched between the leather after all. The hardness was the actual leather on the inside of the spine next to the rings. That leather was so hard it cracked and crunched when I bent it to try to get the binder to lay flat. When I held the binder in my hands I could feel the hardness around the spine and the distinct line of it through the cover. I did the Nivea treatment on it and although it made the leather look better (not so dry), it didn't penetrate to soften that piece of leather.

I continued to be so disappointed that this binder wasn't soft and buttery like I had expected a Malden to be. I never got over it and just never bonded with this Malden . So, I sold it to someone who I hope will love it like it deserves to be!