Monday, February 4, 2013

February pressure

I'm feeling it. Are you?

I'm feeling the pressure to settle on my planner system for this year. We're just over a month into the year now, and if I can make a final decision now I'll be set for the year (with minimal recopying/ consolidation into my planner of choice).

Luckily I've been set on my weekly planner, which is my Plannerisms planner (of course!).


But I've still been doing some back-and-forth on my day per page planner.

This is the third year I've used a day per page planner for recording each day along with my weekly planner for planning. The system works extremely well for me, but I still have a hard time deciding which day per page to use. I want the biggest page I can get, but in a book that's not huge to carry around.

I've been going back and forth between a bound day per page (one I dated myself in a beautiful Paperblanks notebook, which you can see all about here):

and Franklin Covey Two Pages Per Day inserts.


I recently received a Franklin Covey binder, and even though it's very nice, it's pretty huge. In fact, if I'm honest it's bigger than what I want to carry in my bag everywhere.
I had a great email conversation with Patty of Homemakers Daily, who is my Franklin Covey inspiration. She's been using FC for 20 years and has a system that works well for her. She tracks her finances and archives consistently. I aspire to that level of planner functionality. But in our email conversation, she said I should probably stop struggling to use FC and just keep using what's been working so well for me these past three years: a bound daily book along with my weekly planner. Looseleaf pages make me nervous because I'm so bad about switching them around between binders, causing them to get lost. The permanence of a bound book means I always know where to look for information. Having "permission" from my Planner Guru made me feel free to go back to my bound book.

Is my system perfect? Probably not. But it works well for me in the vast majority of situations. And it's portable, which is extremely important to me for capturing details on the go.

What about you? Have you settled on your planner system for this year? Or are you still figuring out what you need and want from your planner?

17 comments:

  1. I'm going to stick with my Moleskine Weekly Notebook - despite running into severe lack of space problems (among others). Next year I may try the Page per day version - bulkier to carry, but more space per day.

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    1. Tony have you ever tried using a daily and a weekly like I do? It solved the space issue for me while still allowing me to plan ahead (which I can't do with just a daily).

      I use my weekly for all forward planning, and my weekly to do lists. Then each day (usually the evening before) I plan out my day in my daily book with my appointments for the day and any tasks that MUST be done that day. If I get those urgent tasks done, I look at my weekly list and see what else I can do today.

      Because I don't write any forward appointments in the daily book, there's no recopying back and forth between planners. Having the full page each day really lets me map out my day and record lots of details.

      Anyway, just a suggestion. I struggled with the lack of daily space in the weekly notebook back when I used it too, and adding the daily record book completely solved it for me.

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  2. Hi Laurie,
    Sorry to hear that the Franklin Planner Didn't work for you! I certainly see what you mean, the binders do get quite large. I just bought a zip binder with 1.5 inch rings and I find it just massively large but decided to use it for the full month of February to allow sufficient time to really feel out how it works. It's certainly practical and keeps the contents quite a lot more protected. But wow, it's BIG!

    I just did a youtube video on how I'm using my planner now, going into pretty extensive detail on my system and all its parts. Still trying to do a writeup for you!

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  3. All sorted (I hope!) FF Osterly week to a view plus pull out year planner for diary dates. It also has phone numbers (not addresses) and sections for a charity I chair, Christmas (I plan ahead!), Food Diary and general jotting. They are just used for writing down ideas etc. on the go and are not planners. A4 Uncalendar for daily workbook, lists, tracking etc. Always open on my desk all phone messages phone numbers etc are written here, I never use scraps of paper! It also has the master to do list and is used for meeting notes. Plannerisms planner. I use Best Year Yet to goal set and these are transferred to the plannerisms planner each month and broken down into weekly tasks checked off in the weekly section. Finally Compact Chameleon for writing. Ideas, references, agents numbers, submission deadlines,etc.

    I have a Textagenda and Keels Simple Diary for journalling and a Midori Traveller's Notebook that lives in my bag just in case !

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  4. For years - really well over a decade - I used a classic sized Day Timer binder with day per page. I carried it with me everywhere and not only didn't complain, I loved it. I needed that size as I was in a very dynamic business with lots of critical tasks and travel to meetings. I don't recall ever complaining about its size. It didn't bother me then, probably because it was saving my life daily at the time, and I'm not involved in anything so dramatic now. However I am determined to stick with my compact FC binder for the year. My husband just snorts and says, give it a week.Really, the switching of planners is what I have to overcome, more so than finding the "right one." All I have to do is watch someone's video of a new system and I am ready to pounce (maybe a plannerpad again!) You already found the right system - I agree with Patty at Homemakers that you should go back to what worked for you for so long.

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  5. Have to say I am loving FC and the Veronica binder. Just wish there was more choice for FC binders. Don't mind the size too much as it stops me doing the personal - A5 tango!

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  6. I'm afraid I'm very dull and have been in a settled set-up for years - WO2P in a binder, one week of DPP in the binder (for planning) and a DPP A5 journal/diary (bound - usually Ciak, this year crappy rubbish Moleskine - I'll be back to Ciak next year!). The binder size changes but the set-up doesn't.

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  7. I love being your "Planner Guru". Your article made me laught!

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one feeling that February pressure. I thought that was some weird condition known only to me. Nice to know I'm "normal"?

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  8. I do believe a wise person said progress and not perfection

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  10. I used a Mulberry ring organiser all last year but this year I am in an A5 Grey Malden. It works beautifully except that my planner needs to be portable and the A5 is a brick. I walk up to 12km per day for work and I just can't do it with a binder that weighs so much. I lust after your FC Laurie but I hear you when you say 'too big'. And it probably feels bigger for every minute you have to carry it about.

    I won a planner (yay!) from Plannerisms so am waiting till that arrives before I change systems. It may be the saviour I have been hoping for!

    I would have used the Mulberry planner again except that this year they have no vertical WOTP and I just cannot get on with horizontal WOTP no matter how I try.

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  11. My FF personal Kendal accommodates FC compact pages much better than my FF personal Amazona. The Kendal is just slightly wider so the pages (only three months of 2PPD) don't extend past the covers when closed. However, I don't have any pages with built-in tabs (like monthly pages), which are a different story. I agree the FC covers are too wide/big, don't like.

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  12. I, myself, am a hybrid user. I use MS Outlook to keep myself organized on my computer but I print out all my stuff and keep it in a 6 ring, 5" X 9" DayRunner zipper binder. I find that Outlook is absolutely the only application that can print in the format I need for daily planning - 1 week over two facing pages. It allows me to print out any number of weeks on any size paper - I print on legal size paper, 8 planner pages, front and back, per sheet because that size fits perfectly in the planner. It seems that no other planning software takes printing as seriously as Outlook does, even software that claims to be all about printing: those applications generally have only templates and none have the customization capabilities of Outlook.

    It's really sad that paper planners seem to be fading away. I went to Staples the other day to pick up a new binder (my zipper is about shot) and there were no zipper binders of the proper size - only snap ones and only a single choice of those - snap planners are unacceptable because my DayRunner doubles as my wallet and I can't risk my credit cards and license falling out. Everyone seems to be going to cell phone planners - a problem for me since I don't own a cell phone. They're even difficult to find on the internet any more and they want too much money for a decent one.

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  13. I also started the year with a Veronica binder from FC with personalized pages from D*I*Y Planner. And I also found it too big and bulky for carrying around in my bag. I found on eBay a planner system called Episode Collector. I wrote a post about it on my blog. It's a great undated system with dated inserts that you use double-sided tape to overlay onto your monthly or weekly pages. So far so good!

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    1. Wow I've never seen the Episode Collector planner before, it looks really nice!

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  14. It is nice, I'm quite happy with it. And it's sustainable - if for some reason I can't get the refills for 2014 I could substitute a similar sized date book. I haven't yet measured to see if a Moleskine would fit but I'm sure I could find something.

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    1. I know what you mean about sustainable, I don't like getting a cover that I'll never be able to find refills for!

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