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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How I use my weekly and daily planners at the same time

Several people have asked me for an updated post on how I use weekly and daily planners at the same time, and I'm happy to oblige!

For years and years I struggled between weekly planners (which didn't have enough writing space for all the details I wanted to record each day) and day per page planners (which didn't allow me to plan ahead). Using the two planners together lets me plan effectively in my weekly and record lots of details in my daily.

I've been using a weekly planner along with a separate daily planner for more than two years now. My system of using these two planners together has evolved over the years. Here is an update on how I use these two types of planners together.

First of all, I use my weekly planner (this year, my Plannerisms planner) for all planning. I use my weekly pages to map out my appointments, any tasks I have to do on specific days, and my prioritized task lists at the bottom of the page under the daily columns. In the last 3 lines of the daily columns I plan my dinner menus.


I use the column before Monday to write my daily goals so I can easily check them off each day when they are done. This gives me a quick and easy visual of how well I'm completing my goals throughout the week.
After years of trying bajillions of different planners, I've found I need the vertical daily columns to map out my days, with space on my weekly pages for my to do lists. This lets me see the layout of my week, what I need to do and when I have time to do it.

I also use the monthly pages in my Plannerisms planner to see the overview of the month, what's coming up, and to note things I need to do that month (like renew my car insurance, schedule dentist appointments, or other things that need to happen that particular month).
I use my Monthly pages for fixed dates like birthdays, travel and appointments.  I don't consult my monthly pages every day, just when I need an overview.

Also in my Plannerisms planner I plan all of my goals: annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily. I wrote a big post on using the Plannerisms planner for goals, you can click here to read the details with lots of photos on how to use.


So the weekly planner is used just the way you would normally use a weekly planner. The difference comes in with the daily planner.

The key to using a daily planner with the weekly is that NO FORWARD PLANS GO IN THE DAILY. The daily is for planning and recording TODAY ONLY. In the past I've tried putting appointments and plans into the daily and the weekly then synching them, and things always fall through the cracks. Unless you're really diligent about synching your two books every single day, I highly do not recommend planning in both.

So then how do I use the daily planner? Here's the details:

The day before, I start filling in my daily page with appointments and any tasks that MUST be done that day. I don't write anything that I might do, or could do if I wanted, because if I don't get it done that day I'll have to rewrite it. I only write things that MUST be done THAT DAY. Then during the course of the day, if I get my urgent tasks done and I have time for other tasks, I look at my to do lists on my weekly page and see what else I can fit in today.

I do a lot of recording in my daily pages. I write expenditures (I'm trying to keep track of spending to make an accurate monthly budget). I write in other tasks I did that day so I have a record of when I did things. I note phone calls, make notes of any details, write cute things my kids did and said, note the weather, and anything else I need to record that day on my daily pages.

I change my mind a lot on what day per page planner to use. I want a large page size in a portable book. Right now I'm using Franklin Covey two pages per day:
I like the structure of these pages. I use the task list on the left of the left page to write my to-dos for the day. The appointment schedule goes from before 6 am to after 7 pm and has lines for the half hours so I can map out my day. The lines at the bottom left of the page are where I write expenditures. And the entire right page is for notes, journaling, and recording details.

This two-planner system works with any weekly planner and any daily planner. About two and a half years ago I used my Organised Mum weekly planner with my Quo Vadis Textagenda daily planner (which you can read the details of here), but I was synching them so that system quickly failed.

Several months later I used a self-drawn weekly planner with my pocket size Moleskine day per page planner, and that worked really well. You can see that post here. You can see more details on how I used my Moleskine day per page planner in this post here.

I've continued to use a weekly planner with a daily planner ever since then. For the past several months I've been switching my daily books around a lot. I crave the permanence of a bound book, but have a hard time finding one that's big enough to write enough each day but still light enough in my bag.

I love the structure of the Franklin Covey 2PPD and the ability to have so much information in my binder, but there are several things about it that bug me: the impermanence of the looseleaf pages (I'm bad about switching pages around between binders and losing them), the bulk and weight of the book, and that I can't have the entire year's worth of daily pages in my book at once. But the worst thing about using my FC is that because it's so big and heavy, I don't carry my weekly planner with me which causes me to plan ahead on the monthly pages of my FC, then synch back to my weekly pages. I don't like doing this, I prefer to do all planning in my Plannerisms planner and not go back and forth.

So, predictably, I have ordered a new day per page planner to try. It is A5 size but soft covered so it won't be as heavy as the hard cover A5 daily planners I have. The daily planner I've ordered is a Time Traveler, you can click here to see it. (Updated: my Time Traveler planner has arrived! Click here to see my post about it with loads of photos of the features.)

I have used Time Traveler day per page planners in the past, although in the small size they no longer make. In fact, my favorite planner of all time is a Time Traveler so I have high hopes for this new one! Time Traveler planners have lots of features I love like smooth white paper, loads of full-color maps, notes and information pages.

So anyway, that's how I use my daily and weekly planners together! Please let me know if you have any questions or would like more specific details.


17 comments:

  1. I use this system too. My weekly 'book' is in a Compact Filofax - my lifebook, I guess. Then my daily book is a Paperblanks midi Day Per Page. I love that bit of my setup,it's the weekly bit I keep switching.

    I /was/ happy with my week on one page plus notes, and then seeing how you use vertical week to view, and there is one in my drawer... agh

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  2. I have a similar system. I have a monthly view on one page for a general overview and my weekly pages have my appointments, meetings, and such. The day I realized I could use daily pages as more of a to do list that I plan out the night before kind of changed the whole way I use my planner. I'm guessing I likely read one of your posts in the past about how you used daily pages which is how I got the idea. So thank you!

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  3. Thank you for this post. Right now after lots of experimentation it's clear to me that I must have only one book. Am overloaded to the max this year. For me, one feature a good planner needs is the ability to scale up or down as life changes.That's why I like the ring binder system.But I do dream of bound books.

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    1. Christine I totally understand needing to look in only one place when you're swamped. With everything right in front of you, you know you're not missing anything. Best of luck to you in this busy time!

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  4. I finally get it! I've read about your system in the past but I guess I didn't pay close enough attention. It's similar to what I've done at times. You need daily, weekly and monthly. Me, too. I use the monthly for the big picture and advance planning. I use my weekly plan sheet to map out my week and see what needs done when and how much time I'll have. Then I use the daily to actually write down what I'm going to do TODAY. I've used a weekly plan sheet and then just kept it loose in my binder. But I'm thinking about using the Classic size FC with the monthly, weekly and then my homemade daily. I love the weekly view but I must have a detailed task list for each day.

    Anyway, I finally get it. I guess that's what happens when you really pay attention. Or maybe the menopause fog is less today. :)

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    1. I hope the Classic size works well for you!

      In the past I got in trouble using monthly, weekly and daily all at the same time because I tried to update all 3 all the time. I discovered the most places I can update on a daily basis is 2. Now that I use my monthly only for overviews of fixed dates, weekly for all planning, and daily for today only, it works great!

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  5. Now I understand how you use your daily pages - great idea. I am using 2 planners as well and have to synch but worry I might miss something so I carry a small lined notebook in my personal Holborn which I carry everywhere as it's my wallet. Every time I make an appointment I note the details in the notebook and then tick off when I have transferred the details to my A5 at home binder, my Holborn and my family calendar.

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    1. That's a great idea to check it off when you've transferred it!

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  6. Just wanted to clarify something.......do you carry your Plannerisms planner everywhere so you can make appointments when you're out and about?

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    1. No, for example I don't take it with me when I'm doing the school run or when I go to the grocery store. I do take it anywhere I might need to make an appointment, like to the dentist to schedule follow-up appointments for example.

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  7. I love the 2-planner system although I discovered it by "accident". The two planners I use are an At-A-Glance Weekly/Monthly planner (Sorbet) and the Quo Vadis Text Agenda. I purchased each thinking that I would use them alone. By trial and error, I learned that both of them together are great. I am a licensed professional and need to track my appointments/meetings (Weekly planner) and billable hours (Quo Vadis planner). The weekly book has a lined vertical format but not enough space for to-dos or descriptions for services provided like the Quo Vadis book.

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  8. Laurie how do you decide what you out on your daily planner do you transfer from your weekly

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    1. Hi Isabel,

      Each evening I transfer appointments onto the next day's daily page, and I write in any tasks that absolutely must be done that day. I like this method because it lets me map out each day in detail and see what I need to do and when.

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  9. I just ordered a 2013 time traveler day per page. I think I will like the bound book as I have a lot of trouble with ring binders as i am left handed and the rings get in the way. So I am looking forward to receiving and using this new planner.

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  10. I love this idea. Using 2 pages per day to separate tasks to do & notes you make during the day is a great idea. I think the 2 planner idea would work for me. I'm trying to find something that would combine both a monthly/weekly planner/goal setter with a daily task list/record book & I think such a thing would end up becoming too big & unwieldy.
    But the key thing I miss each day is going back to the weekly planner & putting stuff in the daily one.
    I'd love to get a Plannerisms planner - they look fantastic. Will the 2014 planner be available in Australia?

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    1. Hi sleepydwarf, yes the 2014 Plannerisms planners will be available in Australia soon! I will make a big announcement here on Plannerisms with all the details.

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    2. Yay! They look perfect for me :-)

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