Friday, February 7, 2014

Free For All Friday No. 22: One month in, how's your planner situation going?

Here we are one month into our working lives in 2014. Right about now is when people tend to realize either their planner situation is working well, or it needs some tweaking.

I am enjoying my Plannerisms planner for all planning, and my large Moleskine notebook for all recording. But that planner contentment doesn't keep me from thinking of ways to make it Even Better!

I realized recently that both my books are closed too often, and I need to find a place where I can leave them open so I can see them most of the time.

I've also been toying with getting a Daytimer Desk size Malibu ring binder and cutting and punching my Plannerisms planner pages to put in it, so I can have my planning, recording and permanent lists all in one binder.  I know people who have cut and punched Plannerisms planner pages with success, so this is a tempting option. I am concerned about the overall weight though, and am wondering if it would end up being bigger and heavier than I want to carry. I haven't decided if I will do this experiment, but I'll be sure to post about it if I do!

**Update: someone has kindly agreed to do a trade with me, so I will get a Desk size Malibu! When it gets here I plan to undertake the Plannerisms hack experiment. I'm very excited about this and will do a post to let you all know how it goes!

What about you? How is your planner situation working for you so far this year? Is it flowing smoothly, or are you thinking about tweaking your system?

And as always on Fridays, feel free to discuss/ ask anything planner related!

14 comments:

  1. One month in, my system is going really well. I am, as usual not getting everything done that I know I could but that is my fault for constantly getting distracted by our puppy who just wants to play. Actually he is almost 11 months old and I still can't resist spending stupid amounts of time with him! I love having a bound book. The only thing I have found is that, as the daily spaces are quite narrow, instead of just writing in black, I have introduced some colour so I can easily see who is doing what. Having a notebook in the back is invaluable for brain dumps and extra notes.

    An addition this year is a journal. I have previously just used my planner as my record of the year but decided to use one of your ideas this year which is to use a day per page planner. I love it! I thought I would find it irritating that some days I would run out of room and other days I would feel rubbish that I had nothing to write. However I haven't felt either way at all. You are so right that having dated pages encourages you to keep it up and write very day. I also use the year spreads to write a caption for every day. Gives a good quick overview of the year and acts as a mini index for the key events. Thank you so much.

    I have no desire to change anything at this point.

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    1. Sydney that's great it's all working well for you! Especially the day per page diary, I really loved mine last year and it (finally!!!) got me on track for capturing info and journaling every day.

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  2. I am pretty happy, but have one concern. I printed my own pages this year, some water splashed on my pages and the ink ran/faded. My concern being that I am journaling and want archival quality. It doesn't matter if I use good paper and pens if the printer ink isn't going to last.

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    1. Yikes Cassandra, I hadn't thought of that. I don't know anything about printer inks. Does anyone know if there is archival-quality printer ink?

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    2. Inkjet ink is not archival. Laser is at least impervious to water; I don't know about long term.

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    3. To clarify, some professional inkjet printing is waterproof and to some extent archival, but home inks are water based and will run and often fade over time.

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    4. Maybe outline the header or things that printed to add character and at least help with some of the fading.

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    5. Maybe outline the header or things that printed to add character and at least help with some of the fading.

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  3. After I posted yesterday about feeling revulsion for my planners and not settling on any one system, I went to work to learn that my boss is retiring in 2 months and I will be taking over for her until a replacement is found, which could easily be 6 more months. That means full time work with an immense amount of responsibility. I was carrying my classic sized Harmony Day Runner planner at the time, and boy did it come up trumps. All the events I must manage went in the monthly pages and a page for each event (12 total) went in the A-Z. I went from revulsion to a kind of childish clinging, because only this book is going to save me from total failure! As much as I struggle with ring binders, when it comes to the crunch, they have the flexibility to be a true support. The Harmony binder is fabric and reasonably light in my bag. I am going to be using this set-up for at least 8 months because I've got data in it that I just can't mess with! This is the first time I have ever totally eliminated my weekly pages to just use monthly and A-Z. This works because one tab is "bullet journal" - daily and weekly lists go in there. Any bullet journal page relating to a monthly report or event gets pulled and put in the right section. The key element are the monthly pages - got them at WalMart for $10, Day Timer tabbed months with 6 (lined) rows so the last few days are never cut in half, and the front page is for lists and the back for notes.

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    1. Wow Christine, best of luck with your new duties at work! And hooray for your Planner Win! That is a true test of a planner system, when your circumstances change and your workload suddenly increases. I would love to know more details and I would ask if you are interested in a guest post, but it sounds like your plate is full for awhile!

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    2. Actually I have 2 months of "training" before the responsibility is all mine, so I would be delighted to write a post while I have a smidge of time. Will send to you in the next couple of weeks.

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  4. This year, I have my second Erin Condren Life Planner, and I'm embarrassed to admit I leave it at home most of the time in favour of the slimmer profile of my work planner, which is a fairly generic Weekly/Monthly planner from Staples. Even though I have the 12-month Erin Condren planner instead of the 18-month version, it feels like too much to lug around. I have to plan to carry a bigger bag whenever I want to take it with me.

    I think aside from the bulk of the EC planner, I don't like the "morning/day/evening" blocks as much as I used to. I can't write as much as I'd like, and because I work shifts, they don't fit as neatly into any one of those specified categories. It didn't bug me as much last year, but I guess I'm just getting picky now.

    The Staples planner just has lined vertical columns for the days. It's a fairly large page size, 8 x 6 3/4 inches, with three columns on the left page for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and then two full columns for Thursday and Friday with Saturday and Sunday sharing a column of about 75% to 35% respectively. The months are tabbed, and are a fairly standard month on two pages view.

    Neither of the two have the hours of the day listed in their columns, which I think I might like to have. There's something really satisfying about highlighting a block of time in colour so I can glance at it really quickly and see how much of my day is free.

    My main complaints with the Staples planner are that A) it technically is the property of my employer (so more personal items I might want to track such as monthly cycles don't get written in it); and B) it's just plain boring to look at and I can't really personalize or decorate it because of reason A.

    Is this Planner Fail? Not entirely, I guess. It still functions. I'm just bored already!

    Also, have you heard about the recent drama with Erin Condren planners? I only caught the tail end of it on Facebook last weekend, but it seems that their customer service department has let a lot of people down. There were a flood of comments on the Facebook page from people announcing that they will be taking their planner business elsewhere.

    While I haven't personally experienced any problems with their customer service, it does make me wonder what the future holds for the company...

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  5. The actual planner part (calendar, notes, and daily pages) of my DIY planner is working fabulously. Better than anything else has ever worked for me! I was at B&N last night and saw that their 2014 planners were 75% off. I briefly considered getting a textagenda (my old favorite) as a backup in case of planner fail. I decided there was no need for a backup since I'm loving my current system so much!

    I do want to do something different with the notebook I keep stashed inside the back cover. I picked up some more thin notebooks last night. Two can comfortably fit inside the planner, but I can't decide what to use them for. These are the options I've come up with: blogging, writing, for writing down Bible verses & devo type things, a "commonplace book", journal, or just lists in general (recipes to try, restaurants to try, books to read, gifts to buy, etc.). Any other suggestions?

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  6. My planner is working incredibly well! Everything is flowing easily and I'm feeling far more organized and am trusting my system so much more. And yet I fiddle, as I am wont to do. Latest experiment is with a huge Monarch size Franklin Quest binder. I am setting this up primarily as a work binder for reference information, project information, and committee notes/agendas/work plans. But I realized that my plannerisms planner is working so well as a "workbook" for my personal life, that perhaps a similar weekly "big picture" planning "workbook" would be useful for my work life. So I bought a full size looseleaf Uncalendar and punched it to fit the Monarch binder. This is all 8.5x11 so it is a gigantic binder, about 1 foot square and two inches thick. In other words, definitely not something I am likely to carry around much. But for its stated purpose it seems ideal. I can use the Uncalendar to plan out my week on Friday evenings, and then transfer the stuff into the daily pages in my personal size filofax. I'm using Daytimer 2PPD in the Portable size and love it. It's really a superb compromise of adequate daily planning space within a portable book. All essential work and personal reference info (codes, phone numbers, model numbers, accounts) is in the Filofax plus the planning pages. And then all my personal information (address book, lists, ledgers, projects) is in a Franklin Covey compact at home, and now my work stuff will be in the giant Franklin binder at work.

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