Monday, February 1, 2016

One year later: How Helen is using her pocket Moleskine planner

Many thanks to Helen for this post updating us on how she has been using her pocket size Moleskine planner for more than a year now! You can see her first post here.

My Life in Pocket Update – The Pocket Moleskine After One Year’s Use

Thank you Laurie for hosting my post, it is lovely to be back on Plannerisms!

Some of you may recall my post on how I use my Pocket Moleskine for my main planner. I have now been using this system for a whole year and will be using the same system for 2016, with some tweaks. Firstly, I should say that this is the first time I have ever used a system for an entire year without wondering whether I could make it any better. As I say, I have tweaked it, but I let the tweaks come organically. All the photos are from a mocked up day so you can see what I do, as I can’t publish client details.

A quick recap on my set-up. I use a Moleskine Pocket Weekly with notes

It is a shame that the cover is white, after a year’s use, it is looking a bit grubby now, but the book held up well and the binding is still robust.

I use it for:

1.       Appointments

2.       Blocking out time for clients

3.       Tasks

4.       Notes I need to keep for posterity / tracking

5.       Important information

6.       Important contacts

The Moleskine Pocket Weekly with Notes is set up with the dates on one side and a lined notes page on the other. I split this note page into seven sections based on the dates on the opposite side. This allows me to put date specific notes next to the correct date without cluttering up the date side, which I used for appointments. This layout really works for me, as at a glance I can see how busy my week is with meetings and appointments without cluttering it up with notes and reminders. You can see that I use a Bullet Journal approach to my notes.   I won’t repeat all the details from my previous post as much of it is the same. Instead I’ll take you through the tweaks.

I realised I wasn’t using the Moleskine to its full potential. There are lots of information pages and so on that I don’t use, and I could use for a different purpose. The first of these was the yearly calendar.  I wasn’t sure what to do with this for a while, as it is so small. Then it occurred to me to use it to highlight big events such as holidays.  I underline them in green and then next to the end of the week row I add a number in brackets. That number references a list of notes which are written in the blank space under the calendar which details the event. Eg. Holiday, theatre trips etc. This gives me an excellent overview of the year and stops me from over committing. 

The planner also has a double spread for travel planning which I didn’t use for quite a long time, and then I struck on the idea of listing the books I have read here. I read a lot, and I have run out of room, so I downloaded some lined pages from the Moleskine Template Website, and pasted one on the next page (the time zone map), which I don’t use.

The Flight Duration and Dialling Codes, which are two double spreads, I use as a dash board. I put sticky notes on these pages with information I will need temporarily. For example, train times to get to a client, film details, books I have heard about, telephone numbers noted down, and to-do lists.  The information on the stickies are either transferred to a permanent home eg. address books, note book or discarded when no longer needed. 

The main diary pages look like this. 
You can see the right had side has appointments, and the left hand side has notes. A check box is a to-do which I need to keep a record of having completed. A “B” is a blog entry for the day, E is for exercise and a dot is a general note.  Each day I note down things related to my work eg. how many hours I have booked for a particular client, items I need to keep a record of, for example, taxes paid. A new habit I have developed is if I have spare room, then I add in little bits of life such as the book I am reading, anything nice which happened that day etc. I also record any MS Symptoms I may have.  I am not a natural at journaling, but the odd note here and there is quite nice to see.  I don’t worry if a page isn’t full, if it is a quiet week and I have white space, I don’t mind. I see it as my planner reflecting the ebb and flow of my life.

The monthly overview pages I use to block time out for clients. I also have codes for bank holidays (BH) and other things so I can see where regular events occur in the month. 

For 2016, I have moved the useful information pages from the back to the front onto international dialling code pages and stuck them in, which leaves me the four lined pages at the back for my “Books Read” list. Everything else will remain the same.

I did run a Hobonichi A6 in parallel just for curiosity, and I loved the paper, but I just didn’t need all the room. I have re-purposed it as a notebook.

The pocket size seems very small, but you can get a lot in it. For me I don’t want to carry lots of stuff, and I love that I can grab my Moleskine and know that I have everything I need in it when I am out and about. It tells me where I need to be, when I need to be there and what I need to do. As a planner, that’s all I can ask of it!

Does anyone else use this size as their main planner?


  1. This so awesome Helen! Thank you for sharing.

  2. This is fantastic. I recently acquired a pocket Filofax, but the weekly inserts are too tiny so I took a page out of Kent From Oz's book and deconstructed a Moleskine Weekly Pocket Planer. The pages fit perfectly and I have much more writing space.

    I like dividing a line across under each day of the week to go across to the blank note page on the right hand side to allocate a section to each day. I may want to try that.

    1. I thought about putting the Moleskine in my pocket Filofax too when I saw Kent's video, but I like my diary to be bound for ease of archiving. The size is much better than the standard Filofax pocket sized paper isn't it?

  3. Thanks for letting me guest post Laurie! I find Plannerims so useful that it is nice to be able to give something back.

    I do love my pocket Moleskine, it works perfectly for me, and you can pack a lot in it if you need to!

  4. Nice post, Helen! I also use pocket weekly moleskine for 4 years now. It suits me well cos I can use the dated side to note down appointment, schedule, etc and the right side to jot down any notes. I used to record my health related issues (migraines, cold, etc) on the monthly overview. But this year the monthly layout has changed into grid (squares) like any other planner. So it's kinda hard to note anything in those small narrow spaces. What a pity.

    1. The change in the monthly pages was a shame, I preferred the vertical layout. I have adapted now though. So if I have an appointment I want to see on my monthly page I put a number in the box in brackets e.g. (1) and then put a (1) with a description in the notes section below the month. It isn't ideal, but it gets the job done.

  5. Yes, I've used that size before. I prefer the Reporter format and that's what I'm using again this year. I do a single page for each month, up front, and list appointments and bill due dates there. Then I do a two page spread for each week. (I used to do a single page and track finances elsewhere, but decided it made more sense to put finances on a week page.) Anything after that is for reference material. It's working out well so far.

    And...I have a tendency to pick flowers and press them dry in my Moleskines!

  6. Well, I have just received by 2017 Peanuts Moleskine Pocket Planner in the post, ready for next year. I noticed they sold out very quickly last year, so wanted to make sure I had one. My set-up is still working brilliantly, so I am sticking with it for 2017.