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Monday, January 31, 2011

Decision Deadline: 2011 Planner

Today is the day of my self-imposed deadline to decide which planner I will use for all of 2011.  At least, that was my optimistic self back in November declaring such a thing.

Somewhere in the middle of January I was thrown a major curve ball with the discovery that not only are we most likely doing another international move this year (after just doing one less than 6 months ago), but it could happen as soon as March.  Things are not finalized yet, and the timeline is still under construction.  But either way, this year is turning out to be very different from how I expected it to be.

So even though I'm not promising myself or anyone else that I will manage to stay with only one planner for the entire year, I thought I would recognize the day anyway and let you know what I'm currently using (which has very recently changed).

I won't drag you through the whole saga, but for the past couple of weeks I was using my personal size Deco Filofax.  But, while using it I've been absolutely in space and feeling completely directionless (which I admit is not entirely my Filofax's fault).  So this morning I went back to my self-made planner.  Yes it's not much fun.  But right now I need focus and motivation.  My self-made planner helps me focus because its week + notes format with the days as vertical columns allows me to see what I need to do and when I have time to do it.  For some reason, the Filofax weekly format with my to-do list behind a tab just doesn't help me function nearly as well.  It's a very common theme for me to try to make it work with my Filofax and then have to switch to a vertical weekly format to actually get anything done.

I'm sure I will continue to try to get my Filofax to work well for me, because it is so beautiful and I love it.  But for the next few months at least, aesthetics will fall by the wayside as every bit of functionality I can muster will be required.

Rest assured that my journey to Planner Nirvana is not over!  In fact, I have a feeling it's only just getting started!  ;D


  1. You could make pages for your Filofax! (especially since the one your using now is homemade anyway.. it won't be much more effort). Then it will be pretty AND functional :-)

  2. Hi krissy, thanks for your idea. I have actually tried that before, but the main problem is that the page size is too small for the format I need (vertical days with about 1/3 the page for lists and notes). I've tried several variations of this, but the Personal size Filofax pages are too small to pull it off. (In fact the large Moleskine pages are just barely big enough!). But, I'll keep trying to figure out how to make it work for me!

  3. Fold out pages in your Filofax may be? The problem then is bulk, but it would retain the small personal size..

    Just a thought..


  4. Steve I've actually considered that before, but I think it would be bulky and fiddly to fold the pages in and out all the time. But I do wonder if there is some format that could work that way.

  5. I hate to say this but I too am struggling and since I'm speaking to someone that has also tried different brands, I thought I'd let you in on my little secret.
    Yes, I love my Filo.
    But I ordered a "Planner Pad" a couple of days ago that will arrive Feb 2nd.
    I too need my "to do's" in front of me along with my on going projects (which seem to be growing by the minute as my company feeds me more stores to take care of)
    I know the Filo has the "to do" section and the "projects" section.
    But I was looking for a book that when I open to a week, I see it all!
    So as I try this I will keep you informed.
    And I hope everything works out for you and your family.
    I've been following every step, keep us informed!
    Lots of love,

  6. Thanks Greg! :) I'm extremely curious to hear how you like the Planner Pad. I have considered getting one in the past but never took the plunge. I think there would be a fine line between "grand overview" (which is a wonderful thing) and total overwhelm. Let us know how you get along with it, and if you want to do a guest post on it in the future let me know!

  7. I have a Personal Deco with a combination of Filo and Franklin Covey pages. Perhaps either of these Franklin Covey options would work for your to dos, or inspire a DIY solution:

    - Swingpad- It is an insert for your binder that holds a pad of paper. When you open the binder, you can "swing" the pad out so that it lies next to your binder and you can see it along with your open binder. My description is not doing it justice: http://store.franklinplanner.com/store/category/prod60015/US-Plastics-%26-Insertables/Swing-Pad?skuId=32703

    - Cut Away Pages: Pages about 3/4 the size of a normal sized page. I insert these in between my weekly or daily pages. The pages allow me (1) create work/project/task specific to do lists and (2) move them between weeks/days if I don't complete my to dos:


  8. I've recently started using the Daytimer Hotlists for my weekly Todo's. I insert them in my weekly pages and must say, it works great! If I have a certain task planned for a specific day that requires several sub-steps, I use the Hotlist in my daily section.
    I'm glad I bought a whole stash of them, because I'm already addicted to those bright pink pages ... ;-)

  9. paperiris, those inserts look great, I especially like the Swingpad. Unfortunately FC's shipping to the UK is outrageously expensive! But I might think about how I can make something similar myself.

    Jotje I've used something similar to the Hotlists before, and it is a great way of keeping things in view all week. I especially like your idea of writing multiple-step projects on it to keep all the steps in sight.


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