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Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to use monthly or weekly AND daily planners at the same time

My friend @RoriRants tweeted a question recently (to paraphrase): how do you use a weekly (or in my case monthly) planner and a daily planner/ diary at the same time without being completely redundant?  Great question!  Here's some ideas.

I used a weekly planner and daily diary at the same time for most of last year. This year so far I'm using a monthly planner instead of the weekly, and still using a daily. Here's how I do it:

In the weekly or monthly planner, I write all my future plans. Upcoming appointments, school holidays and activities, my husband's days off from work, travel, birthdays, etc. All future events go in here.  I also write my dinner menus for the week so I can plan quick meals on evenings I get home later, and to see past meals for ideas (or to see when I'm getting too repetitive with the meals).

In the daily, I write everything that happens today. Today's appointments, cute things my kids did and said, the weather, my list of things I need to do today, things I did today that weren't on the list like phone calls and emails. This creates an excellent record of what I did and when.

Using the monthly or weekly for planning and the daily for recording minimizes redundancy, and allows me to use each format for what it's good at.

You can see more details on how I use my daily diary here, and how I used my weekly planner along with it here.

Those of you who use a daily planner and also a monthly or weekly planner, how do you do it? What do you write in each planner?


  1. I am following a very similar process. It works well. I put very general specific plans on the monthly calendar, and anything past my latest day page. I sketch out my day on the day pages and note everything I need to do and, as best I can, when I am going to do it. I find scheduling my tasks very important. I am thinking of implementing a daily log for phone calls and emails, but not sure. Won't fit on my filofax daily pages

  2. Anything past the current week only goes on the monthly calendar. I only keep appts. and reminders (time specific) on my monthly calendar and they are reviewed during my weekly planning session and posted on the the upcoming weekly diary or to do list. If an appointment or reminder occure]s during the current week I sync both the month and week. If I had a great deal specific time sensitive engagements syncing the two might be a bit of a challenge, but I don't.

  3. I think this is where using Smart 'phone technology and paper planners can work side-by-side. It doesn't have to be an "either/ or".

    I use a monthly paper planner for ALL up-coming appointments and meetings. I then transfer these to Microsoft Outlook and (by synchronising) to my iPhone with any necessary alarms/ reminders. I then don't need to worry about clashes or missing a crucial rendezvous (like failing to pick-up my daughter after her hockey match!) as the 'phone will jog my memory. It also means that my daily - paper - planner is free to log all the things that happen during the day, plus to-do's, new ideas, phone messages, doodling - whatever!

    I then review all my notes from that day and move them to the best section of my organiser as necessary - project plans, information, actions or wherever!

  4. I don't use two separate planners, but I use both the monthly and daily inserts in my Filo. I use the monthlies mainly for general reminders and I use mostly stickers since the spaces are so tiny. Then, I add more detail about the event/appointment on the daily page.

    For example, on they monthly I might just have a sticker that says "Graham Lecture" but on the actual day I'll have details about when/where/etc. Seems to be working so far!

  5. wow i love this system! i might concider workeng a day per page into my week+notes on 2 pages :) thanks for sharing :)

  6. I love everyone's methods and ideas! I use monthly calendar pages with a page-per-day daily planner in much the same way that Laurie does. One other thing that I do on the monthly pages is a simple color coding system with highlighters (one color for classes I teach, one for classes I am taking, one for travel, etc.), which makes it easy to see at a glance how crazy a particular month might be (or not).

    Frankly, I don't know how other people can get by with only a monthly/weekly OR a daily and not both!

    - Tina

  7. Your description Laurie is similar to the way I use my two inserts in my Filofax. I have a Week View TM insert for planning. Plenty of space for ToDo's and the like and I use a Week on Two page for past events (Journal) That's in my A5

    In my personal I'm using a Week to a Page with a todo sheet for planning and a Week on Two Page in Cotton Cream for journal

    Yes I have two systems running at the same time at the moment, undecided which suits my needs best!!

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  9. I use my Large Moleskine Weekly Notebook with my Large Moleskine Daily Planner in the following ways:

    Weekly Notebook - I write all my to-do's for the week on the right hand side ruled page, and I will either allocate a day for them in advance (on the left page that has the week layout on it) or play it by ear - it depends on the week and how it's going. I colour code everything: (Work, personal, important days, appointments, social outings, jewellery/art, and things to remember). In the monthly section, I keep track of work schedules (extra staff coming in, busy days, vacation days) and budgeting items (phone bill comes out on this day, mortgage payment on that day, etc.). This book goes with me EVERYWHERE.

    Daily Planner - For each day I write down all my spendings, what happened, anything that sticks out in my mind (quotes, etc), and how far into my budget I am. I also will stick in some memorabilia that reminds me of that day (concert tickets, notes from my boyfriend, etc.). This book stays at home.

  10. I use a system much like J's. I have monthly and daily inserts for my Filofax. The monthly inserts show what I'm doing when but in an abbreviated version. The daily sheets are more detailed with time frames, additional notes, and random things I want to keep track of for the day. I use the monthly sheets because it's easier for my forward planning to look at things in a monthly format. And since I use a compact binder, I can only fit three month's worth of daily sheets in there. The monthly helps me keep track of upcoming items beyond those three month.

  11. I'm doing this next year - I'll have a small week-to-view for appointments etc and forward planning, and then I've got a Paperblanks midi Day Per Page (in hindsight mini might have been sufficient...) for more detailed stuff, my daily to-do-lists, etc.

  12. Please enable right click menus for your links, I like adding the pages to my tabs to remind me reading them later. Thanks! ;)

    1. Sorry for the inconvenience. I had to disable right clicks because so many people were stealing my images and text and using them as their own.


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