Having reviewed Plannersims Laurie’s “Going Places Planner” and feeling that, although it is a great design, it isn’t quite right for me, I wondered what would be the perfect design for me.
Things I liked the most about the Going Places Planner:
The yearly goals, quarterly goals and monthly goals double-page spreads, the annual review pages and the notes pages. I thought these were great (though perhaps slightly disjointed in their locations in the planner) and would be excellent for collecting plans and goals and for reviewing how things had gone.
What I would change:
I wouldn’t bother with the information pages – I have never used them and they just take up space. I also have struggled to use monthly pages – the ones where there is a box per day in the month. I can never work out with what ‘granularity’ of information goes there and would prefer to just use weekly pages and log everything.
But the biggest change I would make would be to have horizontal week on two pages as the set-up as I would prefer the shallower, wider space rather than the deep, narrow space. Although I use columns in my work A5 diary, for my personal planning (and, I really do keep work and personal as separate as possible!) I work best with horizontal week to view.
This led me to thinking about my current I-have-no-idea-what-my-plans-are fog (that has beset me for months now; see here and here). I’ve been too busy to think, basically. Any time that I’ve not been working or busy with chores/Rotary/family/you name it, I have been writing. I realised a while back that I hadn’t even looked at my goals or projects for weeks and weeks and I wasn’t sure whether the plans I had made at the start of the year were still current.
At some point, I will manage to sit down and have a long think about it all and some of me wondered about using the Going Places Planner from Laurie to plan the year, but it didn’t quite suit me. I then thought about getting a nice A5 book and drawing out my own planner, but to be honest, I don’t think that I would ever really carry a planner and a separate wallet and a separate address book around with me, especially when I am more than happy with an all-in-one combination in a filofax (or Mulberry). Also, there is no reason to carry all that planning around with me – the essential part is the weekly list, not the project notes, or annual and quarterly and monthly parts – and so I could use a filofax (or Mulberry) for my carry-around and another filofax for the planning, which I would look at during the weekly reviews/monthly reviews/quarterly reviews and annual review.
Those of you who read the blog regularly, know that I bought a navy Portland to use as my planning filofax – it’s a gorgeous filofax and I have been itching to use it but I still haven’t. It will look absolutely fabulous with cotton cream inserts and all my goals and next actions laid out. One day. When I’ve finished the first draft of book #5 and put my mind to planning my life properly!
But, I already know what sections I will put in it!
In the Portland there will be the following sections:
Projects (one page for each project; possibly colour-coded as to life-area); broken into ‘next action’ lists
Annual goals (and annual review, at the end of the year); arranged by life-area and then project
Quarterly goals (and quarterly reviews at the end of each quarter); arranged by life-area and then project
Monthly goals (and, yes, you guessed it, monthly reviews at the end of each month); arranged by life-area and then project
There would also be weekly lists of ‘next actions’ (again, arranged by life-area then project) – these would go on Post-It notes in my day-to-day filofax in the week to view section.
Why that order? In my head, the projects have to come first, because without thinking of them overall, I won’t be able to then think what I might achieve in the year. The projects are, in effect, “Everything I want to do in this life-area but might not manage to do in a year” – hence the annual goals. Also, I want the annual/quarterly/monthly goals to be in list-form, without all the detail that will be in the projects section, and with tick boxes next to them!
Once I have set it all up, I will share the details with you all!
What's everyone's perfect planner system? Please share in the comments.
ps – I gave the Going Places Planner to my sister and have asked her to do a guest post on how she uses it.