Friday, 12 September 2014

Planner Peace??

Have I finally got there? Jeez, it’s been like trying to find the end of the rainbow! Anyway, I think (think...) I have finally reached some kind of planner peace. To the point of not even looking at binders on eBay. Well... not every day.

So, what does this planner peace look like?

It looks like my de Villiers still!

I have made a couple of small changes to the set-up but nothing major. Instead of the giant to-do list at the front with a reminder on it to look at my next-actions list, I have gone back to my weekly sheets. These at least were split into ‘next action’ and ‘to-do’ (things that need doing but which aren’t part of a project or goal). The instruction: ‘turn over and look at your next actions’, somewhat as anticipated, didn’t work! I am incapable of turning the page it seems. Even when told to.

Another problem was partly to do with my next actions which were too big and needed breaking down into smaller ones. So, for instance, ‘finish book 6’ was a giant of a next action, whereas ‘finish the scene where x happens...’ was a much easier task! Consequently I have worked on making my next actions things that are achievable in a day/week (so that they can get ticked off the list!).

The weekly page set-up is shown below. Next actions go in the top half. You’ll see that I’m using up cut-down sheets from a non-filofax brand, just to use them up. Next year I will be using glorious, glorious Tomoe River paper (more on that in a future post). In the bottom half of the page I note other non-goal ‘to-do’ and any birthdays or appointments are noted in red at the very bottom of the page (to remind me to go to them or do something about them). Already written in, is a reminder to do the weekly review!
The reverse of the weekly list has space for the weekly review. Sometimes I do this following a set structure; often I just reflect on what did or didn’t get done and why.

Weekly list: next actions at the top, to do below
Review on the reverse; following week on RHS

By going back to the weekly sheets, it forced me to do my weekly reviews and to rewrite onto the following week’s sheet anything not achieved, something that generally spurred me into doing said thing(s)!

The only other change has been to try (try!) and use monthly sheets in as much as I have put highlighter on days I am not at work to try and help me see how much time I have ‘free’ (i.e. not at work) in the month. I’m still not great at working out what level of detail should be on there. I have got as far as marking off work days and birthdays and events such as away for a weekend. It still seems like it’s both too much and too little detail. But putting highlighter on and having a reality check over how many days I have a week/month to get things done in, has made my monthly lists more sensible.

Pink indicates not at work!

In the next post, I will do a review of my planning system as I realise it has changed a little since the last time I posted about it.

Has anyone else found planner peace recently? How long do you think it will last??


  1. I know what you mean about rewriting. That seems to be the main thing that gets me to do pesky little things.

  2. Amanda, I've just recently started using Tomoe River paper and love it. It does show some bleed through from my fountain pen, but with any other pen, it is perfect. I think the photo I saw shows 100 sheets of Tomoe River paper, in the same space as 30 sheets of Filofax paper, so it lets you carry a lot more blank paper. Like you, I'm also using two diaries, and for me it's the first time. I'm using a DPP diary, plus a WO2P for overview. I also print my Outlook calendar as a monthly plan, which is my most-used page in the whole binder. So far, it's working well. Glad to see it is working well for you. If you do ever tire of the slimline, I'd love to try it. The pocket layout seems excellent.

    1. The pocket layout makes it perfect! I've looked at compacts or slimlines before and the thing that has stopped me being able to use them well is the need to carry cards on the rings. Those zillion card slots in this one make it perfect!