Saturday, 1 August 2015

I STILL do not get monthly pages...

This week, over on Philofaxy, there were several posts in the list of Web Finds for August 1st that featured how to use the monthly spread. I read them keenly - the monthly pages are something I can NEVER get to work for me. Maybe seeing how others use them would help?

I still don't get them.

Absolutely NO disrespect to all of you who use the monthly pages and who make them work well for you, but I really cannot seem to make them work for me. I either want to put too much stuff in the boxes and then can't see the wood for the trees, or I put too little stuff in and miss it. Or I don't transfer information to my weekly pages. Since I have the rest of the year in my week to view (or week + notes) to hand, I would never put an appointment in the monthly pages - I would put it straight into the weekly ones. If it's for a date after the end of the year, I write it on the last page/in the notes pages and transfer it to the new diary when I have it.

If I need an overview of the month, I flip through the weekly pages. Each month, when I'm working out what I want to get done in the next month, I look at my next tasks/project lists and the pages of my weekly diary and allocate tasks based on how much is already in that week. I don't have many externally imposed deadlines, but I impose deadlines on myself and allocate accordingly. Birthdays get written into the weekly diary when I buy it and reminders to send cards/presents/arrange something are put in the weekly diary, the appropriate number of days before the birthday.

When I plan out my week, I use a combination of the weekly pages and a daily scratch pad to sketch out my days. I allocate tasks to each day when I do my weekly review (usually on a Sunday) and then at the start of each day I draft out, using time-boxes, when those tasks will get done.

I have tried and tried monthly pages! I've tried them in my Filofax to be able to reduce the number of weekly pages that I need to carry, but I just hated it - the boxes were too small. I've tried sketching out a month on A4 squared paper so that I can have it on my desk to make me see what I have on for the month, but I then pile books on top of it/don't fill it in/feel as if the whole month is empty because not enough detail of my day to day schedule is on there...

I've come to the conclusion that if it ain't broke, don't try and fix it and despite admiring those who can really work the monthly pages, I have had to accept that I will just not be one of them!

Anyone else find the monthly sheets difficult to work out? Or am I alone on this??


  1. I no longer use the month on two pages calendar with boxes. I did not write appointments on it because of the small space. I use a Wo2P format. When I schedule my days I must see the appointments on the same space as non appointments. If I wrote all appts. on the calendar I would constantly need to flip to that page to see them. I use a month diary on one page with lines on which I write information that is not on the week pages. It allows me more room on the week format. However if one uses only a month layout or is not duplicating the information on another insert then I can see the functionality. Also if one travels often or has so many activities then the overview of the month may be beneficial. I can only see a week at a time on my week format.

  2. I think it just depends on how much you have to organise. My life at the moment is just the hours I'm working, and the occasional other thing, so I can get by by colour coding my weeks and then adding in the other stuff as needed. I barely need a week in my work one, and in the A4 I have more use for a weekly to-do list than an actual breakdown of the days

  3. I only write on my weekly pages on the Sunday before hand or the week of, the rest goes on sticky notes until I get to that point. But for actual appointments, which I don't have many of, they go on the monthly sheets. No worries of losing a sticky note (since most of those things are to remember to watch something anyway!). I will be honest, most of my monthly spreads are pretty empty, but it's nice to have. I only have a couple months in my planner at a time, anyway, so it's not taking up a lot of space.

    I feel about them the way I feel about the rest of the kinds of planner pages though - there are so many different ways of planning, that if something isn't working for you, change it/get rid of it. If you can't do monthlies, don't waste the space! :D

  4. This post could have been written by me! As you say, if it ain't broke ...

  5. What size planner you use? In personal size is the monthly page really too small, I didn't liked it either. Now I'm using a Happy Planner, which is bigger as A5, and here I am satisfied with the size. I have only one month of weeklies in my planner, plus the monthlies for the year. But it is big to carry... I know.

  6. I use monthly pages just for appointments and NEVER write them on my weeklies. When I did write appointments on my weekly pages, though, I did NOT use monthly pages. I think skipping them sounds like it makes perfect sense for you!

    1. Trying to get my head around not writing appointments on the weekly pages... and failing! Were you using DPP (or 2DPP) as well as monthlies? Or are you better at flipping between views than I obviously am!
      I think skipping them is the only option for me!

  7. I think lifestyle probably drives a lot of this. For me, I'm often recording dates and appointments months in advance. Who wants to flip through 17 weekly pages to look at a date four months in advance? Since most monthly pages come with tabs, it's actually just a single flip to the marked month. I'm guessing most folks aren't using tabs to identify specific weeks (other than the current week) and often wonder how they find their way around a large range of dates? But likely the need isn't there so it all works. :-) I use monthly tabbed pages for appointments and to note bill due dates and I LOVE seeing it all at a glance. Then I have daily pages for to-do's, reminders and more detailed appt information. (Appointments are copied from my monthly pages to daily on Sunday or Monday, as I sketch out my week.) But that's the great thing about planners these days...between e-tailers, Etsy and the files in Philofaxy, there really is a set-up ideal for anyone! :-D