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??