Hope you enjoyed your holidays and wishing you all the best this coming New Year has to offer you. This is likely my last blogpost. I enjoy interacting with others who have my interests but I doubt I really have much more to offer. As one can see, there is not much I have posted over the past year. However, I have learned a few things that have worked for me and thought someone might benefit if I share it, so here goes:).
1. Having too many planners going at once is a lot of work and you run the risk of losing something in the process. Simpler is better.
I learned this a number of years ago when I worked at Franklin Covey, but seeing people
with two – or ten – planners going at once, I thought I’d check this theory. In the scramble to keep each of my “planners” up to date, I ended up working 2-3 times as much on “planning” which resulted in less time for work and consequently, for fun.
As a result, my new system has far fewer planners in the mix. However, I have not limited myself to only one. I will explain why. In times past, I had one planner, with everything in it – personal, business, everything. I waffled back and forth between weekly and daily formats, always having a monthly calendar included (except for the years when I used only a week-at-a-glance Moleskine). I appreciated the overview of the coming week and prioritizing the time I would need to spend AND I could keep an entire year in one volume. However, I missed the details and the incredible amount of information I could accumulate with a daily plan. Both had their drawbacks – not enough detail in the weekly plan, the inability to keep an entire year with me in the daily planner, plus planner notes that really belonged in client files needed to be recopied in some way – not the most efficient way to get things done. And who recalls the days of carrying around A5 and A4 (5X8 or 8/10) planners back in the day? My back aches just remembering it!
The system I have now has overcome each of these drawbacks. I use a Hobonichi Cousin and a Hobonichi Weeks. The cousin is an A5 size, with a yearly, monthly, week-at-a-glance, and one-page-per day daily section, with plenty of space to plan as you prefer. It uses thin, yet durable Tomoe River paper, which allows you to carry all of it without breaking your back. This is the planner I keep on my desk at home, though sometimes I do bring it along to court to enter any new hearing dates. I track my work time, enter brief notes, and track client visits for each month using inserts attached to the back pages (they – the pages – are in Japanese, so I wouldn’t have used them otherwise).
The Weeks is very small, goes with me everywhere, and generates my to-do lists and reminders as well as my calendar. I use the information in my Weeks to inform my daily planning. This would not work for everyone who has to keep work and personal planning separate – people who work in the defense industry come to mind. Frankly, that would drive me nuts. I’d be double booking on a regular basis. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do!
2. Bullet Journaling is not my thing.
Don’t hit me. It just didn’t work for me and in my current work situation. I’m not very good at setting up a format from month to month and I need to do a LOT of future planning, the weak point of the system, no matter how you spin it. I still follow the blogs, videos, and blog posts by the likes of BohoBerry, PrettyPrintsandPaper and TinyRayofSunshine. Of course, the Bullet Journal website is fascinating. I especially admire the intelligence of Ryder Carroll and hope someday to get this thing, but for today I’m keeping this system at the back of my mind with an idea to revisit in the future.
3. Sometimes you have to let go.
I have three or four absolutely stunning (to me) planners that I’m not using right now – because using them would just be duplicating efforts. And that takes away from more important things. I may use one of them as a personal journal, if I’m being completely honest. However, that will only happen if I feel inspired enough to do so. But boy, sometimes it hurts:)
4. I still love Travelers Notebooks.
Originally Midori, the company has renamed itself The Traveler’s Company. Many use this simple leather cover over small notebooks, bound together by some elastic thread for journaling – about their travels, their lives, anything. Some use them as planners and calendars. I use mine to enclose my Hobonichi Weeks and a couple of notebooks. I also use a passport-sized TN for notes and odd jottings.
5. You may still be a professional and use washi tape, mildliners and ephemera in your planner.
Well, maybe, LOL:) I am attorney, but my clients are kids and my colleagues are wonderful and good-natured. They seem to tolerate me well enough – at least I hope so. However, were I to lose my mind and work for some high-powered executive types (like THAT will ever happen!) I’d keep the embellishments at home. But that’s just me:) On the other hand…..
As I said, wishing you all the best in the coming New Year. I’m off to live my life now:)!