Planner fail, or rather planner indecision

As the new year is getting closer, I have been putting some thought into my planner system for next year. Also, since my life is undergoing some big changes right now, I am sort of having a struggle with planners at this moment too. Let me explain:

Last week my phd thesis was finally approved off by the committee members. This means that the actual examination is now passed. What is still left to do is turn the manuscript into an actual book, have it printed, and organise the official defense.( This is more of a fun formality here, it has not happened in decades that a candidate’s thesis was approved but he was failed at the defense.) There is still a lot to do, but nothing like the load of researching, programming and writing that I used to have.

The other big change is that I have found a new job, which I will be starting on December 1. I had my last day at my old job last week, so I am now in a kind of in-between state. I have some projects planned for these few weeks, apart from the finishing of the book. Some I have already done, like buying a car (I used to have a lease company car), and repaint our bathroom. Some are still left to do. I also took on a freelance programming project. But the thing is my planner needs now are very different from those I had at my old job. Now I have almost no appointments, but a lot of things I want to do. And there is no natural structure to my day, which was there in a sense when you go into the office or to university every weekday. We could set our own hours, but things like lunch together and appointments gave a rythm to the day. Now I have to make sure I structure my own time, and not waste it all on the internet.
And of course, I don’t have a good idea about what my needs will be when my new job has actually started.

So what is a girl to do? For this year, I have switched from my filofax to something slimmer and ligher. As much as I like my filo, it is just a bit too much right now. I tried a pocket filo for a week, but however cute, it is just a little too fiddly for me. And I wanted something with time slots and room for todo’s. I have gone back to my quo vadis space 24, which I reviewed here. It is just right for now, though I wish it was a little smaller. There may be better options for me right now, but I did not want to spend money when most planners for the new year start somewhere in December, which is just a few weeks away.

And then next year. Honestly, I think I don’t know enough about what my life and days will look like then to make a good decision. So I decided to throw a little more money at it than I would otherwise do and get a variety of planners. When we get to the end of December I will have a few weeks of experience at the new job, and I can then decide what to keep and which options to try and sell or give away. I do know that my system has to be light enough to carry through a few hours of train commuting daily with me (I will not use my car to commute because of traffic and lack of parking spaces, plus the office building is next to a train station and I will get all train fares reimbursed, while gas would be at my own expense.) I will no longer have to go to client sites but instead work in one place, have my own desk instead of a large desk where you would have to find a spot each day. This means I can have folders and a notebook and leave it at my desk and not carry around everything. And I will no longer have to carry around a laptop, the new office has actual pc’s. So these are the only things I do know about my new job situation.

So what did I get? First, since I have had quite some success with my personal size filofaxes over the last six years, I got myself weekly and daily refills for that. These, together with all the lined paper and todo sheets I have, will give me enough flexibility to get the set-up I want if I decide to use my filofax. A definite con for me is that this is heavier than my other options. Also, filofaxes tempt me to fiddle with them instead of just using them to get my job and life in order. I have mostly bought these just because every time a Philofaxy webfinds post goes up, I am jealous of all the people using their filos, but I think a filofax may be too much for me because my work life will be much simpler without the flexible workplaces and large research project on the side.

So my second option is a refill for my good old stand-by the quo vadis space 24. I ordered a set of the notes inserts as well, so I could have a place for things like my book wish list, gift ideas and personal goals. Both my lilac club cover from an old minister and the purple duo cover from this year’s space 24 are still in great condition, so I bought refills only.

The third set of options is from paperblanks. I love this company for their great and fun designs, and their lovely cream-coloured paper. The photo I took does not do  justice to the designs, please go to their website to get a good view. I love their midi size books for my journals. So in case I only want to keep my personal stuff in my paper planner, I bought a lovely midi size planner in the design blush pink. It is week-to-view and closes with an elastic. This has no actual room for notes, but for just personal things like planning runs, nights out etc. it will work fine. This would mean keeping my work stuff in something like outlook or ical. I am keeping this option open right now, although it would be a change for me. I said set of options at the beginning, so that means I got a second paperblanks planner, also midi size but day-per-page, in the design pastoral impulses. I could not find a Dutch-language planner so it is in English. This closes with a small magnetic strap. This would have room for todo’s and appointments for both personal and work on every day.

And the final option is not here yet: this will be the Laurie-designed plannerisms planner! I mean to get one in purple or teal when they come out. From what I have read and seen so far this planner might work really well for me. The only thing I am not so sure about are the lack of time slots. These are what made me ditch the moleskine weeksly notebook in favour of the space 24 (well, that and the boring black cover). But in a column design I migh not need them.

So, sorry for the extremely long post. I hope with all of these options I will be well prepared for my new job and the new year, and we shall see what will get used. And of course, what are you using next year?


  1. I hope my Plannerisms planners will be the solution you’re looking for! They are printing as we speak, and I’ll have photos up with ordering information early next week!

    I’m right there with you–it’s really hard to know what planner will work for you in changing circumstances. My strategy is to have a bunch of different ones lying around just in case! ;D

  2. “My strategy is to have a bunch of different ones lying around just in case! ;D”
    Really Laurie? I never would have guessed 😉

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