My current planner situation

So far this blog has been mostly about planners and a few other paper products. How could I do anything else after the long hiatus than write about planners again. Here we go.

Did I solve all my planner problems in the last two years? Am I finally back to normal again, just getting one planner for the year and leave it at that? No sir, not at all. Just for this year I own and Erin Condren life planner, a midori business diary, a filofax pocket weekly refill and a weekly and daily personal refill. In the last two months I have tried all of them, as well as working with just a lined notebook, and am still going back and forth. And that is not counting my electronic calendars. Here is how my reasoning goes:

All of my work appointments are digital. This is by far the easiest way, as they change often, and we share calendars and send invites to each other at work. This way we can all see who will be where at what time. This works well, and will remain that way. I can access this in outlook when I am at my work laptop, or from my work phone.

My personal appointments are in the paper planner of the moment. I could put these all in the work calendar and mark them private if I want, which is what many of my colleagues do, or put them in my google calendar. This I can access from the same work phone, or from my personal phone. But I like paper better for this.

The only question is which one? Usually I use some combination of large weekly planner and a thin cahier-like notebook, or a filofax. Sometimes I try to use a regular notebook with my appointments in a digital calendar.

I like the filofax for obvious reasons: all in one, very customisable. But the persoanl one is too large and heavy, and the pocket one is very portable, only the pages are so very tiny. I have very small handwriting, but still. If I use one of these, it is for personal only. Work has its digital calendar, and a notebook in roughly A5 size (currently a dot-grid Leuchtturm1917).

What makes the other combination of larger planner plus thin notebook so nice, is the large amount of space on the weekly spreads. I use these for work and personal appointments and tasks, where I write the personal stuff as it comes up, and the work-related things at the start of the week. I edit as I go along. Both have notepages at the back for long-term lists like gift ideas and books bo buy. The thin notebook lives in the back of the planner, and I use that for planning my goals for this year into projects, and making notes on those and other projects. The downside of those systems is that they are quite large and heavy to carry, and I carry a lot of stuff I don’t need at all times. Also, while the life planner makes me very happy to look at, it’s bright yellow cover and colourful interior don’t look very professional, even when I only use a black pen.

As you can see, I have a problem with carrying too much stuff. I bike a little over 20 minutes to the train station, and the same way back again in the evening. I already have to carry my laptop, work papers and notebook, a water bottle, some food for lunch, and obviously some items like phones, wallet, keys, some pens, tissues, mints, lip balm etcetera. So anything I add is more weight to carry on my shoulder while biking, and standing on the train, and walking to the office and back.

I don’t just pop into a bookstore on a workday, so why would I carry around my book wish list? And I don’t need all my project planning with me all the time, as those are for the longer term. I actually would only need my weekly task list, appointments for that day or maybe week, and a place to make a note if I get an idea or make an appointment or something like that. Could I just use my larger planner at home, and carry around a pocket notebook in which I write my task list at the start of the week? I could use these as a small journal as well, and add some post-its for loose notes. God knows I have enough notebooks to last me a while. But would I miss my planners too much? And how should I organise my pocket notebook? Should the long-term lists go in it? And the project planning? Will it fit into such a small book?

And so the cycle continues. I am driving myself crazy with this, spending more time, money and energy on it that could be used for something else. Like any of my side projects.  Or work. Or something fun. Is the solution out there somewhere? If anyone finds it, please share….


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