Planner Problems

by Stuart Lennon

I last wrote about my bullet journal practice in April. Where am I nearly 6 months on?

Firstly, as I wrote last week, I am in an ink-friendly book, allowing me to use fountain pen. This adds to the enjoyment, and obvious though it is to write, its much easier to continue doing things that I enjoy.

At first, a journal was filled in a couple of months. Now, they last 3 months. The difference is "collections". I am quicker to move projects to new notebooks than I was. My books are filled predominantly with daily logs.

That said, journaling was scant in August. The weather was hot and along with the rest of Cyprus, I didn't do much. I'm making up for it this month though, journaling like a mad thing.

Current Setup

1. Index.
2. Day logs
3. September Time-blocking
4. Habit Tracking September

Pretty minimal.


Bullet Journal remains for me predominantly about task capture and management. I struggle with the idea of multiple collections throughout the book referenced back in the index.

I live in the digital world for calendars. Sync across multiple devices, alerts and shared calendars with others is, for me, the type of thing that digital systems do best.


For September, I drew weekly spreads designed to allow me to see my week at a glance. I would block out events from my calendars and see where I had blocks of time for “deep work”. This allowed me schedule my time more effectively. It’s fine. Just that, fine. I have considered how I might create a collection, where I draw in some weekly spreads for use through the quarter. It occurs that there are many, many options out there that do this already. Planners and diaries. As time-blocking is, for me, something that goes on at the office, I’m comfortable with having another book. I also intend to use it to record time spent on individual clients, a task that I have previously managed through an app.

Planner Choice

We stock few timed planners at Nero’s. They represent a higher risk to us as they expire. We limit ourselves to the Field Notes undated planner, Calepino Pocket plannersNomad Planners and the excellent UK-made Trigg Life Planner.

In the past, I have used some ring systems - Filofax, Day Timer and David Hannah (disc). The rings or discs bug me. They just do. I love the idea of all those sections and dividers, but soon tire of them. I had a Smythson desk diary, which is beautiful, but so extraordinarily expensive.


When I first set out in the corporate world, my head was turned by the Economist Desk Diary. The faux-leather cover, the ivory pages and the gold embossing shouted “proper businessman” at me. Curiously, I find the ring-binding unobtrusive. Aesthetics apart, the diaries lie flat, contain useful information and are the right format (week to two pages) for my time-blocking. The paper is excellent, and copes with most writing instruments.

In short, I have ordered one. With luck it will come to me next month will start before the year turns.


The planner will sit alongside my bullet journal and I hope will fill a hole in my system. All the wonderful notebooks that I have, and I decide to go buy one somewhere else. I despair of myself, I really do.