Planner Problems

Posted by Stuart Lennon on

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.

Functions

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.

Time-blocking

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.

Decision

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.

Usage

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.


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