2014 planner status & how I fill my logbooks

We’re almost into the third month of the year, while I try not too think to much about that, it does mean that I’ve been using my current system for a while now. So, how’s it holding up?

I’m still in love with it and using it pretty much how I described at the end of December. Yes, there are a few things I’d love to change, but that’s ok. While I was preparing this post I came up with an easy solution for one of my complaints so that was a nice surprise.

To review, I use a hybrid system:

A5 Filofax Flex
with a week to view diary and multiple notebooks
A5 notebooks
stored primarily in the flex that hold daily log notes, knitting journal, and book reviews
Quo Vadis Trinote
that I received from the company to test-drive last year. I’m still using it for time-block planning.
text files
on my laptop to capture digital notes
google calendar
multiple calendars and colours that allow for quick and consistent categorization of events
digital project management system
that captures project-based and reoccurring tasks that can’t be lost in the shuffle

It sounds much more complex than it is. Honest!

My few complaints remain. I’m sad that the Trinote doesn’t fit in the Flex. I am also frustrated about the bulk of the week-to-view diary. Last week Laurie asked, “how much does your planner weigh“? and I was very surprised to discover:

my A5 flex with the kitchen sink inside (which just gets carried around my home office with this much of everything) weighs in at a hefty 838g today. i’ll try to remember the weigh the “normal schlepping weight” soon, that leaves a few notebooks out.

So today as I was scanning a notebook page for the second half of this post, I decided to pull out the scale and look at the numbers. If I take out the infrequent notebooks to include only required notebooks, it still weighed in at 581g! Most notebooks are about 90g each, but the diary was 227g! So I looked at how it was constructed and determined it wouldn’t be too difficult to pull out the first signature. So I did. That weighed 42g!


While I loose the reference materials and anno planner, I think it will be more manageable this way. I haven’t used the reference materials or anno planner in the flex at all (I use the anno in the trinote). The diary is still a heavy but more manageable 185g. The next signature can be removed in mid-May. This isn’t ideal but it has lightened it!


I’m already thinking about how I’ll deal with it in the future, 620g is still heavy.


Shifting gears, let’s discuss how I use the notebooks. I’ve keep a daily log notebook for years. I’ve written about my systems in their various iterations over the years and while I might sometimes use different methods of capture, the overall format has been pretty solid for a while. I like to list my tasks in a big chunk and any important time-based items. Then I keep a rough log of what I’m doing, need to review, etc.

When the bullet journal system made waves last summer I used it to fine tune my method a little more. What I liked was way it codified indicating different types of entry. I had no idea why I never formalized my own system so I wrote them (and my modifications) on the front of my notebook. I primarily use simple lined A5 notebooks though I have some grid notebooks waiting to be the next volume.


I still do a rainbow highlight of completed tasks throughout the week, and start filling in the box when I begin the task. I also use labels for repetitive needs, such as the weekly meal planning. I also use a nice punch from muji that perforates to make the corners easy to tear out.


If you’d like to read about a few others experiences with the bullet journal system, check out some thoughts from Beverly and Kim.

As for the pen I’m currently in love with… it’s this hexagon shaped barrel 0.4mm with blue-black gel ink. I love the ink colour, I love the feel of the pen in my hand, I love how it writes.

I also now do two reviews each day. The first when I sit down after cleaning my desk with the flex, trinote, and my digital system open and ready. The second either right before I head upstairs to bed or when I’m already settling in for the night, this one is into the daily log book, reviewing what was completed, and starting the page for the next day. This twice daily review/planning helps me clear my brain and both focus and sleep better.

Next time I’ll write a bit about my digital system and how it complements the paper.

Of course I’m experiencing some “grass is greener” (or exists given this winter) with a new planner, there is an A5 version of the popular (and now in English) Hobonichi Planner. I don’t think I want to schlep around a page-per-day format and in Japanese, but it is definitely something I’m thinking about.

Reader interactions

7 Replies to “2014 planner status & how I fill my logbooks”

  1. I have not been very interested in bullet journalling, mostly just scrolled by it, but this caught my interest! I will have to check the system out for real now :)
    What do you write in your knitting journal?

    1. I sketch potential designs, make notes about swatches, where I am in a pattern, or modifications I’ve made. I’ve written a little bit about my knitting journal.

  2. Hi Penny!

    I’m currently expanding my setup, and I found this post really interesting! I think I will have to use the bullet journalling idea in my Filofax in some way, it seems very efficient.

    Also, I’m a gluten-free vegetarian too! HIGH FIVE!! :)


    1. Hi Joey, I’ve found the bullet journal incredibly efficient and I am surprised to find how well the system fits into other formats as well (namely digital/txt files).
      Yay gluten-free vegetarians! :)

  3. Thanks for sharing my bullet journal post. I’m still loving it, and I always enjoy hearing about your systems!

    1. Hi Beverly, I love how you’ve made the system work for you. I’m a fan of multiple highlighters, you use washi tape. The end result? The system works for and with us, not against us. ;)

  4. […] planner system (written about extensively on my personal site) is a hybrid digital/paper solution with multiple Google calendars, an A5 Filofax Flex with weekly […]

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