my 2015 planner system

estimated 3 min read

Over the past few weeks I’ve watched the stats for my various planner posts rise. I’m sure there’s curiosity as to my 2015 system. I’ve not purposely kept silent here about what I’m doing.

I’m curious too.

I decided to continue with the DIY route I first mentioned back in early August. It’s slow going. I’m currently on version 4 or 5 of a couple of weeks printed out to work with and then I revise the format again. If you follow me on instagram you’ve likely already seen bits of the planner pages most mornings.

One of the main things I wanted to have in my custom system was the information that is important to me and lacking in one way or another for most printed planners. At least I wanted to automatically add my local shabbat times, holidays, and the refuse/recycling schedule. I’ve manually added candle lighting and used labels for other repetitive items in the past, but that updating is tedious. It’s also easy to mistakenly turn two pages at once and then it’s a bit of a mess to clean that up.

The first few planner iterations were a two sheet system: a traditional weekly planner and my planning blocks. This worked quite well for a while, but I found I ignored the traditional planning pages. I began to look into a way to better integrate and started to play with different formats.

I then decided to expand to a full letter size page that included the best parts of both pages. It’s a big mental shift but so far it’s working out pretty well after a few small adjustments. I still begin my day sketching into my log book, but I find with this revised planning system I’m recording more electronically into various (text) files while I work. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as it streamlines billing but it’s another huge mental shift, but don’t worry I’m not giving up on my log books! They’re still useful for notes during the day.

There are some big downsides to the current layout that I still need to work out. My preference and entire setup is based on the A5 paper size. When I work outside of my home office, I don’t have a good way to carry these larger letter sized pages that don’t fold in half neatly. Yes, the crease in the wrong place frustrates me! I hope in the next printing to convert it into an A5/half-letter sized book similar to my earlier versions, but I’ve not yet worked out the best way to rework the file to do that. I still haven’t found a way to integrate the paper and electronic time blocking. The data file I’m using grew over time and is now almost unwieldy. I know when I reformat it, the integration should go smoother. Last week, I started experimenting with rolling month planning sheets that just include key basics. I definitely like the big picture view. In time I’ll figure it out, but for right now, I think it’s all working.

It’s very weird, despite all the making I do not to purchase a 2015 planner!