planner status and … planning

I know I’m not alone based on the queries I’ve been receiving lately: “I’m not happy with my planner this year, I want a change, please can you help?!”

I understand. While overall I’m still using my filofax faudori flex, I’ve made a few changes and I’ve been thinking about what I’ll do when January arrives.

When I reached the last few pages of my logbook at the end of August, I picked up a softcover grid filofax and drew out the remainder of the year, loosely following the Hobonichi A5 Cousin.

My goal was to see what I thought about incorporating both my planning and work logs into one book.

To my surprise this format is working well. I still often use the flex and several books throughout the course of my day, but it’s nice to also travel light with the essentials if I need to.

I was also pleased to discover that the hand-drawn format isn’t distracting or upsetting to me this time. Yes, I wish I had made different pen and ink choices, but it’s not disastrous as previous hand-drawn planners. It took longer to be ready than I expected, first I sketched the layout in pencil, then over several sessions I inked it in. The Hobonichi Cousin and a few other pre-printed options because while I’ll always need to add in a few unique-to-me things, I like having some of the basic structure set up for me.

The biggest shock is that I’ve started to use washi tape. While I’ve drawn my outfits, the weather, and am particular about my task-complete highlighter du jour, I don’t decorate my planner. In my research for new planner options I came across a whole world of decorated planners I never knew existed. I have friends who art journal, but that’s different. Yes I find all the stamps and stickers fascinating, but my planner is a tool and while I like my tools to be designed well and asethetically pleasing to me, I have been things to do with my time.

However, I’ve been fascinated by washi tape for years, but haven’t gotten it. Friends have sent samples and after trying a few pieces, for the most part, I’ve passed them onward.

After taking all the time to draw the planner, I realized I wanted a consistent way to mark multi-day events that wouldn’t bleed through the light weight moleskine paper. I also learned that Hans and Greta (my current foster kittens) love post-it notes. So when I discovered solid coloured washi tape, I found a use for it.

What changes will I make for 2016? Time will tell. I have numerous quibbles with most of the planners easily available here in the States. I’m hopeful to visit Muji and Kinokuniya soon to review notebook and planner options and will then make a decision. Who knows, maybe I’ll try the custom route again.

Are you pleased with your 2015 planning system? What changes are you thinking of for next year?