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.
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.