My planning system for 2018

If you want to get something done, you have to plan it, and as a self-proclaimed stationery strumpet, analogue planners fulfil my desire to mess around with paper and pens (and washi tape and coloured pencils and stickers and…)

This year my planning system is threefold. My every day carry (EDC) is a hobonichi techo, an A6 size day-per-page Japanese planner. These things are fantastic, come in a variety of planner options, and contain your entire year in a small footprint. I went with an A5 last year, which also contains a weekly spread. This year I wanted something more portable, and I wasn’t making full use of the page space in 2017, so I downsized. (I still have an A5, but I use it as a journal this year.)

This left me with a void. I like having somewhere to plan my week out, somewhere I can see it at a glance and know what I need to get done that particular week. After considering my choices, including Happy Planner, Plum Paper Planner, Inkwell Press and so on, I settled on a planner I had used years ago but not since: the Passion Planner. It’s very much a goal-oriented planner, and it comes in both A5 and what I assume is American “letter” size. I picked the latter as I was looking for a desk calendar in which to really stretch out. There is notepaper in the back, which I am currently using to keep track of writing submissions, but there’s plenty of room for sketching, sticking in movie ticket stubs and whathaveyou.

I keep my hobonichi in a B6-slim sized Chic Sparrow traveller’s notebook.  The B6 slim is the same width as an A6, but a bit taller. The size difference is no great hindrance, and I keep it wrapped in one of Chic Sparrow’s dashboards to make sure it stays in place. I don’t plan my days here in advance; I do that on my weekly spread, and in my hobonichi I keep track of how I’m actually spending my time, as well as details on anything I happened to do during the day.

In this TN I also carry a book of ongoing lists (books to read, things to buy, movies to see, that sort of thing) and a hobonichi weeks. This thing is a workhorse. It’s an on-the-go weekly planner for appointments, but it’s also my “Next Actions” list or running to-do list, and in the back note-pages (there are 68 numbered pages and an index page) I am keeping my habit trackers, “Currently” lists, running logs, savings tracker and monthly headlines.

The third planner is what I mentally refer to as my “serious business” planner, or project planner. This has got the bulk of my Getting Things Done stuff, important reference material, magazine information, uni information, a weekly planner spread and a monthly goal tracker insert from Peanuts Planner Co on Etsy. If I want to decorate pages and have fun with glitter or whatever, I do it elsewhere; this thing is for appointments and due dates and keeping my goal-based ducks in a row. I have a busy year ahead and my time management skills leave something to be desired; that’s what this thing is meant to help me with.

And that’s my system. I’m still finding my feet in it, but I’m enjoying it so far. I check my desk planner a few times a day, especially in the morning and evening. My Chic Sparrow comes with me everywhere, and the filofax sits on my desk at the moment but will be coming with me to university once the semester starts.

How are you guys planning this year?

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