Monthly Archives: October 2017

October 2017 in my Mini Filofax planner

Standard

It has still been very warm here overall, although there was some rollercoaster dips into actual chillier temps. You know, 40 in the morning and then nearly 90 in the afternoon. Enough to provide some proof that October did deliver.

This month we began listening to our newest shared audio book for our car rides, the creepy and disturbing 1970-ish novel This Perfect Day by Ira Levin. I also enjoyed reading Walden on Wheels and listening to the Goodbye, Things audio book.

We’ve begun preparing for our out-of-state move early next year so there’s an abundance of random to-do’s. In the mini, I changed my weekly layout to two-days-on-a-page for now. This format is working particularly well at this time, since this is my personal-life planner and we have more of our-life to-do’s slated for the weekend. The extra spot for notes by the weekend works nicely for that.  And it allows room for the  doodles I’ve scribbled lately. (I just remind myself it’s not an art competition and no one is judging).

The somewhat indiscernible doodles the October monthly page include some creepy crawlies and a cauldron of eyeball stew.  On a weekday sheet, there’s a tiny crockpot and cilantro on a day I had some black beans and rice slow-cooking in the kitchen. Not to be confused with eyeball stew.

mini monthly - oct 2017

mini monthly – october 2017

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 9.31.02 AM

assorted days and weeks in october

 

I hope you’re having a super-fun and happy Halloween! 🎃 🙀 👻 🍬 🎃

 

Previous month: September 2017

Address books are a lot like diaries

Standard

Much as seeing a glimpse of someone else using a planner or organizer, a sighting of an address book also sparks a moment of spaz for me. Old-fashioned and lovely, they seem so understated yet each has its own memories and tales to tell.

The older and messier the pages, the more enchanting they are. The markings through for new addresses when people moved and the updates of other changes are so interesting and endearing.

In days past, some address books stayed at home, with the writing desk (including if that was the kitchen table), or phone table, and the home telephone. Some were card file boxes and caddies, or rotary-flip-style Rolodex.

The nowadays term of “contacts” – rather than family, friends, people, names, numbers, addresses – conjures up more of a business connotation to me.

Mostly now all of those “contacts” are being carried around with us everywhere in smartphones, or stored on Facebook, LinkedIn, Outlook or email accounts on the web – always accessible, even though the number of times many of these contacts are contacted is disproportionate relative to the amount of time they’re with you.

I liked how personal addresses were in your personal address book, and work contacts were in your work rolodex, the client database or other computer software – at the office. It’s displeasing to me when, on my own time, I must scroll past work-related contacts on electronics, or even to have to click the filter option to take these business people out of view. I’ve read that our minds process 50,000+ fleeting thoughts per day, and just glancing at a work name on my weekend can send me down a mentally exhausting rabbit trail of eeeeek did I remember to send that email-package-presentation-quote-report-thing-I-promised-to-send-last-Thursday…

I keep a few consolidated address pages in my Filofax – family is grouped together and friends are grouped together.  This friends list isn’t every acquaintance but rather my closest friends who are practically family. I like looking at the handwritten entries on these pages when I’m addressing their birthday card envelopes or whatnot. Entries on these pages aren’t alphabetical, just all together, one after another, and this eliminates the need for many pages and A-Z tabs.

And now for some fun! Clickies!!!

I hope you enjoyed these, and thank you for reading! 🙂

 

Downsizing my work planner (continued!)

Standard

There’s light at the end of the tunnel! I am mostly moved into my smaller work planner now, and have some additional details and snaps to share.

To recap from last message:

  • I am still mostly following my old system (detailed in just under one million words, here).
  • The new size is the FranklinCovey Compact.
  • I’ve hand-drawn some pages for the remainder of this year.

Here’s some of my hand-drawn weekly pages in the vertical format on the Compact size (4.25″ x 6.75″ – which is slightly wider than Filofax Personal size).  Federal holidays impact our order shipping, so they are most definitely written into my planner.

weekly work planner format

my hand-drawn weekly work planner

As before:

  • top row is items with a specific time,
  • middle section is Do or Due Today, and
  • bottom row is lists for This Week, not tied to a specific day.

I still fill these weeklies out at the beginning of the week, with the objectives for the week.

Daily spiral 6″x9″-ish notepad still captures in the inbound messages, calls, things that pop up, etc.  Any of these type things that get turned into additional action items get transferred to wherever they belong. If they get handled on that day, they just get marked through on the pad and are not copied anywhere else. If there is an important item like phone number or email address, I do transfer that into the contact card or whatever before crossing through the note.

Aside from sizing down, the biggest change I’ve implemented is adding a 2-pages-per-day. This is in addition to my daily spiral notebook. You could say the daily setup is sorted by planned stuff, vs. inbound stuff.

The 2-pages-per-day is all new for me. I wanted this format to assist me in keeping focus and getting on task.

Let me assure you that when you go to an office, it’s better that you aren’t looking at your laundry basket near your desk. Likely you can’t do your laundry there, so you really have to reconsider doing laundry when you’re working out of your home.

So, I am using the 2-pages-per-day to schedule the work day, and also to time-log what I really did. The scheduling is most-essential items for the day and anything that has a real time. Each morning, stuff from the current weekly planner pages gets allocated into the daily plans. My current work has some routine, daily activities, so those are input into the hourly slots as part of my scheduled work day.

However, the time-logging is new to me. It’s just a simple input system where each time I start something new that isn’t already written into a time slot, I just scribble it into the appointment times. These are just simple entries – abbreviations even – and aren’t even down to the exact minute. But if I am updating invoices and decide it’s time to break for my sammich, I can jot down “lunch.” When I start researching and calling for pricing on a new service, I just scribble in “pricing” in the general time slot. It’s a new habit, but it is starting to stick. Oh, and when I would like to take a mental break and just make sparkly eyes at pretty planners online, yes, I have to jot “sparkly eyes” in the planner, too.

When spreadsheets and workbooks need updating, and it doesn’t happen today, or yesterday, or even all of last week, then there is nothing to disguise why I didn’t do it. It’s written right there on the pages.

So this way I am having better accountability about my objectives, goals, and slacking when applicable.  Part of my weekly review on Fridays is to look over these daily pages to help me stay on track.

Here is the simple format I am using for the rest of this year – times on the left; notes, lists, observations, tracking stuff on the right.

20171011_163906671_iOS

 

Here’s the monthly format. These are a reassuring visual overview and reference – no heavy planning.

20171011_162034102_iOS

 

If it’s late at night and you need something to help you sleep, you can read all of the detail on my work planner system here.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

Also related: Running a Work and a Personal Planner