Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Passion for Planners

I'm not even counting my Passion Planner (my dream book)
in my total! If you want to see beautiful planner interiors
in action, check out Passion Planner on social media.
Photo: @passion_planner

I currently have four active planners -- five if you count the kitchen calendar that I use only when I don't want someone else in my family to miss something. Six if you count the combined planners on my phone and laptop as separate calendars (I don't because they update each other).

It really is more organized than it sounds, and, except for the nagging feeling that it "should" be streamlined, I've almost got my list-making/time management system exactly where I want it.

For work (school), I use:
    • One planner that's specifically designated for class planning, course overviews/due dates and keeping track of lesson plans. It's a lesson plan book and long-term planner in one.
    • One steno notebook where I keep all of my work-related to-do lists. I don't include this in my planner count because it's undated and I don't use it to keep track of deadlines. 
This system is working, so regardless of how many Type A organizer rules it breaks, I'm not messing with it.

At home, I use:
  • A portable, spiral bound planner with enough space to write appointments and due dates in the weekly view, plus a month-at-a-glance view for long-term planning. This was supposed to be my writing calendar, too, but during the busy start to the semester, I haven't had much writing to keep track of.
  • My word-of-the-day desktop calendar with two columns that come with their very own boxes so I can check off what I accomplish.
  • The calendar on my laptop which syncs with the one on my phone. This is my safety net, as all the family dates go on here, and the most important ones get transferred to the kitchen calendar.

It's the home set-up that feels somehow unwieldy. My goal? Planners that transition from home to life and back again. Much as I love my desktop calendar and my laptop, they don't do that, which is how I ended up with the spiral-bound addition that's useful, but somehow feels like an over-the-top duplication. But, unless I learn to love the calendar on my phone (unlikely), I need something more portable than any of the other components.

If I compare my work and home set-ups, the logic is clearly the same: a space for recording appointments and long-term planning and a place for making lists -- lists that may be longer than what I can fit in my portable planner without going on visual overload. Adding the laptop and the kitchen calendar brings my family into the loop and reinforces the weekly conversations we have when I transfer things from my laptop (main calendar) to my planner and we review the week ahead. This also nudges me to keep current on what's coming up.

When I put it that way, it all makes sense. Perhaps it's more complicated than it needs to be -- but, to me, it's clear and intuitive. So, unless my system stops working, I guess what I really need is a dedicated home for all these time management supplies.

Good thing I have some extra drawers.

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