Planners: What am I using in 2019?

As much as I loved my Hobonichi I’ve used in 2018. I didn’t want to continue using it for 2019. The main reason was because of the price, at £40 I thought it was quite pricey to repurchase. Another reason was that I own two very beautiful Van der Spek planners, that I have not used at all this year. It was too much of a shame to leave them standing on the shelf. So I knew I wanted to go back to rings and use them.

Thinking over my Hobonichi I wanted to think what I liked about the planner and perhaps what I didn’t like. I decided that:

I loved:

  • The paper, Tomoe River Paper is divine.
  • I liked that everything was printed and bound, so it was there. I didn’t have to print anything out.
  • I liked the monthly layout.
  • The compact nature. Fit in some pockets, very simple to just take without a bag.
  • I loved the cover I had for it by Oberon Designs.

I didn’t like:

  • The lack of a weekly layout in the A6.
  • That I couldn’t use my VdS Planners.
  • The daily page, I tried to write every day as a journal. I liked that I could jot simple things and come back to it later, but the last two months or so I’ve ended up with a bit of a backlog. That’s more my fault. But I hated the waste of pages if I didn’t go back in and fill them. I also thought it was wasteful if I didn’t fill the page in.
  • Monthly overview at the start of each month, didn’t really use it.

So the solution. I went into a VdS. As much as I loved Tomoe River paper, I already had a6 paper cut so I used that. I designed my own inserts on Publisher, but they have a heavy influence from the Hobonichi. My pages include:

  • 2019 yearly overview. No real reason why I have this. I don’t really use it. But I thought it was better than a blank page, as I needed the other side of the page to be part of the monthly spread.
  • The monthly spread.
    This is very Hobonichi. 8 columns. One column for each of the days of the week and the final column is blank. I will probably use that for monthly tasks or tracking orders. These pages go until December 2019.
  • 2020 yearly overview. Again same reason as the 2019 yearly overview, just to fill in a page.
  • Dates for 2020. I needed again to fill in a front page which would have otherwise been blank. I merged the four columns into so it’s a grided page, with the border around it so it matches in with the other pages. It’s just got the heading and it’s very plain so I can just write dates in I need it.
  • Weekly layout.

    This is the same layout as the monthly spread. It has 8 columns. One for each day, the 8th column is to balance it out so it’s equal for the two pages. If I am honest I don’t know what I am going to use the 8th column for. Could be used meal ideas, tracking water or exercise. Maybe some crafting ideas. What I also like about my weekly layout is I didn’t put the 31st December on the first Monday. It probably seems weird to everyone else, but I don’t like putting last year into my planner, even if it is 2018. The solution would be to have the year start on a Monday, but that’s so rare. So my first column just says happy new year. What’s important for me is that they are already printed out. So I have the whole year done. That’s what I liked about the Hobonichi, it was already done. So having done it now makes it less of a chore next year. The last page goes up to Tuesday 31st December and merged the last two columns to make a section for reflection on the year. Although it doesn’t have a complete week, that will go into a new planner.

I’m excited for 2019 to start using this. Yet there is a problem with it. A VdS planner is very bulky and I know that there are going to be times I don’t want to carry it around. I also didn’t want to waste my beautiful Oberon Design cover, which once the Hobonichi is used up, it probably wouldn’t be used anymore. I decided to use blank paper, hole punched and glued to a cardboard back. This will slot into the cover and I’ll use that for journalling, writing notes to people so I can ripe them off and leave them. This can fit in my pocket, I can copy notes from my planner into this and then copy information back.

Please excuse the poor lighting in my photos. Autumn decided to come!

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So where did the rings go?

About two weeks ago I posted about a shocking turn of events in my planning system. It’s a book…without rings. Scary! In fact, it is a Hobonichi Techo – which is a6 size. So it is the same sized paper as I am currently using but it is in a bound book…without rings. I’m still getting used to the last part. So why did I change?

Well of late I have stopped using regular pens and now solely only use fountain pens to write with – and a pencil sometimes. The Hobonichi is made out of Tomoe River paper, which is vastly regarded as the most recommended paper to use fountain pens on. It is extremely thin, imagine bible paper thin, but it is very resistant to the ink – so it doesn’t soak it up like most papers. This means that inks that have a sheen to them (inks they almost appear to be two colours) will show more of their sheen on tomoe river paper compared to regular paper.

Next, I wanted a change this year. Whilst I liked the inserts I currently use I sometimes struggle to keep up to date with printing them…and the thought of doing that in one big patch at the start of the year sounded horrible. Plus I wanted Tomoe River paper and I suspected that wouldn’t be the easiest paper to print on so I decided to buy a planner already printed on Tomoe River paper.

I’m still trying to figure out how I am going to set it up and I am impatiently waiting for the start of the new year when I can start using it. I will write in more detail when I have figured it all out…

Scaling Inserts: The Easy Way

This is not something I commonly need to do because I stick to one size planner. However there are several people in the planner community that will carry multiple planners. An on the go planner could be a mini or a pocket and then you can transfer finances into a larger personal or A5 planner which is a stay at home planner.  Steve emailed and asked for some help about creating one insert in multiple sizes and getting them to line up when printing. This question led me to thinking about the same insert and different formats and an easy way to do it – so I’m going to show you how!

Firstly create your insert. I am working with a mini sized template in Microsoft Publisher, so I used 0.32×0.32cm squares (the smallest square setting you can get) to get the feel of the layout and created an finance sheet that had the right proportions. If you need help with getting to that step try this blog post: Filofax: Make your own Inserts.

 

Scaling 1

Now open up another document and select a different size – for this tutorial I am going to use a personal size insert. You need to select the table, copy it and paste it into the new personal sized document.

Ctrl + A (Select all) -> Ctrl + C (Copy) -> move to new document -> Ctrl + P (Paste).

Now you need to lock the aspect ratio of the table. To do that you need to go to the layout tab and select the little arrow in the bottom right hand corner of the strip (it is highlighted in red on the previous post).

Tick lock aspect ratio -> Ok.

Once you’ve done that adjust the width of the table to the size you want. In this case I did 17.1cm to match width (I’m working in landscape mode) of the personal page.

Now 0.32cm is very small and now we have a personal we can afford to make that a little bit bigger. I counted the squares and realised I had 21 – so I deleted the bottom row to have 20 in total. I like to work with 0.5cm lines so I calculated how much that would be for 20 and it was 10cm. I unlocked the aspect ratio – the reverse of the previous step and changed the height to 10cm. This will make the rows taller whilst not changing the dimensions of the table in terms of column width.

Then I simple deleted two rows to give me space for my holes and allow it to fit on the page.

Scaling 2

I then made the writing a little bigger and I have my insert all ready to go.

To find out how to print it, check out my other post: Filofax: Printing your own Inserts.

Starting University and need to think about Planners?

I’ve written before about helpful advice on getting started with University and what sort of things you can use your planners for but as it is approaching the start of the academic year I thought I would put some blog posts here for you to consult.

All Stars 2016: Using a Filofax for your Academic studies

My Filofaxes: A5 Dark Aqua Original (My University and language set up)

Planners I’m currently using

 

Depression and using a planner

Depression can be a debilitating illness and it is a condition that can affect one in four people. I, myself struggle with depression and often lose all motivation and struggle to maintain a basic, everyday routine.

For many, they might say what is the point in having a planner during those stages, you’re not doing anything and not motivated to do anything so why bother with a planner. However, I think using a planner during these times can be very useful.

A planner can contain many things, it could be a journal, where you just write how you are feeling, even if that is hopefully lost, alone and deeply unhappy. A planner can become a confidante, someone you can write things that you wouldn’t, or can’t, tell anyone else. I’ve used a planner for this in the past and it can be quite cathartic.

When you feel ready you can start to use a planner for other things, basic tasks, small tasks. Even if it is just to get out of bed, wash your hair and change your clothes. Sometimes in the beginning that is all you can manage and that is completely fine. Over time you can increase the tasks into going out for a walk, or cooking a more complex meal – even just recording what you eat. You can use it to track medical appointments, make notes on meetings you have with the doctor and monitor medication use and possible side effects.

Over time you can start to break larger tasks down into small manageable tasks, such as tackling one aspect of cleaning or part of a project.

You can then begin to use your journal to reflect. How are you feeling today? What made you feel more human? What do you think you can do next week?

It may not seem much in the beginning but setting tasks and completing them, no matter how small can give a sense of accomplishment and that you’re achieving something. Once these build up, you can start to get back into a routine and help you feel a bit better in yourself.

Recently I have found my planner to be a great resource for me when I have been very low.

Collections in my Planner: A Lifetime of Movies

This is the first in a new series of what Collections I have in my Planner. I follow the Bullet Journal system which is a series of rapid logging tasks in a planner, you can find a previous post on it here. Part of the system is collection making, which is grouping together a series of bullets on one page. Over the next couple of weeks I will share a couple of the collections I use. Today’s version is a Lifetime in Movies.

I got the idea for a Lifetime of Movies, which is basically as the title explains. It’s a collection of movies from every year I have lived. I did a search of IMDb for the top film of each year from 1988-2016 and I wrote the number one movie down. Now I did this in December which is suspect may have influenced the choices, as quite a few are Christmas Films, but hey some of those Christmas films are pretty good so I suspect they are pretty high up for a reason. I’ll be reviewing them over the coming weeks so check out my blog and see what I thought of them. I may revisit this idea after I have completed the list, if I was to do it again I’d probably look at most awarded movie of a year or something to give a variety and potentially reduce the number of Christmas films a little.

Planner: Currently Using

My planner system has changed quite a bit since I last did a post it on. I’ve made a structure change and I moved to a6. I am currently in a VdS Touch Me in Gris Blue. This is one of their new colours. I plan to do a full review of it in due course.

My actual system hasn’t changed too much since September when I started using A6 size. I have a very traditional bullet journal. I am using a Rhodia Graph paper pad that I have ripped apart and hole punched (rather unsuccessfully as it’s not very straight!).

My Bullet Journal largely follows the traditional system.

At the start of the month I write the numbers for the month out and the corresponding days and I fill in information from my future log.

Then at the start of the week (because the new year began on a Sunday I have switched to a Sunday start, it’ll be interesting to see if I like this…) I write out a weekly tracker which I will fill in for the week.

Underneath that I start directly with my dailies. I just write the day and then log everything for the day.

What I really like about this system is the flexibility. My first daily was nearly two pages long with all the to dos and lists I wanted to keep track on in my planner. I love that I am able to write everything down and it is in there. I like that there is a place where I can record anything and everything in whatever order I want it to.

I don’t tend to migrate tasks over to each new day as that is such a waste of time, effort, ink and paper. So instead I tend to flick through and look for open tasks I need to complete and only transfer them to a new month if they have not yet been completed and are still relevant. There are of course a few downsides to this method – it can become a little cluttered looking and it can be quite hard to focus with so many bits of information around the place. It doesn’t always bother me until I really need to focus and get tasks done on a set day. On those days I find it best to start the day with a very simple outline of places I have to be and tasks I have to complete. I will migrate these to the set day and try to give myself a realistic number of 3-5 tasks depending on the complexity of the tasks, to ensure that there is enough time for me to complete them. Then I just shut everything else off and focus. I find this method works really well.

I like that I don’t have to design and print out loads of pages, if I want a new page I just write it. I love that the paper I use is fountain pen friendly and I can write with my new found obsession (more to come on this topic in the future…). I tend to change my ink up once a month to have some variety and use up my growing collection of ink. Unlike traditional bullet journalling which is done in a bound notebook, I love that I have control to move pages around and take them out as I need to. I like that I can flick the page over and start writing a new collection – but then I can move collections towards the back on my planner to keep them in alphabetical order so it is easier to find them. My monthly, weekly and the start of my collections are marked with the coolest paperclips in the world. They are of the Ampelmann – he is the East German crossing man, complete with hat. He is really cute and I am obsessed with him (a fact my lovely penpal Nicole knew and she sent my these cute paper clips!).

I find this is a great system for me and allows me the flexibility of having a daily when I perhaps wouldn’t need a full page each day. It is the ultimate brain dump as I can just throw everything at it and not worry about it looking pretty or having enough room!

*I was going to have photos with this post buy unfortunately a rather nasty flu has crept up on me. I am instead going to tease you all silly and leave it without photos until the next time I bring up my planner!*