New Year, New Planner | Giftie Etcetera: New Year, New Planner

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year, New Planner

Every now and then, everybody needs a planner reset. Some people do one at the beginning of the academic year, but I prefer the end of the calendar year.

When doing a reset, I think about what I like and don't like about my current planner and set-up.

I like that my Franklin Covey Boston is blue, is a compact size, and has a good system of tabs (Dashboard, Projects, Tasks, Calendar, Future, and Notes/A-Z files).

I hate that it is so heavy and that I am not keeping more of the information backed up somewhere. And I miss the beauty of my Franklin Covey Flourish. The Flourish is cheap, but it has a unique look, wipes clean (my Boston is filthy!), and has a small footprint while using the same size pages as my Boston.

So I switched back into my Flourish.

Yes, it's technically not a new planner. But I did do some new things, especially in the field of integrating the information (not the planning) with technology so that I can back it up.

First, I streamlined my Projects

*Completed projects were deleted from the index and filed away or discarded.

*Some projects are well suited to be tracked electronically. Those were moved to my computer.

For example, I always work on my novel on my laptop. Why not keep my notes for the book there, too?

NOTE: I have a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. With one click of a pen, I can handwrite the notes on my tablet. Writing instead of typing is important to me, so without my particular computer, I'd probably leave this in my planner.

TIP: Take pictures of the old planner pages or scan them and toss the pages. (On my Surface, I can then highlight or write on the images.)

*Other projects are best tracked in the planner. Those stayed there.

If I am planning a baby shower, I am probably more likely to plan that in my planner. And since it is a one-time event, there is no real need to make a record of it.

*Sometimes, a project is best planned in both places. If that is the case, a note that the project is a dual plan (paper and electronic) is included on my project index and there is a clear division between what goes on paper and what goes on-line.

For example, I can track my weight on-line better, but I need a list of workout classes at the local YMCA in my planner.

Second, I took the budget section out of the Calendar and am tracking it with an on-line app instead.

Third, I did the same thing to the Note section that I did to Projects.

By the end, I had removed a lot of bulk from the planner, while leaving the heart of the planner intact.

Here's what I removed:

Finally, I had to cut down the tabs some, as the Flourish is not as wide as the Boston.

My planner is so light now, making it way easier to carry around!

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Wanda said...

I have order a flourish. It was $15 on th FC website. Great deal and included undated inserts.

Anonymous said...

The Flourish is really pretty and would have definitely used it if I didn't work in a boring bank. I've seen it on your sidebar links and always admired it.

Giftie Etcetera said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul B said...

I'm intrigued by your combined use of the Surface Pro 3 and the FC. I was put off the surface, as it doesn't seem to use standard Windows 8, so I read that lots of MS software just won't work on it. Yet everyone I know who has one loves it. Do you hand write notes, and if you want to keep them in the FC, just print them? or does the Surface somehow convert the text to type, and then you print? I do print some notes in my Personal FF, but I usually print an A4 page landscape, and I have a template I made with a text box, that does three pages, in a trifold, which I then trim with just 4 cuts and punch it.I've really enjoyed your blog, lots of very practical and useful ideas. (Which you'd expect from a lawyer ;) )

Giftie Etcetera said...

I am a boring lawyer, but I can't stand a boring planner, so I just glare at other lawyers giving judgy looks! Ha!

Giftie Etcetera said...

Paul B.,

My legal notes are handwritten, on the Surface (in OneNote, backed up to OneDrive), while on a split screen with Westlaw. My personal notes are keep in the planner and I don't type those. Basically, it either goes in my planner, or it goes on my Surface. Never both!

I do my daily planning on work days in OneNote. I just double click on the pen to download the daily template, and hand write my notes on the daily template. They automatic archive in OneDrive.

The Surface can be used as a tablet with Windows 8.1, but ANY program runs in laptop mode (so Word, Access, Google Chrome, etc.).

Keep checking in here. I'll be exploring the balance between electronic planning and paper planning a ton this year.

Songbird said...

For those who are ordering this planner from where it's on clearance, be advised that it now NO LONGER comes with a full year of weekly inserts - that's what i was told by a rep when I discovered most of them were missing. :-( He said they only include a few samples of the weeklies now. They did still include all the monthlies, forms, etc.

Giftie Etcetera said...

Thank you for the update, Songbird. That is so sad. :( The inserts were the best (though they are not what I am currently using).

Paul B said...

Thanks for the clarification. I also use OneNote a great deal, both for lists of things to do, and for PhD research, quotes, references, things to add in, etc. I'm not sure I understand your daily template. Is that in One Note? if so, it it a Surface Pro thing? I don't think I've ever seen a daily template in the menus, but it sounds interesting. I mainly use Outlook for calendar tasks. I hand-write them into my DPP sheets, but print my Monthly Outlook calendar, trim the top and bottom and punch it. I annotate changes in pen, and when it looks untidy because there's too much handwriting, I print a new copy. It's simple, and doesn't have a lot of overhead. I'm a big believer in keeping things simple, so they work. I experimented with printing and designing my own inserts, but for Personal size, the overhead is colossal. Much easier in A5, which I would go back to if I had a job that required it again. I'll keep visiting, and look forward to some of your thoughts on the digital-analogue relationship. Happy new year!

Giftie Etcetera said...

Yes, Paul, Surface Pro 3 lets me draw a square around anything on-line and make it a template.

KariP said...

Yup, planner reset. For all the busy stuff from Thanksgiving through the New Year, I was comfortably enjoying the larger rings in my KS Wellesley zip. The only New Year's resolution I've made is to put my planner on a diet. Mission accomplished. Scored a FC Compact 365, wonderfully lighter, for a thrifty $1.50, thinned out my Project and File sections. Only problem, only 1 pen loop. Enter the binder clip hack (thank you Kent fro Oz). Looking forward to working with this. Fingers crossed.