Using the Limited Space on a Monthly Planner Spread Efficiently | Giftie Etcetera: Using the Limited Space on a Monthly Planner Spread Efficiently

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Using the Limited Space on a Monthly Planner Spread Efficiently

Monthly planner spreads are set up like a traditional calendar.

At least in America, weeks start on Sundays (though weekly spreads in America usually start on Mondays). The squares are really too small to pack any significant amount of information on them.

I've devised a simple hack that makes the most of a monthly spread so that all necessary information can be captured on the page.



planner, planners, monthly spread, monthlies, calendar


I only put appointments and major due dates on my monthly spread, in order to make sure I have an overview of my appointments. That saves a lot of space, as tasks go on my weekly spreads.

But my hack saves even more space in five easy steps.

1. After I write an appointment, I write an asterisk (*) before it if it has accompanying details (like an address, an item I need to take with me, or a special note). The asterisk indicates that there is more information on my information list.


EXAMPLE: On the 3rd of August, my kid (Loki, hence the L) has lab work at 8 a.m. He can eat but cannot take his meds that morning.


IN THE BOX DATED THE 3RD -

*8a - L lab

2. I reserve a space (on the spread in the picture, the column to the left that I refer to as my information list) for details.


3. I write an asterisk (*) and the number that corresponds to the date on the calendar followed by the details.


EXAMPLE: In the example below, the 3 stands for the 3rd of August.


ON THE INFORMATION LIST -

*3 - no meds until after

4. If two appointments in one block have details, the second appointment gets two asterisks (**).


EXAMPLE: After lab work on the 3rd of August, my kid (Ander, hence the A) has a playdate and needs to bring some toys with him.


ON THE INFORMATION LIST -

*3 - no meds until after
**3 - bring Xbox controller

5. I don't worry about the order in the reserved space, so a note for the 3rd might be followed by a note from the 10th and 23th before a second note from the 3rd. It doesn't matter because there is only one month worth of notes, so it's easy to find the corresponding note.


EXAMPLE: After lab work on the 3rd of August, my kid (Ander, hence the A) has a playdate and needs to bring some toys with him.


ON THE INFORMATION LIST -

*3 - no meds until after
*10 - HR, not gym
*23 - Parents Only!
**3 - bring Xbox controller

It's a simple trick that maximizes the limited space on a monthly spread.

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5 comments:

Katie @ Cup of Tea said...

Oh what a great idea! I don't like to clutter up the monthly spread so this works perfect for me!

Weekend Wife said...

Fantastic hack. Those monthly boxes don't offer enough room and I loathe having to double-space something. Unfortunately, my Franklin Covey undated monthly inserts don't have a margin for information/notes, but I can certainly try to tweak this concept.

I just love all your posts. They've been such an inspiration and I've linked you in one of my blog posts on my planner set up. Thank you again so much!

mrandisg said...

I'm using small sticky notes on my monthly pages. I do have a notes section on the right margin, but it's tiny, and I tend to write a little big. I may or may not use it. Right now, the sticky notes work for me.

I'm currently using them for reminders of things I need to follow up on this month that don't have an exact date set (scheduling my kid's health exams, shopping for car insurance since my rate went up). This way, I can move the note to a specific date when I am ready to do so (for instance, I went ahead and moved insurance shopping to today, since I realized I can do that this afternoon!).

Ironically, right now I am looking at my monthly spread and I see an appointment that could use some notation as far as what to bring with me that day, so hey, now I have an excuse to try out the notes margin and see if I like it! If not, I can always slap a sticky note over it. lol

Thanks as always for your fantastic tips! :)

Patricia said...

That's a great tip, thanks for sharing! I have only recently started using a monthly spread (was doing weekly only before, and mostly just for tasks) and I am getting some difficulties with dealing with the limited space.

Lara Neves said...

I love this idea, thank you for sharing it. I am always writing the details on the spread, which means I run out of room quite quickly. This will work wonderfully.