How to Keep Separate Personal and Work Planners Without Getting Overwhelmed | Giftie Etcetera: How to Keep Separate Personal and Work Planners Without Getting Overwhelmed

Sunday, April 16, 2017

How to Keep Separate Personal and Work Planners Without Getting Overwhelmed

It's been a while, but I'm back writing about planners. Something a little pesky got in the way - my new job!

planner, planners, work, time management, productivity

I actually love my new job. It perfect for a lawyer who loves blogging. I'm working part-time as a IT attorney.

But it leaves me less spare time for my favorite hobby - blogging about planners. Boo!!!

Now that I'm in a groove with work and home (and, full truth here, now that I hired a slew of babysitters and a housekeeping service), I have time to sit and type at my laptop again. (P.S. Housekeepers are way cheaper than I had imagined.)

It seemed fitting, then, that I tell you how I am using two planners - a work planner and my trusty personal planner - without experiencing The Overwhelm.

You are familiar with The Overwhelm, right?

It happens when your personal planner notes that you have a dentist appoint at 10 a.m. and your work planner notes that you are giving a seminar all day. When do you realize? Over your morning coffee. At work. At 9:30. After the seminar has started without you and too late to avoid paying missed appointment fees to your dentist!

It's the reason I stuck with one planner for so long. But, honestly, I have so much to do and coordinate at work that I need two different planners.

So I'm making two planners work with a few simple rules!

Rule 1: Always write in the correct planner.

If something is personal (e.g., drop off dry cleaning), it goes in my Franklin ring-bound planner.

If I have to do something for work (e.g., upload Form 324 by Friday), it goes in my work planner.

Rule 2: Carry the personal planner everywhere, including work.

Look, it's not that important that I bring my work planner home, unless I am planning to work for home (something that I still do often). But my personal planner? Of course I need it at work! What if a friend wants to go for dinner or my doctor calls to give me instructions? Those things happen at work, no matter how much I am focused on my job. So I keep my personal planner with me.

Rule 3: If something happens outside of normally scheduled work hours for work, DUPLICATE it in your personal planner. If something personal must happen during work hours, DUPLICATE it in your work planner.

Next weekend is my office picnic. It is totally work-related, but if I hadn't noted it in my personal planner, I wouldn't have known that it conflicts with my soccer game.

Also, sometimes I have to schedule an appointment during work hours. Obviously, the time off and the note to request time off has to go in my work planner. But I still note "dentist" in my personal planner, in case I want to look back and see when I went.

Plus, following the rule of duplicating really does keep me from stupidly forgetting about something. It's easier to follow Rule 3 even when it seems silly to duplicate because writing in both planners becomes a habit and leads to fewer mistakes.

If you are using two planners, let me know how you do it in the comments!


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Tanya Patrice said...

Glad you're back! For appts. I have to keep a digital calendar and sync work & personal on my phone so I can see both appts. and if there are any conflicts.

Unknown said...

I use a letter sized work planner and a mini planner that's comparable to a Filofax in size. I follow the same rules as you--duplicate the entry if it affects the work done by either planner. This especially happens when I have frequent evening fundraising events. I duplicate even if it "feels silly" and I also don't glorify the busy. Just because there's white space doesn't mean both planners aren't fully functional.

Unknown said...

Good info here. Thanks! And welcome back!

pergotta said...

Love your posts, they are an inspiration for me to be more productive!

Cori Large said...

Welcome back! Congrats on the new job. I recently hired a cleaning lady too, and she's cheaper than I expected as well.

Anna said...

Glad to see you back. :) I've missed your posts.

I don't keep a separate planner, but I do keep school things on spreadsheets on my computer. If I have something that is date or time sensitive, it goes in my calendar. We do a couple co-op classes and a Taekwondo class. I also need to block out school time on my daily pages. That keeps me aware of how much other stuff I can really plan to accomplish in a day.

Jaime Barfield said...

I use three planners now. One is on my desk, one I carry, and then my work planner. My desk planner is to break down my days. The one I carry is just a simple monthly calendar in a travelers notebook with the books for lists, notes, etc. My work planner simply states work hours, appts related to work. Anything personal that will keep me from making an appt for work I write in a lighter color in my work planner. that way I know it is there, but I also know it isn't work related without having to read it.

Michelle said...

I also use separate work and home planners. I agree with what you posted. I have set work hours so the only personal things that go in my work planner are appointments that happen during the work day and vacation/sick days. I add any work things to my personal planner that require a change in my schedule or if I need to dress differently that day, such as if I get subpoenaed to court. Otherwise they are completely separate. I do carry my personal planner every day to and from work. I normally bring my work planner home as well, mostly out of habit, but sometimes I need to check my schedule and don't want to have log into our system with the multiple layers of security just to see who my first appointment of the day is. I struggled initially with having two, but there's just too much that I'm tracking in both and my job requires a lot of confidentiality so I can't put some information in my personal planner (such as the names of my appointments). Thank you for sharing. This helps me feel like I'm on track/reinforces that I'm doing it well. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I feel so much more focused and clear keeping separate planners. I made a post "Running a Work and Personal Planner" recently at vanilla folders if you or anyone is interested. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your new job! :)

Heather at vanilla folders

Anonymous said...

Yeah! Welcome back, Kristie. Oh, how I've missed your planner posts.

My work and personal planning systems have always been separate. Personal/household/ wallet is managed in a Filofax pocket Malden and work (which is heavily task-centric) is a bullet journal in a grid Moleskine notebook. It never ever leaves my desk and only comes home with me if I have to work remotely from home (like if we're going to get a snowstorm the next day)

Personal things that happen during work hours like dr. appts, having to leave early, etc. do go in my work journal. I rarely have anything work related that has to go into my personal planner. I just could never mesh the two and I don't ever want to, unless I was self employed. But as long as I work for someone else, that part of me stays at the office and doesn't come home with me nor does my personal infiltrate the work journal which allows me to always leave it open on my desk and appropriate for my boss' eyes!

Mary Wimbley said...

Hey, long time no read! Welcome back, even though it's belated. I haven't been on Blogger in awhile myself.

I've been using three planners as well. My setup is similar to Jaime's (desk planner for home, traveler's notebook for wallet and on-the-go, and a work planner). However, I've been re-evaluating my system to see if I can simplify it in some way. Mainly, I've been debating the need for a dedicated work planner, considering I carry both it and my personal planner to work anyway, and I find myself not using the work planner very much. To be honest, I wanted to use it because it has the GNTC logo on it and it's so pretty. lol

I've been considering color-coding work vs. personal items in my personal planner and possibly using the work planner cover for something else. I've been trying to decide if I want to dedicate a planner to writing-related activities, or if I can simply include them in my home desk planner. The possibilities are endless. I'm sure I'll figure it out. ;)

Thanks as always for the awesome tips! No matter what I decide, I will at the very least continue to work on syncing the info in all my planners so nothing falls through the cracks. Hope to see more posts soon!

PS--Congrats on the new job! :)

SassySmith said...

I was just looking here for this topic, so glad I found you via Pinterest!!!! Unfortunately, my work planner is public record; i.e., someone can request them for court or other purposes, so I am very leery about putting personal information; therefore, I’ve started using sticky notes to record my personal appointments in my work planner. My work gives me my planner, so I’m not fortunate enough to “build my own that works”. I’m still working through a system for my personal planner that works for me, 2 kids, hubby, dogs & tons of craft & home improvement projects, but I’m finding some amazing ideas here I’m incorporating!!!!!