How To Put Your Planner On A Diet (With Video Link) | Giftie Etcetera: How To Put Your Planner On A Diet (With Video Link)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

How To Put Your Planner On A Diet (With Video Link)

Somehow, while I wasn't paying attention, my ring-bound planner got fat.

Now, I'm a pretty big girl, so I usually don't complain about fat. I work out and I eat lots of vegetables, but staying under 200 pounds is a constant struggle. So is carrying a fat planner! Am I right?

Recently, I lost 10 pounds...and I am pretty sure that my planner gained 10 inches.

(I measure inches like Crowley, so that's probably an exaggeration.)

(Double extra points if you know what that last sentence meant.)

For 2015, I streamlined my planner to make it light and easy to carry again.


Use Lighter Binders

Consider the exterior weight when deciding which planner to buy or use.

My Franklin Covey Boston is a creamy blue leather planner. It smells and looks amazing. But it is wider than most FC compact planners and it has generous rings. Plus, it is just heavy, even empty.

My FC Flourish is skinnier in width (but still holds compact pages) and is lighter, made of a fabric and vinyl material combination. 

I switched back to the Flourish.

Bonus: The vinyl exterior wipes clean and requires no care.

Limit Writing Instruments

I only use two pens - one for writing and one for highlighting completed items.

TIP: Instead of color coding, create visual codes that attract the eye, but don't require extra pens, like circling, underlining, boxes, little slashes, etc.


No slash = you
// = partner/spouse
/// = Child #3
//// = Child #4

Nothing = you
W = Work
P = Personal

Nothing = you
O = Household
* = Work
! = Important

Don't Carry Too Much Spare Paper

I rarely carry more than 10 extra pieces of paper. I don't ever remember running out of space to write, even during conferences and other busy days.

TIP: Have a little basket with blank, holed-punched planner paper near wherever the planner rests at night. When you put your planner away, add more paper from that basket if you've used any during the day.

Only Carry Projects or Files That Need To Be On The Go

If a project or file is necessary on the go, put it in the planner. 

For example, my medical prescription list and my exercise logs need to go out of the house with me.

But things like old birthday party plans? They are useful, when planning another party, but I don't need them all the time.

TIP: For things that are best tracked electronically, like addresses, do that. For things best written out, like birthday party plans, use an old, cheap planner in the same size (or binder clips) to file those items together.

TIP: If unsure of the usefulness of a section, take pictures of sections before discarding.

TIP: If a section is truly home-based (like "where gifts are stored" notes or housecleaning schedules), store them at home. Don't carry them everywhere!

Use A Future Section

If there is a good future section, planners should not need more than 3 months of weeklies or 1 month of dailies. 

TIP: Use daily pages only when they are necessary. (For me, that's about 4 days a week.)

Use Page Markers Sparingly

A bonus advantage of using page markers sparingly is that it will be easier to find everything.

I only use them on my monthly and current weekly spread.

TIP: If magnetic page markers are used to keep several pages together, use them on the same page as the page marker, so that no extra width is added to the planner.

Replace ABC Files With Indexing

I know this is heresy in the planner world. But I cannot justify all the space and weight that address ABC tabs take up, when I can just do the Step 4 in this post. Seriously.

I did a video overview of my planner changes here, so go watch.



Havok said...

I have yet to experience the phenomena that is a "fat planner", but I have a feeling I will get there soon! I don't keep too much extra in my planner, beyond daily pages, grocery lists, a few notes, goal sheets, and coupons. My rings are about full, but nowhere near bursting. It will be a sad day when I have to take stuff out of it, for space, but keeping more than a month of daily pages at a time (previous few weeks and current week) really is silly. :)

insilico said...

eh eh :) glad to see that your planner has gone on a diet too. Remember my post with the oh so scary question "Do I need this all the time with me? ". It still is my rule for On the go planners :)

The Paradox of An Organized Scientist

KariP said...

Planner diet: - 12 pages. Not so good.