Planner Hack: Left-Handed Planning | Giftie Etcetera: Planner Hack: Left-Handed Planning

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Planner Hack: Left-Handed Planning

I love my Loyal Readers, but the lefties hold a special place in my heart. So much of the modern world is geared toward right-handed people, and planners are no exception!

From right-side only pen loops to planners with the bulk of the calendar on the left (making rings a physical problem for writers) to inks that smudge, lefties often have special issues to contend with when planning.

(We are also more creative, smarter, and, if I do say so myself, more attractive. But, shhh, don't tell our right-handed friends!)

There are some simple ways to deal with the problems that lefties face when using a planner.

(Maybe even some righties will appreciate these tips. Let me know in the comments if you do.)

Dedicate a Space on the Left for the Pen

In my Franklin Covey Flourish, I simply attach the pen to the left pocket.

TIP: If there is more than one pen in the planner, put the one used more often to the left.

Choose Ink Carefully

Everybody already knew that, right? My Frixions don't smudge, but if you prefer something more permanent, read the comments to this post.

Rearrange Tabs to Place Calendar Pages in the Middle

There is no law that says calendar pages must go first. Putting the pages in the middle of the planner spread minimizes the pain-in-the-booty-ness of the rings. (Pain-in-the-booty-ness is a completely legit term.) 

(Also, though I am a lawyer, this is not to be construed as legal advice. I am not YOUR lawyer.) 

(My lawyer made me say that last part!)

Pick a Layout with Focus on the External Edges of the Page

See an excellent example with Plan Ahead pages here.

Because the middle of my spread is reserved for unimportant tasks and page markers with task sticky notes on them (that remove easily for writing), I rarely have to fight with the rings.

Waste Space

This sounds counter intuitive, but waste a little space, like I did in the first picture on my dashboard, between the rings and the writing area. Visually, the planner will look less cluttered (and therefore less stress-inducing), plus the rings stay tucked out of the way.

Remove Inserts for Serious Writing and Decorating

Personally, I never remove inserts to write on them. But other lefties tell me that this is a fine thing to do, and as they are well-acquainted with the pain-in-the-booty-ness of rings, I say go for it if the urge strikes!

Change the Planner's Home to the Left Side of the Work Space

Nothing changes a leftie's world like having the writing area of a work space on the left. Don't try to fit into the rightie dominated culture. Go ahead and place the planner to the left of the computer.

(Yes, I blog from my kitchen table and a small side desk. I can get away with it because I'm so cool, being a leftie and all.)

Leftie-fy Everything

Why stop with a planner?

Leftie-fy (again, yes, totally a word...I should write a dictionary) the desktop of the computer. I put my daily docket on the left instead of the right.

TIP: In OneNote, choose the View tab, then Dock to Desktop. Once docked, hover over the very top edge of the docket, press there (with pen or mouse) and hold, while dragging to the far left corner. The docket will NOT appear to move, but when the press is released, it will be docked on the left. After that, OneNote2013 will remember the left side preference.

Leftie-fy the kitchen, so that stirring spoons and spoon rests are on the left.

Leftie-fy the mouse. (I don't use a mouse anymore, due to having a Surface Pro 3 touch tablet and a pen that serves as a mouse. But even if I did, I've spent 40 years in a right-handed world, so I probably couldn't actually make this switch.)

Leftie-fy your bathroom (make-up on the left is easier to pick up), your remote controls (who says they always have to be convenient for your husband?), and your clothes closet (where I bet you are putting most frequently used stuff on the right without thinking about it.)

This doesn't seem like much of a hack. But try it and I promise that you will love never dealing with pain-in-the-booty-ness again!


If you enjoyed this post, please share on Pinterest or Facebook with your leftie friends and family.


KariP said...

Hi Fellow Leftie, I call myself a leftie even though I'm mostly ambidextrous. Most things I can do with the right hand, sometimes with more control, except write on paper. Your tip of putting the calendar in the middle, has,a twofold benefit for me. 1) The rings are easier to work around. 2) I use FC Compact size calendar pages in a FF personal binder. So with the calendar in the middle, my month tabs do not get squooshed by either the pens (your 2 pen thing) or the strap. That, would trigger my OCD. The paper sizes don't bother me. Love my month tabs too much. Love my Saffiano. This is working.
Oh, while moving things around, I worked in a major diet. So we are now slim, sleek, and svelte. Wish my weight loss was this easy.

Tita Mama said...

The rings drive me crazy--I'm right handed. Moving the calendar to the middle works miracles.

Havok said...

I used to keep my mouse on the left (even though I'm right handed) so I would have more room for my keyboard!
I very much dislike writing on the left side of the pages unless they're so far in, simply because the pockets on the left of the planner do not sit as flat as they ought! To combat this, I keep a few spare note pages under my dashboard - to add the bulk to get the next section (daily section) to lie flat, and have scratch paper right up front! Win-win :)

Miller Family said...

Also a lefty ! Everything is on the left here . I am the only lefty in the family but I do dishes left to right, clothes on the the left side of the closet and drawers etc. My planner sits to my right on the couch only because I sit on the left lol . It really works out since hubby is a righty all of his crap goes to the right.