Rethinking My Planner System

I can’t believe there are just three months left in 2015. Where did this year go? For the better part of 2015, I’ve been using my Midori Traveler’s notebook for planning. My Midori has three inserts in it: a notebook in the front that was supposed to be for personal projects, a center insert with my planner calendar and an insert in the back for sketching.

While I love the size and format of the MTN, and I did find fabulous weekly planner pages, things are starting to get a little out of control, organizationally speaking.

What’s ended up happening is that I tend to open the MTN to whatever blank page appears and start writing, so notes have gotten all jumbled. There are work notes in the sketchbook, grocery lists in the personal projects and just general chaos on the calender. I’m also running out of space in the weekly calendar to include all the various projects, to-dos and lists that I am needing to keep up with each day. I now understand what people mean about their planner system breaking down.

I need more space per page for planning. I need a place to take work-related notes that can then be collected or moved into specific projects. I need to have a more dedicated method for organizing blog content and personal projects. All of this is making me want to return to a ring-bound planner. However, I think that my current job assignments and life projects need something more spacious than the traditional personal size. I think I’m going to make the leap into the A5-sized planner.

rethinking my planner system

A switch to A5 will require new inserts and rethinking whether a week-on-two-pages will work. Not to mention I must now choose a new binder.

Great posts to re-started:

I think I’ll pair the new turquoise Domino with my Uni Style Fit in black with white dots and maybe a Zebra Mildliner in Mild Violet? And I might need a silver Binder Clip.

Are you happy with your current planning system? Are you working through it or ready to make a change?

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11 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I actually just switched up my system too! I decided to stop trying to force the Hobonichi to work and I moved back into a basic, spiral-bound weekly planner for my actual planning and have been using a Field Notes for daily to do’s and notes. So much better for me. Glad you are figuring things out! And that is a super cute Filofax!

  2. Oooh, how exciting to change to a new planner! Will look forward to seeing what you decide on. 🙂 Yes, I’m very happy with my planner — but I had to make it myself to get everything I wanted. I’ll be making a minor tweak to the weekly page layout in 2016, but otherwise, I’ve been happy with everything. Here’s a link to the three posts in which I talk about it:

    – Tina

  3. Have you ever considered Levenger’s Circa notebooks? With the easy to move pages, plus add-ons like divider pages, it might do. The junior size would be closer to MTN, but still a bit larger.

    I got a junior Circa (when they had a special deal) but I haven’t put it to use yet. I was going to take it on a trip to the Kansas Cosmosphere, but now I don’t know if that will happen in 2015.

  4. I’m also a Circa system user and I love it. I have the junior size and a little travel punch. Moving pages around with ease has helped me keep everything organized for work and personal projects. Circa is the first planner system I’ve kept up. Good luck in your planner search!

    1. And quickly wanted to note I’ve not had much problem with various fountain pen inks (I use f nibs with the planner) and I have a dedicated multi pen that travels with it

  5. Ahoj Ana, I also recently switched my planning system. For some years I used a A6 weekly planner from Moleskine, but now switched over to a X17. X17 (also X47) is a German brand that makes modular leather planners and notebooks. And depending on the version you choose, they also have a nice price. All notebooks/calenders in it are held by rubber bands and can be easily exchanged. I like this better than any standard Moleskine, Filofax or whatever and much more than ring-books, since the X17 is more flattish. — So, I’m curious about you upcoming posts and your final planer. 🙂

    Adieu. — Stefan

    PS: By the way…I’m not employed by X17…I just really like this system and bought A5 notebook, a A6 planner and a A8 ‘index card holder’…they call it MindPapers. 🙂

  6. For the last year and a half I’ve used the M by Staples ARC system 9.5 x 11.5 binder with the weekly/monthly refill for my planner. I like being able to customize the planner with various inserts. I also have the Levenger portable punch so I can add my own documents.

    Recently, I discovered the Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI) 18 month planner and am enjoying the design and ability to customize it. It is also a discbound system.

    As a lefty I don’t have an issue with the discbound planners. For years I struggled with ring binders and eventually would stop using them.

    I also use the regular size Midori TN for journaling and Field Notes for jotting down notes, online purchases, wish lists, etc. I keep the Field Notes Winter 2014 Ambition (Chocolate) planner in my purse for tracking appointments. I actually made a Field Notes size Midori style cover for the FN planner and love it!

    Recently, I’ve had my eye on the Inkwell Press planner. However, the MAMBI is a much more affordable option. There are soo many options out there!

  7. I recently changed my system, too. There seems to be a lot of us. I used a weekly Moleskine A6 (I think) but then I retired and I realized that I wanted more room for stickers, sketches, lists, different colors, etc. I have a desk planner in beautiful turquoise faux leather 9×7 with the week on one side and the facing page is for notes and sketches. It is no longer business like at all! I love it.

  8. I just ordered a 2016 Leuchtturm1917 planner from Goulet Pens. Although I happily keep my calendar and recurring tasks in Outlook, I’ve found over the past year or so that a purely electronic solution isn’t for me. This is my first tryout of Leuchtturm (this year I’ve been using a regular lined journal and a loose variation of the Bullet Journal format) and your review post a while back was part of what convinced me that the Leuchtturm’s layout could work well for me.

  9. Although I love my basic setup, I am working to change a few things:

    Over the last couple years, I’ve been using the DIYFish inserts and love them. Switching from an A5 to personal, these inserts seem to give me more room for writing than most. She came out with some new layouts this year, so I’ve been playing around with them. But I think I’ve finally settled on a format I love for next year.

    My other issue is that, no matter how much I clean it out, my planner is always really chunky. Right now, I’m in a Franklin Covey with 1″ rings, and it’s pretty much full. I think I may have to head over to YouTube to see what other people put in theirs. Good luck with your planner remodel.

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