Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dream Planners

Have y'all ever sat down with pen and paper and worked out how you would design your "dream planner'? I mean, if you could have a planner, and it was designed perfectly to meet your needs, what would it look like?

I keep trying to make lists (both in my Filofax and on the gorgeous, open, white pages of my Planner Pad whose biggest drawback is those infernal appt. slots) about exactly what I need/want in a planner.

This is what I wrote in my Planner Pad the other day:

*How I Use My Planner
make daily log/notes including weather and gratitude lists (I started doing this every day. A few weeks ago, I got bored with it and quit, but then I missed being able to go back and look through it. It's really fun to look back at what my days were like. Some days when I was subbing I was grateful for 3:00 haha)
attach ephemera (I like to attach notes from my kids or my mom, letters from friends, things the kids give me, tickets (If I ever went anywhere). I usually do this with Washi Tape or stickers)
things my kids say/do
random note making

*How To Make My Planner Better
plenty of space to write (I make random notes during the day, like thoughts, questions, book quotes, how to make my planner work better, etc.)
space to attach things
get rid of appt. time slots (I seriously hate these. I might have 1-2 appts. like every 3 or 4 months)
nice thick paper so I can use various types of pens
probably spirally bound, because I can bend one side back and spread my craziness all over both pages (I LOVE LOVE LOVE when the pages get all written and drawn over!)

My perfect planner is the perfect planner for random thinking, short attention span, high on caffeine coffee (the elixir of life) loving, one fry short of a Happy Meal  one oar short of a rowboat eccentric, likes to play with pens/markers/stickers folks like me. I'd say the creative type, but I'm not so creative any more.

Any way, I'd love to hear if you've done this (admit it, there's no judging here), and what you came up with if you did. If you think I'm crazy--1. Join the club 2. Hush your mouth, this is my blog and I'll write what I want :O)


  1. Hmmm, sounds like a ringed system would work better for including ephemera (love that by the way) like kid notes and stuff. You could just hole punch 'em & stick 'em in, move stuff around at will, etc.

    Maybe the, oh...I don't know...FILOFAX A5 plain paper (or lined if you need lines - colored paper even) which you can just date & doodle on, etc?

    Or I hear it's really easy to make your own A5 inserts (because A5 is half of a standard sheet of paper)...I'm sure one of the Philo-friends could offer help on that front...that way you could choose the paper you like : )

    Just thoughts off the top of my head.

  2. Interestingly, I have drawn up what I *thought* would be my Ideal Planner a few times, and each one was an Epic Fail. I tend to get too structured with planners and end up with things that are not at all fun.

    It sounds to me like you'd like a Moleskine. Not structured, plenty of space to write and draw. Either a day per page for lots of space to write each day (great if you're using it for a combined planner + journal) or weekly notebook for the week view + extra space to write.

    (Maybe I'm just biased because Moleskines are serving me well right now, and I'm hotly anticipating beginning my new XL Mole Weekly Notebook at the end of this month. I THINK it may solve all my planner issues!! Or will it??)



    i will write about mine in about a week. currently still under testing...

  4. I recon everyone should spend an hour and draw on a sheet of A4 their perfect planner then we should all show each other discuss then give out findings to Filofax or soemthing?? xxx

  5. I love how we all jump in with what we are loving at the moment : )

  6. Love this!

    Yes, I can totally relate to wanting a perfect system just for me! The thing is, at different stages of my life, I need different things from an agenda/filofax. For years, I just printed my own pages though I use it in conjunction with a variety of inserts from Daytimer portable (same as filofax personal) Flavia inserts (inserts of choice for this year).

    I am totally in agreement about the times as I am at a point in my life that timed appointments aren't as frequently needed now.

    I've been thinking about Gretchen Rubin's 'Happiness Project' these last couple of months and funnily enough, have something called 'EPHEMERA OF HAPPINESS' thing going on with my planner whereby I print out fun things (photos, drawings, etc) or use pretty stickers to decorate some of my planner pages. I add whatever makes me smile into my binder (as much as can fit while leaving me room to turn the pages)!

    Good luck with your search/tinkering for that perfect setup/binder combo!

  7. Interesting. At first I was going to suggest a Filofax A5, like Yvotchka. Plenty of room for keeping all of your extra pieces.

    But then, when you said no rings, I immediately thought of Moleskine, like Laurie. I haven't really used one though, so I don't know if it will fit your needs.

    I don't have a specific answer for you - what I use won't work for you, as a personal probably wouldn't allow for that much info. It seems like finding the perfect planner is like looking for a house - you can start with a list of everything you want, but in the end, you may have to let go of one thing or another to make a majority of the system work for you. With that said, I'm back to thinking that the A5 might serve your needs best, if you can get past the rings.

  8. Hi Rori - I've been tinkering more and more with my various notebooks. It's sort of like eternally organizing all my supplies at the start of school. New notebook set-ups, fresh pens, clean assignment book ... I love the anticipation!

    @SNARLing - OK, I'm seriously envious. I've been lusting after the Traveler's Notebook ever since I saw Patrick Ng's reviews on Scription (scription.typepad.com).

    Can't wait to see what you think of it!

  9. For me, it's about size. I know that anything larger than a pocket Filo is going to stay at home and defeat the purpose of having a planner. I like nice paper, too. (I know everyone has their own idea of nice.) I don't like those time slot thingys either. I like my day to be a blank rectangle - I'm quite capable of writing in what time my dentist appointment is, thank you very much. I need to see a week. Dailies mean stuff sneaks up on me and monthlies mean small spaces and an overwhelming amount of stuff smacks me in the face every morning. And the bane of my existence: full weekends, or rather the lack there of. Why is it so hard to find planners where Saturday and Sunday get equal time with the rest of the week? I work weekends and when my kids were at home our weekends were more complicated than weekdays. Anyway, while we dream of the perfect planner, often what we are most likely to see is what is wrong with the one we are currently using - thinking negativly. Congrats on thinking positively about what you need.

  10. I seem to be the weirdest of all the Philofaxy contingent. I use a week to 2 pages (personal), and I make it work for me. I could use more space, but I love the binder I have (just eschewed two others, making one binder work for my life all in one place) and I am too cheap to buy more inserts. Everything in one binder, in the one size that I decided I will MAKE WORK NO MATTER WHAT. Maybe my imagination is too feeble to envision what my "dream planner" would be? All I know is that I am love with my binder (a seriously used/abused ostrich personal), and am happy with how it stands now...

  11. @Yvotchka I'm still considering the A5 Filofax for the ephemera reason. I used to do that when I used Franklin Covey.

    @Laurie Thinking about Moleskine as a journal like you use yours. I'm starting to think that having one book for everything is just not going to work out. The problem with that is that then I lose things...

    @AspireToBe (I know why you have that name, because we all aspire to be you with your gorgeous rainbow of Dominos!) I love the "Ephemera of Happiness" thing! See what I mean? I love to put bits and bobs into my planner!

    @kanalt Yeah, I'm way more random and unorganized than you are! Seriously, I wish I was as organized! I think your system is a. maz. ing. Think I may get a Moleskine for a journal. Don't need perfect, need "I used it for more than 3 months" haha

    @SNARLing and Robin I need to go check out the Traveler's Notebooks!

    @Anonymous (Beverly) Wouldn't a blank rectangle be BRILLIANT? and STUPID half-day weekends! I agree!!How, in heaven's name, do you stay organized with kids/job in a POCKET SIZED planner???

    @Roanne I like the week on 2 pgs, especially the cotton cream ones! I'd love to see pictures of your planner, it's so awesome when the leather gets all worn-in and wonderful! I prefer weeklies, I've decided, but I need like *HUGE* ones I guess :)