Planning for 2014 – Part 1 Review of 2013 Planners

I’m experiencing complete planner paralysis. I really can’t decide which type (or types) of planner and planning tools I want to use for 2014. One thing I know with absolute certainty is I need some form of paper planner, especially for To Do lists.

I thought I’d start by reviewing the planning tools and systems I used in 2013.

Filos

Up until July, I used an A4 Filofax for work and an A5 Filo for home. I also carried a personal Filo in my handbag. During the year the range I used changed but never the size. I also had some A5 Filos set up for separate topics like book reviews and beauty lists but I never really used them on a regular basis.

My A5 home Filo was mainly used as my daily To Do list. I did have sections for planning, social media and expenses but I only used the expenses section. For the To Do list I used colour coding but it was more about functionality than aesthetics.

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The colour coding was a useful way for me to think about each category and whether I had any items to do for that category – a colour prod of sorts.

I added in a month and weekly overview page and I recorded my appointments on these. There was some duplication with my personal Filo but nothing unmanageable.

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Then after July it all changed. Obviously I didn’t need the A4 work Filo anymore but I found I wasn’t using my A5 for planning either. Quite simply, the form of planner I was using was too functional for me so it didn’t suit my wants.

At the time, I was watching a lot of YouTube videos about Home Management Binders and, as a newly-appointed homemaker/SAHM, I thought that would perhaps suit my new life better. I went on Pinterest and Etsy for printables (mostly Etsy since I don’t understand how Pinterest works) but never got round to setting up the binder. However I did start using daily dockets which I printed and inserted into an ARC binder. But it still wasn’t working.
For the month of October I tried some electronic apps for planning and To Dos but I just couldn’t get to grips with them. However I did make an e-change. For years I used a paper calendar for appointments. In October my husband gave me my early Christmas present of an iMac. Since I already have a Macbook I soon discovered the beauty of iCal. For some reason if I inserted appointments into my phone I never trusted I’d recorded them properly but if I type them using a computer I somehow have that confidence. (Similarly, I always trusted my computer calendar at work but didn’t trust appointments in my Blackberry.) At the end of October my mobile phone contract came up for renewal and I had no hesitation in ordering the iphone 5C. I did debate getting the iPhone 5S but the thumbprint technology scared me somewhat.

Anyhoo, back to To Dos. I was using a variety of Daily Dockets trying to decide which one worked best for me but nothing suited me exactly. Well, if Philofaxy has taught me anything, it’s if something isn’t the way you want it, create your own. So I did.

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I also made this comb bound planner for the months of November and December including a monthly overview page and some menu planning pages.

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After a while I tweaked the Daily Docket to make it more relevant to me. In particular I added a section of my daily routine tasks which I didn’t want to add to my To Dos but need to get done.

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I also set up a Project Planner in an ARC binder which included my home projects, my blog/social media planner, studying and other projects but I found I didn’t naturally use it so I need to do some thinking around this for 2014.

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Well that was quite a long-winded review of my 2013 in planners.

I will be sticking with iCal for appointments which means I’ve retired my personal Filo from my handbag – although I’m tempted to use it just as a very pretty notebook.

Generally I like the Daily Dockets but the Planner I created didn’t give me enough scope for long-term or strategic planning. It also seemed quite separate from the other planning tools I’d set up. I want to have some system for proper planning of home projects and study etc and I’d like, oh I don’t know, I’d like to set up a coherent system that works. Gotta dream the dream.