My life seems to be full of little things to remember, what day the bins go out for example. Where I live we have 2 separate main bins, a black bin for household waste (anything un-recyclable) that gets emptied once a fortnight all year round, a green bin (for garden waste) that gets emptied every fortnight (in rotation from my black bin) from April to November, then there’s the recycling boxes that get emptied each week (plastics, glass and metal) and the cardboard bag on top, which gets emptied on alternate weeks. If that wasn’t enough there is my weekly work rota where I am on a 4 weekly rotation to work until 5pm once a week, my nail appointments, hair dyeing sessions (I like to keep that up once a month), remembering to clean my make-up brushes, track where I am with the Marie Kondo method of tidying, courses I have enrolled on, car maintenance and MOT, dog worming, hospital appointments and so many other little things that need to slot in together to make my life work and run a bit smoother.
So, how do I plan these things? I had, for the last year been using the day to a page inserts from Filofax, but some days found that I was cramming too much information into the days that I had a bit of a data overload, and other days where I had practically nothing planned at all, an found I was forgetting the little things that needed doing, or that I wanted to do but hadn’t planned any time for. I sat down and thought about how best to start planning, and remembering the little plans, looking at what other inserts may be useful to me and my life. I looked at the system that I had been using and then at several other options that were available (week on a page, week on 2 pages, month on a page, month on 2 pages, year on a page), there were so many options available. I dismissed some of the formats quite quickly – the week on 2 pages seemed like too much space for me to fill, and year on a page and month on a page for the opposite reason, not enough space. After looking at each example and a lot of procrastination, I finally chose a month on 2 pages to help me plan these “events”.
Here’s a view of what my January Month on 2 pages looks like currently…
I have color coded the squares for birthdays and other “concrete” dates using colored pencils (blue for boys birthday, pink for girls birthday, purple for pay day)… and have then written in, using different colored inks, my plans (orange for personal, green for work, pink for courses and goals reached, black for waste, blue for blog, and red for other (this month my car’s MOT) on days that I need.
The Month on 2 pages layout is working really well for me, I can see, at a glance, what I am doing and when, how all my rotas and routines fit together and where I have “spare” time. I like the little section to the side, I don’t know what it is called technically but I call it my “Monthly List” where I note down exactly what the colored squares for the month refer to, it adds further information to the page without taking up space on the gridded section of the pages. It has become the first page I consult day to day, to see what I need to be doing and what I may have planned.
I find it useful to keep my Filofax open on this page on my desk in work and at home beside me just so I can remember the little things that need doing.
I am using a Temperley for Filofax as my current planner (read more here… )
Next month, on my blog, I shall be talking about my favorite pens for planning, so if you are interested in the pens that I have used in my planner, come by then!