Changes to my planning system

I have been using a paper-based planning system for several years. During much of that time I’ve used two notebooks concurrently. My primary planner is where I keep a weekly appointment calendar, tasks, and notes. Separately, I carry a pocket notebook everywhere, where I make lists, sketch ideas, and take notes on the go.

Large planner (5.5×8.5 inches)

The challenge of my system is that the planning notebook is too large to easily carry everywhere. But when I only have the pocket notebook, I can’t see my schedule for the week, which includes work and personal appointments.

Microsoft OneNote

Last week I tried keeping all of my work notes on Microsoft OneNote. OneNote is a note-taking app that organizes notes into sections and notebooks. OneNote lets you easily add text, images, and links quickly anywhere on a page. Microsoft offers different versions of OneNote for phones, tablets, online, and the desktop. I use the desktop version as it seems to have the most functionality.

Using OneNote worked well. Now that I won’t need space for notes in a weekly spread, I decided to setup my calendar and task list in my pocket notebook instead. Moleskine sells a planner that is 3.5×5.5 inches, so “micro planning” evidently is sufficiently popular for commercial products.

Weekly spread in pocket planner (3.5×5.5 inches)

Experimental Status

I am going to try this new approach from July to September. Using Excel, I planned out how the 80 pages of my pocket notesbooks could be allocated. If everything works out, I should still have ample space to take the kinds of random notes I currently add to my pocket journals and also have space for weekly planning.

Page allocation for 80-page pocket planner
  • Shopping – lists of things to buy (groceries, tools, office supplies)
  • Scratch Planning – space to plan specific trips, mostly local
  • Calendar – one-page annual calendar for 2022
  • Weeks – two-page spreads (calendar and tasks) for each week

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