Tuesday 1 January 2013

Planning my 2013: Part 1- Plannerisms Planner


I didn't realise how long it was since I last blogged!! Sorry guys, I will try to blog twice a week from now on ;-)

Today is New Year's Day, 01/01/13!! Happy New Year!
So it is the perfect time to tell you all about my planning and organisation for 2013! I am going to show you my planning tools and how I am going to use them :)
This is Part 1, because it is going to be really long if I write it all into 1 post! Part 2 will be about how I am going to use my Filofax for my 2013 planning!

To cut a long story short, I was in planner fail for MANY months!! I feel like I am almost out of it, but as always with coming out from the dark side of planner fail, it is taking a while to build up my organisation system again, because when I stop using my planners, as I inevitably do when I hit the murky world of PF, I don't write down any of my to-dos or anything, so the next few weeks are always difficult, especially now; not only do I have to start planning again, catch up with my life, and plan for the future, but as it's the start of the new year, I have to plan all my goals and resolutions for 2013 too!! So I am getting there, but it is all still a work-in-progress!

My Plannerisms planner:

I LOVE this planner! It is made by the lovely Laurie from Plannerisms and Philofaxy, who is amazing, as you will know from reading her blog!
Laurie has written loads of blog posts and made videos about the planner, so I won't repeat here what she said there, but I will show you how I am using it!
I chose the pink one, because although I love the purple one and have been going through a purple phase for a while, pink is my favourite colour, and if I get bored of purple, pink will still always be perfect for me :)
I use it in conjunction with my Filofax. They each have distinct purposes, but are partners-in-planning :)

I am using my Plannerisms planner (a.k.a. Plpl) for forward planning. I used to be terrible at this. At university, I only ever planned 1 day in advance. OK, it was very detailed planning, on Filofax DPP pages, and it got me through university, but it's a bit crazy that I didn't have a mental picture of anything more than 24 hours in advance! So now I have decided that I need to plan at least 1 week in advance! In fact, I would like to have some sort of picture of at least a couple of months in advance, even if it's just for goals. After all, a chess grand master sees at least 10 moves ahead, doesn't he? This is where my lovely Plpl comes in!

Forward planning on a bigger perspective: Goals!-
Laurie has focused a lot on goal planning in her planner, and on her blog- check out her latest posts about how to use the Plpl for goal planning! So she has included yearly goal planning pages, quarterly goal pages, then after each monthly grid, monthly goal planning pages. Goal planning is new for me, but it is something that I am trying to work out at the start of this year, to go with my resolutions. So I am going to figure out some yearly goals for 2013, then break them down quarterly and then monthly, which will give me a picture of what I should be trying to do in each month. So now I can see a month or 2 ahead a bit more clearly!

This month so far I have decided to focus on 2 things: sorting out my (extremely messy and cluttered) bedroom, and planning/organisation. These are goals, but they break down like projects. I will tick the check boxes once I have done them. I will probably copy out these lists into my Filofax too!
So writing my goals (and the steps to achieve them) gives me a picture of what to do in January to make progress. I think I will kind of use this as a 'theme' for January, with many of the activities planned on my weekly pages working towards my goals! I haven't decided whether to use the monthly grid to plan these goal activities, but I might do that :)

Recurring tasks scheduler-
I am using the lovely and big monthly grids of my Plpl to schedule my recurring tasks. I tend to forget when I last did certain household chores that don't need doing everyday, like changing my bed, so I'm not very good at planning when they need to be done next. So I am using this monthly grid to plan when these recurring tasks need to be done.

In the left-hand column, I have listed the recurring items that I need to schedule. These are things like Filofax previews/reviews; tidying/cleaning my room, cleaning my bathroom, and changing my bed; blog posts; and also when my cat's claws need clipping next. In my Filofax I have a similar list, with a note of how frequently these tasks need to be done, e.g. every 6 weeks, once per month, every 2 weeks etc. Some things happen on the same day every week, like weekly Filofax previews and reviews, which is every Sunday night.
So at the end of every month I am going to plan my recurring tasks for the next month. I will look at the list in my Filofax, look at the previous month to see when those items were last done, and work out a general time when they need to be done this month (e.g. around the start of the 3rd week). Then I try to work out precisely when they should be done:
I circle the day's number in either purple or brown to signify if it's a day off or if I'm working, and then if I am working that day, I write my working hours next to it. This means that I know how much free time I have in that day, so I know how much or little to schedule. Then I schedule the recurring tasks onto specific days! I haven't finished this month because I have been so busy planning everything else, but I will get it done soon.

Weekly forward planner-
One of the best things about the Plannerisms planner is the weekly layout.

I love the weekly structure because you can divide up the columns however you like. They aren't divided up for you, the planner doesn't tell you what you should write in certain sections, it is completely up to you.
This is how I have arranged this week's pages:

I haven't finished planning this week yet, it's still in progress. I have to hurry up and do it, because it's not forward planning if I don't get it done ahead of time!

In the space at the bottom of the page, I write down what I want to focus on that week, taken from my goals for that month.

This is how I divide up the daily columns:
I use the left-hand column to write labels for the sections/blocks I have divided the columns into.
The main part of the columns is basic scheduler, which is 3 blocks of 3 lines each, 1 block each for morning (waking up time to 12pm), afternoon (12pm to 6pm) and evening (6pm to bed time). This is where I do basic time-block planning for the day. First I write my work shifts, and then I write other things for the rest of the day. I don't do precise scheduling unless things have a proper time to be done, like a meeting- otherwise, I just schedule things for a general period of the day, like morning or afternoon. Basically, that task should be finished by the time the next period begins. Any more precise time planning will go into the DPP inserts in my Filofax, which have half-hourly appointment slots.
Under that I have listed TV programmes to watch on that day, and a little bit of note space.
Then I have the most important section: my 'Focuses'. This is where I write the 3 things that I should focus on most in the day, taken from my focuses for the week. I added this section late, so it's at the bottom of the columns, but really it should be more prominent, so for next week I put it at the top of the columns. I decide my focuses for the day based on either my weekly focuses section, or the recurring tasks from the day's square in my monthly grid. Then I use the focuses section of those weekly columns to plan more specifically what I'm going to do on each day of that week, which goes into the basic scheduler.
At the bottom I have some space for notes, and then a space where I record how many drinks of water I have in a day. I am really bad at drinking, I get really dehydrated, but I find that if I record it that I drink more. However, this isn't really a place to record things (my Plpl is a forward planner, not a recorder), so I don't think I will put this in here for the future weeks.

So that's how I use my Plannerisms Planner!

Part 2 will be up soon, about how I am using my Filofax!


  1. Thanks for this post, it's nice to see how you've made your planner work for you. Since goal planning is also new to me, I was feeling overwhelmed at the end of 2012 by what I want to achieve this year! I think for me I will use the weekly pages as to-do lists also until I figure out the right system for me. I'm using mine very lightly but examples of how you use your monthly goals page (lined and grid) are giving me new ideas!

  2. This is a really great post. I have also bought the pink planner - however I have done my usual trick of reading up on planning & goal setting too much and not actually doing it. I sort of feel it should be perfect before I write anything into this lovely planner. I think I'll just have to jump right in - each week doesn't have to look the same if it doesn't work out, and of course if I don't use it, it can't help me! You have inspired me to have a go!

  3. Excellent post as usual Kate....and Alison..progress not perfection

  4. This looks great. I cannot wait for mine to arrive, I'll also be using it for forward planning and goal setting. Then my filofax will be my daily work planner and a place to keep lists concerning recipe development and financial records. Can't wait to see how this works out for you!!

  5. I like that, I like that a lot. I think I may need a planner too. And is that a purple Osterley? I have that already, I think this is serendipity :)

  6. Thanks, guys, for your lovely comments!
    Yes that's a plum Osterley, I will be blogging about it tonight in Part 2 of this post :)

  7. Such good use of such an amazing planner :o)

  8. Great use of the planner :-)

  9. Partners in Planning - I love it!

    I keep my planning separate to my daily FF so that I can see the helicopter view without getting distracted by my long task list.

  10. I am a horizontal planner girl, but Laurie definitely makes me tempted to change. And seeing how you used this is really cool.

  11. Check Fly lady on her housecleaning schedule - she helped me to figure out how to do all these chores without stress

  12. Thank you for sharing how you use your planners.