In ____ I Trust

Since becoming a DIY member I have switched planning tools at a rapid rate. I feel somewhat fortunate that in my present employment situation I can diddle around with my "system" since I am comfortable with the ebb and flow of my work. Nothing ever gets completely lost anymore.

However, lately I have been looking for a new job. Each time I interview, I wonder to myself what one planning system would I rely upon. What "system" would I trust?

I'm thinking I would probably revert back to carrying a Classic-sized binder, but with DIY forms that closely resemble GTD.

My pocket calendar and notecards may not work if my work life became more hectic.
I'm just not sure. Hmmmm....

How about you? If you were to engage in this mental exercise for a job that you really want, where would you place your trust?


Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


Bob: I too, have thought that exact same thing. My final answer is that I could "do" my system on anything. What I mean is, people who 'think' about planning and planners probably are allreay on top of their game. At least we know what has to be done and where our weaknesses lie. SO I could do a whole "system" on a piece of notebook paper and a pencil..or anyother write-on-able surface and pretty much have it together; and I imagine you could too.

Zooming in


I think I'm getting close to the system that would capture everything to the necessary level of detail.

In the last few days I've implemented some of the core GTD concepts--a true Next Actions list, Waiting For, and Projects list. The WF and Projects pages are laminated and I'm trying out my new Zwipes pens (very cool). I don't need to keep a snapshot of what I had going on, only what I did. So the actions go on unlaminated paper where they will be replaced as they are checked off/filled. I could use unlaminated paper for all of it, I just think the laminations will reduce the total amount of rewriting. If I didn't have to record what I'm doing for later reports, I'd put all three lists on the laminated sheets.

I have only recently come to the realization that it would be good to track more of my stuff in a greater level of detail, thus the GTD tweaks. It's still got the shiny 'new' on it right now, but I have a good feeling about this. I feel like I'm getting more of a handle on the little things that I used to let run themselves.

My previous system relied on the things themselves to remind me, rather than me reminding myself. So I wouldn't write something down, for example, if it was a task related to the software I use at work--the software tells me when it has something for me to do. What it doesn't tell me is when a task destined for me is being held up in the 'pipeline'. So I have to remember myself to go and look for 'stuck' tasks. Guess what wasn't happening. :) And when it came time to talk to the boss about the stuff on my plate, it was impossible to tally up all the 'little' stuff and quantify it.

The new tweaks give me a snapshot of the 'everything' and a chance to count up the hours associated. I feel like I'll be better equipped to talk to the boss now.

I felt like I was cranking some widgets this morning. I plowed through a bunch of stuff, clearing actions and getting answers. It was good.


For what it might be worth...

I am zeroing in on mine, I hope :)

I believe a classic size is going to be the "core" of my personal system, but I do want to have a Hipster-sized satellite for the purpose of not having to carry the larger planner constantly.

What I am currently struggling with is the exact form/content of my Satellite Hipster. Do I want it to be a mirror of the main planner or just a kind of Portable In-Box ? I'm working on it, but suggestions and/or advice is always welcome.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Too Much Leather

Over time I have collected quite an assortment of leather accessories to carry various planning components. For instance, this past Christmas I bought myself a Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase to house my notecards. Prior to that I bought a smooth simulated distressed leather classic-sized binder for my birthday. My pocket Daytimer calendar is inside one of their nice leather credit card wallets, a gift from my mom. Then there is the Nappa Leather "tech" planner I got from FC a number of years ago for my Palm V (it has rings too). I like them all, and want to use them all....but integrating them all into one cohesive "system" is quite a challenge. I can't bring myself to toss any of them. I believe therein lies the problem. Too much leather (if that is really possible)!!

Life was so much simpler 12 years ago when I got my first FranklinQuest Classic ("it isn't a planner, it's a system") binder. For those times when I needed to capture notes on the fly, I just carried a Satellite book. I'm feeling drawn back to that way of planning again, but can't explain why...


Try rotating

Hi Bob.

I've got a bunch of different planner components too. I haven't tossed them or sold them. They're on a shelf with my books, waiting for me to rotate them back into service.

You might try choosing one of your ring binders to use (for now) and put the other one on a shelf (for now). If you get bored later, you can swap them. Same same with the smaller items--put one on a shelf for a while and use the other for a while. Swap them out when you feel itchy.

I've got a 2" classic recycled zip binder (blue fabric & fake leather), a 1.5" black leather with a big outside pocket, a couple of letter size pad folios made from leather or fake, various purses, and paper or plastic components to use with all of them. What am I using? A Rollabind notebook (actually a few of them) that's a different size than all of those.

All of that other stuff is going to sit for a while on the shelf. The blue binder's been there for nearly 10 years, I think. I brought it out briefly last fall, then quickly put it back. :) One of these days I'll decide to sell it or freecycle it or something. Probably soon, actually, since I'm getting rid of my hole-punch.


So many little

So many little time! I have had an embarrassing number of nice planners. I got most of them from clearance bins so not a lot of moola invested. However, I could never quite get in the groove with Covey. I believe in their core values, etc., but I would always get bogged down in the mission statement when all I wanted to do was plan my week's activities! The lure was their beautiful planners and accessories. I have a gorgeous leather planner that is valued at $200 that I got for about $5 and even a matching leather briefcase for about the same. However, they are so heavy I never used them on a daily basis. I've switched to microfiber and life is much lighter!

I tore everything out of the leather binder and redid the whole thing into the microfiber planner. It matches my purse and other items without the extra weight. I'm using the planner for home base and a 3X5 in my purse as a satellite to capture random info. Then I process things into their proper place at the end of the day. I misplaced the 3X5 over the weekend and nearly had a cow until I found it. I'm good at remembering appointments but need a place for the dreaded to-do's. Instead of a shopping list on a magnet on the frig, where I would always forget it, I now have a portable one with me and keep it updated. Life is getting better! I also use it to jot down my call/see/do stuff until I transfer it to the planner. I'm getting things done and getting them done in a more timely manner now. I'm already seeing and feeling a big difference in my productivity.

So far my only peeve would be that my planner is mostly utilitarian on the inside and not visually inspirational. Right now the guts of my planner are more of a mongrel in appearance and I'd like to spiff it up. I do use color coded note paper and have some personal photos in there but it is still a bit rough in spots. I'm a very visual/artistic type so this is important to me. Now that I have the system up and running I can give it tweak here and there.
I do have the Covey note pages with pastel images of beautiful landscapes but have decided that the lines are too narrow. I typcially like collegiate ruled paper but this seems really small to me, I suppose because it is 5X7 and not 8X11. I prefer classic size for the planner for portability although most of my stuff at work is in 8X11 binders.

I feel that my system is integrated because I have different things for different purposes. I even made out a flow chart to make sure I had it straight in my head. Things usually start out on the 3X5 satellite, go into the 5X7 planner and ultimately end up as a finished 8X11 product in printed form. I do a lot of curriculum design of handouts, plus my personal correspondence and business forms. The main thing of any system is convenience. This seems hPDA, planner, binders and laptop for email/filing I seem to be in good shape for GTD. No more lost post-it notes either! They go in the planner or at least into the 3X5 until I can put them in the planner and then get delegated to a list.

A Single Sheet of Paper

This week I have been using a PocketMOd each day, and I am really enjoying it. I don't seem to mind folding up a single sheet of paper that I write on, then stuff in my pants pocket. By the end of the day it is really beat up, but that's ok because I transfer any useful information (usually phone numbers) into my capture book then toss the PocketMod in the garbage.

I don't know how to export my To Do List, Call List, Reminders, etc. from Outlook into PocketMod, so I just write them by hand at the beginning of the day. Somehow its better that way.

On the front cover I have the "If lost, return to..." page. The back cover is a blank daily calendar that I write my schedule on. The inside pages are simply lined pages that I use for To Do lists, Call list, Reminders, and Notes. Its very simple to use, and equally easy to throw away at the end of the day. After all, it IS just a single sheet of paper.


:cough: recycle

:cough: recycle :cough:
my artwork


Actually, I don't just toss them in the "garbage" when finished with them. They go through my document shredder, then to the recycle bin.

Sara, you need to do something about that cough. LOL