keeping personal and business in planners

I have a terrible time putting business and personla items in the same notebook.
How do others do it?

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Separate categories ?

"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)

I work for a restaurant

I work for a restaurant chain where I have 400 stores to deal with. Wish my personla life was as busy.
Do you keep separate tabs? separate calendars?

Step One: Everything in One Planner

Multiple planners is just asking for trouble. Keep everything in one.
"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)

Step Two: Make room for personal stuff

I do not remember if that is in GTD or FTF, but it makes sense to me. Put in some blocks of "Me" time up front so you do not have to scramble for it.
"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)

I agree-pay yourself first!

Even though 5:15 AM is an ungodly hour to exercise (especially with the time change this week!), I go to the gym before anyone else can claim that time. If I waited until later in the day, the time would be given over to the hundred other things that need to be completed.

"To fly, we must have resistance."

It's all in one for me

I use a letter-sized circa (I know, too big and cumbersome for most people). I use a 2-page per week layout for my schedule and notes, then "layer" different sized sheets of paper so that I can see everything at once. I'm a "big picture" person and can't get organized until I see the sum of all of the parts, be it a short project or a long-term one.

Both business and personal events go on the same calendar (so I don't schedule an important conference call while watching one of my kids' games). A circa-punched 5x7 has all of my work to-do's, a 4x6 index card layered on top of that has all of my home to-do's, and a 3x5 index card has a list of things accomplished per week so that it's easier to write my accomplishments for my boss when he does my annual review ( I've used this method since the start of the year, and so far, so good.

Since I don't want to carry my big notebook with me everywhere, I just print out my calendar on a 4x6 index card the first of every month to keep in my purse, and then make sure to sync between the two once at least once a week.

Hope you find your own balance,



Do you have a photo showing the layering of the index cards? That sounds like that could be a real help to me


I sent

a pic via email using your contact tab info. let me know if you don't receive it.

C'mon, the rest of you

Join in the discussion and help out here.

Lazy toads !
"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)

Not scheduled

Well I would participate but I haven't got a timeslot in my schedule. ;-) Okay so I'm contributing now only because I've done my knee in otherwise I'd be in the gym working out, which is on my schedule.

As to how I mix both professional and personal: everything goes on the same sheet. My work is pretty much 9-5 (I work in a local college) and recreational/personal stuff happens in the evening, at weekends or in the holidays so I can mix professional duties with personal stuff yet have no real conflicts. Daily, monthly and yearly plans are "synchronised" with event times; I use day-per-view pages (from filoFax Time Management range) with scheduled events on the right and notes on the facing page. I do wish that filoFax would have a cut page similar to one of the other insert publishers so I can add extra notes occasionally.

I don't really need reference material for either professional or personal activities. Though I do have cards for Irish and Welsh fingerspelling alphabets. As I live in London there's a copy of A-Z pages for central London (again from filoFax). Oh and there's a book list in there too of theological texts I want to catch up with.

The largest section of my organiser is pages of designs for inserts intended to support my visits to the gym. (Machine setup, heart rate recordings, dates of visits, etc.) Also the initial draft of a reflective journal for use in my professional interpreting role.

I should also design a form for overview of the week; 2D table with day rows and hour columns that I can mark off with activities, e.g. 9-5 is work, 6-8 is cooking and eating, 8-10 (every other day) is gym. Sleep, travel, regular activities are marked off so I can see at a glance if I can add other things. Again this mixes professional and personal stuff as occasionally professional impinges on the personal with some evening work.

Apart from the printed filoFax forms I use either quadrile ruled paper, which happens to be filoFax, or plain paper. Plain normally wins out as I can grab a wadge from my printer's feed tray, cut it in half for A5, punch it, and then stuff it in my binder. (I can't quite bring myself to switch to D*I*Y Planner because it looks too heavy; now if ygor you were to give better control over the intensity/colour of the rules and heads I could switch immediately.)

personal/bussiness in planner

I don't really have a lot of business to put in my planner as of now. I just fiished one of my biggest projects at work. So I don't have a lot of work issues now.

But when I do I keep one planner usually only using my monthly tab. But if it gets to busy i will use my weekly calender.

That being said I get a lot of ideas in the middle of the night so I keep a hipster style planner on the table next to my bed. Does that count as 2 planers? Anway thats my set up


I use a hipster precisely so I could mix business and pleasure, separate cards in my pocket nobody knows whats what or where, but I do. I operate on a need to know basis so I use weekly forms as needed to get things done.

I have Circa 3x5 cards which

I have Circa 3x5 cards which are good.
I have the ALIFE planner for my personal stuff. I had better get Dave Allens book????

I am always on the lookout for better ways. I love analog but I did get MS OneNote which has been great in keeping all my work stuff together.

Tough thing to do!

I've gone back and forth on this issue many times over the years. Here's my current set-up. Both my job and my personal schedule are task driven rather than appointment driven. I use a pocket monthly/weekly calendar for my date-specific personal items, and a pocket monthly calender for my job's date specific items.

Both these pocket calendars, along with a large Moleskine cahier for journaling and a junior-sized circa notebook with all my GTD things (contextual lists, projects etc.--both personal and professional but never on the same page, address book, and special dates lists) are all housed in my beautiful green Junior sized Circa Zip Folio. I don't have to think about work when I'm not there, and I don't have to worry about someone seeing something personal while I'm at work. :-)

I tried doing everything in a circa notebook with larger discs and it just didn't work. I really need to have work and personal separated, though they need to be in close proximity to one another so nothing gets double-booked. Plus, I got tired of flipping back and forth from a project page or list to the calendar. This way I can see both at once! So far, this method is working for me. Good luck finding something that will work for you!

Mary Ann

So do you put the calendars

So do you put the calendars in the pocket of the Moleskine?


I tried, but since it's just a cahier, it makes it too lumpy. They fit in slots of the Junior zip folio.

I should have figured that.

I should have figured that. I have a Circa planner.
I am going to pull that out and see what I can do with it.

I use the same notebook

I use the same notebook pele-mele, but DH systematically uses a circa notebook with a middle separator. Front is work notes and back is personal notes. Pages are removed and recycled or archived as needed.

I use a moleskin and a letter sized notebook

I use a moleskin calendar -- combined business and personal stuff in it. Appointments, weekly task lists, reminders for future due dates etc. I like the format, days on the left side, lined blank paper on the right. I covered some of the intro pages with dryline and use them for notes, phone numbers, etc. Most all "important" (business and friends) numbers are in my cell phone.

At work I also have a 1-1/2" letter sized binder. This stays at work -- I have an elevated stand (my son made it, patterned after the stand Levenger sells) -- and the notebook is usually open. Here I have my work tasks that are more project oriented (if it is a single action it goes in my moleskin). I have most things in sheet protectors -- and use divider tabs that not only stick out far enough to be read using sheet protectors but have a storage pocket that is large enough for letter size paper to slip in without punching. I use Avery QL119G sheet protectors because they are "quick insert", basically the entire left edge is not sealed so it can be opened back and stacks can be inserted. I have a tab for myself, my boss, and each of the five staff people that report to me, and one for a major multi-year project I am a key lead on.

Inside each tab is a punched "discussion" sheet where I put all tasks assigned, projects and "stuff" I want to talk with that person about during on one-on-one sessions. There is also a print out of our "What is Excellence?" project for me to monitor progress. Then, in the sheet protectors, are anything I want as backup -- email / correspondence about a topic, a training class I think might be useful, timelines, annual goals, etc.

For years I used a small six ring notebook -- I really liked it and used it for both business and personal. But I live in an 8-1/2 x 11 world at work. Combining the moleskin with my big binder has been a compromise... but it seems to work well. For a while I only used the big notebook but quickly found it to be unyieldy to carry back and forth to work/home -- and downright embrassing anyplace else... the moleskin is a fine pocket size and does the job. Not fancy, but adequate.

The Passionate Pilgrim
-- Excellence through Simplicity

Same planner

I think it's important to keep everything together also. If you are at home you will want access to your work schedule and vice versa. Using different colored pens may help. Good Luck. I'm sure you will work this out given a little time and fanangalling.

One planner

I also only use one planner. Everything goes on the calendar (so I don't forget anything) and I have an @Home section and an @School section (I'm a teacher). Things that I to refer to regularly go in the Reference section and then I have a Blank section for notes and whatnot. Big projects go in the Projects section. Somehow I've managed to keep all this within the 1/2" circa rings! I also have a pocket briefcase that holds things that need to travel more readily.

I use 3 calendars

Yes, I do exactly what everyone tells you not to do and it works for me.

My workplace insists that everyone uses Outlook but our security makes it impractical to use PALMs and other electronic toys. So, I have my few personal appointments and tasks in a pocket sized Moleskine diary, and a keep an A4 printout of my work outlook calendar for the week folded with the diary. (Any changes to the outlook meetings I update on the printout, as I don't have a lot of meetings etc).

My husband refuses to use a diary or planner, so we share a wall calendar at home which acts as a 'collection device' for birthdays, appointments outside business hours and personal stuff. I simply update my Moleskine each night with any extra items he's added to the calendar, and update the calendar with anything new from the Moleskine.

It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen but it's worked OK for almost a year now.

As to tasks - I'm lucky enough that my work stays at work. So I have a cheapy student diary by my desk with tasks in it. My personal tasks are in the Moleskine and weekly routine tasks are on Fobster cards - this is useful because I can pop this week's fobster card into the Moleskine if I need to have all my tasks in one place.

another vote for the one planner option!

For a couple months I tried to keep a Moleskine calendar and a Circa notebook together in one binder. The Moleskine for the calendar and the Circa for everything else. I realized I was only looking at one or the other, sometimes for days at a time. I'd nearly miss appointments because I was concentrating on my notes & todo list in my Circa or get next to nothing done except making it to meetings on time because I was just looking at my Moleskine.

It works out SOOOO much better keeping everything you need in one notebook/planner. I'll go one step farther: ONE CALENDAR. A simple example why - what if you're having to work late and that is getting into your personal time or have a doctors appointment in the morning & you're going to be late for work?

Most of my work stuff is on the computer so I have a very small work notes section in my planner and page of contact info for people at work in my address book.

This is one thing I really like about the Circa system... When I'm done with these pages, I put the personal pages in archive notebooks at home and work pages go in the file folders in my desk at work.


2 different notebooks

2 different notebooks doesn't really work. Although, I've myself done it as I had too much stuff to keep all in one... That was because I kept my course material in there too.

But really, it did not work for the tasks lists.