Last year most of my friends went planner crazy. I was caught up and even tried to make my own version of a midori planner. However, mine was made of fabric and stiff board and required borrowing my mother in law's sewing machine because mine was in the shop and I wanted it RIGHT now. Alas, I have barely used it. Although I did get some cool inserts for it.
Everyone seems to be talking about planning, working the plan, etc. So, I decided to look for a planner that would best fit my needs. I saw a cool one that had lots of links to the liturgical calendar. I also saw all of the ordinary ones (Erin Condren) and then I found the Get To Work Book. She has some great short videos that discuss all the features of her planner. Even though it is a bit pricey (although there is FREE SHIPPING available this weekend) I decided that if I truly use it over the course of a full year - it will be worth it. It was a Christmas present to me!
Room for Notes - Many layouts are busy with boxes telling you what to put where. Here weekly layout is very basic - long, lined columns, three check boxes at the top (to use how you want) and then grid at the bottom for notes.
Prioritizing - She has three boxes at the beginning of each week to put notes about what must get done. Again, she doesn't prescribe how to use them so you could put different categories of things each week: the three top items each week or big, medium and small goals. I also mentioned that each day there is space for 3 check boxes. I haven't really used them well yet but I need something that helps me think about priorities.
Spiral Binding - Lays flat - I love that it is spiral bound and lays flat. If it is open I am much more likely to use it.
The Planner pages - These are GREAT. I have a tendency to get a sheet of paper plan and then lose said sheet of paper. She has pages built in to help you plan things. Again, not overly directed but general enough to be useful for whatever situation - from a party to a major project.
Grid Paper - She has grid paper included so that you can easily sketch a layout or include measurements of something.
Reflection - She includes a reflection sheet at the end of each month. This sheet includes a whole column of things to let go of. Man, do I need that! There are some things that just aren't going to happen in this season or ever and I need to just let go of it. We are still in January so I haven't really used it yet - but I will!
No Daily Pages - Honestly, I agree with the Leadership Education peeps that working in a weekly time block makes the most sense.
Monday Start - I think I like having my weekends at the end on the weekly pages BUT I am used to a Sunday start so it throws me off a bit.
Big - I am trying to just keep mine open in my kitchen so that I will really write in it and use it. If I planned to carry it around a lot it could get cumbersome.
Writing Things Down - I currently am trying to run 2 calendars - a big wall calendar the whole family can see and this more personal one. I am not always getting everything into this book which means that it isn't doing its full job. I know you are supposed to have just ONE main calendar - that's the one on the wall BUT I need somewhere to really plan. I am still figuring out the balance.
Operator Error - I listened this morning (as I could) to the planning chat done by Mystie. She had a guest who wrote a post about your personality and planning. It hit the nail on the head - although I don't really make things pretty - I do have a tendency to start and not follow through! I am a Sanguine.
I hope that you are finding a way to keep yourself more organized this coming year. I did buy a stack of "how to keep yourself organized" books from a friend. Maybe I will get some ideas from there. Really, it comes down to the fact that I am not good at executing, following through, getting it done. Did I tell you about the time I lost the library book talking about how to organize according to your personality. Yes, it is that bad! I am hoping to turn it around THIS YEAR!