Jack of Many Trades

Meet My Planner

Originally posted: 2013-09-09

So my OCD's been kind of flarey lately and I decided I needed to do something that would make me feel better and hopefully help me put the kibosh on some of my more annoying obsessions. Writing things down helps - I've been making lists of numbers lately, especially at work when I'm stressed. I figure writing down relevant things (for certain definitions of relevant) might help more, or at least help me redirect it.

That's part of where the idea for the Book List of Doom came from. I'm also attempting to track food, exercise, homework, blog posts, word count... we'll see what sticks and/or helps the most, I think. Maybe none of it will and I'll be back to Evernote in a week or two, but so far I'm enjoying it.

The system is a work in progress, of course. Right now I'm using what are called "wo2p" or week on two pages. Each day gets about an inch and a half, and I'm feeling a little cramped. Originally I'd planned to have sections for each of the things I wanted to track but now I'm leaning towards the day on one page instead. I'm going to try a second week of wo2p and see if I still want to expand.

My planner is an 5.5x8.5 binder from Staples, nothing fancy, with some lined and graphed paper, the pre-printed weekly and months, and some pages I've mocked up for myself in Microsoft Word. I've spent a grand total of maybe $20 on it, possibly as much as $25. Eventually I might like to upgrade to something fancier, a Filofax or a Franklin Covey, but that'll depend on my thrifting luck.

Since that's what everyone wants to know about, I'll tell you how I use it. It starts with four laminated pages, tabbed park, prep, process and done. It's a modified version of the kanban system I saw from Plan Create Succeed. Then I have tabs for budget, to-dos, books, calendar and notes. Budget has the bill- and expense-tracking pages I created in Word last week. To-do is currently just quad-ruled paper. Books is a table I printed out. Calendar are my pre-printed month and week pages. Notes is lined paper, as well as the gym and homework tracking pages I'm trying out. I don't have stickers or washi tape, or even colored pages aside from my dividers, so it's not much to look at, but it seems to be helping so far.