Reply To: Paper or Electronic Planner

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#106346
tara.gainey21
Participant

I use a mix of digital and paper planners and I’m about 80% in to finding my perfect system. I’m currently trying to break my projects into smaller sub tasks/steps, and I’m testing out keeping that in my physical planner on empty monthly pages – since I don’t use them. I regularly research planners and try using their templates in my journal before committing to buying their physical journal. One of my favorites is the Productivity Journal. I’ve found a daily or hourly template makes my life harder when I don’t complete a task so I’ve moved towards 1 page for a week of tasks and/or a running list (by category {house, personal, journal} rather than day {the Alastair method})

MONTHLY EVENTS:
Google calendar: all of my events go in here (+bill payment dates, birthdays, days my husband is off, etc)
Then, once I’m home, I move them to a Monthly wall calendar that both my husband and I can see. This ensures he sees the events and we are less likely to forget about them. I circle the numbers of the days when important events are happening and write birthdays at the bottom of each day in colored pen.

MASTER:
For a Master task list, I like to use Trello and order the boards by priority (High priority, low priority, etc)
In addition to this, I also keep a handwritten priority grid in the front of my physical weekly planner. I have tried using the Prioritizer app, but I don’t check it as much as the Trello boards. (I’m considering deleting it but haven’t fully decided yet).

:: WEEKLY:
I’ve found I really like the Muji weekly planner in the smallest size. I keep it open on my desk and refer to it throughout the day and week. Inside I write the events going on that week on the lined side and on the opposing grid lines I write the template of the Sugar Planner sold at Target: 1) to call/email, 2) to visit, top 3-5 tasks, 3) lesser priority tasks, 4) things I’m waiting on (packages in the mail, hearing back from someone, etc), & 5) upcoming for events happening next week or beyond (like my debit card expiring). This is also where I keep my habit tracker for 5-10 habits a day. This week I’m trying to begin writing when I wake and sleep on each day to encourage me to establish a more consistent sleep pattern.
I’ve considered buying the planner at Target but I don’t have Target in my country and the pages look very thin/as if they’d bleed. Also, the pages are much larger than I need and I would add extra stuff that would clutter the page and distract my mind from the tasks. Their template includes lined paper for each section and the headers are very small, and I’ve found my brain works best with grid paper over lined.
In this planner I also keep a list of the books I’m reading + pages I’m on. In the front of the notebook I have a sticky note labeled “upcoming” for events I’m waiting for a definite date on so I can add them to my monthly calendar.
I’ve found that using pen in my journals + colored markers helps my brain to notice them. Before when I was testing out various layouts (like 50+ in the past year), I tried using pencil to not waste pages in my journals & this resulted in my brain overlooking the tasks.

:: Daily ::
In the Notes app in my phone I keep a page open daily for my day. I list in here 1) what I will make/eat for each meal, 2) the places I need to go + people I need to call/email (+ the number to reach them and the phone hours), 3) smaller house tasks that don’t need to be added in pen in my planner as they take 5 minutes or less.
I also use this to jot any ideas I have during the day and add them to my Trello board for “someday, maybe” projects.