the Planner Post: 2014 edition

June 16, 2014

You all know I love a good planner.  And there are so many of them out there!  Over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed using an Exacompta Space 24, a Korean Journal-J that I could only find on eBay, and for 2012-2013, the Erin Condren Life Planner.  I can stand behind any of those products/systems, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t suffer from planner wanderlust sometimes.

As our world becomes more and more digitized, I still think I will always plan on paper.  There is just something about seeing that day/week/month laid out in front of me in ink that just feels right.  It’s motivating and yet friendly in a way that an app is not.  It’s fast and incredibly flexible — especially with the right system.

SO.  While I loved the EC planner, I decided that I wanted a little bit more space to play with — specifically the ability to have a daily page.   I needed a place to put work details, home details, and random tasks that come up throughout the day all together.  I also thought it would be fun to be able to jot down memories or interesting things (for blog fodder, even!) from time to time.   However, I wasn’t willing to let go of my weekly or monthly views.  And I wanted something without too much structure, so that I could play with the space in different ways.

When I read Laurie’s Plannerisms post on the Hobonichi Techo Cousin, I knew I had to have one.  Yes, the planner has some Japanese characters and the website was a little confusing at first.  But so far I have been REALLY happy with the product!

Quick Details:
NAME: Hobonichi Techo Cousin – Spring 2014 Edition (March 2014-Feb 2015)
SIZE: about 8.5 x 6.5 inches without the cover
COST with COVER, including shipping: ~$80 (varies based on exchange rate)
PAPER: Very thin but also smooth and high quality.
ORDERING INSTRUCTIONS: Sadly I don’t think this edition is available now, but I’m guessing there will be a new one in January!  The smaller Techo is available, though.
Here’s the store link, and helpful buying instructions from an English/Japanese speaker are here.
Pictures of how I am using mine . . .

You can check out the Plannerisms link above for photos of the blank pages, but here are some shots of how I am using the different page layouts.
First, the planner on my work desk, to show size.  I usually have it open on my desk all day.  As you can see, the closure does double duty as a pen loop.
Inside front cover.  I don’t have anything in these slots, but could imagine stashing all sorts of useful things, like a small ruler, a few index cards, etc.
Yearly pages!  I haven’t really made the most of this, but could see it as a great place for planning large scale goals or doing a yearly (happiness?) project of sorts.  It could also be an at-a-glance training logs, pumping record (what? no one else has one of those?), or financial or health tracker.  I use it as a birthday reminder system.
Monthly pages.  I love that this is on two pages — one would be too small.  I use this for large-scale planning: vacation days, call schedules, date nights.  The heavy use of graph paper throughout the planner makes me unspeakably happy.

Weekly pages.  I use this to put all ‘fixed’ events, like meetings and events.  I also like to plan out dinners + workouts 7 days at a time.  I guess if I had to, I could do without a weekly view, but I feel like I might lose track of things if I were only using monthly + daily pages.  There’s space on the left to write a weekly task list, and I use this every week.

(I don’t actually get all of the nagging tasks done each week, but at least I have them corralled so I know what they are!)

The daily pages!  My main reason from switching from the EC.  This is a fake page I made just for you all, because I tend to put patient data in a list and obviously didn’t want to publish that.  There’s plenty of room to write out things like:
— details of a morning workout
— patient calls and to-dos
— daily important tasks (until it was routine, I had a checkbox for C’s medicine every morning)
— blogging ideas
— random bits of fun, like a new band I discovered and wanted to remember to tell Josh, or something cute that Annabel said
— really ANYTHING!

I started this planner a month late (in April instead of March).  For some reason, the March dates are cut in half while the rest of the dates are full pages.  I am making good use of the March pages as notes pages, like the (ridiculous) pumping log I showed you all before.  

Finally, there’s a slot in the back pocket that is perfect for an accessory notebook, like this little field notes special edition that I stuck in there.

And there you have it!  My rather involved planner system for this year.  I hope this inspires someone!  What are you using this year?  Do you like having daily pages?  This is the first time I’ve used something with a daily blank space and so far . . . I really like it!