Planner Review Planners

Prep for 2017 Post Bonanza: Part 1 – Weekly Pages

November 29, 2016

I have had several requests to share my planner layouts as New Planner Season (this surely deserves capitalization, right?) approaches, so I thought I’d show last week.  It’s not beautifully neat as I did not plan on sharing it, but hey — the reality is probably more useful than a fantasy ‘example’ version, anyway.

My Hobonichi Techo Cousin Weekly pages are where the nitty-gritty scheduling details go.  While I include our call weeks and big events (like vacations) in the monthly section, the weekly view is where true appointments/planned events go, because a) the layout makes it very easy to see what is going on 168 hours at a time, and b) I know that I will look at it!
Elements of my weekly layout:
Workouts – in the top boxes for each day, since I almost always do them in the morning
To do list – along the left side.  I make a list of tasks to accomplish each week, culled from a) the prior week’s leftover tasks and b) the Projects List and monthly Next Actions lists I keep in my mini-bullet-journal (just a slim notebook that tucks easily into the planner cover).   Choosing each week’s tasks is something I do as part of my weekly review, which I try to do every Sunday afternoon (though sometimes it’s Monday morning).  
I will also add any time-sensitive task when it comes up, prior to the weekly review.  For example, this week I have “buy office holiday gift” and “buy Amelia birthday gift” because I wrote those down when the parties were scheduled.  
Calendar – to the actual vertical slots I put any fixed appointments.  Generally, this area is not used for vague to-dos or plans, but items that really have a start/end time and are planned in advance.   That said, sometimes I’ll stick a second reminder for a time-sensitive task (on Weds night for example I wrote “make key lime pie”.  
Both home + work appointments go in here.  Last week was spent largely at home, since I had 3 days off!  But typically there will be work meetings mixed in with home events that I want to remind our nanny about.  I definitely do not see any reason to divide the two as I really need to integrate both worlds continuously.
Dinners – along the bottom I write down the week’s meal plan.  As you can see, last week included many meals out and with family, but normally we eat at home Monday through Friday, and sometimes Sunday too depending on what is going on.  
Weekend – while there is nothing special about how the weekend is notated, I pay special attention to those Saturday and Sunday slots, because I have found that we have much more fun as a family when we have at least something planned for each day, even if it’s just a casual play date meet up in the park.  Since we try to go for a date night most weeks when not working, I make sure to arrange any necessary babysitting, too.
So – that’s it!  I am quite happy with how this layout has served me over the past two years or so, though I have definitely made small refinements along the way (example: I used to use multiple pen colors but have since discovered I prefer all black with highlighter/marker accents as needed 🙂 ).  
Upcoming posts in the Year-End Planner Post Bonanza:
– Daily pages
– Monthly pages
– Yearly calendar
– The Weekly Review
– Mini-GTD-Bujo: Projects Lists + Next Actions
– Mini-GTD-Bujo: Someday/Maybe and other things I track
– Others if you guys have specific questions/requests!


  • Reply Khar March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    So after giving up on Levenger in 2015 and Day Designer this August, I decided to try a modified bullet journal. Which worked, until I realized it was taking me too long to sketch out the boxes I wanted for weekly and daily spreads. So now I’m back to thinking I want a planner. I’m very seriously considering the Hobonichi Techno Cousin Avec. Do you use a cover on your Hobonichi and do you think it needs one? Thanks!

  • Reply Danielle March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Thank you for this! I love my Hobonichi Techo Cousin! I use the April start version. It is worth every penny. I am also still loving the pen and highlighter recommendations you gave me!

  • Reply Sally March 10, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Hi! I bought the Hobonichi Techo Cousin Avec earlier this year. I really like it, but the Avec (if I’m reading everything right) doesn’t come with the weekly layout like the Cousin (un-Avec) does. This is a pretty essential feature to me. Do you order from the actual Japanese website? If so, would you mind ball-parking a cost, including shipping? I’m trying to decide if I should Amazon it (limited selection), or if it would be more affordable to order it from overseas. Any input appreciated!

  • Reply disertation writers March 10, 2019 at 7:09 pm

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