Daily pages in my Hobonichi Cousin

September 5, 2019

Well, I figured you were all just here for the planner shots 🙂

well, here you go!
the left page was the day I worked from home post-call/Dorian
the right was yesterday a GME day. I sat down for hours at my office desk and caught up (I sent 106 emails OMG)

Everyone shows their page setups – but it’s less commonplace to show pages that are filled out / marked up / left imperfect. That’s because such pages might be messy or they might contain things you don’t want to share.

I had to white out one name (it was an unusual name) but otherwise there doesn’t appear to be anything secret on these pages. And they reflect my typical use of the Hobonichi daily pages.

Some things you may notice:

1- Morning priorities go up top. These past couple of days, I did accomplish them all! But I absolutely don’t ALWAYS, particularly if G wakes up earlier than is ideal. This is occurring less often, but it’s not never.

2- Schedule goes down the left hand side, and this serves as sort of a pre-emptive time blocking strategy. Sometimes I even add some colors.

3- To-do list goes down the right hand side. This is typically pulled from my weekly list (which comes from my monthly lists as well as any time-sensitive goals that come up!).

4- Most days, I track nutrition on the lower left. No measurements; just rough notes of what I eat on a given day. I figured out years ago that I benefit when I do this. I recognize it’s a little quirky, but as I get older I care less. Eating better –> feeling better –> not being distracted by feeling like crap because I ate like crap –> more productive & happier. What can I say? Paradoxically, my notes here often help me NOT beat myself up when I treat myself (ice cream, beer, and burgers all make appearances on my nutrition log) because I know that the overall picture is a healthy one. I can also spot patterns (super hungry for several days = ahh, it’s PMS . . .) and find that helpful. I also put workout details in this space. Sometimes I put hours of sleep there too. It’s the health section, because I know these things impact everything else.

5- Random notes or a time log on the bottom right. Sometimes I track time and but mostly I just write some random notes or observations about the day. Or a list — this is where my Summer Reading List ended up landing one day! I’d love to learn to do some actual lettering and put some more artistic things in this quadrant someday, but for now I just kind of use it as a free journaling/notes space.

So, there are my daily pages and yes, I really live by them. My planner is out on my desk from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, and it sits on my work desk in my office. I will admit that I rarely write in it after work; I’m busy with the kids and just not in that kind of mindset. So sometimes I fill in details in the AM.

I would also like to dispel the myth that I do everything all of the time. For example, research. I haven’t published anything that would be considered true research since I came to FL in 2013 (though the results of my fellowship research took so long to publish that I did have one paper come out in 2017). I am currently working on some projects — one case report with a resident + one actual study with a PhD social worker who will be doing most of the actual research legwork (I hope) while I supply the patient population & my ideas.

BUT I think I do a lot, and enough. Enough is fine, or actually it’s great.

Tomorrow – adventures in our current bedtime routine.


  • Reply Elizabeth Vos September 5, 2019 at 6:31 am

    This is so interesting! I love the idea that it’s like a bullet journal, but like you said earlier this week, with you constantly drawing your own lines.

    My youngest is a week or two younger than your youngest (12/17/17) so I hear you on the early wake ups which are getting bigger but still not great.

  • Reply gwinne September 5, 2019 at 8:56 am

    I love the planner talk and images! You do seem quite productive and “balanced” (loaded word, I know). What I see on my own list is the stuff that gets migrated from week to week (usually that’s home related, not work).

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns September 5, 2019 at 10:22 am

    As a fellow type A person I love seeing how you use your planner. I think this is a planner I would like to buy eventually but right now I’m just using a bullet journal as I’m kind of simplifying my planning approach during this season of life (first time mom of a toddler – feels like our life revolves around him right now!) So right now I mostly use my bullet journal to write out meal plans and weekly to do lists, and I have monthly spread for events, birthdays, books I want to read, and tasks/projects I want to accomplish that month.

    I think research is something I would NOT be interested in doing. It seems like you’ve found a role that plays to your strengths and interest. So hopefully research isn’t something that’s really important to your career!

  • Reply Liz B. September 5, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    I am obsessed with your planner posts – cannot wait for you to write that book!!!! I tried not using daily pages this week in an attempt to refrain from drafting an unattainable “daily priorities” list, but to no avail. I lasted until Wednesday, but had to pull out my personally-crafted bullet journal-ish daily page in my Weeks-sized notebook. This post made me pull out my lonely A6 today, too! I can’t make myself carry around a Cousin, I but can surely pare down my daily priorities to fit on an A6 daily page. Gahhhhh!!!! My Hobonichi order has already been shipped, so I may have to purchase an A6 for 2020 elsewhere, since I keep waffling on which system I want to use…and I have TWO Weeks already on the way (Tokyo Tower and Shuwatch!)…decisions, decisions.

  • Reply Marjorie September 5, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    I love when you post pics of your planner! The way I use mine is basically a total plagiarism of yours, all the way down to the borderlines you’ve drawn in to create quadrants. I haven’t gotten into morning priorities yet but I think I might try that as more often than not I basically leap out of bed and plow through my lists and whatever fires open up in my inbox without thinking about the “must do’s” rather than the “need to’s’.

    Do you find yourself moving a lot of your tasks forward, or do you generally accomplish the majority of them? How do you ensure that you don’t overschedule/get overly ambitious when crafting your daily task list?

  • Reply Claire September 6, 2019 at 5:14 am

    I’d love a walk through of how you use the weekly pages with the daily ones as it feels like you’re putting the same info in both, i.e. scheduled appointments and tasks from a weekly list? Or is the weekly page done as a plan at the start of the week and the daily is what actually happened/modified to suit the evolving week? Do you change the weekly pages during the week?

    After much agonising and having read every “Hobonichi”-mentioning page on your, blog I went for an A6 original with the weekly insert in the end, having decided that I really want to be able to carry it in my handbag not just my laptop bag – will see how it goes for this year at least, hopefully I won’t miss the spa e of the Cousin if I never had it! Now eagerly awaiting the lovely box from Japan!

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