There is this evil challenge in the land of Interwebs, created by Klair from Rhomany´s Realm. Personally, I never imagined I would ever partake in this experiment since my system of planning has been pretty much the same for years and years already. During the past years I have tried different options in terms of size and portability. have EDS with severe issues when it comes to my joints so I have needed to tweak the system to make it more feasible and safe to lug around.
Having that said, my planning has been moved from ring bound binder to bound books and then back to ring bound planners. Why? Because in ring bound planners I don´t have to carry that many pages because they can be added if needed.
I have been most content in personal sized planners, given they have adequate space to write in, yet are not hideously large, which resonates to their weight.
However... during this July I have been subjected to this #onebookjuly2015 to the extent that I found myself thinking... is there something for me to learn? Have I indeed paired down to absolute essentials?
Onebookjuly basically is a challenge that encourages its participants to use one book, one pen, for one month. Many participants joining are combining their journals to the merry lot as well- which is in the spirit of this challenge. I however, will not be doing this. I have a system that works like a clockwork and I am not messing that up. I have people that need to have their salaries payed, along with other legal duties that come (I do the books myself so it all has to be documented clearly), son who partakes in several therapies due to his several medical conditions, I am running this home and my son´s school in this binder and because apparently I hate sanity, I have taken up studying once more and there is a book project looming at the background as well.
When it comes to creativity, that will happen if there is time for it. Another binder will see to that.
Klair herself has explained the ethos of the challenge well enough on the video linked below, so I shall leave further details to the good Lady herself.
What I was intrigued however, was the knobby puzzle of pocket sized planner. I have this beautiful Finchley that was burning my hands (shelf), you see. I know I have a lot in my plate but also, it is July and my son´s school and therapies are on their leave. I could do with the pocket size for July, common sense told me so and it was right. Also, can you see how much smaller the pocket sized planner is, compared to personal size? My personal binder is a generic one from Ajasto. It is a Finnish brand that makes wide range of calendars and planners. Not great quality but let´s say this, their pen loops do not just rip off, unlike the pen loop of my Filofax did. Might I mention that there wasn´t even a pen in the pen loop, just poor craftsmanship, that´s all. Were I to whine about Ajasto binder, I would make a note of poor design. The flap that closes the binder with a magnet is designed to stay closed.When one opens the binder, the pesky flap just folds over paper because the binder pieces were cut that way that the inner piece is very much shorter, bending the flap to a closed position, even while attempting to use it. I have slathered the persistent piece of plastic with Plade so it would not crack, while I muscle the damn thing off my way, but it only is a matter of time when the binder breaks because of this basic level of stupidity.
For a layout I usually use the vertical layout with times. I use Ajasto refills. For July and its pocket sized planner, I used pages offered free for printing by Ray Blake in his blog, My Life All in One Place. I had prior printed these for Field Notes sized Traveler´s booklet, but cut them in A6 size, so trimming them to pocket size was no problem at all. One thing I should mention, Ajasto refills are larger that Filofax refills in pocket size, and since the rest of the refills were (aside from "information" pages) Ajasto refills, I chose to trim Ray´s pages in matching larger size as well.
Two weeks into July and I indeed learned something new. Instead of a week on two pages and daily pages, what I really need is two sets of weeklies. In the other set of weekly pages I will do the reminders, notes ( bills that are due, phonecalls to make etc.)while the first weekly pages will remain dedicated to meetings, places to be and when etc.
I already do the very detailed daily planning, note taking while phone calls etc. on a desk planner in A5 size. This I never lug around but the personal sized binder is a constant companion.
So last night, I copied all the information concerning July from pocket sized planner back to my irritatingly flappy personal binder (this binder will change shortly, even if I like its red- ness greatly) and will add another set of weeklies. This is a great time to add refills since schools are about to start again in less than a month´s time.
To put it all in a nutshell- an old dog can indeed learn new tricks.