After chatting with my Best Friend Carrie tonight who was interested in how I set my planner up (the way it works for ME), I figured as I’m incredibly happy with my system I would put more information on the way I go about setting up my Month and Weekly view diary pages.
For my setup I always begin with my Month To View pages. Then I transfer across to my Week To View, but I’ll get to that shortly!
As you may know already from a previous post briefly mentioning what is in my Filofax, I use the Philofaxy/My Life All In One Place Month To View printouts which I decorate with Washi Tape and then draw around the entire month’s boxes in a coloured pen.
Here is an example of how my page looks like before my scrawls and colour coding system takes hold of it!
When I’ve completed my decoration, I then use my coloured Pilot Frixion Erasable Pens to mark out my colour coding system in the Notes Section on the far right hand side of the page as you can see below.
I also then fill in what I already know is happening that month, like:
Direct Debits that will leave my account that month (light green)
Holiday days I take from work or work from home or National Holiday days (light blue)
Appointments for either work or personal, e.g. customer visits, nails, hair, doctors, dentist etc (orange)
“Don’t Forget!” items such as MOT or Insurance being up, deadlines for reports or just something I need to do for a specific day that requires me to sort something out “by that date”. I also use it for “Recognised Days”, e.g. Father’s Day, St Georges Day, Pancake Day, Halloween, Remembrance Day – but these days are not recognised as a National Holiday (pink)
Social Events or parties, nights out, date nights, meals etc, anything where I am interacting with my circle of friends or family or person of interest 😉 (purple)
Birthdays – self explanatory (dark green)
They are all plotted out on my month to view using my colour coding system as you can see below.
At this point I would begin transferring my data over into my Week To View, but more on this shortly.
Below is an example of this month for me at a glance. You can see that it’s been padded out with social events and appointments. Usually, I try to put my events in the order that they will be done. This means during the week my social events (purple) are generally at the bottom of the box because of work I can only really socialise on the evenings. It allows for room in case anything crops up that I need to add in (a work appointment for example). With the week to view, I do not put much detail – like times and addresses or in depth arrangements. It’s just what’s happening, which date.
Now then. Once I’ve got all of my month set up to the point where I’ve inputted all of my bills, birthdays, national holidays/work holidays, social events that have been planned in advance etc… I transfer them over into my Week To View diary pages.
My week is the Standard Filofax Week To View. Honestly, I tried using others, noteably a day per page with appointment times, but once I stopped Repping every day I found it took up too much space in my Filofax and therefore decided to try other methods. This method works for me best.
I’ve split my pages into 2 parts, added lines and checkboxes to one part, and the part closest to the rings are left blank.
Once I’ve had fun decorating with washi tape, my colour pens doodling around the dates and highlighting the month and the days, I use the “inner section” – the part closest to the rings – to import my Month To View calendar events (sometimes using the Event Stickers I make), and also in this area, expanding on the information, such as times. The colour coding system is still in force in this area.
I only use this area for whatever you see on the Month To View (except if there are films on TV I want to watch).
For example, you can see in light green on Monday I had a Direct Debit scheduled for my Mobile Phone Bill. I also had dinner with my parents and then a skype chat planned (including a time) – both in purple.
You can see on Tuesday evening I had a date night with Luke at mine planned at 7pm – in purple as it was classed as a “social event”.
All of those examples are on my Month To View.
The last section, or the “outer section” – the section with the checkboxes, are not colour coded, and they are merely daily to-do-lists for me to fill out the night before or even during the day etc. They also aid in my working life when I need to chase an order up a week in a week or so’s time.
The Daily To-Do-List is a real close up view of things I need to accomplish that day, whether it is to change my bedding, to ensure I pop time in to pamper myself with a face mask, to remind me to water my orchids, to make sure I post something out or collect something…
One last thing…
I also use my first section of the week – the part that says “this week” usually above the Monday on the Standard UK Filofax Week To View – to record things that are going to happen over the course of the week; eg, if I’m off work on Holiday all week, it’s on there. If my parents are abroad that week, it’s on there. Anything that is happening that week – all week – is in that section.
I hope that’s given you an insight as to how I plan my pages out a little more, I know it sounds like a lot and a lot of time and effort go into it, but I think the most time is the initial set up – figuring out how I wanted things to look or work for me. After that, it’s all about the maintenance and keeping things up to date as much as possible. I spend a couple of minutes updating my Filofax every day to ensure I don’t miss anything out.
I’m not saying this is the perfect setup – if I’d have had this setup myself a mere 6 months ago it would not have worked for me in my Repping Role. What works for one person will not work for someone else. It all depends on how much time you want (or are able!) to take out to organise your life effectively.
I’m a very orderly person, but also very visual, so things at a glance as well as up close are important to me. I need to see the whole picture, divided up as much as possible. I need colour, something that attracts me to want to look at my planner often enough to want/feel inspired to complete the tasks I set myself – or even, to set myself the tasks in the first place!
How does your setup work for you? Have you tampered with different setups and are currently in the dreaded “planner fail” area right now?