Monday, February 16, 2015

New Year, New Inserts

Ok, ok, I realize I can’t really still call this a new year. But since I’ve been neglecting my posting for quite a while now, I think it still counts. Kinda. 

Not much changed in the Malden at the beginning of 2015. I’m hoping to get around to a set up video at some point but in the meantime, everything is still pretty similar to my 2014 set up HERE.

The biggest change this year was a switch in my main planning inserts. For the majority of 2014, I used my own design - a week on two pages vertical format. 



While I still love this design, the narrow columns provided a bit of a challenge when it came to detailed planning. I could fit brief descriptions of an appointment or event, but there was really no where to add details such as addresses, etc. 



About midway through January, I realized I couldn’t take it anymore. Too many of my days were getting jumbled. If I had two events in the same time slot, they were completely smushed and illegible. Event events that were back to back were confusing to look at. 




This year is gearing up to be our busiest yet. Between my two freelance positions and a grant writing gig I just picked up and Brian’s school schedule, new part time job, and existing freelance work, there was just no way I could make these weeklies be an effective planning tool. 

After much debate, I decided to switch back to the Filofax Day Per Page inserts. The main debate was to figure out which was more important to me: being able to see a whole week at a time and keep an entire year in my binder, or being able to plan in detail for two pretty crazy schedules. 



Detailed planning definitely won out. Since I’ve learned that my one planning “must” is a vertical, timed layout, the Filofax DPP inserts fit the bill nearly perfectly. 



The photo above was taken before most of the week was planned out - usually my daily pages are looking much more like the photo two above by the time I am done with them. But so far this system is working pretty well. I have enough room for both of our schedules with a moderate level of detail, plus space for day-specific tasks, lists, etc. One main tool I lost in this system was my weekly task list - on my weekly view these were listed at the bottom of my right page. I’ve improvised and ended up adopting a system from The Zeitgeist of Zoe - I simply use two DayTimer Hot Sheet pages stuck back to back. The benefit here is that I can have a task list for this week and next week, adding to my forward planning abilities. 

Speaking of forward planning, the only downside to this new system is that I can only keep six to seven months of daily pages in my binder at a time without losing my other sections. Clearly, my Organized Mum monthly pages (with their itty-bitty boxes) weren’t going to cut it. 


I decided to try something totally different for me, and went with a month on two pages with a linear layout of my own design (inspired by Filofax). 



This gives me plenty of room for event details - I’ve marked work events off using color coordinated washi tape since they tend to move around and change. I also pre-printed holidays (marked with blue as well) and birthdays. The small column has been perfect for marking off multi-day events without having to rewrite details or use up too much space. I just put the event at the bottom, then mark off the days! 

Tabs, of course, were another issue. Since I know tabbed months are essential for me, I searched around for tabs online and found a free printable. They were a bit more labor intensive to print, cut, and laminate, but for the amount of work I put in, they are making daily life exponentially easier. 


That’s about it! Simple tweaks that make my system function so much better. 

I’m still hoping to get an overall 2015 set up video done and posted, along with set up videos for each of my work systems. First I just need to catch my breath with all these new work responsibilities - once I’m in the groove I’ll be back to regular posting! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

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