I love my planner set up. Since coming up with it at the start of 2012, I haven’t changed it much. There have been some tweaks just to streamline my system, but nothing major has changed since I started using the compact binder. For me, the compact provides the best of both the personal planner world and the ability to keep it simple and light, though some may say that having to swap out inserts each month isn’t necessarily keeping it simple. But for me, it is. Yes, it’s a lot of maintenance to keep everything up to date, but that’s what allows me the ability to carry only what I need, which is what I have always wanted. Then again, being super organized does mean a lot of required maintenance, and while sometimes it is annoying and tiresome, it is always worth in the end (for me) because I don’t waste time looking for everyday items.
During the last week or so, I’ve been contemplating going back to two pages per day inserts. I have a pretty good system going with the day per page inserts, but I could use a little more room, especially when it comes to work items and the weekends (Saturday and Sunday share a page, and I often run out of room for proper details).
The issue with the two pages per day option of course is that I use a compact, which limits the amount of inserts I can carry at any given time. Right now, with the day per page inserts, I can carry two full month’s worth of inserts in my binder (along with a year’s worth of monthly inserts; five other sections, a few pages behind each tab; and a couple of other random items). To test how many of the two pages per day inserts I could fit comfortable in the compact, I pulled out my 2011 set and tried it.
First, I added the complete two month’s worth. They do fit, but it is a little tight and makes the binder a bit fat.
While doable, turning the pages is tight, and I’m afraid that it will put too much strain on the rings and/or tear the pages. So what are my options?
- Use two month’s worth of 2PPD inserts and deal with whatever strain comes with it.
- Put only a month’s worth of inserts in and rotate out pages weekly instead of monthly.
- Use two month’s worth of 2PPD inserts and keep only six month’s worth of monthlies.
- Stick with the day per page option like I’ve been doing.
My decision? Well, I’m sure you’re not surprised to learn that I ordered the 2PPD inserts.
How I use them will depend on what fits my needs—it might require some experimentation. However, at this point, I’m leaning towards rotating out inserts on a weekly basis rather than monthly, the way I do now.
The reasons for that are:
- With all the ring problems going around these days, I don’t want to give any binder a reason to crap out on me. So the less strain I myself inflict on the rings, the better.
- Since I can only carry a couple of month’s worth of daily sheets (at most), I need a full year of monthly sheets for forward planning, so the option of cutting back on how many I carry is not doable. Plus, really, removing six sheets won’t making up for the fact that I’m adding 30 more (because with the 2PPD, compared with DPP, it’s like I’m carrying four month’s worth instead of two).
- While the DPP option is working for me, I’m finding (almost every day) that I have to abbreviate my to dos, especially for work, just to make everything fit. And that’s okay—I still know what needs to be done. However, it could be better. With 2PPD, I could put all of my work to do’s on the right side of the layout and keep the left side for my schedule and personal to dos and details. And since I use a sticky to do sheet for random work things, I can put that on the right side, keeping all work items on one side of my day. Right now, the sticky sheet covers the next day, and again, while this is doable, it’s not ideal, especially if I have to refer to “tomorrow” often.
- All weekdays and week day to dos will be on the same side of the binder, making for consistency, which I love. There won’t be any this-day-is-on-this-side-of-the-binder-and-that-day-on-that-side conflicts.
- Saturday and Sunday will have their own full pages. True, I won’t have to do pages like I do with the weekdays, but that’s okay since I don’t really need them. Even if I work a Saturday or Sunday, I do so in order to cover the reference desk, which means that my priority is helping patrons, not working off of a to do list. And on the rare occasion that I need a list, it’s a small one and can be kept on the day’s page itself. One or two items won’t take up much space at all.
- I have been using Day Planner pages for food and exercise information. This has been working okay, except during the last week I gave up on it. I found that accessing yet another set of pages was annoying at best and sometimes I forgot to do it completely. With the 2PPD inserts, I will have enough room on my daily pages that I can keep that information right there on the day, giving me one less thing to access during the day and one less thing to prep each week, streamlining my system even more.
In the end, I don’t know how I’ll feel about rotating pages out each week and in what order exactly I will do it (keep a week of prior pages or have them all be future pages). It’s rare that I need to look back at something from the past week, and when I do I’m almost always home, so accessing my personal Ochre Malden (which holds past and future inserts) isn’t an issue. However, keeping maybe just one week of past inserts might be ideal. I do need to have at least the first week of the next month for bill paying purposes, but I’m sure I can finagle some combination that fulfills the need for all of that.
Once I get the inserts and have them up and running, I will do another post showing how it all works out, because I am super hopeful (and excited) that it will!