There’s nothing like a paper planner. I have tried relying solely on my phone, which syncs to my computer and is very efficient, but I get bored with it. Hand-writing solidifies things in my memory in a way that no digital tool can do, so I am finally resigned to doing both. I get things down in my phone, and at the end of the day, stick them in The Book.

My planner spread, all laid out and pristine

The “before”

My old system was this convoluted system of notebooks, with one master notebook (The One Journal to Rule Them All) that would index and cross-reference the important stuff in each. This system was developed because I have a penchant for buying and starting new books while still in the middle of old books, and also because I keep a cheap pad for scribbling right next to my desk that I kept filling with increasingly useful information that I couldn’t otherwise find.

I gave myself a little present of the Arc System this year. It solves the multi-notebook, cross-referencing problem by allowing me to pull out any important pages from any other book and just punch them straight into the main book.

There are a number of disc-bound journals, but the Arc system is based on letter- and half-letter sized pages, making it really easy to design new inserts. I’ve made some specific to my work and keeping track of goals and metrics related to sharptoothsnail.com. Plus, they’re just fun to make. There’s this whole planner culture I’ve discovered on pinterest, which I affectionately call Planner Hell, with ideas for spreads, stickers and printables to suit your every organizational need.

The designer in me quivers with a mighty need to get in on that.

I’m still developing a routine, but I’m starting to settle into 15-or-so minutes at the end of my work day filling in blocks on the calendar with to-do items, meal ideas, and doodles in the empty spaces. I bought some cheap markers and a bunch of washi tape to make the whole thing colorful, and I’ve noticed it’s now pulling double-duty as both an organizational tool and a chance to meditate on what I’ve accomplished during the day.

 

Simulation of the full descent into Planner Hell

Look at this beautiful mess

Watch this space for info about downloadable stuff to fuel your own descent into Panner Hell.

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