I’ve been using a Franklin Covey compact planner with two pages per day inserts for the last 20 years. I’ve wandered occasionally but always end up back with this system. It’s not perfect but it works well for me most of the time. I like the page size, the large rings on the binder and the professional look of the pre-printed pages. Over the years I’ve probably tried every page design they’ve come out with but my favorite is still the plain green original.
My system has evolved over the years – you don’t create a planning system overnight – and it has changed to match my life. In case you’re interested . . .
I’m using a green compact Her Point of View binder (for at least 4 years). I don’t love it but I needed a new one and it was all I could find at the time. I hate the big flap on the front and that it only has one pen loop and it’s on the left. The binder came with 1” rings but I’m lucky enough to live near a Franklin Covey store so they replaced the 1” rings with 1.25” rings.
I don’t keep much in the front and back pockets. I currently have a few post-its, a business card I needed handy and a receipt. The first and last pages in my planner are the page lifters. I can’t function without these! They allow the planner to open and close without having to adjust the pages.
The first section is my A-Z tabs. I’ve shared before how my A-Z tabs not only include names and addresses, but also part numbers, model numbers, passwords, etc. When I record temporary numbers, I put them on small post-it notes and stick them on the appropriate page. Sometimes I put directions on a post-it and stick those to the appropriate page. I’ve also taped magazine mailing labels in there so I would have information about the subscription. These pages are about 15 years old but I can’t bear to re-do them. There’s a lot of outdated information but it’s a lot of work to fill out new ones (even though I’ve already purchased new pages) and I hate deciding what to re-write and what to leave out. So I haven’t.
The next section is my monthly calendars. I couldn’t function without my month-on-two-pages. I keep track of appointments and important events I might need to refer to. I also use them for an overview – so I can easily see the big picture.
Each set of monthly pages has a monthly index at the front and a monthly task list at the back. I fill out the monthly index every month and file it in my archive book. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used these pages to retrieve information everybody thought was long gone. I have 20 years of archive books.
On the back, the master task list, is where I write down things I need to do sometime during the month. I also include budget items I want to remember – like annual renewals and birthdays.
I use 2 pages per day daily pages so those go behind the appropriate monthly tab. I usually keep 2 months at a time. I have the current month and the previous month until the 15th. Then I take out the previous month and put in the new month. Here are a couple of samples of different ways I use my pages.
I use the front of the page finder for the most important tasks to be done sometime during the week. On the back I have other things I want or need to do.
Here’s a sample of my Notes page. I couldn’t show you everything because it’s personal but I wanted you to see that I fill up most of these pages with information or journaling. I don’t keep a separate journal so I write everything down in my planner. If I need more room, I add a page and keep writing. Oh, and at the top of the notes page I record my husband’s business activity (he’s self-employed). I write down where he worked and if we had any business mileage on my car and personal mileage on his truck. At the end of the month I transfer that information to a business calendar (there’s a section in my planner for that!).
After the monthly tabs I have blank paper.
Then 12 tabs which currently include:
- Bills to be paid
- Business financial information ( I love the Franklin Covey check register pages. I always have a supply of those.)
- Personal account financial information
- Savings account registers
- Business calendar
- Several blank tabs for temporary projects
These top tabs are for my blog:
If you want more information about some of the topics described above, here are past posts you might find interesting:
- 6 Ways to Use a Planner To Do Page
- 9 More Ways to Use a Planner Page
- 6 Reasons You Should Take Your Planner Everywhere
- How To Back Up Your Paper Planner
- How I Store My Extra Planner Pages
- How to Retrieve Information in Your Planner Quickly & Easily
- Making the Most of Your Planner’s A-Z Tabs
- Making the Most of Your Planner’s Page Finder
- How I Track My Finances in My Planner
- Plan Ahead with a Budget Allocation Worksheet
- 10 Reasons I Use a Planner
- Strategies for Making Your Planner Work Well For You!
- Making the Most of Your Calendar
- Not Enough Room on Your Monthly Calendar? Try This!
- Journaling Doesn’t Have to be Complicated
- Want to See What’s In My Franklin Covey Compact? (guest post on plannerisms.com)