ADHD Planner Setup

This is probably going to be the strangest planner setup article you’ve ever read.  But maybe the most interesting, too?  Well, it’ll definitely be an experience.  I just hope that when you’re done you don’t think I’m a nut case.

Many of you know that I used a Franklin Covey Compact two pages per day for 20 years.

Franklin Covey Compact Planner

The first 15 years I didn’t realize there were other options so I stuck pretty faithfully with my FC (fewer options is better when you have ADHD).  My recollection is that I used it faithfully.  But my archives and my best friend say different.  My archives show gaps in use.  My best friend says I’ve always struggled with my planner.

Until about 5 years ago, I made it work.  It served me well enough that I was able to keep my ducks in a row, for the most part.  But 5 years ago life started getting crazy.  I won’t bore you with all the details but let’s just say I went from a well-ordered life (at least that’s what I remember) to a crazy one.  Life became very unpredictable and difficult to plan.  And my FC compact started driving me crazy.  I tried anything and everything to get it to work but I just couldn’t.

I started exploring other options – like upgrading to a FC classic size (5-1/2 x 8-1/2).  I liked all the space but I didn’t like carrying that giant planner and looking like a nerd.  I tried Filofax.  I bought a personal Malden and day on two pages inserts.  But it was too small. Are you seeing a pattern here?  I sounded like Goldilocks and the Three Bears – this one’s too small; this one’s too big.  It seemed like the compact was just the right size.  Only it wasn’t.  And I was tired of it.  20 years is a long time.

So I struggled.  I can’t tell you how many nights I sat on the couch with three planners on my lap.  I asked my husband’s advice so many times he can practically recite the speech while asleep:  “Just pick one. What is so hard about a planner setup? Any of them will work.”  And the rest of my family just rolled their eyes when I mentioned my planner struggle.

At the end of every year I started panicking about which planner I’d use starting January 1st.  I desperately wanted to pick one and stick with it.  But then January rolled around and I was no closer to choosing!  I just felt more pressured.  By the time February arrived I was completely depressed because I wanted this to be the year I decided.   Oh, wait.  I did decide. But then I changed my mind.  Sometimes multiple times in the same day.

And here we are again.  I have to decide because I’m driving myself (and my family) crazy and my ducks are NOT in a row!!!

So I analyzed my schedule and my needs and realized that most of what I do every day is the same.  And between my household routine and my blogging routine, I don’t have much time left.  So I created a custom page for my Filofax that included routine tasks with a few lines for extra tasks.  Those few lines were to remind me that I don’t have much extra time so I shouldn’t write much.  I also included things to do sheet on the left side for all the other stuff I think of that needs done sometime.  That sheet travels with the daily page.  Notes about my day go on the back of the page.  I also borrowed an idea from Raine of limetreefruits and added a “De-Brief” page at the end of the week where I can write a summary of my week and a few thoughts about how I can do better the next week.

Filofax personal custom pages

Filofax personal custom pages

Filofax personal custom pages

Filofax personal custom pages
De-Brief is an important part of my planner setup.

I used these pages for a couple of weeks and was very excited about them.  But then I noticed a problem (of course).  Using this planner setup I wasn’t getting the extra things done and some of them were important.  Also, I had several days that fell apart and by the time I had a chance to catch my breath, I was completely overwhelmed and had no idea what to do next (thank you, ADHD).

And that’s when I realized that as much as I love the personal Malden Filofax with my custom pages, they will not work for me.  I need a different planner setup in order to function effectively with a chaotic schedule, ADHD issues and all my responsibilities.

Drum roll please.  And the answer is . . .

Franklin Covey Classic with Two Pages Per Day

Are you disappointed?  Were you expecting something . . . well, different?!  I know.  I was disappointed, too.  But after much analysis, this is what the doctor ordered.

Here’s how I’ve been using it:

Franklin Covey Classic

I divided the to-do section into three parts.

TOP:  Must Do

MIDDLE:  Blog

BOTTOM:  House Dailies

Then when I have one of those days when I go from Plan A to Plan M and I don’t have a clue what to do next, I just look at the Must Do category and pick one.  It doesn’t even matter which one.  If I happen to get all those done, I can choose out of the other sections or not choose.  It doesn’t matter that much since the Must Do’s will be done.

The best part of having the page divided this way is that it’s easier for my ADHD mind to compartmentalize.  That’s the problem I was having with the custom pages in the Filofax – because of the small pages, all the tasks ran together and when I needed to see what to do next, I couldn’t.  That’s not necessarily going to be the case for everyone – that’s just me!

I’m also marking the schedule page so I can see at a glance when I have time to work on my Must Do’s or other tasks.  On this particular day, I was free for a little while in the morning but then I left to pick up the grandkids.  From 11:00 to 1:30 I was either traveling to get them and bring them home or feeding them lunch.  The time from 4:00 to 8:30 was when they would be up and expecting my undivided attention. With my schedule marked this way, I’m able to see exactly when I have time to work on tasks.  In this case, a little time in the morning, a few hours in the afternoon, and after 8:30 when they go to bed.

I might end up using the very bottom section for my menu but for right now I have it up at the very top. Once again this is the planner setup that works for me. It might not work for everyone.

I’ve divided the Notes page into two sections.  The section on the left is for notes – anything and everything that comes up during the day.  The right side is my food journal.  I’ve increased my activity lately and now it’s time to clean up my diet.  The most effective way to keep a food journal for me is to have it right on my planner page where I can see it every time I look at my planner.  If it’s in a section at the back, it’s easy to ignore.  But right there . . . I can’t miss it!

I’m also using the Progress Task List made by Franklin Covey.  It allows me to write all the other tasks I think of directly on the page finder and that also is in clear view so I don’t forget there are other things to do besides the ones on my list.  But they’re in a designated location so they don’t overwhelm me.

Here’s another sample:

Franklin Covey Classic Planner Setup

So this is my planner set-up for 2014.  I hope.  Wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted – unless I’m too embarrassed to admit I changed again.  And if I do change again, it’ll probably be right back to my FC Compact . . . which is actually looking pretty good right now . . . you know, just the right size.  Just kidding.  Mostly.

How about you?  Do you struggle choosing a planner setup and/or format?


 More time management/planner articles are available
in the Time Management Index.


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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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69 thoughts on “ADHD Planner Setup

  1. Fascinating, Patty. As you know I’ve been doing some big tinkering lately too. And I’m upsizing my work planner shortly to an A5. Kind of the same things you’re talking about. With busy personal and professional lives my filofax pages are getting so jammed it’s becoming hard to see what’s going on. Plus seeing work stuff when I’m at home is distracting, and vice versa. Interested to see how this works out for you.

  2. Hi Patty!
    I enjoy reading your posts about paper planning, please don’t stop making them!
    Here are my thoughts on this post: I can’t see how you are not able to use your FC in compact size. You divide your tasks section on the left page anyway into two columns, so the left column might be divided in the middle on must do and blog and the right column might be divided into house dailies and extra tasks in the middle also. The hour column is the same. Then, the right page might be used also as you decided to use it in your Classic size-right colymn for food journal and lefr for notes.
    My another thought was that I probably have ADHD too, I need to take a test on it, because I also was struggling to compartmentalize everything in my Filofax.
    My 3rd thought was that I am so happy that I made a system for myself that really works! I have never written about it on my blog, but made pictures on my Instagram. I put my goals and everyday tasks as well as evaluation of my goals achievement and everyday tasks performance on just one sheet of paper for one month! This monthly sheet is all that I need to drive me and motivate me to achieve goals! Yes! (I just need to share it with anybody!)

    1. I tried using my FC compact the same way I’m using the classic but there wasn’t enough room. Plus I have some charts and things in the sections at the back that won’t fit in my compact.

      I’d like to see your system. How would I find it on instagram? I’m just started to get my feet wet with instagram and really don’t know how to do anything in it yet.

  3. I’ve had trouble with planners over the years — I only started with one a few years back because I was having surgery, and my existing system broke down under the weight of that. But I was never quite happy with the format, and I kept looking for something “different.” To me, even though I see different brands of planners in the store, I don’t see much difference in there. Meaning that while Franklin Covey’s layout is different from Filofax or Daytimer in appearance, they feel the same to me because they want me to do exactly the same thing. Which is to make lists.

    I don’t play well with lists. I look at to do lists and want to hide. I know other people find lists very helpful, but lists make me feel like I’m stupid. It’s the very purposes of lists — so you don’t forget anything. If I have a routine, I will autopilot right into doing it. Period. I don’t need a list that will tell me to do a routine thing. I won’t even remember to look at the list to see what I need to do because I’m already into autopilot on routines.

    I’m also a big picture thinker, so in most cases, all I really need to know is if Big Project needs to be done. I don’t need to break it down into the parts and put it in planner because my mind’s already bouncing around a touching all the parts (I’m not a sequential thinker). If I break it down into a planner, my brain’s suddenly going, “Wait, I went from one thing to do to twenty! I don’t have enough time for all of that!” Each suddenly turns into another Big Project, rather than a subset of a bigger project. Yet, the individual tasks are too small for me to bounce around, so they end up not getting done — because I made a list! The only thing I’ve found that I actually need to remember is when, and that’s mainly for deadlines that occur a few weeks or months from now. I’m still trying to figure out what’s going to work for that, but pretty much all the planners want me to do all this other stuff.

    1. It sounds like you’re functioning fine without a planner. My life falls apart when I don’t use one. And I have to look at it often.

      I get what you mean about the lists. Sometimes I make one and then feel claustrophobic – like, by golly, I’m NOT doing that list. But most of the time they help motivate me.

  4. So I’m sitting here in bed, drinking coffee, surrounded by…let me count ’em…4 planners – different brands, different sizes, different formats. Thinking about how to settle. Wishing someone would write a post on how they’re using a Classic FC – and here you are! I’ll be really interested to know how it goes for you (and Josh too with a new A5 on the way). One thing I so wish is that the ring configuration of the FC compact and classic was compatible, the way the Filo personal and A5 is; I think it would make switching between those two sizes easier. As much as I love the elegance and quality of Filofax binders, there is still something about the FC D2PP layout and M2PP that is superior. Well, anyway, thanks for helping me feel a little less crazy (or at least like I have company in the craziness!).

    1. You see how many people have commented on this post! You are definitely NOT alone.

      I, too, wish the Filofax A5 and the FC Classic were compatible. I thought about getting an A5 but it doesn’t make sense when everything I already have (including a hole punch and binder) are the classic configuration and everything available in the US is for classic. Oh, well. That would probably just muddy the waters even more.

    2. So glad to know I’m not the only one who sits with her planners and coffee and changes them back and forth all throughout the year. A kindred spirit indeed! 🙂

  5. Oh Patty I can just about feel the stress this has been causing you, and I can totally sympathize. It’s really hard to change things up when something worked reasonably well for so long, especially when it’s not clear yet the change is for the better.

    I finally gave in and made my own FC Compact size pages using print outs from Apple Calendar and graph paper – DO2P. I don’t like them, but they’re working pretty well during this difficult time (both of my direct reports are on health leaves, so I’m doing 2 ½ jobs, supervising 4 ½ additional staff – basically working 12 hour days and still not getting everything done).

    I hate daily pages. There, I said it. The constant re-copying of incomplete tasks is SO annoying. The nearly empty schedule page seems like such a waste (until I started writing what I actually did all over it). The printing and cutting every weekend is tedious. And I miss my week view so badly. But in the moment, when I’m using this layout and having to decide what to do right now, it works.

    I’ve stopped asking for my husband’s advice – he really just gets frustrated that he can’t help me. Up until last month he never used a planner – I was shocked when he asked for one for Christmas. Turns out all he really wanted was a monthly calendar to write down what he does at work each day, to make it easier to fill out his time sheets.

    1. I really need to stop asking my husband’s advice, too. He tries but he just doesn’t understand. He has a master list of his jobs (he’s a remodeling contractor), writes an occasional list on scratch paper and then throws it away, and keeps the rest in his head. It works for him. And like you said about your husband, it frustrates him that he can’t help me and that I won’t take his advice!

      Your schedule and responsibilities sound brutal. I can see how the daily pages would be helpful right now. Maybe you can go back to your weekly view when things settle down. Have you seen Raine from Lime Tree Fruit’s layout that allows you to have both weekly and daily at the same time? I LOVE it but I hate printing it out. You have to do double-sided by my printer just doesn’t cooperate. Anyway, those pages or some variation could be helpful to you. If you haven’t seen them, let me know and I’ll find the link.

      1. I found it! I <3 Google — i just pasted in your sentence "Raine from Lime Tree Fruit’s layout that allows you to have both weekly and daily at the same time" and there it was! 🙂 Thank you.

  6. You know, I just love you to bits for writing this. I never ever considered the idea that I have ADD or ADHD but after about 20 years of my friends telling me I probably did…and reading your post… because it’s SO what I do… I’m starting to think everyone is right. I COULD HAVE WRITTEN THIS word for word! I’m actually in the process, right now, of designing my OWN calendaring system for NEXT year! LOL I have seen several that I really like all over the blogosphere and they’re awesome..and you can buy them for $8 and download them, but then you have to print them — in color — and do you KNOW how expensive that is? Yeah…. that $8 dayplanner just turned into a $100 dayplanner. No thanks! I think … your plan is awesome! 🙂 GOOD LUCK!

    1. Yes, custom pages can get very expensive and time consuming. I like them but I hate printing them out.

      Did you read yesterday’s post about the book, Your Life Can Be Better? If you didn’t, you might want to check it out. It’s the best book I’ve ever read on ADD and it could help you. Doug’s blog could be helpful, too.

  7. Hi there!
    Great post! Any chance you would be interested in selling the Filofax you are not using? Im looking to try one out and can’t find one anywhere. Let me know! Thanks!
    Robin

    1. It is hard to find Filofaxes these days but I’m not interested in selling. My daughter and daughter-in-law both use Filofaxes so they would be very upset if I sold mine.

      Have you looked on philofaxy or ebay?

  8. There is something wildly exciting about being disorganized and not having planner struggles! I’m not quite sure how I get by in life! I really don’t even think I could write a blog about how to exist without a planner. Perhaps I’m missing something big! The hubs has encouraged me for YEARS to write it down! Because I try my best to please him – I write it down. Then I forget where I put the list and forget that I am supposed to look at it anyway! I’m a mess. But thankfully, I have a friend who is an organizing, planning guru who helps me along in life! Thanks for your blog!

  9. You and I must have been identical twin sisters in a past life! Thank you… thanks you so much for sharing your struggles which are the exact same as mine!
    I’m sure I have ADD and probably a nice recessive Asperger’s gene – my younger brother and my two sons all have Aspergers! I, too, have multiple planners. Each year @ November I struggle with what format I will be using. I was pleasantly surprised creating my own page per day form for my FC Classic per your suggestion — of course I had already ordered the FC pages. I normally always fall back on the week per 2 pages in a vertical format – I’m a lot like Bree when it comes to re-writing incomplete things, and I’m so pitifully visual that I hate for the page to be cluttered. I can’t tell you how many years I end up buying at least another if not 2 formats to use in my planner!
    I like your idea of creating forms – I’m thinking I might play with that a little more, too. I’ve never really adapted to a smaller size than the classic – envelopes for mailing fit nicely without sticking too far out, 8 1/2 x 11 pages fit in there by half, etc.
    I bet you used to really love the old stationary stores just like me — total heaven walking down the aisle of all those pens to try, pretty papers, oh my!
    Thanks again for all you’re posts!

    1. Yes, I did enjoy the old stationary stores. They were AWESOME! My husband likes hardware stores and I like office supply stores!!!

      Those first 15 years of using my FC Compact I rarely had a second set of inserts but the last 5 years – I hate to think of the money I’ve wasted.

  10. wow. This post really spoke to me, because I have the same struggles. I have the personal and A5 Filofax and another weekly planner and monthly planner. My problem is that I like the flexibility of the pages in the ring binders, and it is easier to transfer year after year, but I CANNOT STAND the rings! They get in the way! So, then I go back to my bound planner, but then I don’t have the dividers for my needs (taking care of my special needs daughter that has CP, and my bedridden father who lives with us, let alone running a business). So, on and on goes the merry-go-round. I get disgusted at the money I spend every year trying to find the perfect set up, but it never happens. Right now I am using my monthly calendar for the big appointments, and a small notebook for my daily things. I do have to bring my Filofax to work, because sometimes I get calls regarding my Dad when I am at work, and need to have the info available. It is tough and stresses me out, but one day hopefully I can swing something. Bridget

    1. Have you looked at Laurie’s site – Plannerisms? You sound like her – struggling between rings and bound planners. That’s one thing I don’t struggle with. I have no desire to have a bound planner. I have to have rings. But the rings do get in the way – especially if they’re large rings!

      Have you looked at the Arc system by Staples? Or the Levenger system? I reviewed a Levenger recently and thought it was the perfect compromise between ring and bound. That would allow you the flatter surface but also let you have sections.

  11. ~Hi
    I wanted to comment that I really love the idea of the traveling to do list that you were using in the FiloFax. I try and do a mini-brain dump before going to bed, so that errant thoughts don’t keep me awake. Usually, it’s a long list and having it travel day to day without being a separate notebook would work perfectly for me. I think. We never quite know do we? Thanks for the post!
    Regards,
    Monique

    1. I have to have a traveling to-do list somewhere. I like the one I had in the filofax the best but in the FC I use the page finder. It’s not my preference but it works.

  12. Patty, I hope the Classic brings you planner peace! I know you’ve said before you feel more creative when you use it, and it gives you enough space to stretch out your thoughts in general. I know it can be a drag to carry around, but I say IGNORE the weight. Totally disregard it. Take the weight completely out of the equation so you can focus on what works for you. With the large page size you can make it however you want it to be. Best of luck with this setup!

    (Of course this is coming from someone who has tried hundreds and hundreds of planners and is completely obsessed by them! Even now I contemplate several different planners every day.)

  13. Custom pages never really worked for me, either. I think my needs change, just a bit, but enough to matter, from day-to-day. I do have a MUST DO list and that has been amazing.

    1. I really like your layout, Kristy, and played around with it a little bit but I need a Notes page every day. I tried adding a section for Notes but it just didn’t work for me. I need daily pages.

      But however a person has to do it, a Must-Do list is definitely a huge benefit to staying on top of things.

  14. Try to find a lightweight, non-leather classic-sized binder. The Day Runner Harmony binder I’ve been using has made it so much easier to carry around classic size pages. Formerly I didn’t even consider classic size because of the weight, but those were nice-quality leather binders. I can carry this cheaper one in my bag with no problem, and the binder has all the necessary card slots and a secretarial pocket.

  15. Patty,

    Your planner battle sounds so much like mine it’s absolutely frightening! I was a faithful FC user for years and years. I used the Classic size to squeeze in details for a full-time job, care and keeping of two young (wonderful) children, and full time college course load. Now that my schedule is less demanding, I’ve waffled back and forth between some wonderful planners that work great, but are just not for me. From 2011 to 2013, I used an unCalendar, numerous Filofax binders and pages, new FC pages, a Women’s Success Journal, the list goes on and on. I fully lay the blame on Laurie at Plannerisms! She makes all things related to planners look so tempting and workable.

    As we approached 2014, I knew I had to settle with one planner and stick with it! I joke with Hubs that I have ADLD (attention deficit laziness disorder) because if I don’t have it written down into a clear workable plan, it simply isn’t getting done. After really taking the time to think through my big needs versus wants, I settled on a Time Traveller bound planner. Oddly, I discovered that the flexibility I love with a ring binder just made it possible for me to stuff it to the gills with EVERYTHING! What distracts an ADD’er? Having too much information! The bound planner I’m using lets me schedule my time and tasks on one page per day with minimal “background noise” to distract me. Another thing I discovered, after umpteen years of using a ring binder is…I hated the darn rings! They got in my way and my hand was always bumping into them when I wrote things down. I’m two months into bound plannerland , and as happy as a clam.

    I applaud your creativity with the pages you created, and hope that your Classic set up is “the one”!

    1. LOL Karyn, sorry to have caused you Planner Waffling! (It’s kinda fun though, in a torturous sort of way.) And YES, I’ve always been guilty of stuffing my ring binder way too full. I convince myself I need all kinds of pages and tabbed sections, and by the end of it the binder is completely unwieldy and I’ve subdivided everything to the point where I can’t find anything. I always have such good intentions of creating a simple, workable system but I just overcomplicate it. I’m so glad you are enjoying your Time Traveler planner, aren’t they great?? I love the maps!

      1. Laurie, you make a good point. That’s why a bigger size or larger rings isn’t always a good idea. The more space you have, the more space you use. Your pages expand to fill up the amount of space available. So keeping it smaller can keep it more manageable. Hmmm . . . that sounds like a good post idea!

      2. Laurie- I completely forgive you! It has been a fun ride and I’ve learned a LOT more about how my brain processes information and responds to my organizational efforts. I liked the point you made about subdividing, because with ring bound planning I almost had more Tabs pages than actual planning pages. Hubs at one point (mid-2013, six planners into the year) suggested an intervention. He doesn’t mind my pen fetish, but the various planners were out of control. The Time Traveler you used last year has been my saving grace for 2014, so I owe you BIG TIME!
        Patty-Keeping it small definitely keeps it more manageable! The need to write down EVERYTHING is something I battle with quite a bit. Now I focus on a daily “Hot 5” things to be done, and a one page per day bound planner like Time Traveler keeps me from cluttering! I love it. No darn rings to work around, re-tooling the Directory pages for family info, coded usernames and passwords. My motto for 2014 is “Just Do It!” and thus far I’m on track!

    2. You made me laugh, Karyn. We do sound alike except for the ring/bound issue. I just can’t use a bound book.

      I must have ADLD, too, because if I don’t have it written down in a clear workable plan it doesn’t get done either. And too much information is a problem for me, too. That’s why the pages I made for the Filofax didn’t work – too much!!!

      So does that make Laurie an enabler??? 🙂

  16. This is my first year with my FC compact (dayone). I’ve been using it since September, I think it was, and I’m positive I jumped the gun when I ordered a full year for 2014 because I’m pretty sure I won’t be using past March or April. Like you, I’ve decided classic size is what I need the most. I also have ADHD, and also like you, am finding the compact pages too small – everything does run together, and there isn’t room to space things the way my chaotic brain can parse them.

    “a “De-Brief” page at the end of the week where I can write a summary of my week and a few thoughts about how I can do better the next week.” <3 this idea!! i have to try this.

    1. ps the fun part is going to be finding a classic i like well enough. i have one that has .75″ rings that i’m using as a wallet. it’ll never work as a daily planner! too thin!!

      1. Oh, yes. .75 rings are definitely too small for a day planner. Do you have the Giada? I love that one but can’t handle those small rings. I need at least 1.25.

        1. I just looked up the Giada. The plum is absolutely gorgeous! My classic is the Bree, and I love her. 😉 I would like to get the Veronica – it has 1.25″ rings, which would be perfect!

          1. The Veronica is a nice planner. I have that one in Compact. But the Giada is my favorite – except for the ring size.

    2. I’m still going to do the De-Brief even though I’m not using that format. I’ve done it several weeks and it’s really, really helpful.

      So are you going to switch to the classic?

      1. Seems the de-brief would be very useful. And yes, I’m more than likely going to switch to the classic. I’m sure someone somewhere could / would / will take the compact pages I have left. 🙂

  17. This sounds so much like what I go through when it comes to planners. For years I just swore them off because I went through the same exact troubles you were having. However you inspired me to try a planner and so far I’m two weeks in and loving it. I definitely think it could use some work but I’m getting better. So, thank you!

    1. It takes time to get it right, Andrea. And it evolves as your life changes. That’s why it’s so hard for me to switch from my FC Compact. I’ve been using it so long I know it backward and forward and I have everything just the way I want it.

  18. Uh, Patty? Has it occurred to you that you really do have too much to do? Super Woman was a fictional character, sweetie… You have too much to do! It is not your ADHD that is messing you up so much as there is just too much to do and not enough hours in the day to get all of it done and still leave time for life. I mean, Wow!

    I have a “dashboard” at the front of the planner where I write out the “plan” for a week and “map” a daily plan when my day is going to be spent doing many different things. Some days, I have a lot of things to do and limited time to do them, which I where my cell phone is used as my alarm so that I get things done and stay on schedule. Other times, the normal things have to do be because I have limited time to get them done before I have to be somewhere by a certain time.

    My daily routines are kept in a document protector in my planner and wax pencil is used to check them off when done. I mount my Daily planner page to the right of it so I can see what is done and not done before I move to the next thing. If my day will be nothing but routine things to do, I use a stick note to the right so I can make notes, if needed.

    My errands aare all handled at the same time so that I am driving a circular route to get them done. I can move my “errand time” better than I can move anything else, and my errands are listed in the order that I will attend to them. Sometimes that means doing my errands after a doctor’s appointment or something, but I find it irksome to have to drive to town twice in the same day — I just won’t do it.

    I will be praying for you. Something has to give. Hopefully, it won’t be you!

    1. You’re probably right, Dianne. I’m really not trying to be super woman, though. I know that’s a myth. Guess it’s time to analyze my schedule again and see what’s up. I tried doing a time log for a couple of days – that’s always really helpful for me – but I didn’t end up sticking with it. Not sure why. I’m not very good about knowing where my time goes without seeing it on paper. I don’t feel like I’m getting very much done but I’m sure busy.

      Thanks for your concern. It means a lot to me.

  19. At the moment, a combination of Wo2P and Mo2P (both in Filofax Personal size, with a Monday start, please!) is perfect for me. I don’t have enough going on, either at work or at home, to necessitate a move up to 2DPP, DPP, or Do2P.

  20. I’ve bookmarked this post so I can read it again and again. I so relate! Planner indecision is kicking in for me. I shouldn’t be surprised, cause it always seems to happen this time of the year. But I’m pretty good with not changing inserts mid-year. I think my indecision is more a case of not using my planner faithfully than planner failure. 😉
    I love your idea of marking the schedule page to see the blocks of time you have available. This year, I purposely got inserts that didn’t have the hours on them, but this got me thinking. I can see now how I can make the schedule work (maybe next year?).
    I have a stash of the progressive task lists as well. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to make those work with the Weekly Compass. For now, the Compass is winning. 🙂

    1. I’m actually writing a more detailed post about using the schedule for tomorrow. Maybe you can figure out a way to incorporate a schedule on your current page layout.

      The Progressive Task Lists can work for other things, too. I’ve used it in my health section to mark my place and record goals or motivational comments. If it doesn’t work for your daily marker, maybe it would be beneficial for something else somewhere else in your planner.

      I’ve had the most success with the Compass, too. Not sure why.

    2. You know, I just noticed that you’re using the Real Life Adventures inserts. You can actually divide the left column in three sections for morning, afternoon and evening and then write tasks for the appropriate time of day on the right side. I tried those inserts and that’s how I did it. I ended up going back to original with the schedule. I need the schedule so I can see my day. I have a post where I showed photos of those pages. I’ll have to try to find it for you – just for fun.

      Here it is: http://homemakersdaily.com/9-more-ways-to-use-a-planner-page/

  21. Patty, I missed this post from last month when I was sick in the hospital. But boy do I need it today! I don’t have ADHD but lately seem like I do with planners. I have used every Franklin Covey size over the past 20 years. The recent years have been Classic. I am struggling so much with the size of it! And keep switching between 2-page per week and 2 pages per day. It’s just so much paper to carry around. I’ve posted with you about this before. After a month, do you miss your Compact size? I actually thought about you a few times this week, and that Compact size, as I consider switching to it. May I ask your thoughts on what it’s like to go from Compact to Classic, and what you do and do not miss about the Compact?

    1. Debi, I didn’t make it in the Classic. I want to use it. I know I could use the space. But I can’t stand carrying it around so I tend to leave it at home. That doesn’t work. I have to be able to carry my planner with me. So I’m back in my compact. I’ll be writing about it this week – on Thursday.

      1. Patty, I will be looking forward to reading Thursday’s post. I am so close to moving back to the Compact for portability, and because a look through my planner shows I leave a ton of blank paper space behind. Just don’t need it all after all. I just sort of dread moving all the info in my tabs, goals, etc., to another format. But who knows, maybe the fresh format will spark something spring-like in me. 🙂 Have a sweet week! Thanks again for everything.

  22. Just want to give you a big THANK YOU for this post and for what I see are a lot of other lovely, thought-provoking posts on time management especially using a Franklin Covey planner. Can’t wait to comb through your back catalog of posts. I stumbled upon your blog this morning in the midst of another planner crisis, which I have fairly predictably when I feel overwhelmed. Just reading this post has calmed my anxiety and reaffirmed for me I am in the right planner, I just need to recommit to implementing the system, with some fresh twists if necessary. So I can close the browser tab on the At-A-Glance website now.

    I, too, have used FC for going on 20 years now, and while I have settled fairly comfortably into Classic, I have used every size planner they have, and I waiver ever so often as to whether I should use Monarch (yes, Monarch) for my professional life. But I prefer to use only one planner, and there is no way my personal life fits well into that large of a planner. If only I could magically enlarge my monthly calendar every time I want to get the “big picture” to plan, then shrink it back down to Classic. That would be the perfect planner.

    1. I’m with you on that, Ginger! I want the writing room of a classic but the portability of a compact. But that’s not possible!!!

      I have a couple of posts about planner overwhelm. They might help when you get that feeling again.

  23. Hello ,
    I am glad I found your article, I started using the FC in 1992. I started with the classic size then moved to the monarch in 1995. I have also tried using multiple planners and the online planners. I also don’t favor the large size of the monarch size; however, it does fill the role of journal, date book , and tracks events when I remember to use it. The larger size does have the nerd like look, but that is a small draw back. I keep three months of the two day pages in my planner and insert pages as needed.

    The FC saved me on more than one occasion. During a modification hearing for my child support, my sons mother stated I rarely visited and did anything our son. I opened my Planner started giving dates of my visits from when I picked him up for the weekends and took him home, with mileage the times of departure from home arrival and return, notes of fuel purchases and receipts ( I keep a mileage log and a receipt envelope, to pick him up and take him home is 140 miles each) . I had also records of doctor and dental visits, with receipts ( I kept this in the key information tabs). I informed the court I could produce receipts and documents going back three years within a few hours. between meeting the court mediator and the judge I made three copies, for the judge for her and a backup for myself . I went from a dead beat dad to some one who cared about their child in a few minuets in front of the Judge.

    The Franklin Planner can be a wonderful tool If used to its full potential. With one planner to rule them all.
    I am currently restarting from the Planning stage using the planning guide to form mission statements .

    Thanks Patty for of your ideas and insights
    John

    1. Thanks for sharing, John. My detailed notes in my Franklin Covey have kept me out of trouble many times, too. So glad you were able to get a fair hearing as a result of your notes. A lot of people underestimate the value of making, and saving, those notes. Do you do the Monthly Index so you can easily retrieve specific information?

  24. I totally get how you feel. Most of my life I used whatever planner came my way when I needed it. However, now that I am an adult I know I need to remember what I want to do. I am struggling with what needs to be done and what I really did that day. So my search continues.

  25. I’m so glad I found this article! I have struggled with the same choices for YEARS! I started with the classic size because I do like having all the room to write, and because I work from home, so for the most part I don’t have to worry about hauling a big book around.
    This last summer I finally found some printable planner pages that I liked, but weren’t exactly what I wanted. That showed me that I could make my own, exactly like I need.
    In fact, I made up the first month’s pages (2 page per day) and by the end of the month, I knew what needed changing; at the end of the second month, I made one more change before printing the next month.
    I also created 2 page per month pages that match my daily pages. (it’s very important to me that the pages are nice-looking).
    Again, thank you for sharing your struggle to get your life organized- it’s really helped me!

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