{Planner Maniac} What One book July challenge taught me

by Julia

One Book July happened really in the right moment – a moment in which I was seriously struggling in order to get back to a meaningful use of my planner. I’m grateful to this challenge because it forced me to be practical and to think about effectiveness over aesthetics.


I cannot say that for sure but I believe the things I learned in July are going to stick in my planner routine for quite a long time. Here’s what I’ve gathered:

  • I need colour coding, but I need it simple. I don’t get anything more accomplished by using all the colours of the visible spectrum, rather the contrary, it distracts me [and make me waste time as I have to pause and thing ‘ok which colour I should use for this task?’]; I’ve discovered that 4 is the magic number for me at the moment.
  • I’m not precious about pens; whatever ball pen that don’t spread ink everywhere while I’m writing will do just fine. This also allows me not to freak out everytime I use an expensive pen and someone at work grabs it without asking.
  • Again on colour coding, I don’t need a system based on the division between the different areas of my life [ex. work, personal, hobbies, fitness etc.]; I prefer to distinguish on the base of appointment/note/to do/deadlines, whichever their nature.
  • My inserts may not be the best offered on the market but with a little  effort I can make great use of them, and I could have done the same in the past [but I didn’t].
  • Overall, I prefer to keep it simple. I don’t need to carry with me tons of inserts and dividers, I’d rather concentrate on my weekly and monthly tasks trying at least to accomplish them. My reading and tv series lists can await for me at home; monthly and weekly inserts, master to do list and finance section is all I really need to carry out and about.
  • Last but not least, I need to have a work space that allows me to keep my planner opened in front of me. If I keep it in my bag or even on the desk but closed I’m more likely not to use it. This is a truth I’ve been aware of for quite some time now and it’s something I cannot overlook. The more I see my pages the more I look through them, and the more I look throught them the more I write and jot things down. It can be either a vicious or virtuous circle, depending on this very simple detail.

This system has been working so well for me that I don’t plan to change it as the months progress. I have something different in mind in terms of inserts and format for 2016 but the inner ratio is gonna be the same for a very long time.

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