2019 planner system

by Julia

New year, new planner, new stationery accessories! 2018 has been a very good planning year, one in which I’ve finally finished sorting out my organisation system and simplified/streamlined my planning routine. I’ve drawn inspiration from the things that didn’t work in 2018 to set up a new, even more functional planner for 2019. I’ve chosen once again a Filofax personal size, since it’s the kind of planner I’ve the most experience with and also the one that offers the best combination of spaciousness and portability.

First, I’ve downsized *enormously* the amount of stationery that I use in my planning process. This year I’m going to use alternatively my 3 favourite pens (one from Ted Baker, the other two from Paperchase) and a selection of my 5 favourite Zebra Mildliners (shown in photo) for colour coding purposes. I may randomly use a couple of Faber Castell neon pencil if I feel like highlighting something specific in my weekly schedule, but that’s essentially it.

My planner has 6 sections. The first one is the brain dumb, and for this purpose I use old spare Filofax weekly pages. In here I quickly jot down things and ideas that I don’t have the time to sort properly on the spot, and that will be migrated to their proper section later on.

The second section is my monthly calendar. I have a vertical one that I use to record appointments, deadlines etc., and a regular ‘boxed’ one in which I jot down my houseworks and other household management information.

The third section is my weekly planner from Paperchase (I don’t know why I can only find the A5 size on their website right now). Despite that fact that for a long time this has been my number one choice in term of Filofax inserts, in the last couple of years I’ve struggled quite a lot to make the weekly planner work for me. I think a free-form weekly insert like this will suit me best – I can use the four daily boxes as morning / afternoon / evening / meal planning, or also by theme/project (Chinese, Japanese, Yoga etc).

Under my 4th tab I have my list / to do section. I’m following the GTD system so I have a few lists divided by context (@home, @work and so on), plus every other possible kind of list (books to read, dramas to watch, you name it). My to do list insert is once again from Paperchase.

Section 5 is projects, and in there I have 5 more subtabs for each single project that is relevant for me right now (Chinese, Japanese, blog ideas, Coursera and finances). For this section I use simple lined paper either from Filofax or Paperchase, as I find its free form more suitable for managing all different kind of tasks that projects usually involve [I may use dotted paper in the future though]. Everything that I’m not taking care of right now goes to my Someday/Maybe list on Trello.

Section 6 is reference + spare papers in case I run out of something while I’m on the go (if you are familiar with GTD you’ll recognise a pattern here). At the front of the planner I also have a divider holding a few post-it notes in different colours and shapes, in case I need to write down something for someone when I’m out and about – or even a note for myself!



Paper-wise I also use an A6 Agenzio notebook in pink, but this is mostly for ideas and inspirations, so it’s not strictly part of my planning system (and its definitely not part of my daily process). I keep a list of all the topics I write about in this notebook on a note on Google Keeps, so in case I need to retrieve some information I can have easy access to it (though it seldom happens).

So this is my planning system for 2019, together with my go-to apps of course (Evernote, Trello and Google Keep). I also use Apple reminders through Siri since it’s just quick and easy [and my personal assistant is an Australian male voice, I mean, what else do you need in this life] and I don’t trust Google Keep for reminders anymore. I would love to hear what kind of planner you’re using this year and if there’s still people using paper or everyone else has gone digital 🤪