This is my 3rd year of participation in the challenge (you can see my post from 2015 here and from 2016 here) and I can honestly say I’ve learnt something significant about my planning habits each and every time. I’ve recently reached what in the planner community is referred to as ‘planner peace‘ so I won’t be concentrating much on the original version of the challenge (one book, one pen, one month) as much as on versions 2.0 and 3.0: project planning and go big or go home.
The whole idea behind one book July is that of going back to basics – your system, your process, your workflow. I see this as an input to reduce every other distraction as much as possible and start looking again at my planner as a powerful tool to regain control over my time. This has proven particularly true for me as I’m in the process of moving city and having a trusted system has been really a life-saver during this last month.
My system at the moment comprises two planners, even though I consider them as one: a Paperblank slim weekly calendar for deadlines and appointments only and a Filofax Boston Compact for everything else (lists of every kind, to dos, notes, memos etc) based on the GTD system. During the last couple of years I’ve gone down the simplifying road by eliminating most of useless embellishments (washi tape, stickers and the like), but now I’m a in real quest for cutting the crap down and keeping it 100% simple and functional. This has brought a lot of clarity in my process, and I’ve been able to focus on the things I need to take care of a lot better. The two planners that I’m using don’t overlap in any possible way and are very easy to just slip in my purse. Their spines together are not wider than a regular size Filofax personal, and I also get to choose whether I want to bring them both with me or not when.
Last year I was really excited about the idea of managing project planning, as it’s something I’ve never really been able to find a proper system for. It is also true that not al projects are the same so it’s quite difficult to find a one-fits-all solution – especially if you intend the term ‘project’ as David Allen does. In these cases I believe that the best way to proceed is to start small – yes, one project, one month. This year I want take from where I left in 2016 and narrow it down a little, using the same Kikki.k compendium to focus mainly on my Chinese study.
The go big or go home bit introduced this year has still to do with project planning, as I anticipated here. I’m going to start working seriously on my style notebook this month as a commitment with myself on dedicating more time to what is important for me as a person. July is moving month for me this year – all the more reason to remember I owe it to myself not to get buried in the day to day to do list and to keep looking at the bigger picture. I’m using a Daycraft soft cover notebook for this purpose and I’m going to fill it in with notes on all my areas of interest (language learning, planning, time management, photography and so on).
My last undertaking for the go big or go home challenge has to do with MTN and travel journaling. I’ve been willing to use a Midori as my main planner for a while now, but now that I’ve found a system working so well for me I can’t see myself changing it anytime soon. So why not using the Midori for the purpose it was made for, a travel journal? I’ve an upcoming trip to Edinburgh this weekend so it looks like the perfect occasion to put this idea into action. This project has three steps that I need to complete in order to consider it accomplished: (1) plan the trip in advance (travel details, places I want to visit, shops, pubs, etc) (2) journal our adventures while on the spot (3) complete the reportage by pasting tickets, photos and any other mementos.
I’ll be updating (hopefully) week by week on my progress, I’m very curious to see what everybody else is doing this year 😀