Featured Reader: Sandy McNeely

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Journal 21 and President

Continuing our Featured Reader series, here is Sandy to tell us how she uses her Quo Vadis weekly President and daily Journal 21 planners:

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a nursing instructor at a university in Texas, USA, and a PhD candidate working on my dissertation. I have three children who are now in college. I have been using planners to organize my life since I was a young student in high school.

How long have you been using Quo Vadis planners and/ or notebooks?

This is my third year to use a President, so I started in 2013. In the year before that, 2012, I used a Rhodia large weekly desk.

What Quo Vadis planners and/ or notebooks are you using now?

I use the Quo Vadis President and the Journal 21.

Please tell us some details on how you are using them.

My President is my “central station” and the place where I keep track of all appointments and work tasks. I function best with a weekly vertical format, plus I have to keep up with a separate university calendar and numerous papers that are in the USA’s 8.5 x 11” format, all of which tuck neatly into the back of the planner. I keep a range of sticky notes and a small monthly calendar in the front of the President, along with my contact information.

President open with Journal 21

I use the Journal 21 as my gratitude journal and capture of daily thoughts and quotes. I record special days in the front on the monthly calendars.

Sandy M Journal 21 cover

I have modified it quite a bit to include monthly tabs with Girl of All Work Peel and Stick Tabs, a large cahier Moleskine in the back cover with a travel sticker from Baum-kuchen, peel and stick flip pockets to hold incidentals, a binder clip for a mechanical pencil, and my favourite bookmarkers.

Sandy M card upright

Sandy M back

The system works well for me since I am not comfortable carrying too much personal information in my life planner. I got my Journal 21 at Barnes & Noble, and it came with a lovely smooth turquoise cover.

Sandy M tabs


What is your favorite Quo Vadis product?

Oh, this is a hard question! Actually, I think I would say that my very favourite one is the Notor/Textagenda. My daughter has a Notor, and I think it’s just adorable. The size would not work for me to use as a life planner right now, but I think it would be great to carry when the large President is a little too cumbersome, such as weekend travel or trips to the store, a to-do list during errands, or maybe as a little journal.

What is the future for paper planners?

I don’t know. On the days when I am on the Facebook planner groups and blogs, I think that the planner community is growing and going strong. However, when I go to the office supply and book stores to purchase planners, I am discouraged that the supply is so limited and many brands or stock discontinued at that store. Even some of the mainstay brands still available online are limiting the selections and downsizing. I will say that most of my nursing students carry a paper calendar or agenda of some sort to help them keep up with assignments, as does my daughter who is in college. However, none of the young people I know carry a “binder.” I really think that the days of the 80’s comprehensive “productivity systems” are pretty much behind us. You never know. Sometimes what seems so out of date develops a new cult following overnight!

Are the Quo Vadis planner formats still useful or do we need to develop other kinds of layouts? (and if so what are your suggestions?)

Like many of those whose comments I’ve seen on the blog, I would like the Quo Vadis planners to give equal space to Saturdays and Sundays. I love the maps, international holidays, annual planners, and Monday start weeks to keep weekends together. I would like to see a system format that has more flexibility with stitched binding insert selections. The non-leather covers and socially conscious manufacturing have wide appeal. What I do wish could happen with Quo Vadis is more energy & participation in the planner community in terms of Facebook groups, blog comments, and lots of action on the Flickr site. To be quite honest, the Quo Vadis blog participation pales in comparison to other planner Facebook groups, so I would really like to see more energy there.

What are your biggest time management challenges?

My biggest time management challenge is having way too much on my plate to really keep up with and reasonably accomplish. I am trying to simplify life, not take on so much, and consistently use my planner to help me establish priorities.

Thanks so much for sharing this with us Sandy! (Now I want color-coordinated planners too! Love your colors!)

I like your idea of a Facebook group for Quo Vadis users, so I created one! You can find the QV users Facebook group here. Please join and spread the word!

Also you can find the official Quo Vadis Facebook page here, Quo Vadis on Twitter @quovadisblog, and the Flickr group here. We would love for everyone in the QV community to come join us at any or all of them!

If you would like to be a Featured Reader here on Quo Vadis blog, email me at laurie (at) Exaclair (dot) com. We want to hear how people all over the world are using their Quo Vadis notebooks and planners!

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