Today’s post is cross-posted here on Quo Vadis blog and also on Rhodia Drive. Penny shows us her absolutely brilliant system for using her Quo Vadis Principal weekly planner along with her Rhodia Goalbook! Thank you so much Penny!
I know that the allure of one book to rule them all is an enticing one. For many years I tried to reach oneness within my planning system. I tried a variety of methods from ring-based planners to drawing calendar layouts. The thing is, I learned that this doesn’t work for me.
I need to see my plan while I’m working. Flipping back and forth within a planner isn’t a fix. Yes there are hacks, such as cutting pages (dutch doors) but who wants to set this up each week?
A combination of both a notebook and a planner? This creates harmony. Experience has taught me if I increase the number of books past this duo, one will be ignored.
I’ve discovered a way to make these two systems work better together, in large part due to using the Rhodia goalbook for the past six months. It seems glaringly obvious now, but hindsight often is.
Let’s take a quick birds eye view of my current set up.
Once again this year I’m using a Quo Vadis Principal, a planner I discussed at Penny’s comparison of the Trinote vs Principal weekly planners. By-and-large I’m using it the same way as I discussed there. Each morning I write the top tasks for my businesses (or hard deadlines) in the relevant section.
I’m also using the Rhodia goalbook that I began to put through its paces in August. First, a quick introduction to how I use this notebook. I keep a log of my day, so “goal book” is a misnomer for me. I record what I’m working on and what I’ve done. Tasks go into a separate electronic system. They often have digital extras and deadlines so for me digital is the way to go. Early on I struggled with how to use the calendar parts. I decided to keep a record of my blog posts in the undated monthly section. In January I finally decided I’d use it to record habits, by dividing each day into smaller sections. Large projects get their own pages where I record the minutiae that they create. I then write a daily log of short summaries of my day. I recently switched this to a two column system and I make no differentiation from one week to the next, it’s a running log.
And here’s where the Goalbook tightened and improved how I use these two books together.
While it’s not my first paginated notebook, I finally made a simple connection that brings my note pages, log, and planner together.
I cross reference page numbers!
Obvious, right? In hindsight the best ideas usually are.
I put the page number for the day’s log in the priority section of my planner.
As I write my tasks in the planner I add a project page number if they have one.
In the log I reference the project page if I need to refer to additional details.
While I could do this with other paginated notebooks such as the Clairefontaine My. Essentials, right now I’m enjoying the Goalbook and its little extras-flexible & smooth leatherette soft cover and the dual bookmark-that this book brings.
Penny Shima Glanz spends her days spinning yarn and code into memorable projects. Small businesses rely on her for smart technology decisions. Designers rely on her to sample, test, and edit their hand-knit and crochet patterns. She loves muddy trail runs, fosters kittens, and lives in Westchester, NY with her husband and two resident cats. www.pennyshima.com