Monday, 25 June 2012

Planner overkill (sometimes too much is simply too much!)

You will rarely hear my say that I suffer a planner failure. I do switch sizes once or twice a year, but I wouldn't consider that a planner failure. But I'm not switching sizes (still happy as a kid with my A5 Malden). However, I did encounter another problem, also known as the beast of perfectionism.
In short, I wanted it all and I wanted it now. I have been adding features to my system, until one day I opened up my 2PPD spread and gasped in horror:

To give you an impression of my nightmare, take a look a below picture:

First, let me explain how my 2PPD setup works:
Right page:
Left column: time slots for appointments and time-allocated todo's.
Right columns: priority todo's on top, other todo's underneath, contact todo's personal/family, delegation reminder (stuff I need to remind my DH).

Left page:
List of contacts with number and short reminder to be called (work).

Then the add-on-game started. First thing I added is the pink Daytimer hotlist. Reason: my current WO2P (column layout) doesn't offer any space to record weekly todo's. I started adding this hotlist to my weekly spread, only to find out that I kinda forgot about the whole thing the very minute I switched pages to my daily view. Go figure ...!
On one page of the hotlist I have my work todo's (aqua blue), on the back I have household (lime), family (pink) and personal (purple) todo's. Means I have to turn around the page. Also means that anything written behind that list is invisible, thus not existing ...

Then I figured it was stupid and cumbersome to have to rewrite my weekly recurrent todo's on my daily pages (like: water plants (Mondays), remind DD of homework or music practice (daily)). I remembered I had these little cards left from my Time/System days, so I got them out and used them for my day-specific weekly recurrent todo's (anybody still follow me? You do? Wait, I can fix that ...).
I still think the principle of this idea is fantastic! However, the annoying thing about these cards is that they (again) are blocking either my morning or my evening schedule (depending on whether I stick them to the top or buttom three rings). Not good!

Grand idea no. 3: I should be more consistent with my morning and evening household routines. I hadn't written them down before, but found I didn't do them very religiously. Which means I have to have them visible in my planner. I took a clear flyleaf (with a tiny little tab on the side) and put a Post-it with said morning and evening routines on it. Idea: tick boxes with Frixion pen, at the end of the day erase them and switch complete flyleaf to next day.
The problem is quite obvious: Total blockage of my calling list that's behind the plastic sheet, and - ultimately - much more important than clean laundry (yeah, don't tell anybody ...). What's more: I DO now these routines by heart, and I really don't need a writting reminder in my face. The thing is: when I'm in the mood, I'll do them, when I'm not I won't. No matter if it's written out and staring me in the face.

Conclusion: out with all the extra's and back to my bare pages. Sometimes I just want to have too much and get lost in the chaos I tend to create, while I meant to avoid chaos in the first place.

I'm still not sure how to handle the recurrent weeklies that are now on those mini-cards. Any idea's?

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Review of the Vacation Writing Notebook by Flow Magazine

I've posted another review of the vacation writing notebook by Flow Magazine on my You Tube channel. Nothing to do with Filofax this time (though the vlog was filmed in the room where my Filofaxes live - does that count?).

Next blogpost/vlog will be about Filofax again. Promise!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Review of Keel's Simple Diary

Today's post will not be about Filofax. Although one of my personal Filofaxes did creep into this post to make a sneaky appearance ...

A few weeks back I read about Keel's Simple Diary, which is sold by Taschen, an Amsterdam-based book webshop. I was intrigued and ordered a copy of this Simple Diary. There are six different colour options, and I opted for Red. Little did I know that this would reveal so much information about my personality!

But first things first: I received the diary wrapped in cellophane

The diary is not very thick and - much to my surprise - it has a soft cover, without feeling floppy.  The front is simple and too the point:

As is the back side:

first page
  The diary has a ribbon page marker in matching colour. The paper quality is very thick and smooth!

And in the back a small pocket is included for your paper knickknacks. It's similar to the Moleskine book pockets, but definitely less sturdy.

A very nice feature is that all the edges are finished in silver!

The book has a very convenient size, it's only slightly smaller than a Personal Filofax.
A Filofax got into this post. I told ya!

The red is a very vibrant fire red. That I didn't choose red by coincidence was revealed by a loose leaflet added to my shipment:
This put a big smile on my face ...!

On the Taschen website you can read about the background of Keel's Simply Diary:
" In a world where products are out as soon as they're in, where communicating without wires doesn't come without strings, and even our accessories need accessories, we need simple tools. A book that helps us look inside because we are overloaded outside.

There are three reasons why most people, although they have tried, won't keep a diary:

1. Not every day is very eventful.
2. It actually takes a lot of discipline to write.
3. In retrospect, many find what they have written embarrassing.

Keel's Simple Diary™ offers structure for those who don't have time to wonder, making it easy to record life's moments. It gives the pleasure of a quick response and the sense that no matter what's wrong, more is right.

This instant classic is filled with refreshing philosophy and original wisdom.
Keel’s Simple Diary™ entertains, helps you focus and keeps you company."

Every page in the book is individually set-up. At the top you'll find a prompt to fill in the current date, and then there are different frameworks to enter more information about your day. I have included the screenshot of two such pages to give you a proper example:

So true!

Something I didn't know, but learnt through another leaflet in the diary is that Keel's Simply Diary is also available as a free App! Of course I immediately downloaded it on my iPod Touch. You get to choose one of the 6 colours and if you'd like, you can also get the complete contents of the Volume One of the Simple Diary (there's also a Volume Two btw) for only € 0.79 (or $ 0.99).
The App won't let you experience the joy of writing on paper, but it will grant you more room to elaborate on your day.

Conclusion and personal opinion:

I love the idea of offering people with little time some sort of structure to journal about their day. The texts are wonderfully funny and witty and will most definitely make you smile. It is certainly challenging to summarise your day in only one or two sentences. I believe that this Simply Diary will in the end be a very insightful keepsake.
However, it will not tell you in future years how you spend day X or how desperate your felt on day Y. I can picture using Keel's Simple Diary alongside a "general" journal, just for the fun of it. Because - in the end - a day not laughed is a day not lived!

I hoped you enjoyed this little review!