Customizing a Pre-Printed Planner

I really enjoyed the freedom of the Bullet Journal but found it fell  short of what I needed for planning out into the future. I came back to a pre-printed 2 page per day Franklin planner in a ring binder.   

I didn’t buy the “starter kit” which has quite few samples of some pre-printed forms for you to use to organize, plan and implement your ideas. Instead, I took some of the really great ideas from the Bullet Journal method and mashed them around into my system. The major ideas are “Collections” and “Index”.  I’ll share a few ideas of how I did them.

I’m not a guy who feels like I need to keep track of the TV shows I watch, the books I read or my collection of teas.  But I do have plenty of projects and goals that I am working on and having a single place to house those things is important.  The BuJo Collections concept works well for this. A collection is simply a group of related ideas or projects or lists that you would like to have on one page.

In my planner I added 6 tabbed dividers to organize my collections.  They are: a. goals and values, b. trackers, c. projects, d. journal,  e. spiritual and f. information.

In the goals section I keep sheets for my unifying principles with clarifying study notes, long term goals and intermediate goals.  In the trackers section I have a debt snowball tracker and a habits tracker. The projects section holds about 8 sheets for a variety of projects including curriculum work, conferences and trip planning.  The journal section has long hand notes of my own reflections about my effectiveness and productivity. The spiritual section includes a prayer log and study notes from my morning devotions. Finally, the information section is a catch all for some funky stuff like the Beaufort scale, details about things like the size of our furnace filters,  metal detecting tips and the like.

I also have a pouch page finder that came with a planner several (like 15) years ago for holding Covey’s compass cards.   I don’t use those cards, but made a few strips to help me keep some of those ongoing priorities in front of me without needing to write them down on my prioritized task list every day.  I include the Unifying principle I am focusing on that week, a time management focus, notes about habit formation effectiveness and a weekly quote related to leadership.

Following these custom section is the monthly and daily planner pages. This is where the index lives. I’ll explore the index and how I use the calendars and daily pages in the next post.

Until then, keep writing and reaching for your goals.

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