I know that I’m probably the only person who has ever made a decision about planning materials/supplies/systems that turns out to be wrong. Since I am, please indulge me and read along so that you can avoid the same sort of mistake.
One of the real keys for any planning system for me is that is has to be something I will use. Central to that use is that I have to have my system with me at all times. I believe it has something to do with some sort of theory discovered or codified by some smart person that says something along the lines that “in order for a change to be made, the tools for that change have to be meaningfully and continuously accessible at all times.”
Well, I discovered that I simply will NOT carry that big beautiful leather binder around with me at the times that I need it and therefore do not use it. I’m not a person who can have a little satellite book and then diligently copy the notes over into the big planner and keep things fully integrated.
I’m that guy that spins increasingly out of control when my planning system diffuses my attention or gets complicated and has too many new rules. I find myself having a few problems of concentration when I flip back and forth between my lesson planner book and my Franklin planner. All of a sudden I end up looking at several calendars and wonder if I am missing something or double booking my time.
I’m not changing my entire approach to planning. The methods I learned in Time Power and over 15 years of use of a Franklin planner are not going away. I know that this system works and works well for me.
I had to make a decision about the tool(s) I use. So, I’m adjusting and using some things I know work for me.
Digital calendars work for me. I have at least 3 organizations that put things on my calendar, all electronically. My employer, my FFA Chapter and my state FFA Association all have electronic calendars that impact my day/week or month. I’ve learned how to integrate all of those, plus my Google Classroom calendar into one electronic calendar that is housed in my phone. Just a quick swipe on the screen and all of those time sensitive things show up in ONE calendar for me. So I have ONE place to look for time based events or appointments.
Capture and Retrieve Tool
I need to have something that I will always carry with me to serve as my capture and retrieve and planning tool. I’ve carried a pocket notebook for quite a few years. I found this 2 Field Notes Bullet Journal idea last year and have thought about it quite a bit. It looks like it will serve my purposes quite well. So, I’m adapting it to my needs.
I am using Field Notes and a couple of other pocket notebooks for this. I’m carrying them in this waxed canvas cover I recently purchased. I plan on making one of my own from some canvas I have around or making a new leather cover since I gave my other two to my two of my sons the last time they were here for a visit. And yes, in case you wondered, I can sew on a sewing machine, work leather, weld and I used to be able to drink people under the table (but I don’t drink anymore!)!
I do enjoy the free form nature of the bullet journal approach – not the feathered, glittered and washi taped BuJo scrap books that have taken the world by storm – but the simple note taking and organizing methods. I’m not artistic or interested in putting that kind of time into my system. I don’t make ‘spreads’ or complex layouts. I’m simply using some of the best ideas for me from the original compiled Bullet Journal and my own philosophies on time management and planning and using them.
I ought to write a book myself and publish it and become wealthy beyond imagination, but I don’t think my system really has anything original that hasn’t already been written and marketed already.