Welcome back, everyone, for the next installment of this blogpost series where I share an update on my 2017 planner lineup! This year I’m using multiple planners again—one for work, blog/YouTube content, personal/family, and on-the-go. As I mentioned last week, mid-year is the perfect time to do a ‘reality check’ to see what’s working, what’s not working, and make any adjustments going forward. This week we’ll take a look at my on-the-planner setup and find out: is it still working? Why or why not?
Last week I shared an update on my 2017 work planner bullet journal—read more about it here. This week’s update is for my on-the-go planner that I take with me when ‘out and about’ town.
Below is a quick overview of how I originally setup my 2017 on-the-go planner(s):
- Planner setup: two (2) Hobonichi Weeks—the first is for personal/family appointments, tasks and reference information needed when on-the-go while the other is for blog/YouTube content planning on-the-go; both are kept in a travelers notebook (I swap the cover depending on my mood—usually it’s in a standard size or B6 Slim size)
- Planning system: yearly overviews, monthly overviews, week on one page (horizontal) with a blank graph facing page, plus 72+ blank graph pages in the back for notes
- Planning supplies: Fine nib fountain pen (whatever is inked at the moment—currently Pilot Custom 74 inked with Diamine Red Dragon), Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto Lumio 4-color pen (for color coding—purple, orange, turquoise, and green), Book Darts (for bookmarking pages and marking the current day), Midori cat clips (for bookmarking specific pages, they stick a little making it easy to flip to)
To see how I setup my Hobonichi Weeks, check out my YouTube video 10 Tips for Preparing the Hobonichi Weeks for 2017:
To see how I use my on-the-go planner in conjunction with my other planners, check out my YouTube video Functional Planning with Multiple Planners:
Yay or Nay?
I started using the Hobonichi Weeks planner for personal/family appointments, tasks, and notes in December of 2016 and immediately fell in love! It was extremely compact, with a weekly layout, has Tomoe River paper (very fountain pen friendly!), and had an unprecedented number of blank pages in the back for notes, 72 total!—check out the first video above for a hack that enabled me to gain 14 additional blank pages. 😉 I usually prefer a vertical weekly layout for planning but I found that the smaller horizontal weekly layout was adequate for capturing all the information I needed for ‘on-the-go’. Some weeks, I even got lazy and ended up using it in lieu of my larger primary planner (an A5 ring binder with Inkwell Press Classic Inserts—more on this planner in the coming weeks!). I liked this setup so much that I decided to get a second Hobonichi Weeks for blog/YouTube content planning on-the-go (I’m using a larger Erin Condren Monthly Deluxe planner for this). Again, this worked out well and I ended up using both Hobonichi Weeks more than their larger counterparts thru the first quarter of the year but then things started to getting really busy and I quickly started running out of writing space on the weekly pages. I tried using the weekly blank page to create expanded layouts, to track different things, and capture any ‘overflow’ of information that wouldn’t fit in the horizontal daily boxes but there was only so much that would fit on such a small page. So what happened?
I realized that while I had assigned a simple role to these small planners, I had complicated things and overwhelmed myself when I tried to use them for everything and, ultimately, I stopped using them altogether. I went back to using my larger planners which provided the extra room I needed and didn’t bother taking a planner when I left the house since my on-the-go planners were no longer in sync—gasp! At first, it wasn’t a big deal since I work from home and could refer to my larger planners throughout the day but I definitely missed having something with me when on-the-go. I really like the Hobonichi Weeks and didn’t want that beautiful Tomoe River paper and all those note pages to go to waste. So what changes have I made?
I’ve resumed using the personal/family Hobonichi Weeks—specifically the monthly layouts—for future planning (i.e. keeping track of appointments/events) in case I need to schedule an appointment when ‘out and about’. As for the weekly pages, I now use it in a variety of ways depending on the week. Sometimes I’ll write in that week’s schedule and tasks to refer to if I’m traveling or out running errands. I’ll also use the weekly blank page to brainstorm and capture quick notes on-the-go. As for the note pages in the back of the planner, I use it like a bullet journal and keep reference information that I might need when I’m ‘out and about’. Using it in these different ways was somewhat working but it was still leaving a lot of the weekly pages blank so now I’m using it as a fitness planner to track the details of my workouts, water intake, and my meals. As for my blog/YouTube Hobonichi Weeks, I haven’t used it as much. Once in a while I’ll use the weekly pages to brainstorm and jot down ideas when on-the-go and use the note pages in the back to carry reference information but otherwise, not much else. When I’m home, I keep my personal/family Hobonichi Weeks together with my primary planner so I can sync the monthly pages and transfer any reference information to the note pages in the back of the book. I continue to experiment with different layouts in an effort to get more use out of it.
So what’s the verdict? The Hobonichi Weeks is a ‘nay’ for me as an on-the-go planner at least for this year. While I really do like it, I continue to struggle to make use of all those glorious pages mostly because I found the perfect primary planner—more on that next week! As a result, I may just use a simple monthly planner for on-the-go next year. Don’t get me wrong, the Hobonichi Weeks is an amazing planner—incredibly compact, with tons of pages for notes—and it would be perfect for someone looking for a portable planner as long as they don’t need a lot of writing room during the week. If in the future, my workload lessens and I’m able to trim down my planner, I would definitely go back to the Hobonichi Weeks!
As plannernerds, we love trying new products, systems, tips, and tricks—some will work, others won’t. The lesson here is that it’s okay to experiment and repurpose your planners until you either find a way to make it work for you or know when to throw in the towel if it’s counterproductive to your planning needs.
What about you? Do you use an on-the-go planner? Have you ever tried the Hobonichi Weeks? What are some of your favorite tips and/or hacks for your on-the-go planner or Hobonichi Weeks? Please share in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe!
Until next time, 🙂
♥ LilD ♥