This post is for Rachel, who asked these questions on her blog yesterday:
What type of planner do you use?
What do you use it for?
Do you carry it around in your handbag?
Do you have any other advice for a planner newbie?
I use a Midori Traveler’s Notebook. [Note that that’s how the company spells “traveller”.]
Midori is a Japanese stationery company. Their Traveler’s Notebook is basically a leather cover with some elastic bands – one allows you to keep the notebook closed, the other holds notebook inserts. I don’t think they are very easily available in shops – I buy mine online. Notemaker carries the range, for example.
It’s very customisable in that you add the number of notebook inserts you want (although I’d say that three is probably the maximum most comfortable number you can have). The inserts come in different types – ruled, grid, plain, or sketch book paper. You can get calendar/diary inserts. You can add pockets, or folders for keeping things. (I like the paper Midori uses – important for my fountain pens 🙂 )
I use mine for work (e.g. notetaking in meetings), for personal notetaking (quotes from books, notes about things I’m read or thought about, for planning blog posts), and as a journal. I have three inserts and use one for each purpose. I also use a plastic folder for business cards and to keep cash.
This picture (below) shows my personal notetaking insert – I wrote some notes about the reading technique I posted about the other day.
I bring it to work with me everyday. I use Outlook for all my work appointments, and Google for personal appointments, and these merge and display nicely on my iPhone. Because I use an electronic diary I don’t always carry it around. For non-work slopping around I use a small notebook which fits in the small bags I use. This notebook is for quick jotting down of things, usually for follow-up or more pondering, and then when I get home I might transfer them to my Traveler’s Notebook (if it seems worthy of recording).
My advice: look around and experiment. It’s taken me a while to get a system I like. There is A LOT of information online about organisation/planning systems. One that’s currently quite popular is the Bullet Journal or #bujo (on Instagram) system.
Instagram is an amazing source for inspiration as people share their methods there. Many people are very creative and use their notebooks as sketch books or scrap books, and share pictures there. Apart from the Midori (it’s also called the MTN for short), there’s Moleskine, Filofax, and Leuchtturm (which seems to be the notebook Bullet Journallers favour). Of course you don’t need to invest in something pricey to start with, and you could just go with an exercise book and see how you go!