I’ve been using (Paper) Planners for several years, trying to find the optimal solution for my personal needs. 2021 I used Hobonichi Techo A6 international version. This year I tried Jibun Techo Biz. I like both, but prefer the bigger size of the Jibun Techo. While both have great quality paper, the Hobonichi has a slight edge; even if the pages are thin they hold up well when using a fountain pen.
What is your favorite system for scheduling and planning?
Joplin on my computer for notes and project documentation when I’m at the computer (programming, UI design, interesting stuff I find online or someone recommends to me)
Bookmarks in Firefox for websites
Pre-installed Notes app on my Nokia 302 for simple, quick notes
A paper planner with a list of my homework for school (until I get home and update the class GCalendar)
Shared Google Calendar where my class puts all the information about upcoming events, exams, tasks, etc. (color coded)
Another paper planner for when I don’t want to be distracted by my computer and/or need to draw a sketch
A sketchbook for design
An offline calendar app when I want to be reminded of a task at a given date
It will take some time until I figure out what is the best option for me. Ideally, I would have only 1 paper planner or 1 app. I like paper notebooks, as they are not distracting, but the problem is that they are less portable / comfortable to use on the go and I don’t like wasting paper. The digital variant can be synced to multiple devices if you have a smartphone, but there are no such apps for older dumbphones.
I finally gave up on having a planner, because I have such an out-of-sight out-of-mind problem that I would write all my plans in it and then forget to open it up the next day. My planning system is now entirely to-do lists on scraps of paper. I use one scrap for the list of things I need to do that day and one to jot down additional things that come up during the day. When everything’s completed, the scrap goes in the recycle bin. Anything that doesn’t get finished that day gets carried over to the next day. It’s not perfect, but it works better than anything else I’ve tried. For appointments and so on I have a wall calendar.
In theory I also have a “future file” where I drop future deadlines and things to start thinking about in future months, but in practice I forget to check that, too.
I struggled in the beginning when I returned to a non electronic planner. The first year (5-6 years ago) I started out very enthusiastically, but as the months went by it got longer and longer between the notes. I hadn’t quite unlearned the convenient habit of always bringing my phone. As time passed, I realized that I needed to create a routine how and when to use my planner, not only scribble down reminders.
It has developed into a kind of diary/note taking/ contacts/ ideas/ appointments/mediation thing.
A summary of one’s life and thoughts, if you will.Not for everyone perhaps, but I find it very useful to stay on track and be focused on the important stuff.
I have never found an electronic calendar/planner simple or convenient enough to bother with. I have therefore always viewed them as a gimmick rather than a serious productivity tool. If the Mudita Pure functionality is straightforward and easy to use when it arrives, I may start using the Pure as my main calendar.
At present, I use a paper diary and a wall calendar. I quite often write “reminders” of upcoming events, the week / month before the actual event.
I have been using a Hobonichi Techo. It serves all my purposes and the brand is well known and supported.
I found a Youtube video with a great unboxing of the 2023 series: Hobonichi 2023 HD 1080 - YouTube
I started using a physical planner this year after being massively red-pilled over the last few years. I lost a lot of trust in technology, or put another way, I realised a lot of risk with just relying on everything being kept as soft copies (e.g. a power outage). But my main motivation was when the government tried to track everyone and ask for papers over the last few years, I just left my phone at home so I won’t be forced to check in or use any QR codes (yes I know this topic is controversial and divisive). Long rant. Anyway, I bought planners of various sizes and materials until I finally settled on the one that suits me; so the initial learning process was very costly and I ended up with quite a few planners that I didn’t want. Finally, I decided to settle on Personal Planner size as per the Filofax ones but I use Kikki K brand, and I love it! It is thick enough to keep my yearly planner-journal (two pages per week is just right for me) and I record important appointments and social events and there is enough space even to print small photos/pictures on. Other than that, I keep some recipes there for when I buy groceries and need ingredient list because I enjoy cooking. It is also my dream journal when I have really strange and fantastic dreams I jot them down. Also to do lists and lots of other lists - reading list, shopping list etc. Important contacts. Cards. Right now I also have my eye on an A4 size planner that I plan to use for filing things more personal that I don’t need to take with me when I am out.
Oh how I agree with you. I also noticed during the pandemic what the government is capable of and how the surveillance was expanded more and more.
I also refused all this digital crap with the QR codes and I made my smartphone google free during this time to allow as little surveillance as possible.
As for the schedule, I’m also just about to reschedule the whole thing. Since I now only use the Mudita Pure and no more smartphone, I will manage my appointments analog again. I have been inspired here in the forum and ordered the Hobonichi planner. An expensive affair, but I live otherwise very minimalist and I can treat myself to something like that. I have read many articles and seen videos and am looking forward to holding the planner in my hands. For this I have ordered a handmade cover made of cork on Etsy.
Important to me was especially that the paper is good and you can write with ink. I love to write with fountain pens and have many different papers and inks.
I will report when the hobonichi has arrived.
Reading through everyone’s posts on this topic has inspired me to get myself a physical planner and get organised.
I used to use an A4 sized, one day to a page, financial year diary with a hard cover. I used to use these year after year but somehow fell out of the habit. One of the things that I remember that I used to do was, at the end of each day, after I had turned off all of my computers, I would sit down with a pen and my diary and plan out the next day before going to bed.
Since I stopped using a physical planner I’ve tried all manner of software, but as @theflipside mentioned, for me it was a case of out of sight, out of mind also. I would do some research find some software, use it for a bit, and then forget about it and rarely, if ever, use it again.
I’ve never really gotten into using a digital calendar but I did make notes on a smartphone. I’ve used the Muji monthly calendar notebook for some years where I filled in the dates and added extra lists with sticky post its. I did like that but I wanted more space to journal and write notes. Now I use a traveler’s journal with 3 notebooks held together. One notebook has grids and I draw in the monthly calendar… The others I use for a journal, lists, thoughts, and etc. The monthly calendar works well, the latter is very disorganized still. My daily to-do lists are on scraps of paper as I don’t always want to carry my planner around…
For 2023 I ended up buying a Hobonichi Weeks. I like it! Instead of a 1 day per page as the Hobonichi Techo, it has one week on the left page and a empty note taking page to the right. Its a bit smaller than the Jibun techo but has the same form factor.
I just wanted to get this Tip out there: Don’t use Apps for your Planning and To-Do Trackings. I use the Bullet Journal Method from Ryder Carroll for over 2 years now and it has been a real game changer for me. And I’m not saying this to advertise, but to tell from my own experience.
My Bullet Journal is a mix of Calendar, To-Do, Journal and Tracker. I work as Main IT-Support and also as Building Permitter (? If that is a thing in other countries) for a Municipal where around 100 people work. Everything that needs to get done gets written in my Bullet Journal. People first asked my “Why would the “IT-Guy” use a Notebook?” but they quickly understood the benefits of writing by hand and not by Keyboard.
As for how to do it, simply start with the 4-Minute YouTube Video by the Creator and stick to what the Creator says for the first months. Starting a new habit like this can be very energy draining at first and many people make the mistake to overburden themselves in the beginning. So keep it simple at first and make Errors, because those are okay! You can always expand later and add more collections. But first you need to get the habit to to write by hand and do it everyday.
This is also a big reason why I don’t need the Calendar or Notes App on my Mudita Pure, even when more Functionalities get added. All those things are in only one place and that is my Bullet Journal.
If you want to reduce your dependence on Digital Devices, this can be a great Tool for you. Especially for younger Generations who never got to experience life without the Internet and using physical Planners and To-Do Lists.
There are many other Methods of course and I don’t think there’s a right or wrong. Most important is that you find what suits best your needs!
IIts nice to mix and match notes done with different types of pens and pencils, with drawings, sketches and physical items; photos, postcards, tickets etc. It makes the journaling look a bit less structured, but it’s more fun and “alive”.
I like the “Paperblanks” brand bullet journals; mostly due to their very pretty covers.
The example might look a bit over the top
I use it in a bit less screamy way myself
I really enjoy doing answering those question daily, I spend every night 30 min on it. I feel it is way more effective/fun than any TODO app I ever used.
Also because writing really helps to plant the idea in my brain, so that even if I don’t look at all at the plan anymore during the day, I feel like I have a clear direction and motivation during the day.