Sunday, November 20, 2016

November Doldrums And Why Planner Fail Is Often Scheduled Now

You know it. That age-old dilemma of wanting the space of an A5 but needing the footprint of a Personal. There is no greater wringer of hands than this conundrum. Worse yet if you use larger sizes like I do. B5. Oh dear, B5 you are so grand. Large enough to make A5 blush and small enough to feel puny next to Letter or A4.

Court is now in session and the Queen of Planner fail for November is presiding over this divergent topic. My current disaster includes a delicious Filofax York Deskfax with mostly Filofax inserts. A series of luxurious Gillio A5s cast aside like yesterday's newspaper and the neat and tidy argument of a gaggle of Gillio medium sized planners in varying models Mia Cara, Amica, and the rarely photographed Trifoldasaurus.

There has to be a point where a line can be drawn and defeat or victory can be declared. 

Deskfax/B5 <---Something Gillio REALLY needs to consider when looking at the plethora of women like me who work for a living and need to function out of a larger display for professional application. Same argument for people who need a larger smartphone display.
This item is meant to be stored on a desk as the name indicates. I do a lot of my thinking and brain-dumping in B5 format (double the size of A5-just put two A5 sheets horizontally one above the other and you will get an idea of the wonders of B5.

I don't want to carry my Deskfax with me. It is rather cumbersome to write in on the go and doesn't create a propensity for writing on the fly. What gets written on the fly? Why is everyone so concerned with writing "on the go."? Are we attempting to lob golf balls into their respective holes as we attempt to make a shopping list? Are we having trouble holding the motorcycle handlebars while simultaneously color coding next week's appointments?

Not that kind of "on the go." When I am out meeting with clients or heading to a meeting, I want to have my world with me so I can mange anything that comes my way. What if I need to handle an emergency for the house? Do I have all the house emergency details with me? Do I need them all with me?
Those contrasting questions are at the heart of planner fail.

Remember: It's never the planners fault.

I have come to the conclusion our planner fails are really a failure on our own parts to delegate what kind of inserts we need and how to use them purposefully. True, the wrong planner can really get annoying quickly and you will find yourself moving out before you have ever fully moved in. It's visceral hurling of one set of standards while embracing a completely different set. Gillio has ruined me forever. I can never go back to a nylon stitched Franklin Covey or Filofax. The old Filofax models still make my heart beat faster though. Have I gone off course? Yes? Okay. Inserts.

PLANNEROLOGY LAW NUMBER 4: Our circumstances dictate the environment in which our planners will be used. 

What?! Take a seat and wonder upon the trueness of this statement. If you are an active sort of person, with gym memberships, children running amok and something to be picked up at the cleaners on a weekly basis then your circumstances of playing chauffeur to your self and loved ones creates the circumstances for you to want a quick-access, tell me what I need to know right now because I can't think too far down the line kind of planner. Deskfax is not for you in this circumstance. 
HOWEVER, even you warrior breeds like to have a bit of down time and reevaluate personal goals, to-dos, and pantry levels. If you do these things on the go, then carry on with the smaller sizes. If you do these things in the quiet stolen moments at home or work then perhaps it's time to think about a larger footprint for corralling these thoughts into workable bits of data. 

I always want to have my world with me in my planner, but my world changes with every activity I participate in. So the only out from this Dante-esque level of hell is to maintain only 1 calendar (as I have consistently done and professed) and attach or supplement said calendar with a satellite TRACKER. 

What gets tracked? Anything you feel would bring a sense of control to your life if you weren't home or at your command center of life. 

So then, where's the out? It comes when you come to terms with the ever changing circumstances of your own life. Our lives are not stagnant. Why then, do we assume that our planner choices must be stagnant? Is it possible to have only one planner and move on with life. Yes. Be prepared to track who you are becoming as you step into December. Here he comes. 


  1. Hmm. Planner fail. A5 vs. Personal. I LIVE in a Personal size, but sometimes I need (who am I kidding…want) the larger A5. Since differing paper sizes in one binder doesn’t bother me, I just slip my calendar and whatever pages I need, into the A5 and go about my merry way. I slit the calendar and temporary pages, so bouncing back and forth is quick and painless. I no longer have to make that decision. Planner fail. What’s that?

  2. This is a great post Karine, the struggle is real.

    I'm having a re-evaluation of my electronic planning and task management at the moment. Even more of a nightmare!

  3. Been a while since I've read such an informative planner post that really hits issues we face. Ive longed to upsize to personal from my pocket, but that means having to order new sizes of everything plus having to use a separate wallet. Convenience and comfort keeps me where I am. But the joy if it is that it forces me to make the pocket work even better. Oh and I so LOL'd st you 'on the go' comments! When I hear people talk about needing jot down something or make a quick list 'on the go' I picture them fervently 'jotting' in their planner while running to the car after picking up their kids or while slowly creeping through a stop sign!