Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Perfect all the time

It's been raining here for several days, and it's depressing. The sun is out today, though, after morning rain, and while I'm sure it's crazy humid, as soon as i finish here I'm going to go out for a little while.

The last couple of weeks I've been thinking about planners again. My sister is having cataract surgery, and my parents want to find an assisted living place to move to, so since I don't have to go to a job, I've been taking my sister to her appointments, and then she and I have been visiting assisted living places, then reporting back to my parents on what we find, showing them pictures, etc. I got a little overloaded yesterday, worrying about what I'm going to do with my own situation, but I'm glad to do it, and glad that I'm able to.

I follow a bunch of "planner addicts" on Instragram, who seem to fall into a couple of camps. One group buys the big expensive commercial planners and decorates them with washi tape and stickers, and their notebooks look more like scrapbooks than planners. I understand it, but to me it seems more about making a beautiful page than about planning anything.

The other group that I follow are the bullet journal people. They use a plan or dotted journal and draw their own planner so that it can be exactly what they want or need. I'm kind of drawn to this--there are some beautiful examples out there--but again, I'm sure that while they are functional, most of the buzz seems to be about creating a beautiful page rather than doing any actual planning.

So anyway, the point is, the planner I was using, the Levenger Circa compact daily diary, wasn't working. When the planner is open, the left-hand side is hourly for appointments, and the right-hand side has two columns for tasks, or it can be used for journaling or note taking. But there is no place where you can see more than one day at a time. With all of the appointments that I have going on right now, I needed something different.

I was in Staples one day last week picking up some address labels for a job I'm doing, and wandered through the Moleskine aisle. The 2016 planners were on clearance, so I bought a pocket size soft cover weekly one, and I love it. It's perfect for what I need now. The left-hand side is broken down into the days of the week, and the right-hand side is ruled for note taking. I put in all the appointments on the left side, and the right side is for my notes--this week it's notes about assisted living places--contact person, phone number, location, how much they cost, what they offer, etc. Sometime in the next couple of days I need to make a spreadsheet with all of the information so we're comparing apples to apples.

There's just something about a Moleskine that makes me happy. I love the cream colored paper, for one thing. I just like it so much more than bright white. There's a pocket in back that I'm using to hold business cards until I sit down and put them into my contacts, and an elastic band to keep it together in my purse. And I'm using some of those stickers and washi tapes that I bought when I thought I was going to do the whole hog decorated planner route ...

I always want my planner to be all things to me, to hold everything, and be perfect. But what I'm coming to realize is that there isn't one thing that's perfect all the time. When I was working at my job, the big daily planner was great to record notes, phone calls, etc. Now that I'm working from home, I was finding that the wall calendar next to me was fine to record appointments, and a plain notebook beside me to record time was working fine.

But these last two weeks full of appointments and information needed something else, and this pocket-size planner is working perfectly. It may be something else next month, and that's okay.


Liora Hess said...

I love looking at planners and seeing how others use them. I tried a fancy (expensive) planner, and I found that the washi tape thing put too much pressure on me to get it "right," so I switched back to Moleskine and love it. I've used the one you like, but my favorite is the day-per-page so I have lots of room to write. At the end of the day I also record details so it's doubling as a diary/journal. Love the paper and how it takes a fountain pen!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I can really relate to the worry you are experiencing due to suddenly being without a job. I hope find a good solution. Quite a while back I changed careers, it turned out that the slack I had in that process was incredibly important because so many of my relatives needed my support. I enjoyed, and still do enjoy my new career a lot, although it pays less.
I realised what I wanted to do, and then found out how to get that kind of job, and after a while succeeded, to my huge surprise.

I'm also very much into planners, and my new solution is minimalist: I bought a pack of 3 Moleskin squared journals. They are small and have detachable pages.

All the best
- Ann

gillian said...

Hey Willa!

Oh man, it's been a while since I caught up with your blog, so a few things:

1. Your new website looks great, I'm sure you'll get a lot of new business! You have a wonderful portfolio and have been well established for a long time, that will be very attractive to prospective clients.

2. I can definitely relate to being self employed. It's stressful all the time! I'm a massage therapist and some weeks I'm just busting my ass and other weeks I have 3-5 people. It takes a lot of discipline not to overspend on the weeks where I make a lot of money (to make up for the weeks I don't make much) but I'm getting the hang of it. Just continue putting positive vibes out there and think about what kind of clients you WANT instead of worrying about having to take on clients that aren't so fun just to pay the bills. People will continue to seek you out! Just tell the universe what you want!

3. Planners: I do love those Moleskines! I've found that the Traveler's notebook system has worked well for me, and they have an insert similar to your little Moleskine book. I love the creative chaos factor of "planning". Mine is messy and I randomly stamp things and stick things in there but I find that it does make me want to look at it more because it's pretty/fun, and therefore I get more done in my life!

Anyway, hang in there. I appreciate your honesty and transparency here, it can be tough to share those deepest worries. But you'll have more business than you know what to do with in no time!

Love, Gillian