All this talk about 2016 planners got me into a whole spiral of trying to decide what I want to use for next year. I am relatively new to the planner game, so I am going to try out a few different layouts to see what might give me that unattainable ‘planner peace’. This is probably not a subject that will interest everybody, and I apologize in advance.
This has turned out to be a long post, and I have decided to split the layout planning into 3 posts.
Part 1: Continue reading this post to learn more about the calendar layouts (Year, Month, Week, Day) that I plan to use
- Part 2: Next week’s post will deal with an adapted Bullet Journal layout (scrounged from various places), so remember to come back!
- Part 3: I will cover layouts for other types of tracking, such as expenses or savings or exercise.
To answer my own question about what planner to use, I already have a few planners that have been purchased (or planned to be), namely:
- Moleskine Starbucks 2016 Planner large size (already purchased but still with a friend)
- Moleskine 2016 Daily (Day-per-page) Planner large size (waiting for a discounted price)
- Chuyu Culture* Week at a Glance Vertical Layout B6 size (purchased, in transit)
- Chuyu Culture Week at a Glance Cross Layout B6 size (purchased, in transit)
- Chuyu Culture Daily (Day per page) fauxbonichi A6 size (purchased)
- Bullet Journal (not the actual one, but I have not decided on what journal to use)
- Traveller’s Notebook (faux cover, original inserts)
*Chuyu Culture (珠友文化) is a Taiwanese online shop that sells planners, diaries and stationery. The website is in Chinese, but you can check their Ebay page too.
Now that I have listed them down…that is a lot of planners. I will review them along the way, so if anybody is interested, remember to come back!
But it’s not just about the planner being used, the layout matters even more. So I finally sat down to think about what I wanted to use the planners for, and what kind of layout might suit my purposes. This is what I came up with.
Planner layouts for 2016, planned in a fauxdori, on a self-printed grid insert (courtesy of Ray Blake), with a Uniball Signo DX UM-151 Gel Ink Pen in Brown Black 0.38mm.
Let’s start from the big picture, shall we? Months.
I love the vertical months that (used to) come in a Moleskine planner. They show 6 vertical months per spread. There isn’t much space for a lot, but it is good for looking at the big picture and future planning, for example public holidays, overseas trips, major events. I also put in my part-time classes or appointments, if any.
Why this works for me is because I work eight hours a day. There isn’t much time left over in a day for multiple appointments, so the narrow space works out really well. Occasionally I have to squeeze, but it isn’t a big deal. I also plan my work separately from my personal life.
But Moleskine has decided to scrap this layout and go with the normal monthly calendar layout, to my horror. Fennellbooks was kind enough to comment saying she loved the vertical layout like me, but she is actually getting used to the calendar month layout too.
I believe the monthly calendar will be present in both the Starbucks Planner and the Daily Planner, but just in case I don’t get used to it, I need this vertical layout. As of now, I can’t seem to find it anywhere, so this will likely have to be a self-made, self-printed insert. And if it is, I am planning to do it as a 4 months per spread, just to give myself a bit more space. I then plan to tip in or simply paste them onto existing pages. Whether it is the Starbucks Planner or the Moleskine Daily remains to be seen.
Next up, Weeks.
For Weeks, I have a few choices and I am not sure which works yet.
A, which has the week on the left, and a grid or ruled page on the right, is a pretty common layout, available as a original Midori insert (dated or undated), Moleskine Weekly Planner, Hobonichi Weeks, and many other free or paid homebrew inserts available online or on Etsy. I am using a similar one (Ray Blake’s Week-to-view) for planning my blog posts and I quite like it. I am also getting the whole planner decoration rage, it’s actually quite fun. But the space available per day is rather narrow for me (big handwriting as you see below), so I want to consider other options.
B is what I would call a cross layout. It’s not a common layout among Western-made planners, but I have spotted it in Taiwanese and Korean-made planners. Since I was already purchasing from Chuyu, I decided to get one to try it out. It looks like something that I might use at work. More on it when I finally get it in my grubby hands.
C has the full week laid out across the spread. I think it’s also a Hobonichi Cousin layout, but I heard that it would be incorporated in the 2016 A5 size as well. Anybody can confirm that? Again it’s not something that I have used, but I want to try it out for expense tracking, as the days are long enough to accommodate detailed item tracking.
I am currently using the monthly calendar layout (that I dislike) which is the month-at-a-glance on Ray Blake’s site, to track my expenses and it isn’t working out well. The space per day is too small, and everything looks really messy as you can see below. Again, C is from Chuyu Culture, and I’ll review it once I receive it.
Finally, Daily layouts.
For the daily journal, I have two choices. First is to go with the Moleskine Daily planner, which I have been using for most of 2015, and have been quite happy with.
I have the large size (8.25″ x 5″, which is seriously my PERFECT size) and I use it for daily journalling and/or doodling. I occasionally find it too big though. Most of my days are quiet and uneventful, so it is hard to fill in a full page of journalling.
That is why I was considering the Hobonichi A6 size. However due to budget constraints, I am limiting myself to a fauxbonichi made by Chuyu Culture. The layout is very close to the real thing, except for the quotes (there aren’t any) and everything is in Chinese instead of Japanese. The paper quality is admittedly bad. But I wanted to try out the A6 size (on a budget) because it just looks so tiny to me (big handwriting, remember!). If I feel that the A6 size is something that works for me after some time, then I might consider splashing close to $60 on the Hobonichi for 2017…maybe.
Lastly, I might try out the Midori or fauxdori again to see if daily journaling in there works for me. But there are a few tweaks I need to work on for the fauxdori to make it work. More on that in future posts!
That’s it for the first part of planner layouts. I hope all my rambling was interesting to someone out there, because I find all this nerdiness rather fascinating.
Remember to come back next week for the second post about bullet journaling, or follow me on Twitter @scribsnstat for updates.