Three’s not a crowd for planners

I have often seen blog posts where people detail their use of multiple planners. I have always been quite intrigued with how they managed multiple planners because for me it always had to be one book. These days, I realize that’s not so much the case and I can relate to how a person’s life can translate into having more than one book.

When I changed my job earlier this year, I was quite overwhelmed with the level of information and the number of projects I had to run. There is a need to write down a lot of notes, and the task list was obviously long. However, meetings are fewer. So, there was some major adjusting to be done.

For over 13 years, my work calendar had to be perfect. I had internal meetings, external meetings and conference calls throughout the day. So I had to be very sure about my appointment when I scheduled my time. Now, most of my meetings take place in my office with the rare exception that I have to visit our satellite office. So, there’s no real concern for travel time and to manage my calendar very carefully.

So without much further drivel, let me briefly describe the system I am using right now:

Main System

  1. Filofax Personal (Compact) – Croc: I love this planner. It may be a compact but with use the leather has become very supple and the full length back pocket is so handy. I use it as my main wallet and my planner. I have a lot of lists, reference info and budget that I keep carrying in all my planners. For planning…I have a monthly calendar for forward and big picture planning (deadlines), a weekly calendar for appointments and essential reminders, note pages for to-do list which I keep between by weekly calendar.
  2. Hobonichi Techo Cousin: I love this book and am using it for notes. It has so many different formats of calendars and if you really want, you can plan your whole life (work & personal) and few other people’s lives as well. LOL. But I find this very useful because the paper is so lightweight that it’s got so many pages packed into one. I have the sleek leather cover for it and even though I don’t strictly stick to the date on the planner, I still have a calendar at hand if I need it. It’s easy to carry internally and once in a while when I need to travel or take it home.
  3. Yellow Note Pad: I got some simple ones from Mead and put them in a nice leather pad folio. This is also big enough to carry my computer. I have started using this more in meetings and to carry outside with my computer. I do this for two reasons, I can tear of the pages and file them with documents that I receive and secondly, when I open my pad it’s fresh, so outsiders do not inadvertently see the internal notes I have taken.

So that’s it. I tried combining everything into a Filofax A5, but I realized it got so bulky and heavy. It was a better idea to combine my wallet and Personal Filofax. That way, I could use smaller bags and still have everything essential with me.

So far it’s working quite well and I’m sure I will keep tweaking this but for now I feel quite under control and not so overwhelmed anymore.

I have a few support organizing items that are crucial to staying on top of my projects. I would like to share some good stationery items I have found and will do another post on that.

Have a good day!

Taking a vacation from reality


For me it’s watching my favorite sitcoms. There are number of them that I really enjoy and I think I may have watched some episodes over 20 times. It doesn’t matter even if I know what’s coming next, a good episode always makes me laugh. For the moment, I leave behind the reality of the world and can forget whatever may be causing me stress. I am a happier person and as they say laughter is always the best medicine. 

Image: http://www.clipground.com

a flip through old memories

blog pic

I took a short break to go to my home country and visit my family. We all lived in one big house and when I go back, I still go and stay in my old room. My books and journals still remain in the room. It’s not odd that growing up, I had more books than any other possession. It continues to be so till today. But, what I really love doing is browsing through my old journals each time I go back. These were my teenage years, when I had “oh so many emotions”. The whole world seemed different back then and I knew so little of it. It’s so interesting to see how my emotions, fears and thought processes have changed…. not to mention my handwriting.

What seemed so very important back then, seem so trivial now. All I could do was smile. Some of the things I wrote sound downright silly now. But, I wouldn’t change a day of it. Who I was back then and everything I went through have shaped who I am today.

It’s been over 10 years since I left that house but still every time I drive away, I feel a little sadness. It was a wonderful 5 days with my whole family and I’m missing them already….

 

 

 

Screen vs. Paper

This is probably a never-ending debate…. to print or not to print. I never felt to bad about reading a documents that were 3 to 5 pages long. But, these days my work has me reading documents that are 40 pages long. My boss just can’t read off a computer screen, not even a 5-page document. He insists on printing and making notes. While I love doing the same, I feel terribly guilty about printing large documents, especially those that are not needed to be stored. But I have a real problem reading on the screen for too long. I seem to lose focus, and not being able to mark up a document, makes it much more difficult for me to find any of my comments later on. Our company lawyer on the other hand insists on scanning everything to him. I was quite amazed when he said he almost never reads paper documents anymore. I don’t have much of a problem reading from a kindle but I suppose that is at a more leisurely pace and I don’t need to highlight and make notes. It’s interesting that studies show, reading from paper can greatly improve your comprehension. I knew that would be true. But what’s ironic is that we like to read books and documents in paper while most of us spend our day reading articles and blogs online.

Pen review


I went crazy and ordered a bunch of pens on Amazon. Collecting pens has been a hobby for a very long time. I got three different types 

  1. Sharpie Pen – this is like a fine liner felt tip. I think it’s one of the best ultra fine felt pens I’ve used. Much smoother than the Maped or Staedtler. The nibs are quite strong too so I don’t think their liable to bend, fray or break. 
  2. Uni Ball Vision Elite BLX: this is writes like the regular Uni Ball rollerball pens. But the ink colors are unique, infused with black so they look really nice. I don’t like the grip on these pens and they are slightly scratchy when you write (even on Clairefontaine paper)
  3. Uni Ball Air: I think I’ve found a new love. The nibs are so unique and the flow is bold. They are extremely smooth. I’ve put in a picture down below which shows the nib and the writing. The only downside is the slight feathering. 

Re-read: Kane and Abel – Jeffrey Archer

The first time I read this was over 15 years ago. I was quite young and read through it. It’s one of the few books that I didn’t remember much about. Earlier this year when I got this copy signed by the author, I decided to read it again. The book had me in tears by the end. It’s a story that spans the life of two men with an interesting twist. Not once did I imagine the ending to be the way it turned out to be. It’s definitely a lot of intense drama and worth the re-read. 

he just let her go…

A friend of mine decided to end her relationship after 8 years. Yes that’s right, 8 years and they were not married. It may not be a surprise to many but, my friend is just not the type. She is of the notion that people who want to be together should be married. But this guy was just never ready. There was always a reason or excuse rather and she patiently waited. I’m sad for her. Even in the end, he didn’t step up. He just let her go and now she has to start her life all over again.