I love tech. I am all for integrating it into the classroom, and I love what the cloud has been able to do for remote access. That being said, there is something about a pen and paper agenda that just trumps everything.
I’ve been using paper agendas all my life. In grade school, I was given a new one each year by my teacher (you know, the ones with the clear “today” ruler/bookmark and the holographic covers), and when I got to university, I stuck with the same day-at-a-glance agenda that I bought each August. When I graduated, I moved to using moleskine’s weekly planner.
Then, shortly after Kelvin and I got married, we started using magneto cal to coordinate our schedules. It is no longer available, which makes me sad, because I might have actually stuck to it had that been an option. We moved over to a shared google calendar after that, but I was not thrilled with all the notifications and emails amongst other things. Yes I could have turned those off, but I just found myself disregarding most everything I put into it.
When I knew I was going to be going on mat leave, I decided to bring the paper agenda back. I looked online for inspiration about how best to organize it, and after playing around with different options, blending a number of journal styles (like passion planner and bullet journal), and testing for the last few months, I’ve come up with what works best for me.
I am still a huge fan of the moleskine weekly planner, and have already purchased my 2016 planner already. You’ll notice that this particular one is red – in an attempt to organize my agendas I will be using a red hard cover one for every year that is a multiple of 5 (e.g. 2015).
On the left side is a weekly view starting on Monday. At the very top of the page I have room for my top 3 priorities. Now that I’m not working I don’t really have a lot of super pressing priorities, but I usually have one or two each week.
I divide the space allotted for each day in two. On the left I write down appointments and on the right I put day-specific notes and tasks. The weekend is usually not as nicely delineated because I have less space, but it’s fine.
On the right, I have four main sections:
- MEMORIZE: when I come across verses in scripture that I want to commit to memory, I write it in the next available week so that I have a new verse each week. Then, every time I open my agenda that week I practice memorizing that verse.
- TO DO: I keep a running list of tasks that I need to do that week which are not day-specific, with a checkbox beside it. One strike through the middle means a task is in progress, a full my stricken box means I’ve completed the task, and an arrow means I’m referring to next week.
- NOTES: This is a catch all section for things I come across or need to remember. Mostly these are bullet points, but I also have an icon code specifically for notes related to websites, blogs, eating, priority, ideas and books.
- TRACKING: I keep track of whether or not I’ve done my daily devotions and also how many times I go to the gym. Sadly I only went once on this particular week.
There are other nuances to how I record daily life via my planner, but these are the essentials.