In part 1 I made the case for unformatted notebooks as planners. The first challenge was to find one that rang bells in terms of appearance and size: not too small and not too big, neither too cheap nor too pricey. Now the second, greater challenge is how to make it work for you. The ruling principle is this: the planner should be a means of recording and planning your days...also a way of compelling yourself to take action--if you set something down, you will do it.
A few suggested caveats,
1) Don't confuse your planner with a journal, as you'll see done in this hourly planner:
2) Don't confuse your planner with a diary, as you'll see done here:
3) Don't confuse your planner with a creative log like this:
4) Do feel free to use a pencil and a ruler to format the pages however you please--as this creative planner did:
The MacRath Solution:
There were three areas I needed to track in a 240-page notebook that had to last me a year.
2) Physical: Gym/Additional home exercise/Nutrition
3) Writing: to-do's including composition, networking, reading, reviewing, blogging, etc.
I also hoped to add a few lines per day for two motivational notes: an intention that I visualized as being achieved...and a perception, or lightbulb, for the day.
1) I divided each notebook page into halves, horizontally--giving me two days per page, each page consisting of 11 lines.
2) Thus, I worked in four-page batches with a full half-page left after the 7th day. I would use this free half-page to list the things I needed to accomplish in the week.
3) Between the 11-line days, I allowed two lines apiece for notes on Intention and Perception.
4) The master stroke, for me, was dividing the 11-line days into three equal vertical columns, one for each of my chosen areas.
I have enough pages left over at the back end for important addresses and notes. Plus, there's a Moleskine-style pouch on the inside of the back cover.
After decades of trying one planner after another, I've become a happy camper. And you can be one too if you stop forcing your style to fit someone else's format.