Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Hobonichi Planner Series Part 1: the Daily Pages

HI.  I know several of you have asked for this series, so here it is!  Instead of one behemoth post on how I use my Hobonichi Techo Cousin, I decided that I would break it down by part.

Background:  I have been a planner nerd for years and years, cycling through moleskines, various Exaclair planners (Space 24 was my favorite!), an Korean Iconic planner, the Erin Condren life planner, and currently -- the Hobonichi Techo Cousin.  Honestly, I have love for all of the planners in that list!  But I am currently finding the Cousin setup the most functional for my current life.

Review:  Here's my overview/review of the planner 2-3 months into use.

Today's highlight:  The daily pages, and how I use them.

I created a mockup because I didn't want any personal or patient data on the example!  I basically have my daily page open at my desk all day at work, and usually in the AM/PM at home.  I treat it as my to-do list, brain dump/journal, and motivator when it comes to meeting goals.  

The layout may vary depending on what kind of day it is, and whether I'm on call (often I'll include a patient rounding list on my call days so that I can be sure I've written every note that I need to write).  On office days, though, I don't need such a list because it's built into our electronic medical record.  So most outpatient days look a bit like the above.

Sections include:

* Workout -- usually noted on the top part of the page.  Getting to check it off in the AM makes me happy all day and sort of sets the stage for productivity.  I even write 'rest' if it's a rest day :)

* Blog post -- if I'm planning to squeeze in a post, I'll often write that in, too.  I don't plan my posts very far in advance most of the time, but sometimes if I have a topic in mind ahead of time, I'll remind myself  a few days ahead.

* Work and home to-do items -- These are often transcribed from the weekly list (more on that on another day), PLUS all of those nagging tasks that pop into my head throughout the day.  Basically, if I can't act on the task as I think of it, it gets written down immediately.  For the work items, I don't have to include things like returning patient phone calls or updating patents on labs, because again our medical record system tracks those sorts of things and it would be redundant.  But there are always little extras that need to happen that are easy to forget and stressful to track without a system, so they go here.

By having these here, I am better able to make use of those little annoying bits of time that might otherwise be wasted (ahem FACEBOOK and the like).  

* PM -- I kind of like having some kind of nightly treat to look forward to, whether it's reading a book that I'm into, or working on decluttering (YES this qualifies as a treat), or a favorite TV show.  By writing it down, I get to see it all day, thereby a) motivating me to get work done so that I can enjoy it and b) increasing anticipation, which makes it all the more fun.

* Nutrition log -- Since switching to a paleo eating style, I have been more interested in seeing how my food choices impact my energy, in terms of my running and overall well-being.  So, sometimes I will track that here.  I tried using an app a few months ago but found it a) annoying b) cumbersome and c) more quantitative when I really mostly wanted qualitative info.  This super low tech version is much more my style.

Daily goals -- I'm sort of 'between goals' right now, but usually have something that I am working on, whether it is decreasing technology usage (always) or trying to build a positive habit like meditation (or flossing -- which comes easier to me than the items noted previously).  Having some kind of tracker on each page is motivating and helps me to remember what I'm aiming for.  

That's pretty much it!  Some pages are much more cluttered than this one, and some pages (especially on weekends!) are sparse.  In my 2015 edition, I want to add more journaling/writing -- not necessarily to keep (because I do not save old planners) but just for processing things as they happen.  

More on other sections in future posts :)  Questions?  Comments?  Care to share your daily layout?