It's 2016. Time to archive the old planners and journals, break into the new ones, and to learn and evolve from past mistakes and experiences. After some considerarion, I decided to stick to most of my old planning habits of last year, with a few simple tweaks to upgrade myself because:
- Pre-finals and finals of final year approaching. Lots of exams dates to consider, exam prep and exam post-mortem to schedule, assignments to hand in and labwork to complete
- Post-graduation plans to line up and methodically execute
- Since there's a high possibility that mum might be out of town for a week sometime in the coming few months, I'll be in charge of the house and it's various mammalian and avian inhabitants
- Increased part-time tutoring committments.
So, all in all, three-fourths of this year is going to be somewhat stressful and to cope with that I'm using:
- A pocket-sized monthly planner for a bird's-eye view of my day/week/month/year
- A day-based hardbound notebook to file away to-dos and appointments/events/reminders efficiently, somewhat like an even more minimalist version of Ryder Carroll's excellent bullet journal method. There's blank pages in the front and back for specialized tasklists/reading lists/goals
- An A6-size daily schedule notebook, that I fill in either the previous night or first thing in the morning, after consulting my day's tasklist, to lend some semblance of structure to the day, along the lines of what Cal Newport does
- A dedicated journal to rant in at the end of the day. Last year, I tried combining a journal and day-based notebook, but since I'll write a couple of lines one ay and five pages the next, the effect was wildy uneven, so I went back to my trusty old diary to ask for forgiveness. Everything's been peachy since then.
And that's all. No frills, no fussing, no five-coloured pens to code different levels of urgency of a scarily-lengthy tasklist, no washi tape to segregate different sections of a page. At the end of each day, I skim through my monthly planner to see if there's anything urgent on the horizon, put a checkmark against the tasks I've completed that day, look up the important tasks of the following day and contruct a flexible schedule for the following day. If in the mood, maybe a little entry in my journal and some frivolous bedtime reading. Then I go to bed, at peace with myself and with the world.