12 September 2013

Guest Post - Detailing Your Planner - Kristy

Thank you to Kristy for her guest post for 'Guest Post Thursday' where we welcome all planner and organiser related posts from our readers.  

In the world of Philofaxy, details matter.

Paper planner enthusiasts obsess over details, whether we are determined to use a vertical week-on-two pages refill, ordering yet another planner just for a bigger ring size, or decorating with tape in the perfect shade of green. Planners have toppled and failed over such tiny details as the color and “hand feel” of an ink pen.

Another type of detail, though, probably matters the most in the exhilarating game of avoiding planner fail. The biggest paper planner decision of all, especially for boring planners like me, who don’t use pretty stickers or perfect leathers, might just be the very practical decision of determining which details should accompany each planner entry.

After all, too little details might have you stuck on a rural street, on the way to a party or job interview, without any clue how to get to your destination. Too many details might force you to use daily pages and still run out of writing space.

In the interest of helping my Philofaxy friends avoid planner fail, here are some of the tips that I use to decide exactly which details to include in each planner entry.

1. Under-a-minute details go in your main pages.

If it takes less than a minute or so to write the details, include them on your main planner pages.

2. But put under-a-minute details where they fit.

Cramming all the details of an upcoming dental appointment into my small monthly calendar blocks would make the calendar messy and hard-to-read. To avoid planner fail, I star the main entry and write the details elsewhere on the same page, referencing the date.

3. Use the pockets for large amounts of information.

You don’t need to write everything down. One of the great advantages of most ring-bound planners over wire-bound versions is the generous pockets in the front and back of ring-bound planners. While I am generally a minimalist when it comes to fattening up my planner by storing things in the pockets, I use them all the time for temporary information.

For example, I do this for library books, since the library gives me a printed list of the books that I check out, instead of recopying the whole list into my planner or having to look up the list on-line.

4. Write down the location of over-a-minute information on your main planning pages.

As with the pocket example above, all of the pertinent information does not have to be written down. But you should note, in the main portion of the planner, where to find the information. Use a symbol, like a PK for pocket, to indicate on your main planning pages that more information is available in the pockets of your planner. In some cases, the information might need to be carried external to your planner (as seen below in the substitute teaching example) . In that case, a note of the external location is an important detail.

5. When in doubt, include more information.

Nobody needs an excuse to write more in your planner, right? So when deciding which details about a task or event to include, err on the side of including more information. You should have plenty of room to do this is you are willing to write the information elsewhere and just note on your main planner pages where the information is stored.

If you get invited to a Filofax meet-up, you need to remember the address, contact information, and the names of the participants. But you also need to remember to bring your Filofax rather than one of your Franklin Covey planners. Write a reminder to bring your Filofax.

Invited to a party? Write a note of the date that you sent an RSVP and a reminder to buy, wrap, and bring a gift.

How do you decide which details to include in your planner?


Kristy Zeringue Boxberger

Thank you Kristy for your post. If you would like to contribute to this feature on Philofaxy, please contact philofaxy at gmail dot com thank you


  1. Sometimes I get too caught up in decorating my planner rather than actually using it. I believe I would make some headway if I could just remember the "KISS" method.

    Thanks for sharing your tips Kristy!

  2. Awesome post!! I love love love your blog Kristy. Keep the planner posts there coming - I can't get enough!