15 September 2013

Readers Tip - Routine Task Sheet

We often get ideas sent in to us for diary inserts or new pages for Philofaxy, some of them are very specific to the person who has sent them in. A few of the ideas get included to our extensive range of diary inserts. The emails arrive at all times of the day, it is not like the post which is a 6 day a week service with one delivery a day, these arrive at all times of day or night...

When 'Melbourne Mom' sent this one in she described it in great detail and I was still half asleep.. thankfully she then sent me some photos and it then made perfect sense!

We have mentioned task related page markers before, I've even used them myself. This is a reusable task page though, but quite clever in it's design.

I thought the Philofaxers might be interested in the routine template which I have come up with for WO2P Personal. It helps keep my WO2P entries neat and tidy, and makes for an efficient use of space.  

Maybe it's been done elsewhere by other people on other websites (it's so simple, surely someone has done it)

a. Choose a note-page (for my black Apex diary, the orange ruled note-page is perfect as it is easy to find the page in the diary and the colour feels dynamic and energising to me).

b. Draw a line margin to make a column for the pre-existing punched binder holes – the line should be about 1cm from the left-hand edge of the note-paper.

c. Fold the page over so the right hand edge of the note-paper joins this line.

d. Measure 1cm (or whatever mm to suit you) from the right hand edge of the folded paper, and draw a line down that side.  Do the same on the other side of the fold.

e. Using both the Wo2P diary paper and the preexisting feint horizontal rules on the notepaper as a guide, divide the note-page into 4 sections from top to bottom corresponding to the standard sized Thursday and Friday entry spaces and the half-sized Saturday and Sunday entry spaces on the standard WO2P. (On the reverse page, you will need to rule only 3 equally sized sections for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.)

f. To recap what the format should now look like from left to right when unfolded, the front page of your template note-page has a 1cm wide margin "binder" column for the pre-existing punched binder holes, a 3.3cm wide column for "morning routines", 2@1cm wide "central columns" (with the fold in the middle between them) and a 3.3cm column for "evening routines". Repeat this format on the reverse of the page, except the binder-hole column here comes last, because it should obviously be on the right hand side, not the left side of the page.

g. When the front page of the paper is folded again, hole-punch the central 1cm column with six entries per day for the Thursday and Friday sections and 3 each for Saturday and Sunday, so there is a total of 18 punched holes all the way down the column pre-ruled notepaper.

h. Open up the folded page. You now have two central 1cm columns, each with 18 hole-punches  all the way down the centre of the paper.

i.  In the  “morning routines” column on the notepaper, using a pencil, I like to record six critical stages / deadlines of my morning routine which helps me to leave the house on time every working day. Eg h:mm make tea, +6min shower, +13min Breakfast, +6min Dishwasher / Washing out, +11min Feed toddler, +11min Leave house [to catch train].  In the “evening routines” column, I add six critical components of my evening routine to help me and my children get to bed at a reasonable time.

j. Turn the template note page over, and put in the routine entries for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday in their respective columns and sections.

k. (Note: the daily routine can be adapted to suit your own circumstances and doesn't need to be just morning and evening routines, the routine if [not is] planned well can allow for daily variation eg morning gym every second day).

l. There are only three hole-punches for each of Saturday and Sunday.  I am not at work on these days, but as a night-owl who is trying to make a habit of an early morning routine, I add the first three morning routine tasks to make sure I get up and dressed at the usual time anyway.  Ditto on the evening side for my three routine tasks for getting my kids fed, bathed and read to in bed every night.

m. Having prepared my template, I then spend 5-10 minutes ruling to divide all my my standard WO2P diary pages for the year with an identical format, except instead of a “morning routines” column I have my “appointments” column, and instead of an “evening routine” column I have my “To do’s” column for each daily entry, and the two 1cm columns in the middle are for ticking off routines.

n. For my routines, all I have to do is cover the page with the orange template page (I keep this routines template page between my week on two pages view as a kind of “today” tab), and tick inside each hole-punch onto the WO2P page central columns for each day.

o. As an alternative to ticking off the routine tasks, I can add a number representing the number of minutes delayed for whatever reason, or minutes faster than the allotted time, so that I can fine-tune my routine on review).

[My daily “to do’s” column is for what must be done today, as distinct from my “weekly to do’s” which are kept in a separate tabbed section in my Filofax, using the “Daily Planner”  sheets which I think I got in an old Firenze planner, with date for week beginning and with three columns for priority, task and completed box.  That way I don’t feel like a failure for not ticking off wish-list tasks every day.]

Thank you 'Melbourne Mom' for your tip


  1. Awesome! Can't wait to try and give this a go! Thank you for sharing this tip!

  2. This is absolute genius! I have been struggling with re-occuring to-dos for ages, and I think this may well solve it!

  3. Very interesting. I've never seen anything like that.