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« Sketching = Getting Real | Main | Back to Paper: Should I Ditch My PDA? »
Wednesday
May242006

Creating a Custom Moleskine Planner

Last week I wrote in some depth about my interest in the analog task management system created by Bill Westerman, for use in his Miquelrius notebook. In that post, I pondered the idea of ditching my Clié N610C in favor of a Moleskine for my personal agenda and task management.

Late last week I picked up a new, ruled Pocket Moleskine notebook, a set of 4 ultra-fine 0.38mm Uniball Signo RT Gel pens and a package of 3M sturdy tabs (686-RYB) to create a custom weekly planner. Over the weekend, I planned out the page format, determined how many pages I'd need through December 2006 and began drawing up my custom planner, pictured below:

Mike Rohde's Custom Moleskine Planner

You may want to visit the Flickr page (click the image) and check out the notations I've placed on the image there, complete with detailed descriptions of each area of the planner.

Planner Formatting

On the ruled Pocket Moleskine, I found I could divide the page vertically into 3 sections of 7 lines each, with room at the top of the page for the month on the top left of the page and week number on the top right of the page. I've even kicked around the idea of using this space up top for inspiring quotes.

Next I added the days and dates to each section of the two-page spread, dividing the 6th block on the lower right page in half with a vertical rule for Saturday and Sunday. The Uniball Signo 0.38mm pen worked very well, as the thin line dried quickly and didn't bleed through the Moleskine paper stock.

I continued with this format for 31 two-page spreads, through December 31, 2006. Pocket Moleskines have 192 pages, so it's possible to do an entire year and have several pages left over for notes (one distinct advantage over a stock Moleskine Weekly planner).

In the remaining back section after December 31st, I separated sections with the sturdy 3M tabs for 5 next-action lists where I can capture tasks to be completed. The toughest decision was the allotment of pages for each action list before starting the next (I chose 6),though I can always move the tabs around if need be.

I've decided on a 6 month test to see how my system works, before I decide to either create a new book for 2007 myself, or buy one of the flexible covered Moleskine Pocket Weekly planners from Modo & Modo.

Symbols and Use

Once the planner was created I started populating it with activities and tasks for each day of the week. I made use of the space to the right of each day for recurring or regular events, and the bulk of the 7-line sections for activities or tasks.

Inspired by Bill Westerman's symbols, I created a similar set, with a circle as an open action, checked circle for completed action, slashed circle for deferred (with an added arrow symbol to indicate where it was deferred to) and a dash for items which are informational rather than actionable. As I use this system I suspect a working set of symbols will emerge and become more refined.

Initial Impressions

After using the new custom planner concept for about a week, I'm appreciating the full week across two pages. I can now see how my entire week is shaping up with a single glance. I can have much more detail for each day or even each entry. With the Palm, I could see a full week, but it was either filled with very tiny type, or the type was large but clipped off, requiring additional taps to see an entry.

I like having my planner open at my desk while I work — I can glance down between tasks and be reminded of what's to come, or recall an item I need to add to the agenda. I never need to worry about the pages blinking off to save battery life. The quick "wake from sleep" mode (cover closed) is wonderful! :-)

I'm also finding a small book handy for storing small bits of information, such as a business card, a post-it note or whatever. Because the Moleskine has an elastic strap, stuff stays inside. If I'm concerned about something staying put, I can store it in the Moleskine's inside back cover pocket.

My capture of thoughts has increased since switching to a Moleskine planner. This is a good thing, because I'm now capturing ideas that were formerly floating away when faced with entering text using Graffiti on the Palm — even though I'm pretty quick and accurate with Graffiti 1.

I'm not as worried about the Moleskine as I was with a Palm. I can drop it, slide it in my back pocket and sit on it, or toss it across the room without the screen cracking, or resetting the device. As an added bonus, the Moleskine is thin, and the width and height are less of an issue than I'd suspected.

Conclusion

Overall, I am very pleased with the new system. It seems to fit my needs well, feels good to use, lets me experience the tactile sensations of pen on paper, and frees me to enjoy the process again.

I'll of course revisit my system in several months, to share how things are going, and what I've learned through this process. I do hope my notes and images are helpful to others considering a PDA to paper switch, and those keen on customizing a Moleskine as a planning tool.

Update 2006-12-15

Wow. As of today, my Flickr photo, Mike Rohde's Custom Moleskine Planner with notations has been viewed 17,339 times, and is marked as a favorite by 154 people! I had no idea that my little Moleskine hack would be so interesting to so many people. Now I'm extra glad I posted it. :-)

Related Links:


PlannerHack.com
Mike Rohde's Custom Moleskine Planner @ Flickr
Back to paper by Arioch
From digital back to analog by Bill Westerman
Going Retro - Back to paper note taking by Christian Lindholm
Mike Rohde's Custom Moleskine Planner (Moleskinerie)
Creating a Custom Moleskine Planner (PDA 24/7)
Moleskinery Geekness by Felyne
Being More Efficient (Part I) by Kevin Friese

Reader Comments (38)

Very cool Mike. I knew you'd go this way eventually! :-)

I gave up on the Palm for everything except contacts back in the new year, and started using a Moleskine Pocket Weekly, and I haven't regretted it once. I can scribble everything down that I want, move things about (admittedly it can get a bit messy), use colour coding, all without having to think about what the best way to represent something is, or how best to use the software, or what compromise will I have to make because the software doesn't do such and such.

I don't have a particular system for marking different types of event like you have, but I have found it incredibly useful to print off next action lists, project plans, etc, from the DIY planner HipsterPDA version, and print these on Post-it notes which I then stick in various places in the diary -- the end papers, the current week, the yearly planner. Wherever I can refer to them easily, basically. Not only is this an incredibly flexible way of combining hard and soft landscape items into something the size of a Moleskine, the post-its also offer a handy way of creating additional bookmarks!

The address book at the back of the diary I use as a capture tool (I also tend to keep an A6 squared ClaireFontaine book in my back pocket). When I have finished the thin address book, I intend to guillotine the edges from a standard Cahier and use that instead -- once its size has been cut down a little, it should fit into the back pocket just as the address book does.
May 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNeal Dench
Hello Mike,

Excellent moleskine modification! I too have been going back and forth between analog and digital during the last year. Like you, I have been using PDAs for many years - since the mid-90s, but I've been gradually getting fed up with them. I think a lot of it is to do with the PDA marketplace, and the attitudes of the main Palm and Pocket PC companies. Nothing NEW has really been invented during recent years. PDAs have just gotten faster, thinner, or smaller, etc., but nothing major has been added to really, really enhance the PIM use. Certainly not enough to take my attention away from paper systems. Anyway, sorry to rant on about that! :)

I'm currently using a Pocket Moleskine Week-View diary, along with a Nano, like yourself, for contacts. I printed and laminated a few pictures of my family, which are inserted into the back pocket, along with a double-sided laminated card (specifically sized to fit the pocket) with essential information on it, such as; Insurance details for car and home, utilities account numbers and phone numbers, my eye prescription incase my glasses ever break, my drivers and passport numbers, and frequently used friends/family numbers and email addresses. I created a laminated card so that it can easily be transferred to any other moleskine that I use. In case any of you are wondering, the 'sensitive' information on this laminated card, I have encrypted so if it were ever lost, it would pretty much be useless.

I also use a Large Grided moleskine for work, with the original Fisher Space Pen (thin nib), which is good for quick sketch mock-ups.

I think I will be sticking with this 'format' for the moment, as it really is a relaxing method of organising one's life. Like many say, no stressing about charging, breaking screens, constant tweaking, etc...

One last point, BACKUP. I've seen many discussions where PDA users dismiss ever using a paper-based system, because there's no way of backing up the information. All I can say to that is that I used a paper diary for many, many years, before using a PDA. And not once, did I ever need to back it up. So, in this day and age, why should I have to back it up now? I think people are sometimes 'pushed' into thinking that they need to back up their information, when really, they don't. There really is NO difference between then and now. I guess everyone is different.

Anyway, great blog, Mike. I throughly enjoy reading it!

All the best,Barry
May 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBarry
Very Nice :-)
May 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAndy
I am so glad that you take the time to write a blog. I get so many inspirations from you that I almost feel indebted to you. You have inspired me this time to begin thinking of an off-shoot system that I can use as a daily plan book for my work in teaching. Continued good luck with your Moleskine experiment. I have a feeling that you may stick with it for a long time.
May 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDon Koch
Hi! Tres cool! I can't see that you allow trackbacks so I just want to let you know I've blogged you.

Super cool adaption, I am creating mine as we speak. Thanks for the idea and pointers!
May 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFelyne
Neal, thanks for your notes. The DIY on 3x5 Postit notes is something I may want to play with, especially if I move to a standard 2007 Moleskine planner next year. The cut-down Cahier is a great idea -- I may give that a try!

Barry, the lack of the new in the PDA world may have had some impact on me, though mainly it was other PDA issues that brought me to a paper solution. Your laminated card idea is very interesting � I've taken to carrying various cards in my M pocket and it works well. As for your note on backup, I think for the most part, if you don't LOSE your book, you're OK. This is maybe the biggest drawback to a paper system, in that there is only one instance of your book and once you lose it you can't just restore from a backup or sync. I have a good friend who experienced this. I think backup is an attraction for many techies who know all too well about losing data.

Andy, thanks!

Don, Thanks for your very kind words! I'm quite pleased to hear that my journey and experiment are useful to you � I'd hope this experiment might help some other prople with their situations. :-)

Felyne, Glad you like the Moleskine idea, and I hope the format works for you. Yeah, trackbacks don't work for me as they've become a huge spam issue. I've killed them on the blog and my life is much easier now. Too bad, because trackbacks were a great idea.
May 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Very nice article - picked it up off Moleskinerie of course.

Thanks for taking the time to share. I might try something similar with one of my moleskines.
May 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBrian
Thanks Brian � I hope your custom planner works as well as mine is for me! :-)
May 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
I have been going back and forth between a variety of calenders too. Last weekend I made a 2007 calender using the week-at-one-glance strategy but I skipped a page for notes. Mo-Tue-Wed are on the left page and the right page is empty for notes and details about the appointments on Mon-Tue-Wed. Sometimes you need to write down more than just when to meet where hence the empty page on the right side. On the next spread you find on the left the back of the empty page also empty, and on the right page are Thur-Fri-Sat-Sun. If you want to see the entire week-at-one-glance, just hold the empty page in the middle. So far this looks ideal. I like the empty page for notes next to my days instead of having extra pages at the end of the year in the back of my book. Since this is my 2007 model, I haven't put it to practice yet but eventually, you will hear about it!
May 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAlice de Sturler
Hi Mike, I have to tell, you inspired me with this (http://www.rohdesign.com/weblog/archives/001832.html) paper experience. I wasn't already using any PDA for 2 or 3 months. The last one was the the P910i. I wasn't using any paper solution theses months since I was caring my nano along with me all the time. The nano syncs all my contacts and schedule from my Mac and I was doing fine. I even wrote several articles (in Portuguese) about my "nano PDA". Oh, this is how I call it :) But then I started missing the possibility of taking notes on the road, but I didn't want a regular day planner. So your moleskine solution looked very nice. Not the planner one. I like the notes randomly. I rether keep the schedule on Apple AB. What I am trying is to use it only to the things I can't handle with the nano. Like you wrote, I can take phone notes there and then input them in Apple AD. The same for contacts and even for small text information.

So, I went to this place and got this small notebook that is not a moleskine, but will let me try this new experience. Here is the picture (as you already know): http://www.flickr.com/photos/vlad_campos/154706085/in/photostream/And BTW, you are free to use it in your blog if you what ;-)

But help me with this. What exactly defines a moleskine? I'll try to find one here in Brazil, but I need to know what to look for. Could you help me with this?
May 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterVladimir Campos
Hey Mike, Bill Westerman here. I finally wrote up some pages on how I go about my paper-based task management system. It's available at http://utilware.com/gsd3.html - enjoy!
June 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBill Westerman
Hi Mike. I really enjoyed your writeup and, as others, it has inspired me. I have a writeup on Black Belt Productivity detailing yours and Bill Westermans setups.

I am going to try it with the new 18 Month Planner/Notepads though. I will have to shift to week at-a-glance instead of day at-a-glance, but that should not be difficult.

BTW, you are using arrows for deferred items. Do you have a standard deferred place or is the arrow head symbolic of where the deferred place is located (a la later date, different person).

Great write up.Michael
June 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Ramm
Great analog mod Mike :-)

I still use a PDA to track my lists to save constant re-writing but your mod and the links to Bill westermans blog have inspired me to make more use on paper and (in my case) pencil.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjohnwin
Michael, I saw your post from one of the feeds I check � thanks for the mention!

Day at a glance would be good for work purposes � that's how I work now using iCal on the Mac, in fact. However, my little Moleskine planner is for my personal schedule only, so seeing a week at once is better for my purposes.

On deferred items: the arrow is first symbolic that the task is moving somewhere else; however I have at times pointed to the next day (below) or say on a Saturday to Sunday or Sunday to next week. But primarilly it's symbolic first, specific (optionally) second.

John! Thanks for the comment. I can certainly understand using a digital task method � I do this for work, but since home stuff is not as heavy-duty, I find in-place tasks on the weekly agenda and in the back of the Moleskine work pretty well.

I still kind of use the Cli� for reading blogs, but nowhere as much as I used to (especially now that summer is here).
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
I have really enjoyed the discussions on analog vs digital.

I am trying to decide myself, as I have been using a Palm since the Palm III (currently own a Tungsten T3). But I constantly find myself making paper lists and only referring to the Palm for the calendar.

Has anyone considered using a NoteTaker notebook for their digital notebook. One the analog side, I still can't decide between a MiquelRuis and a Moleskine. From what I can see, the MiquelRuis is glue-bound where the Moleskine is stitch-bound - has that figured into anyone's decision?

I picked up a several sets of Moleskine Cahirs (7x10-ish) for notes on specific projects & proposals, but it is the daily/ weekly/ monthly/ yearly planning that makes me a bit crazy. I have used the Miquelruis (300 pg) years ago for lists - starting from one side for business and flipping the book over for personal, eventually meeting somewhere in the middle.

I still can't quite figure out if a separate calendar/planner book is necessary or more tonnage.
July 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKirayn
Kirayn, Miquelrius is more flexible and much thicker and larger, and the paper is squared. They come in 2 sizes: small 3x5 and large 6x8 -- I use the large one for my design sketching.

Moleskines are thinnner, have harder rigid covers, paper can be plain, ruled, squared, they have a elastic strap, bookmark and back pocket. They are a little smaller, and also come on small and large sizes. They also seem pretty tough.

As for whether to cary a little book -- I think for notes at least it helps to have something to capture detailed stuff with, unless you're really, really fast with Grafitti. :-)
July 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Mike,

Nice idea. A couple of mods for those power analog users:

1. BACKUP - While many do not see the need to, if this is used for mission-critical business ideas and tasking, one may want to consider once per month taking your book down to KINKO's and scanning the month (or quarter) to a CD-ROM and storing the CD-ROM off-site. At least this way if your book is lost or stolen or burned, you won't lose much data and can pick up where you left off.

2. CALLS - Keep a 4x6 card loose as a bookmark for the day you're on and on it put phone numbers and names for calls that need to be made that day. You can make quick 2 minute calls easily from the card throughout the day.

3. FREQUENTLY CALLED NUMBERS - Laminate at KINKOS, an insert for your back pocket of the Moleskine, a list of frequently called numbers.

Hope this helps!

Adam Boettiger
July 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Boettiger
Moleskine hacks are certainly catching on. You should also check out the PigPogPDA (http://pigpog.com/node/1030) for ideas on keeping track of the pages and lists in your Moleskine - I've been using it for half a year now, and it works for me!

I'm still keeping my calendar in a digital PDA, though, since I'd forget about many things without the reminder alarms.

July 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Samuels
Here is a MiquelRuis Resource for your Squidoo MiquelRuis site.They deliever very quickly.They carry the 100, 200, and 300 page books in 6x8.3 and 4x6 and the new verion with a strap (like the moleskine).

http://www.shopmiquelrius.com
July 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKiryan
Adam, thanks for the great ideas!

Richard, I use the Mac and my nano for important reminders too, though I find reviewing my paper book a week at a time, I recall events more easily. But I can see this as a good reason to have some kind of "alarm" device for many people.

Kiryan, thank you for the Miquelrius resource online -- I will check it out. :-)
July 12, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Mike,

Here's what may be the first BUG in your system, or challenge to address...

In GTD much focus is made on creating a collector bucket.

I find I need a ton of space for my collector bucket - more than the six pages that you created. I wonder if it might be a better suggestion rather than putting the entire year into it, to just divide 192 by half and then use half of it for a collector and the other half for calendaring, just buying a new book when it runs out?
July 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Boettiger
Adam, actually the way I've done the current book does just what you suggest -- it has roughly 6 months of calendar and in the back, the remaining pages (I think around 50-60) are used for lists and capture.

Now that "m realizing how handy this extra space is, I would do the same thing for 2007 -- use only 6 months for the calendar and leave the rest for lists and capture pages, since that works so well.
July 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Mike,

Here's some more feedback on the collector issue and an alternate layout to try...

1. The idea of using only half of the 192 pages for calendaring and the second half for the collector sections is smart and works. To me it does not matter if I can't fit the entire year in one book. If I wanted to do that I would be using a pre-printed planner. To try to cram an entire year into one book defeats the purpose of why you're using this technique in the first place. Run out of space after 5 months? Order another book and shelve the old one.

2. One thing you may want to experiment with is the layout. If you start out week by week (as opposed to creating all of your weeks the first day) that gives you the option to mod your layout on the fly, week to week without getting locked into how you set it up the first day.

For example, I tried your 7-day layout the first week but found that there really was not enough space for me with 3 days to a page for both dated tasks and calendaring as well as notes. Sometimes, rather than hunt around the back of the book for a phone number, I like to just put it on the page along with some background notes.

So this week I'm trying a different layout. I can do this because I did not ink out a 7-day layout all through my book the first day, just one week at a time. This week I'm trying a two-day format:

The left-side page vertically divided in half with two days. The right-side with a full page reserved only for notes. I find that there are some times when I either have ideas related to the tasks that day or want to jot down notes I can refer to later about the task or additional reference information that I really don't want to have to hunt for in the back of the book in a reference section.

While the Two-Day & Notes format does mean that you can't look at a full week at a time, it does allow for quite a bit more creative flow, new ideas and reference information/documentation.

Monday | Notes-------|Tuesday|



3. You mention using your iPOD Nano for storing information. Do you have a blog entry somewhere on how to use an iPOD as a digital voice recorder, or have you ever tried using a good DVR in lieu of the iPOD for capturing thoughts and tasks? There are some good ones on the market.

Thanks for the good stuff.

/AB
July 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Boettiger
Very impressed with your system and I am doubly impressed by how many people still use and LIKE pen and paper over a Palm or Blackberry. I love the concept of having the tabs so I have a section for random thoughts quotes ideas etc.

I wish I did not have plans this afternoon. I would be at the nearest Barnes and Noble getting a Moleskine. Now the decision to go custom or standard?

I will let you know how it goes, thanks for energizing my already profound love of lists and planning!
July 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle`
I recently got the smaller sized year and a half moleskine planner (July 2006 to Dec 2008) which has the entire week on the left side and a blank page for notes (my to do list) on the right. I chose the small size because it would fit in my purse or in my back pocket.

However, I've discovered that the larger sized Post-it notes fit perfectly inside, and are almost the size of a page. I am using them all the time for shopping lists and quick notes, and also as a way to keep phone contacts and important info in the book without using up the few blank "note" pages provided. It also lets me rewrite easily and keep things up to date.
July 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterChristine
Hi all. After using 3x5 cards to capture ToDo's in my new position, I am dropping the Palm for a Moleskine. I was encouraged by Mike's post...

I bought an 18 month Weekly Planner, but it doesn't come with the small 28 page address book that the Daily and Weekly Diaries do. Does anyone have one they are not using, and are willing to part with?
July 17, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGordon
Gdrdon, great to hear you're giving it a shot! :-)I think I have an Address book here that's pristine. Interested?
July 17, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Adam, great points about adaptation. One problem with that for me was the ability to lock in future dates in the calendar if I didn;t at least go 6 months at a go.

Maybe the solution is to explore some formats first and once you settle on one, draw up the book for 3 or 6 months. That gives you time to shake out the system and find what works and what doesn't for the next book you create.

I really like the idea of some spages between weeks for notes, or even making the book empty at the front and having he calendar in the back. I'll have to try that in January.

As for my nano, I use it only for access to my address book and for occasional alarms on the go. I haven't checked into a voice input for the nano, nor a voice recorder, but that's not a bad idea. However, I am a writer and am at the Mac most of the day, so a voice capture device might not get enough use. :-)

Michelle, thanks for the notes and I'm glad you were inspired! Keep me posted on how things go for you.

Christine, great suggestion. I've been using slightly smaller post-it index cards and they work well too. Having the flexibility to move those notes (or even tear them up) is a great benefit.
July 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
It sounds like you've reinvented the diary. Except now it's formatted in freehand. You have a fixed, limited amount of space available for each day regardless of how much space the day will actually require.

That stuff didn't work for me. I habitually plan far, far more in each day than I can actually get done. So it's of no value to me to write most of my TODO items under a date. Here's what does work for me.

I have a big TODO list in a text file on my laptop. Each TODO item is one line in the file. They're organised by project, and the Next Action is the topmost line under each project heading, and the action after that is the 2nd from top line, and so on.

This text file also has dates - Monday through Sunday, a week at a time (separated by a line of dashes). When I want to do something on a particular day, I move that TODO item underneath that date. It ensures that things which need to be done on a particular day get noticed.

Each TODO item line starts with two spaces and a dash. When I've done the item, I change the first space to a "c". So it looks like:

c - Fix the lawn mower
I keep those completed TODO items around in the file for a few days so I can remember what I have done recently. After a while I delete them, to avoid cluttering up my file with completed items.

I also have other codes: 'x' means "cancelled" as in I decided not to do that task, and 'w' means "work in progress" as in I started to do it, but haven't finished it yet.

The use of a single text file works for me. The main problems that I see with paper-based systems are that it takes a lot of time to transcribe uncompleted tasks from one page to another. I have at present over 300 uncompleted tasks and it's just not feasible to rewrite them. The text file means I can have as many as I like without ever having to rewrite. I might reorder tasks, and indeed do so frequently, but that's just a few keystrokes using vim under linux.

Finally, my TODO list file is automatically backed up every night, so if my laptop breaks or is stolen I haven't lost more than a day's changes to that file. And the file is automatically committed into a versioning system each night, so I can get back snapshots from previous days if I should need to remember what I was working on some day in the past.

August 1, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEzalien
I've decided to give your system a try. I followed your recommendations, but also made two minor modifications I thought I'd mention.

First, after creating 2-page weekly layouts through December 2006, I made 2-page monthly layouts for the next 6 months, giving each day a line (i.e. I wrote the month & year at the top, drew a horizontal line across both pages, then for January wrote "Mon 1" on the first line, "Tue 2" on the next, etc). That way I can make note of upcoming events and do a bit more long-range planning.

Second, I printed a 2006 calendar on a notecard using the "D*I*Y Planner Hipster PDA Edition 3.0" file (my HP 2175 printer allows for 3x5 notecard printing), trimmed the bottom "notes" section from the card, and taped it into the front cover of my moleskin. It might be possible to adapt some other hipster printouts and use them too, but I haven't pursued that yet.

Thanks.
August 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJon
Hi Mike. It seems this could work for me too.I have the 18 months planner and as fountain pen user I am not convinced about the paper quality as the ink bleeds through a lot (Much more than on the notebooks).

The only concern I have is the long term planning as you only have a few weeks to go. As the large notebook has 31 lines per page, it is easy to have a month on one page (one line for a day) or even two month per page at the beginning of the notebook for long term planning. Here I can keep track of birthdays as well which can beeasily transfered into the diary once the following weeks are drawn up.Pretty much the same as Jon above explained.I think I will give this a try soon.

Thanks for your post.Marcus
August 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMarcus
Hi Mike,

This is similar to what I do using the Moleskine Pocket Weekly Diary. Here's another thing you could try: use 3x5 Post-It notes for next action lists. Use one Post-It note for each context, and store spare sheets in the pocket. That way you don't have to worry about running out of pages or figuring out how to allocate them. When I run out of space on a Post-It, I usually just copy the incomplete actions onto a new sheet.

Evan
August 31, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEvan Lenz
Evan, good idea. I've been playing with post-it index cards and it seems to work pretty well. I wanted to get the 3x5 yellow notes but the package was like 10,000 � I didn't want to invest that much without knowing how the system might work.
September 19, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Have you seen this site: http://www.pocketmod.com/ Comes in pretty handy.
September 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterVince Colombo
Thanks for the great idea for the planner.I have been researching planners for a while. This week after after an evening class one of my classmates took my planner into her bag on accident, then lost it.

So I had a good reason to go out and finally get a couple moleskines.I look forward to using it schedule everything. I bought the non-ruled one as well for ideas, random thoughts and drawings.

Being a Mac loyalist I decided to put a Mac sticker on one of my Moleskines to distiguish it from the other.The Macskine hipster PDA is born.here's a picture of it:http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelb1/251863546/in/photostream/
September 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike
Thanks for the Pocketmod suggestion Vince � I have used calendars from there (they work great).

Mike, glad to offer this idea up to everyone. I find it works really well for my needs. I love the Apple sticker! :-)
September 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Hi. Mike could you explain what for you are drawing a standard (printed) calendar structure in your notes? Sorry for that question, but dividing a page into 3 or 4 sections (for sun and sat days) for me looks like 'circle invention' ;-)Perhaps I missed something in your pen-n-notes trick, but what?
October 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSzymon
Szymon, no re-inventing the wheel here really. I liked the Moleskine week-at-a-glance, but I couldn't locate one cheaply so I made my own.

I also realized that because I made my own planner I could add different pages and have notes/to-dos and such that the standard Moleskine weekly just won't allow for.

It was really the realization that someone could make a customized planner to fit themselves, rather than fitting themselves to the planner... if you see my meaning. :-)
October 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde

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