Using a smaller planner as a "satellite" device

First of all, happy holidays everyone!

Now down to my question. I have a compact Circa planner that is the size I like best for mapping out projects or taking notes. However, in my quest to push business card sized planning to its limits, I'm working on setting up a 2-ring Circa-based device as a satellite to my main planner. I've seen lots of posts where folks talk about having a larger planner and using a smaller one as well, but this is my first attempt at splitting up my planning in this way.

What do you use your satellite device for? Is it just a capture device? Do you keep your Next Actions there and your project plans in the larger planner? Do you keep your personal stuff in the satellite and work stuff in the larger planner? Or maybe you use the smaller one for capture and plan-for-the-day, and the larger one for long range planning and recording stuff you need to keep track of?

I find myself wanting to just have one device that has everything in it. However, while I often need the space that I have in my larger planner, I enjoy travelling light with my Pocketster. The small device also has the benefit of somehow feeling less off-putting; it feels a lot more natural to whip out the smaller one and jot down something as I'm talking to someone than to pull out my big book and start writing.

So, if you are so inclined, please tell me how you use (or would use, if you had one) a satellite planner device!

Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Here's my satellite device:

Here's my satellite device:

I've been using it during 2006 to remember or jot down birthdays, appointments and other date-related things.



No answers here, really. :) I started to try this idea. Then I decided I wanted to carry the whole thing with me all the time. Can't live without contacts (especially on trips), can't live without carrying my schedule around (to make appts). Can't live without a few pieces of paper to write on. ...and the list goes on.

Anyway, I'm trying out a Mead Ringdex now. Fourth different iteration since October. I'm searching for 'small enough to take, large enough to do the job completely.'

The ringdex will be fat, but it will be small and light and it will lie flat when open. We'll see. Gotta get some bigger rings for the thing.

When I was trying the satellite, it was mostly for quick trips shopping or the like. So I'd carry some blank cards and a pen just in case DH called with an other item to add to the shopping list. If I went to the doc, dentist, stylist, etc., I took my schedule with me. That was pretty much it for the outings. If I had to go in to the plant, I'd carry my whole planner along with the laptop, etc. In a meeting at work, though, I'd just grab a couple cards and a pen to take notes on. Sometimes I'd use up four or five cards written double-sided, but mostly not. That would let me stuff the cards in the project section or the day I planned to do my actions or whatever.

Anyway, I guess I used several types of satellite depending on what I was going to do or what I expected to come at me while I was out.

Being without a vital info rather worries me. Thus I want to carry it all.


Portability is Everything

You have hit on my favorite subject. I will spare you the details on how I decided on a pocket size calendar (the path is somewhat convoluted). Since becoming a DIY devotee, I have settled into a new "system" that works pretty well.....for now, of course.

The core of my system is a comprehensive filing system and an "in basket" (thank you David Allen). My files have long since replaced all tabbed sections within a planner, allowing me to live a ringless existence. That's right...NO rings! No formal "planner" anymore either. Freedom!!

The second component is my "file transport" zippered folio. I received it as a gift, but you can get them at any office supply store. It's made of nice leather, so I never mind carrying it into a meeting. It houses a letter size white notepad (never yellow), has a variety of slip pockets, a zipper pocket, and a large gusseted pocket for carrying letter size file folders. I can comfortably carry three files that are less than 1/2 inch thick each. The outer cover also has a slip pocket that easily holds my Daytimer Pocket Calendar wallet.

I no longer carry the wirebound monthly booklets, but the "Advance Planner" is my monthly calendar of choice. It is small enough to be highly portable, yet has enough lines to fit a realistic meeting schedule. A mechanical pencil with a large eraser certainly does come in handy too. The Daytimer wallets allow for multiple booklets to be carried simultaneously. I currently carry my calendar and two pocket size Moleskine Cahier booklets for capture. One is for "reference", i.e. websites, passwords, etc. The other is for daily notes. In addition, I carry an assortment of 3 x 5 notecards in the front credit card slots (flipped portrait orientation) when I want to capture a note to pass along to someone else. When I want to travel light, the Daytimer wallet is all that I carry.

Back at the office I have my Moleskine Memo Pocket that houses all of my various note cards, i.e. To Do, Agendas, Projects, etc. If I need to get out of the office to think, it fits nicely inside of my zippered folio, or I can simply stuff it in my coat pocket along with my Daytimer wallet, and off I go.

Voila! Portable productivity! Now, if I could just figure out a way to incorporate my new Shirt Pocket Briefcase....

Mini planner not really a planner

In addition to my main planner, I have several more portable devices which are all for capture: a 3x5 card holder, a bound notebook, a pad of paper which is 5.5x8.5 for fitting into the main planner, and various stapled, bound, circa notebooks, moleskins, loose cards, etc. I only regularly use the planner, notebook, and 3x5 cards, the other paper is around in different places in case I need to capture something and no other planner is around. All but the main planner are capture devices, except the 3x5 cards have some info cards and calendar cards. I sometimes duplicate weekly schedule info from the main planner and sometimes action lists (satellite action cards) and carry them in the 3x5 holder - although I'm trying to get away from that, as it's too complex, in theory, I think. But, if I know I'll be around more than home/office, I will make that 3x5 a "mini-planner" as needed.