A Classic Moment of Weakness

Well, it finally happened. I have recently been daydreaming about using my old Classic binder again. Then on Friday night, in a moment of weakness, I downloaded a few of the DIY Classic 2-Up templates and went on a printing spree that lasted an hour. I punched the pages with my FC 7-holer, then inserted the pages into my old vinyl FC binder.

This morning upon returning to the office, I set up a tabbing system within my binder. I now find myself standing on the brink...

Do I dare take the plunge?

--Bob

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You already did

Hi.

If you printed it, you have already taken the plunge. Your mind is already made up.

In my family, we have a phrase we all use. The phrase is "I'm thinking about (fill in the blank)."

Any time anyone in my family says that phrase, it means "the conclusion is foregone. I have already made my decision, I'm just struggling on the hook, trying to second-guess that decision."

Examples include "I'm thinking about buying a Rollabind kit." And "I'm thinking about making a new form for (whatever)." And "I'm thinking about replacing the front door of my home."

The 'thinking about' part is the code. It just means "will do in the very near future, this is your chance to stop it with a well-placed objection if you have one." Usually, though, objections are irrelevant. It is cast in stone already.

If I think about a format change, the moment I print/punch a form is the moment the decision is final. Fiddling with making a form, no. Printing, no, that's just part of being sure the form is right. I might even write on the form, too, to make sure it really does what it's supposed to do. Punching it, though, means it's all over. Format change decision complete. Done. End of story. :)

shris

Difference of Plunge Points

I don't consider the "plunge" as being taken until I start transferring information from one planner to the other. Right now my Classic is "on deck" and ready to get into the game if I need a pinch hitter.

I'm considering using it for Project Management instead of Outlook. A couple weeks ago I went through the laborious process of setting up "projects" as a "contact" in Outlook so I could link all kinds of information (emails, appointments, tasks, etc.) on various projects. It works pretty slick except I don't like the burden of schlepping my laptop with me all of the time. Plus I like tools that don't need to be booted up.

I'm using a Pocket Moleskine Cahier for weekly planning/capture and I like it. I won't give up my pocket calendar. It's just so handy! However, while I am finding that notecards and pocket sized notepads are great capture tools, they are just too small for my project management. That's what driving this upsize to Classic.....again.

--Bob

I can dig it

Hi.

OK, so you're in the advanced prototyping stage. :)

I know how you feel about that outlook projects as contacts thing. But with that, I didn't get as far as prototyping that solution. I decided it was too much trouble even to prototype it thoroughly. :)

Instead, I gave all of my projects separate folders under my inbox--to a very granular degree, unlike my previous coarse categorization--and left it at that.

I have only one project that rates an actual project plan, and every time I look at it I get a headache. If I end up actually doing that project, instead of planning it with my boss over and over (to get approval from the higher ups), I think I'll create child folders underneath the parent project folder to catch the messages that have to do with each phase of the project. Note: I don't use outlook tasks at all, I only use paper for that. So my email folders are just for emails. I use outlook's calendar for meetings, but back it up to my paper planner because our email system is not 99%.

I was thinking of redoing my daily pages to include a tiny 'month' in the corner to reduce flipping in my paper planner. And I was thinking about a cutout hack so the 'week' would also show somewhere.. I decided where the baby month would go, but can't quite visualize the baby week. After I printed my April pages I redid my daily format to include 15-minute increments a la printable CEO. I'm on the fence about how many other things I want to attempt all at the same time.

I was thinking of moving back up to classic too, when I was thinking about all these funky date things. But I sure do like quarter letter size.

I tried week-on-two-pages over the weekend, just to see if I'd like it better than page-a-day. Answer: nice for future planning, no good for record-keeping a la printable CEO of what actually happened that day--too small. So I have new forms, but I'm not going to use them.

On whether you should go larger, since you've gone to the prototype level and haven't talked yourself out of it yet, here's a few questions for you:
* What problem are you trying to fix?
* Does this solution actually solve the problem?
* Do you like it?
* Is it more trouble than it's worth?
* Is there another way to solve the problem that might be less effort?
* Is there another way to solve the problem that you'd like better?
* Are you going to have to carry it around?
* Does it feel right?

Only you can take the plunge, only you can decide to step back. It's all you, man. :)

shris

Outlook projects

Forgot to mention, I do a similar solution to tracking project emails in Outlook. I have a Projects folder, and within that I have one folder per project. Every email I get about a project goes in its respective folder.

I forget how much Circa/Rollabind stuff you ended up with? I have an idea I've been messing with for managing my todo list and projects with a Circa notebook. Look forward to more pictures on Flickr tonight :-)

-Kenny

thanks shris!

I think I understand the root of my "problem". I just like diddling with the toys....er, I mean...tools too much. That, plus I have too many toys/tools. I'm like the toddler that has dozens of toys at his disposal, but can't decide which one to play with because he has too many.

Having said that, my very first planner was a Classic....when life was so much simpler. A time before the internet....before email, etc. Voice mail was the big technology. I think I'm just looking for a simpler way.....or just another excuse to buy more toys!

--Bob

You and me both.

Heh.

"Just because you can doesn't mean you should."

Wish I could accept that mantra more often. :)

I like playing with toys too. Witness 600 rolla rings in 10 colors, six colors of paper, five colors of cardstock, two pairs of scissors, three kinds of tape, two kinds of laminating sheets, three different paper punches and about twenty different colors and sizes of pens, all within easy reach.

My spare binders aren't in easy reach, but they're not far. :)

Making the forms is much more fun than filling them out all the time.

shris

In A Nutshell

shris: You have captured the very essence of my Multi-plannerism Syndrome with this quote:

"Making the forms is much more fun than filling them out all the time."

That is EXACTLY where I am at.

--Bob

toys!

I'm in the playing with tools/toys camp too. Evidence on my flickr account I think part of the problem is my bookshelves are arranged around my computer desk, and all my notebooks are on those bookshelves. Very easy to get to.

If you want things to be simpler, maybe you need to get rid of some toys, not buy more! The best thing you can do would probably be figure out which tool works best for you, figure out what you don't like about it and tweak it a little to work around what you don't like.

Here's an example of this: I would on occasion rearrange my filing cabinets at home until I read "Getting Things Done" and decided to put them in alphabetical order. I still do move things around a little bit once in a while, but nothing major. For example, all the paperwork for my cat's vet visits was in "cats & other pets" which I moved to "Pets".

-Kenny

getting things done with Outlook

I use Outlook at work and thought about doing GTD with it. The whole "projects as contacts" thing definitely looked very clever, but I could see that to be a bit of a pain at times.

I do tend to keep information I get via email in Outlook, except for things that I need to do (those go on my paper todo list) and meetings I need to be at (those go on the paper calendar).

Paper definitely works better as a capture device. The only time I use an electronic form of information capture is when dealing with email or if it is something I will need to collaborate on. I either put it in Google Docs or Basecamp. Still trying to figure which of those to use as my one place to put everything...

-Kenny

I forget...

I forget, what had you been using as your planning system? Sounds like you've already taken the plunge and switched if you've got forms printed out, hole punched, back in your planner, and tabs already set up.

-Kenny

no harm in trying :)

Bob...

I would say... give it a shot. In a week or so you should know if its helping you out or holding you back. Thats been my timeframe at least.

I would love to hear more about how your entire system of 3x5s, hacked rolodex and this classic planner all work together if you get some time to do a writeup :)

take care of yerself up there... and dont forget to celebrate a little... its opening day~!

my artwork| my blog

Fiddling, upsizing, downsizing, decisions, decisions

Sometimes I think this is the only sane place left on the web, other times I wonder about you all right along with wondering about myself.

Many years ago when the 'planner' craze started, I wanted a zip-around 8x11 in leather. They were outrageously expensive. I settled down to wait. Seven years later I purchased one for twenty bucks. I was so happy, felt so smug that I had waited out my own impulses.

Eventually I found the size problematic, got bored or something and started downsizing. I have been a lurker for three-ish years, I have gone through every phase of development, boredom, glee at all the new shiney things and STILL cannot make a decision.

I was 4up(ing) when all the 3x5 hipsters were chortling over those plastic box thingys. I was using various templates to help the neighbors in our community computer lab track paperwork, case management, job hunting, apartment hunting and so forth. I never got around to creating an account or even posting a photo.

Now that I am in a state of quandry again, another user posts his?her kit made out of a mini-post album. Tried that method long before I ever found this site. In fits of exasperation with myself I have jammed everything into a mini-bulldog just to be done with it. So I have no words of wisdom except; if it makes you happy to rip it up and recreate the kit all over again, it can't be all bad.

WBF 8)
...who thinks it's like looking in a mirror every time she reads this stuff
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