by Jason Alterskye
Hello, planners and journalers! I trust you all got through One Book July relatively unscathed? As a follow-up to my previous, inaugural article, I alluded to explaining how I use my single diary for everyday work/personal planning.
Unfortunately, time got away from me between the June and August Issues, and I haven’t been able to include any photos to further illustrate my point, so I offer my apologies in advance.
So, diving right in…
The diary I use as my all purpose, GTD Assistant is a lovely turquoise (I previously referred to it as “teal”… Your Honour, I wish to change my statement, I must have been having a Moment), A5 size, Page Per Day with thick ivory paper which is perfect for my sloppy, heavy-handed writing style, especially as I prefer writing with a fountain pen.
The current book – like its predecessors – must have the following sections. They are non-negotiable and mandatory.
- Three Annual Calendars: last, current, and next years, due to the nature of my work. Like everyone, I require the current year’s calendar, which serves for future appointments and reminders. I also need to refer to the prior year when completing tax returns (which are obviously filed for periods/years in arrears). Finally, planning for future projects and worker’s quotes we need to be able to calculate working days per month in the upcoming year.
- Notes Section: speaks for itself, does what it says on the tin.
- Contacts Section: for when your phone is flat and you urgently need someone’s telephone number!
- An integrated pouch in the rear cover for storing important papers
Additionally, this diary also has a Finance section in the back, which is useful as I can write up and then cross of my monthly scheduled payments.
Another useful bit is the International Holidays section. As we offshore a lot of our work overseas, it’s handy to know when colleagues will be taking mandatory leave when planning for weekly call, etc.
Lastly, I have a monthly pre-cut piece of cardstock, roughly 10″ x 4″, which I slot in on the 1st of the current month – like an old school bookmark – upon which I annotate my “highlights” for the month: key objectives, reminders, ad hoc bills to pay, etc., which serves as a handy reference point covering the full month rather than having to find the specific days when a bill or reminder falls due.
For those of you who have an obsession with a well-stuffed journal/planner, I do understand… for that, I refer you to my trusty “Rome” Italian leather wallet in black which has space for 15 cards, two sleeves to keep bills and receipts in, the ubiquitous coin pouch, ad a cheeky little zippered section in the middle to keep SD cards and the like. This is always stuffed… with receipts, not cash, unfortunately! (Although I must have had a fair amount of cash in order to generate all of those receipts… now I feel better!)
Until next time, keep it real, Planner People!
(As a side note and light-hearted finale, allow me to introduce you to a game that kept my 16-year-old son and I endlessly entertained during our ten-day Western European holiday. I should add that my partner hates it already. Create a new slang phrase my using a the name of a river animal combined with a traditional Victorian era British phrase. And… GO!)
Jason Alterskye is a tax accountant working for one of the Big 4 accounting firms who is an avid reader of Planner related material in that constant, never ending quest to become ever more efficient and organised. He lives and works in the United Kingdom after having spent the first part of his life in South Africa.