Planners for chaos

by - January 05, 2022

Boyfriend Pham likes to tease me about my life being miscellaneous. In high school I couldn't decide between arts and science so I did both. At uni, I couldn't decide what to specialise in and ended up doing a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Interdisciplinary). Do you know what the interdisciplinary really means? Miscellaneous.

Not surprising that after a lot of chopping and changing jobs, the one that's kept me around for years instead of months has been miscellaneous projects. Whatever the business needs done, I figure out a way to do it. When the business is growing and changing at warp speed I never get a chance to get bored. The trouble is, notebooks don't cut it when you're juggling over a dozen streams. I jump from one topic to another, sometimes something new every 30-60 minutes for a whole day, which means notes get lost in notebooks.

My solution? A planner. My planner isn't for planning though, it's for logging all the things I haven't gotten to yet... but organised in a way that makes it easier to find when I eventually have time. The ring-binder means the pages are not set in stone, and I can shuffle my notes around to group with other notes of the same stream. It's been a game-changer for me - no longer flicking through pages and pages (colour-coded so I knew which project or area it related to, of course, I'm not a complete noob) to find what I needed to reference. With the binder and its dividers, I can flick to the right spot instantly. 

I loved my A5 Kikki.K planner so much I got one for my team member so she too could enjoy the flexibility of a planner instead of a notebook. Once you're done with a page, you can file it or bin it. With a notebook I suppose you could do the same but the tendency is to keep carrying the deadweight with you until the notebook is filled. The 5 or 6 dividers that come by default with Kikki.K also did not cut it and I bought a 12-divider set. I've optimised my planner to keep track of the maze that is my professional life and I am damn proud of it.

I do realise I am so Mum Pham. She had a leather bound planner that she carried with her everywhere. She kept everything in it from recipes, medical history and her English studies through to our meal plans, key anniversaries and contact numbers. Even if mobile phones were a thing Mum Pham bothered with, she would always prefer pen and paper. And now I carry on her tradition of being obsessive about a planner. 

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