How I Use My Moleskine Planner

Let me segue into some non-beauty stuff for a while. It’s quite well into 2015, but let me drone on a bit about my planner setup for this year. Last year I used my BDJ Planner quite religiously and I was able to stick with it for the most part. My main issue with it is that it’s too big and bulky, and I couldn’t really drag it around with me which is how I want it with my planner. This year, I decided to get a pocket-sized (or A6) planner to keep it very portable, no matter the size of bag I used. I ended up getting this red Moleskine Weekly Notebook Diary/Planner.

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I thought that the size is perfect; smaller than a standard pocketbook, but without me being forced to use unusually small handwriting. It had the standard planner features in it, for the most part. It has a hard cover, which I thought was essential in protecting the pages inside. It also has an elastic to keep it closed when not in use. Let me show you the tweaks I did to this planner to suit my purposes.

Weekly Spread

It had a week spread out on one page, and a space for notes on the opposite. My hugest issue with this is that it treats Saturdays and Sundays as half of a weekday. When one works in the BPO industry as I do, weekends are sometimes more important than weekdays. To compensate for this inconsiderate layout, I added a space for Sunday on the notes side, and the Saturday gets to keep the whole of that bottom.

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At the beginning of the months I also have a section for my monthly goals and reminders. Moleskine doesn’t really separate the months, having a continuous weekly setup all year long (hence the need for the page flags as well to mark the months). I needed to have a space to put in my monthly reminders to help me with planning for the coming month, so I created a space in the first week of every month especially for that.

Sticky Note Repository

I need a lot of sticky notes in my planning, for items or tasks that I expect to be moving around in my schedule or will generally not be needed to get inked in. Instead of carrying a separate pack of sticky notes for this, I dedicated a spread in an unused part in the front pages of the planner to hold just a few sheets each of my differently sized sticky notes.

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To be honest some of these sticky notes are too large for a pocket planner. I’m considering swapping out some of the bigger ones for tinier sticky notes.

Period Tracker

This is one of the things I really liked about the BDJ planner is the dedicated page to track periods. For a woman this is essential. Since Moleskine does not natively have one, I made a custom one for myself and just pasted it on another one of the unused front pages.

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As you can see there are no month names, so I’ll just have to remember which month is which. At least I remembered to have alternating white and black for the months!

Read List and Wishlist

I also wanted a place to put lists, but without cluttering up the rest of my planner. I printed out some blank pages from a Moleskine template, and pasted it on even more of those unused front pages. A simple label with a pen and I now have a place to put wishlists and a place to track the books I finished reading.

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I feel a little sad that I have not even a single book on that list yet. On the other hand, I seem to have already filled up my wishlist! Strangely enough most of these are pens and notebooks and stuff, and not much on the makeup front.

Corkboard

For things that do not fit in the read list and wishlist categories, I have another couple of pages for my “corkboard”. It’s like a catch all for other lists, and is designed to hold lists in sticky notes.

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Here I have my goals (personal and blogging) that I have considered so far. I also use this corkboard to hold project planning notes such as this one about a visa application. I marked this corkboard with a pink page flag so I can always find my way quickly back here.

Typical Week

Here is an example of a typical week for me. As you can see this is the week I realized the Saturday/Sunday issue. I use the notes page on the right as my weekly task list/reminder, and from there I distribute the tasks on specific days. The space for the daily tasks are just enough I think.

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I eventually ditched the shopping list, and gone digital on that (using the Color Note app for Android). You can also see my love for stickers. I also use a system of colored pens to let me know which ones are for work, etc.

What I didn’t like about the Moleskine planner

One of my biggest beefs against the Moleskine planner is the fact that it cannot take fountain pens. I would like to eventually transition to a planner that loves fountain pens but for now I’m sticking to using Pilot ballpens for this. It’s also rather expensive; I think this costs something over Php900, for such a tiny planner. Lastly the size is also working a bit against me, since I wanted this to also be some sort of daily snapshot journaling. As seen by my typical week, I can barely fit everything in it with just the tasks and reminders!

The Future of My Planning

For now I see no reason to change planners, but I am seriously considering two: the Alunsina Kislap system (similar to Midoris; Philippine-made) and the Hobonichi Techo (Japanese-made). Both have the size range that I want, and both are friendly to fountain pens. I might try out the Kislap anyway since it is refillable and more accessible in general.

For daily snapshot journaling, I have gotten some discounted Moleskine notebooks to serve as a catch-all for my thoughts, notes, and other such things. This has increased my daily notebook carry to two, which is bad! Hence I really want to transition to either of the two mentioned above.

Have you used Moleskine planners? What planner system do you use?

16 thoughts on “How I Use My Moleskine Planner

  1. Hi Pat! 🙂 I am so fascinated with how people use their planners lately as I feel that there is always something new to learn like a very useful tip for productivity that I never thought of. Thanks for sharing how you use yours!

    I used to have the Moleskine planners in this size but the one without the notes on the right page as I felt that I needed more space for the days and just carried a separate notebook for notes. I also didn’t like how they bundled Saturday and Sunday together as I realized when I was still working in an office setup before that I tend to have more things to plan in the weekends and wanted my work stuff off my planner as the list of to-dos always ran way too long. I contemplated getting another Moleskine this year but with my recent fountain pen acquisitions, decided otherwise. I still love my BDJ Planner though but also found it too bulky to carry around so I paired it with a Midori plus my ever reliable Google calendar and Keep. My Keep carries way too much that I need to fully utilize my Midori soon but haven’t had the chance to really sit down for it.

    Anyhow, I loved how you personalized your Moleskine to fit your needs. They simply have too many pages that aren’t typically used. 🙂

    1. Hi Katsy! It’s really weird that they chose to put bias against the weekends, as even non-BPO people have things to do on the weekends! I didn’t think I’d get more into fountain pens this year (I bought the planner late November!) so I’m regretting getting this planner because of that. I heard really good things about the Midori, which makes me excited to get the Alunsina one. 😀

    1. Hardbound Moleskines generally come with a back pocket, which I use to hold some of the more portable of my sticker sheets. 😀 I’ve heard of stickable pockets though, which is a sticker that somehow is also a pocket? Sounds pretty intriguing!

  2. I like what you did! Mine’s a little too crowded, which I actually prefer! Haha. I also color-coded my shit, like black for general stuff, pink for blog related whatever and green for my currently very sad social life lol

    I don’t like the design of this planner though. I don’t like planners with one side as the weekly thingy and the other side as a notes page or something. I prefer one na sakop talaga yung both pages. I don’t use the notes page kasi, but that’s just me.
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    1. I like crowded stuff too! I can pretend I have an exciting life that way, haha!

      I needed the notes page mostly to catch my weekly reminders. I don’t like assigning days to tasks right away until I do the weekly planning, so I need a place to put them in the meantime. It’s really going to depend on individual ways of organizing. 😀

  3. I got a lot of tips from this post. Seriously. Will definitely do the sticky note tabs, sticky note repository, I’ll move my wishlist here na rin.

    For the first time in a loooong time, I decided not to give away my Starbucks planner. I was thinking of getting a fauxdori or midori but since I’m all about saving as much money as I can this, why not use something I already have.

    I use a frixion pen because I always need to erase stuff 😛
    Rae recently posted…Caveat Emptor: Fake Real Techniques Core Collection Set at The LandmarkMy Profile

    1. One of the breakthroughs I did was to stick a blank page onto the useless pages. It opened up the planner to how exactly I wanted it to work! 😀

      I also tried out frixion pens and I love them! I now have a set of three. 😛

    1. I’m slowly being convinced to buy one this year! I’m not all that happy with the Moleskine’s unfriendliness to fountain pens. Glad I helped though! 😀

  4. Hello, Pat! Compelled to comment on this post as I looove my planners, been using one since I got gifted one in HS. Hihi. I have been mostly loyal to Moleskine and have tried the weekly horizontal, planner + notebook (like yours now), and daily formats in the three available sizes. I take it you’re using the smallest one? I agree that if you would be using that size, the planner + notebook format won’t seem enough. When I went that small in 2014, I used a daily format so I was lugging a tiny fat notebook everywhere. 🙂 It was great for diary-like entries/comments, pasting stuff like tickets and stickers, and to-do lists.

    While I’ve been using Moleskine for a long time, I never really “hacked” it. Should look up those templates. But I do the post-it repository! I get a kick out of placing as many as I can in one page and in a neat configuration. For 2015 though, I’m trying out the Leuchtturm planner + notebook which NBS launched last holiday. Works just about as great as Moleskine and with more color choices. 🙂
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    1. Hi Kari! Thank you for your very thoughtful comment. We can talk planners and notebooks all day! 😀 I hear nice things about Leuchtturm too, I might check it out sometime. It’s also in the same price range as Moleskine I think. What size are you using currently?

      1. I’m using the Medium size, which is the middle of what NBS is offering–the big ones are REALLY big and the small ones, really small! I picked the cornflower color, it’s like a pale blue/purple. My second choice would have been the grey. Considering the price is comparable to Moleskine, mas sulit siya. Less “useless” pages, blank pages at the back that you can hack (8 out of 12 are perforated pa), then it comes with all sorts of nifty stuff like archival stickers for when you’re done using it, a line guide (one side notebook-style, another grid-type) for the blank pages (I NEED this haha), and I bought the matching pen loop. Yeah, I love it. 🙂

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