Field Notes Planner System

by M.Hicks

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” Thomas Jefferson

Modern day life has become so hectic and fast paced that some people just can’t keep up. I am one of those people. To alleviate some of the stress that comes with a hectic lifestyle, I have come up with planning system using Field Notes notebooks. These notebooks are very handy and with a little creativity can be modified to serve many purposes. In this post I’m going to explain how I use Field Notes as a planner/organizer.

My current system consists of five Field Notes notebooks, each serving a different purpose. This system is compact and rugged enough to withstand my daily routines.

My first book is my planner/Spiraldex that I custom make. I use one Field Notes per month. The opening page has a whole month on a page with the next page spread a week at a glance. On the left side is Monday to Wednesday and on the right side is Thursday to Sunday. Immediately after my week spread, I have a Spiraldex for each day of the week. I got this idea from Kent from Oz’s blog. You can check it out here for more information on his system and how it works. Setting up my Field Notes planner in this fashion allows me to quickly see what my week looks like and how my day looks. I reference to this book first thing in the morning to prepare for my day and at the end of the day I complete the Spiraldex for the following day.

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My second book is my Bullet Journal. I’m a checklist kind of person so this method is working great for me. If you want more info on this system just click on the link.

My third book is my farm record book. In addition to my full time teaching job, my wife and I own and operate a horse boarding, training, and riding lesson facility. I constantly have to keep records of income, expenses, and health issues and having this book dedicated to my farm allows me to keep it all in one place and easily accessible.

My fourth book is my most recent finished “brain dump” book. I always like to have it on hand in case I have to reference back to an old note. This one will rotate as I finish up my current “brain dump” which leads me to my fifth book.

My fifth book is my most used book. This one is always in my back pocket and serves as my current “brain dump”. Any passing thoughts, ideas, sketches, notes, etc. go into this book. This book is always with me whereas the first four either stay on my desk at work, in the tack room at the barn, or beside my bed in my house. I often make sloppy notes in the fifth book that later get neatly filed into one of the first four.

I’ve just recently invested in a Midori style leather cover that conveniently holds four Field Notes. This cover has been perfect!  This system is currently working very well for me but I’m constantly trying to find ways to improve it.

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If you have any suggestions of how I can improve this system or any questions please leave them in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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