Edition Ten: Planning with planners

We learn better when we write things down. That is what the studies say when I started this job, I said I would finally spend the time to do a better job organizing my day.

I make my own planner pages because I have always had weird jobs where GTD or other to-do systems didn’t work. I rarely have the flexibility to time block, or do pomodoros. I have to take things as I can.

I looked at my last ramshackle-anything-goes notebook and realized I can’t bullet journal because I don’t have time to transfer things in circles on pages, and sometimes I spend weeks working on one thing and need all the notes in one place.

My system

So I use a discbound system. I can move pages around and I get to print my own. Weekly, my page has a broader overview of weekly goals and a space to plan the next week. Daily, I list top priorities (no set number just the things I have to get done today) and then other to-dos, which are usually personal, and then a space for random notes, gratitude (this section is really good, but really hard for me), a list of where I have been today, so I can remember what day I had that impromptu meeting to talk about that issue, and meals bc I’m attempting to be healthy.

Some days, I don’t fill out anything and all I have are plain pages filled with notes. Some days, I get really intense and fill out all the boxes.

Take it everywhere

I take my notebook everywhere and copiously take notes, instead of typing. I realized people assumed when I was typing on my laptop that I was texting or Slack-ing. Now I only bring my phone and notebook unless I’m presenting something. It signals that I am all in, totally present and relieves me of distractions (Slack).

So here are my pages, feel free to take them and edit them at will. Much thanks to Stacy-Marie Ishmael for encouraging me to share these.

Daily page
Weekly page


Pay it Forward

No requests from me this week, but Machiko Yasuda sent me this after Edition Nine. If you have something to share, hit the reply button. I love replies!

From former CTO of Rent the Runway, Camile Fournier:

“As you go through various stages of your career, you’ll start to realize how much uncertainty there is in the world. It’s a pretty universal truth that once you get the job you thought you wanted, the enjoyment eventually fades and you find yourself looking for something else. You think you want to work for that cool startup, and you get there only to find it’s a mess. You think you want to be a manager, only to discover that the job is hard and not rewarding in the ways you expected.

In all of this uncertainty, the only person you can rely on to pull through it is yourself. Your manager cannot do that for you. Use your manager to discover what’s possible where you are, but look to understand yourself in order to figure out where you want to go next.”


I love Brandi Carlile and this album of people covering her songs is fantastic. Listen now.

If you spend any sort of time with me, you’ll know I’ve been enamored with reporting on Africa for the past couple of years. Africa Update by Rachel Strohm is a great newsletter about Africa, including good people to follow, and music recommendations!

Great things I’ve read lately
The Happiness Experiment from Quartz, a look at what really makes us happy. Three things one woman does on every flight (similar to what others have told me they do). Questions to ask the group who is asking you to do (yet another) speaking engagement (h/t to Erika Owens for this one).

Jobs jobs jobs 
FT editor gig at The Outline. SEO Manager with some good folks in Philly (Philly Media Network). Senior Product manager, Daily Beast. Graphics editor, WSJ. Be an editor of a Quartz section about….management.