YearCompass – Reflecting on your year and the year ahead

Over three years ago now, I stumbled upon a recommendation for YearCompass in a comment. (It might have been somewhere on Reddit.) It’s a booklet that gives you a way to reflect on the current year ending and looking forward to the next year. I always find it useful to close out a year, especially mentally.

From their website:

What Is YearCompass?
YearCompass is a booklet that helps close your year and plan the next one. In the routine of everyday life it’s easy to lose sight of your true goals and aspirations. And even though we all have dreams, only a few of us plan for them. Effectively, at least. YearCompass works simply. Using questions and exercises rooted in psychology it takes you through the past year, then helps you turn your dreams into achievable goals.

Planner #3: The Dark Horse

I was planning to go into 2021 with one planner I knew, and one new planner. Then I found out about a planner via The Stationery Cafe podcast, and I had to grab one just to try it out.

Introducing the Take a Note planner. This planner is going into its 6th year. So it’s pretty new, and I couldn’t find too many places to buy it (and ship to US). I pre-ordered mine via A Blank Note, and the planner shipped out in November. I’m glad I pre-ordered this since it seems to be selling out in what few places I can find it at.

Take a note planner cover (2021)

The English version of this planer comes in an A5 size.

The planner lays flat, at least for the most part. Some pages do curl upwards from the spine, but I think you could fix this with some pressing down of the page.

Monthly runs from December of the previous year to March of the next year. (December 2020 – March 2022)

The weekly is a hybrid vertical weekly layout meets daily. There are two days split vertically down on each page, with the exception of Monday. For Monday, on the left is a horizontal section listing the days of the week to write quick notes, and Monday itself takes up the right side of the page.

The weekly runs from the first week of January 2021 through the last week of December 2021.

Like the Jibun Techo, the months are grouped together followed by the weekly/daily hybrid pages grouped together.

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Planner #2 : A new to me planner company

Through the Jibun Techo, Nolty, FC Japan, and other Japanese Planners Facebook group, I came upon the Nolty company planners. Now Nolty planners come in a huge variety of sizes and layouts. The Stationery Cafe wrote a 2 part blog post recently as a guide to all the different versions. (Part 1 | Part 2)

Searching Amazon Japan I came upon the 6469 Nolty planner in A5 size. As such any descriptions listed below are only for this particular model Nolty planner.

Monthly the planner runs from December of the previous year to March of the next year. (December 2020 – March 2022). However, January 2022 is only on one page, and February and March 2022 are split horizontally in half to both fit on a single page together.

Weekly runs from the first week of December 2020 through the last week of December 2021.

This planner has no daily pages.

It has 2 ribbon bookmarks built-in.

Each monthly 2 page spread is followed by a set of vertical weekly spreads for that month.

Starting with January 2021 there are 2 pages of lined paper after that month’s weekly spread ends. Then the next 2 page monthly spread begins.

It’s worth noting that throughout the regular dated layout, the paper is completely lined.

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Planner #1 : Take 2 of 2020’s planner choice

So 2020 wasn’t a great year to try to use a planner. This was the year that I first tried Kokuyo’s Jibun Techo planner in A5 slim size and the Biz format.

Left: Jinbun Techo Biz 2021, Right: Jibun Techo Biz 2020

I chose the Biz format because the paper seemed thicker than their Standard version and less likely to ghost.

Monthly the planner runs December of the previous year through March of the following year. (So for 2020, December 2019 – March 2021.)

Weekly runs with whatever week December 1st lands on until the second week of January.

This planner has no daily pages.

The monthly pages are all grouped together and after them, all the weekly pages are grouped together. The planner includes two bookmarks so you can put one on the current month, and the second one on the current week.

Note: The planner has a mix of English and Japanese language.

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Me and Planners

So I’ve been wanting to make a post about myself and the way I go about trying to find and use a planner.

So about me. My early life was mostly analog. We did have a Commodore 64, Amiga, IBM 386 and 486, etc. It wasn’t until around junior high to high school that online became a thing with Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes) and then the Internet when I was in college. So I kinda feel like a cusp generation. Part of me in analog and part of me in digital.

As far as planners go I’m mostly analog while using stuff like Google Calendar, Google reminders, and various apps. I have dabbled here and there into digital planning but not too far. I’ve also looked into and done some Bullet Journaling, however, the problem with this is having the time to set it up, and having problems with future planning.

So I’m going to talk about regular paper dated planners.

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