planning with notebooks

Aah… the last week of the year. It’s my favourite week because my technology clients are generally quieter so I can focus on planning for the coming year. If this year taught me anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. That’s ok. I’ve made a few changes to how I do things and each new day I continue to move forward.

Key to that is my reliance on notebooks. They are my constant friend and it’s often joked I sleep with them. Full confession: I have fallen asleep with one in bed more than once!

I recently began to use a Rhodia Goalbook, and while I’m not using all the parts of it yet, I have a few ideas on ways it could be used to help make the coming year a productive and creative one.

While there are many features of the goalbook that are becoming more common in notebooks (table of contents/index, dot grid, numbered pages, multiple bookmarks) there is one unique section I believe is very useful for those of us who need to think in both creative habits and long-term deadlines.

That is the calendar sections.


The Goalbook features two different style calendars at the beginning, setting it apart from many other notebooks. While this may not be to many people’s taste, after sitting with these pages for several months, I see ways they can enhance use of the notebook.

First is the annual calendar. My traditional use for this section is to record what I made for dinner. I think you could easily divide the space into four different boxes and use it to track habits one wants to build, such as a #yearofmaking project or perhaps spinning daily, or maybe even running or yoga. This example shows space intended to record spinning, weaving, yoga, and running. While I’ve shown x’s in the boxes, there are many habit trackers out there, find your inspiration.

Rhodia Goalbook sample pages

Next are the quarterly blocks also known as the undated monthly. I’m currently using this area as a content calendar for the multiple blogs I maintain.

Upon reflection, I think this is a great section for future planning. Maryland Sheep and Wool is May 5 & 6, 2018, New York Sheep and Wool (aka Rhinebeck) is October 20 & 21, 2018.

Rhodia Goalbook sample pages

The book

How should one use the rest of the pages? Well, that’s up to you.

I seriously believe that you improve when you keep notes of your work. What did you use? Did it work? What didn’t work? What changes might you make next time?

2015 knitting notebook

In general, I maintain a running log list (as I tend to work on multiple projects each day) and reserve full pages for bigger more detailed project notes.

You could sew/staple in swatches, as I’ve done in the past. Now I prefer to scan mine and then paste a printout of it along with measurement, yarn, and other detailed information. There’s also a pocket in the back so I suppose you could put them there. 😉

2015 knitting notebook

2015 knitting notebook

Additional links

Exaclair USA sent me a goalbook many months ago in exchange for a review. The FTC wants you to know. I’m planning to purchase a volume of my own as soon as I can decide on a cover colour.

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