This has been a really interesting planning half-year. I am not sure I have ever had one quite like it.
Sweden had an election in September 2018 and, like many other European countries (Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Austria etc), had difficulty forming a government. The increasing number of smaller parties and the rise of the far right has generally made government formation difficult and slow.
There was a caretaker government in Sweden from the first week in September until the middle of January – four months – during which there was a total lull for myself and many other government and Parliament contractors. There was no government to make decisions, visits to and from other countries were cancelled, and everyone was waiting to see what was going to happen.
So for those four months my calendar was rather quiet. Then in the middle of January, once a government had been formed, my work just exploded out of nowhere. For almost 4 months in a row I taught more than 200 hours per month – excluding travelling and preparation time. My calendar was so jam packed that I could not fit in anything else, no matter how hard I tried. My days were hard and long, but very very rewarding.
All I could do was make sure to mark each booking, cancellation, change, and note in my calendar, because I had no time to do anything else, and my memory would never have coped. I also had to create waiting lists, which I needed to have on hand if there was a last-minute cancellation. As long as things were written down, I could put them aside and not think about them until I had time to sit down and work through things.
For those months I used my Van der Spek standard sized Menthe Touch Me with 30mm gold rings. The calendar is my favourite Burde Interplano vertical week on two pages.
The blue washi tape is a quick way of denoting that I am in one place all morning with several different courses in a row.
The pink washi tape denotes that my partner is away those days.
Each student is listed with initials or name and groups have a code, for example SOC is the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare.
The rest of the time is various scribbles, crossing outs, changes, notes and late additions. For example this week I have shown, I had to take an emergency trip to the vet with Fluffy, who was not well. My partner was away so I then had to move my existing appointment somewhere else.
In the week shown below, you can see my basic layout – at the front of my organiser I had vertical week on two pages where I recorded all my bookings. Behind that (separated by a plastic ruler) I had a day per page calendar where I recorded everything I needed to remember. Notes for and from my student, shopping lists, thoughts, invoicing information. I would sit and go through it each night when I got home, deal with everything, and then remove or turn the page. Any things that needed to be carried over were transferred to the relevant day. Completed pages were removed after a couple of weeks. Behind the day per page calendar was a small number of lined notes pages. This was for things that were undated.
Now that things have quietened down, I have moved into my slimline classic Filofax in black, because it is light and slim and I have had enough of steaming around with a huge bag full of books, papers, lunch, etc etc
I still have teaching but the focus now is on tasks for the summer, so the day per page and the notepaper at the back is getting a workout.