How I use a Pocket Notebook as a Daily Planner

Posted by Lois Ho on

How to use a Pocket Notebook as a Daily planner

How I use a Pocket Notebook as a Daily Planner/Bullet Journal

The reason I got into Pocket sized notebooks was because I wanted a highly portable planning system that was flexible and that I could adapt to my needs.


Early iterations of the system didn’t have a monthly or weekly planner and was used exclusively for work. In my old job, I often started the day in different locations so it was useful for me to have a system that would tell me where I was driving to each morning. Similar to the Hobonichi Techo, I used a day to a page, with a Chronodex stamp to organise my day.

Daily spread in Pocket Notebook using a Chronodex 

I quickly outgrew this system. As I used it more and more, I realised that this wasn’t going to quite work for me. I really needed to be able to plan the whole month ahead of time to ensure that I was aware of deadlines, key dates and so forth. I also like to plan tasks weekly and with my job, we had daily operational targets that were set the week before, so I needed to be able to quickly see the impact any changes would have during the week.

Weekly layout in pocket notebook bullet journal planner 

As my needs evolved, I started to incorporate a monthly calendar and weekly layouts all into one little notebook and it worked out surprisingly well as each Pocket Notebook would encompass an entire month, with some pages at the back for any activities or tasks to be migrated into the months ahead.

Monthly layout in pocket notebook daily planner bullet journal 

However, the problem came when I started to run out of space for my daily spread. I was still just using it for work purposes, but my daily (timed) planner section expanded from a nice, compact Chronodex to a bar planner due to a change in role which included a significant increase in the number of meetings I had to attend. I also had a lot more daily tasks, so I needed to expand to a spread per day which became problematic on the normal 48 page pocket notebooks as a month no longer fit into each notebook (this is one of the reasons why our notebooks are 80 pages)

Daily spread pocket notebook bullet journal planner 

Once we were able to launch our notebooks, I could finally fit everything I needed in a planner in a pocket sized notebook:

  • 1 spread for monthly planning
  • Spreads for weekly planning
  • Spread per day for daily planning (both work and home tasks)
  • Spare pages for monthly goal setting
  • Spare pages at the back for tasks/appointments to be scheduled in later months

Future log in a Pocket Notebook bullet journal/planner 

I’m really happy with the final layout. There’s plenty of room to grow and expand into, so this layout should work for me in the near future. Finally, to organise the different notebooks I have for the year, I use washi tape, which makes it easier to recognise the notebook for each month, and labelling tape. Which gives me another excuse to buy more washi tape…..

Organising Bullet journal planner Pocket notebooks with Washi tape

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