I start by filling out the month and dates. Next, I write in holidays, birthdays, and other major events. Training for triathlons is a big commitment, so I use short-hand to map out my training schedule in the upper right corner.

Travel, visitors, and other multi-day events are highlighted by putting a line through corresponding dates. At the end of each day, I strike through the day - helps me to review what's coming up and reminds me to track my habits.

Each month I identify at least 3-4 habits. Habits can be personal or professional - challenge yourself! Mark-off every day you completed each habit to visualize your monthly progression. Habits can continue onto the next month or you can challenge yourself with new ones. 

Generic notes relevant to activities in that month are jotted down on the righthand notes column.

Now onto the daily planner...
 
Just like we did with the month section, I start by entering the date and filling in the appropriate day circle (upper right).

Now onto to the most important part; I define the key projects for the day. It's hard to focus on more than 3-4 big projects each day. I try to list them by priority, but this is not a necessity. 

Next, I list tasks that support the completion of my daily projects. It's important not to get too detailed, yet the tasks should be specific and measurable. To the right of each task, I label which project the task supports (i.e. "A", "B", etc.). By doing this, I can  quickly see what's outstanding for each project. Supporting tasks are checked off as they are completed ("X" for completed, "-->" for deferred to another day).

Our lives are busy and complex, so it's important not to mix low-priority and non-essential tasks with essential project supporting tasks. As these lower priority tasks arise, I write them down in the "Back Burner" section. I will get to them when time permits.  

I am a highly visual person, so next I will plot out my schedule. By utilizing blocking I can quickly see how my day is shaping up and where there are holes. When possible, I try to set aside blocks of time for each specific project (i.e. "B" in a circle).

Meetings can be highly thought provoking (or incredibly boring), so I use the notes section to jot down ideas, important info, doodles, and more. If my notes that day exceed the allotted space, I continue writing on the extra note pages in the back of the book. I make note of the continuation page in the provided space on the bottom right. 

Don't forget exercise and habits! I write down what exercise I participated in and however many active minutes I completed. 

Habits are personal. When in a meeting taking notes, I don't necessarily want others to see my personal habits. The check boxes correspond with the habits defined in the corresponding month section. I check them off the habit boxes on the daily page as I complete them through out the day. 

TIP:
I love using fountain pens, but ink should only be used for fixed, unmoving events (Month, Dates, Birthdays, Holidays, etc.). I've found a mechanical pencil to be very useful... tasks and schedule can be fluid, so a good eraser is your friend!
 
Alo Planner