How to use the Alistair Method in the Hobonichi Cousin
One of the reasons I love the Hobonichi Cousin is how flexibly you can plan in it
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While you’d think that perhaps the layout of the weekly pages leads to only certain ways of planning; in the three years I’ve been using the Cousin, I’ve found various different ways of using these pages.
Most recently, I’ve been adapting the Alistair Method of planning in the Cousin. If you’re not aware of the Alistair Method, it’s a simple bullet journal technique. You can find more information about it here. Essentially, you list out your task list on the right hand side. On the left hand side, at the top, you write out the different time periods. This could be months, weeks or days. You then simply mark which time period each task needs to be completed. I’ve used this a couple of times in my Weeks for my weekly task list.
Why do this in the Cousin?
The simple reason is I find a lot of my tasks through the week are repetitive. Particularly when it comes to the shop, I do the same task (printing, cutting, packing) several times over the week. So instead of writing them out multiple times, I realised I could use the Alistair Method and simply mark the days I’d do the tasks.
I also realised this would allow me to ‘group’ tasks. So on the left side I could simply write ‘supplies’ and then in each daily column, write the supplies I needed to purchase that day.
The first week I tried this method, I just did a brain dump of everything I needed to do that week, and then marked on the day that it needed completing.
This worked out pretty well, although I had some spare space at the bottom of each day. I decided to use this space to log things, such as the Skillshare classes I’d been completing.
This worked fairly well for a while
However, there were quite a few tasks that were only being completed once a week. Or, there were adhoc tasks that came up that I didn’t feel should have been added to the sidebar. So instead, I started using the bottom of the spread for those adhoc tasks.
The final improvement I made to this layout was to group my tasks in the sidebar. I then marked out the sections with fineliners.
I found this made it a lot easier to track where I was writing things as the week went on. The times on the days also really help with that. If I keep the list relatively static, I get used to the times the tasks are on.
How are the top of the pages used?
These are for events happening that day, places I need to go, or just something that happened. This is basically the one area I allow for stickers/decoration.
This also allows me to still use weekly sticker kits in my planning.
I really love this planning concept.
I love that I’ve been able to mash up traditional planning with bullet journaling. This has kept me extremely productive and I feel like it’s the most functional planning I’ve done for a while.
Do you use the Alistair Method in your planning?