My own DIY planner
Before I ever found out about the DIY planners and the DIY Hipster PDA, I have been organizing my life on 3x5 index cards. I have discovered that they are the perfect size for organizing small chunks of information, and can be used in so many different ways that they can be extremely powerful.
When I started residency, I made these calendar cards to keep track of my calls. I would make a 5 week card for the 4 week rotation because when on months like ICU, there is no time for anything else, so I would include the next week so that I could have some space to schedule all the things that I'd put off until after ICU.
This card is my current ICU schedule. The pink days are off days. If you are a resident too, you will notice that (1) there are exactly 4 pink days, (2) most of the pink days are bunched up at the end, (3) that call arrow extends into one of the pink days, and (4) I am on call for the last day of the rotation.
Although I am actually quite good at critical care medicine, it is absolutely toxic to me, and by the end of the day, I literally do not have the energy to do anything. It's all I can do to watch TV. I'm so exhausted and stressed, I can't sleep. For the entire first week of ICU, I had terrible insomnia, and barely slept an hour a night.
Working in the ICU is tough business, and although I always learn a lot while in ICU, I'll be glad when it's done, because it empties me out, and just getting out of bed to go to the hospital is a chore. I am normally a very happy and pleasant person, but after a night on call, I am all barbs and needles.
The bottom comment is written in while I waited in frustration while holding the admitting pager, waiting for another resident to pick the pager up, after he came 45 minutes late.