Sunday, January 1, 2012

Slightly neurotic planner thoughts

A new year, a new diary (the planner kind).

I know people (and I am sure there are a lot of them) who don't have a planner, and I both admire them and cannot believe how they function. I would love the freedom I imagine comes with not having a diary, but in my case that would soon translate into panic and anxiety. I have to write everything down. And I'm not even a person with a crazy schedule. My life is quite simple.

Even though I like to think of myself as well organised, I am not very good at diaries. It used to start with the timing of buying a new one - I'd always forget and would spend the first few days of January feeling unanchored due to the lack of a physical manifestation of the structure of my days. Then there would be the frantic hunt for an appropriate diary, made difficult by the fact that most people buy them in advance. Also, I always need one with one week on a two-page spread, as I have to be able to see the whole week. I can't imagine working with a day-per-page view - I'd lose the whole picture (even though I try not to think in terms of weeks). Anyway, the weekly diaries are few in numbers come January.

So this time I was prepared and bought one, my first Moleskine diary, in the middle of December.

 new versus old

And with it I have found an even better type of diary. It has the week on the left page and a whole page for notes on the right. This is genius! Because it's not like I have so many appointments every day - most of what I write down is something I either need to remember or I need to do at some stage, but not necessarily that day, ideas, random thoughts, etc. All that can go on the right page now, including a general to-do list, which I used to transfer from one day to the next if the tasks hadn't been ticked off.

To illustrate the craziness that is my brain, a typical two-page spread in my old diaries used to look like this (and I have blurred it not because there is anything that absolutely needs to be kept private, but because I am embarrassed by the things I take down):

I really hope that this is a thing of the past. I will still write down ideas during the day that I will then transfer into my other notebook, which I don't carry in my bag (and which has categories), but I expect it to be less chaotic.

The other great thing about this new diary is that it is very small and light. My last one was small, too, but before that I used to carry an A5 diary around with me, and that meant even more mad scribbling (and more weight in my bag). I am proud I was able to downsize.

Oh, and it has a pocket and adhesive labels for all kinds of (and some strange) things you may want to mark:

[As always when I post about specific brands, Moleskine does not know I am singing its praises, and I am not getting paid for this.]

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