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Friday, March 12, 2010

Our Planners, Ourselves

I probably place too much emotional importance on my planner. But I think there are many people who feel as strongly (or maybe even more so) about their planner as I do about mine.

Filofax users tend to have a strong attachment to their Filofaxes (and if you don't know how strong, take a peek over at Philofaxy.com!) I think one big reason why we love our Filofaxes so much is because everything about them is our own choice: we choose the binder size, style and color, and every single thing that goes into it, or not. We aren't stuck with a bunch of pages that are useless to us. If we don't like the diary format, we change it. And if we don't find a diary format that suits our needs, we can even make them ourselves and put them in. Because we have chosen everything about our Filofax, it becomes a reflection of the user's personality. You can tell a lot about a person by looking through his or her Filofax!

Another reason people become so attached to their Filofaxes (or any other binder system) is that the binder stays with us year after year. Bound-book planners are finished at the end of the year and put on the shelf. But a Filofax can be your daily companion for many years. It's hard not to become attached to something that helps you with every aspect of your life for years on end!

Another brand of planners that people tend to become very attached to is Moleskine. I admit it took me awhile to understand the appeal. It's just a black cover. The planner formats are very minimalist. There's nothing fancy, no designs. It's just a basic framework.

But therein lies the appeal. The Moleskine planner is a blank canvas, and the planner itself fades into the background. The user is free of constraints and can use each page for writing, sketching, planning, or anything at all. The pages contain (almost) only what the user has put there. The result is that the pages of the book become an expression of the user's ideas, thoughts, and life. When we look into the book, we see only ourselves. The book becomes a part of the user. No wonder so many creative types love Moleskines--it's easier to express yourself on a blank canvas than to work around pre-existing designs.

What about you? Do you have an emotional attachment to your planner? Or is it just a time-management tool?


  1. I have tried to become attached, really I have.
    I love the fact that making it what ever we want is appealing but you know my issues about FC.
    That being said I posted a new outlook. (God I hope this works)I purchased a Filo personal Guildford with 1 3/16" rings and I have to say I really like this. It is for me as it is for you all about that "personal", it's my way that keeps stressing me out. I hate the fact that FC has me under their spell. I want to do it my way and make it my own. So here we go again and the FC is in the closet where I can't see it. LOL!! See my post at Philofaxy! I'll keep you informed as well and thanks for all your help!

  2. Let us know how it goes! I am all too familiar with the feeling of torturing myself over the best planner system for me. I hope you find what works best for you soon!

  3. Here is my own perfect example: I had quite a bonding experience with my Deco Filofax on Friday. It was a very difficult day for me, and I won't bore you with the details, but my Filo was with me and helped me every step of the way:

    In it I have a Notes section where I was able to jot down notes and information, to be transferred to the appropriate tabbed section later. I was able to take a business card, put it in the Business Card holder at the back of my Filo, and then easily find that card again later when I needed to call that person. It has my calculator that fits on the rings(since I can't do math in my head to save my life), and all of my important reference information and phone numbers. And I was able to schedule follow-ups and reminders. All day, my Filo served my every need. That's enough to win my heart! Not to mention its beauty, the wonderful aesthetics of the leather, how the book feels when I hold it in my hand, and that oh-so-satisfying *click* when I close that beautiful clasp. Filofax WIN!

  4. I've bought a few of the Moleskine hardbound notebooks, but found the smaller flexible Cahier notebooks more to my likeing.... until I discovered Rhodia pads.

    When I dont have my Filofax with me, I carry one of three types of jotter:
    - a small Rhodia pad (and they come in a variety of small sizes)
    - a "farmer's ledger" (I sometimes find these pocket notebooks on Ebay in quantity very cheaply. They're decorated with feed and seed advertising and about as unique as you can get without being bizarre.)
    - a handmade "jotter" (also an Ebay find).


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