The other day I visited Crathes Castle, which is very cool and you should definitely see it if you're ever in eastern Scotland.
Anyway, in one of the rooms they had on display a ledger that recorded something from hundreds of years ago. I think it was a legal record of estate-dwellers who had broken the law. I love old record books like this. I especially find interesting kitchen finance books, where they recorded how much they spent on eggs or whatever in a month. Seeing what foods people ate, and how much money they spent, tells a lot about their lives. In today's digital age, many daily details like this will be lost to history.
I love that notebooks and planners can serve as an archive of information many years later. I love to look back through my old planners and see the daily details of my past life. My favorite planners for this are my Septanote from 11 years ago, and my Textagenda while I was in the Peace Corps because both of these planners contain a lot of details of my daily life at that time.
A common theme that I personally wrestle with often is Filofax or bound planner book. Each has its advantages, of course. And each has permanence, but in different ways.
A bound book encapsulates that one year. It begins at the beginning of the year (either calendar or academic, however your year runs) and ends at the end of the year. Then that one year is permanently archived in those pages. Often I have little notes written on the daily or weekly pages, cards and papers taped in, with addresses and phone numbers of people I contacted frequently written in the back pages. It's my year, self-contained, for all of history.
A Filofax has a different sort of permanence. The binder itself and anything else you choose to keep in it can travel through time with you year after year. You could use the same binder, with the same reference pages in it, for decades. Or, you could move pages around, remove some and leave others, change your diary inserts as often as you want, or even do a total contents dump.
I like the idea that I can keep certain things in my Filofax year after year (or forever). But even when I archive my pages (which I always do) a Filofax doesn't have the same archival feel of a bound planner book. The pages in my archival binders seem out of context. I tend to get rid of random notes and lists because they take up too much room in my Filofax, so those little bits of information are lost. And the categorized tabbed sections with notes and information lack the chronology inherent in a bound book. This is why I sometimes use a Filofax for my planner, but I never ever use one (or any type of loose leaf, ring bound or even perforated pages book) as my journal. It's bound-only for journaling.
I love to ponder those ancient ledger books being read hundreds of years later, providing such a clear picture of day to day life at that time. I fantasize about keeping a big bound planner like one of those old ledger books, with a complete record of my life that year. I don't expect that my planners will be interesting to anyone hundreds of years from now. But just maybe, one of my descendants will find it interesting to read what I did on a particular day, many years ago.
Do you keep your past planners as an archive? Which type of planner do you prefer for its archival qualities?