January is drawing to a close and with it my time to find the planner I will use for all of 2011. That was the plan, at least. But as some of you have posted in the comments, the likelihood of the same planner working for me in daily life and through the major transition of an international move is slim. So I've decided not to worry about it. I don't want to use a different planner every month (like I've done for the past two years), but if I change planners a couple of times this year that's fine. When I get where I'm going I might find new and interesting planners to try, so I'm not going to deny myself the opportunity to try new ones.
Also drawing to a close is my time here in Scotland, much sooner than I originally expected. Things are not finalized yet but I may have less than two months before I have to move away. This year is already developing much differently than I ever anticipated. How can I know what planner will work for me all year when my life is so unpredictable? I'm not going to try to force myself to stick with something. If I need to use a different planner, I will.
Looking back through the selection of planners I've used during my time so far here in Scotland, some of them have worked better for me than others. But there's one that stands out from all the rest. My large Moleskine day per page diary. You may remember it failed as a planner. But while I was using it I captured some very special moments like: unexpectedly encountering Santa at the garden center (which left my kids so surprised they couldn't even come up with any gift requests); being snowed in at home so my husband hiked to the grocery store with a backpack on his back to buy food; and decorating our first Christmas tree as a family. For some reason I can't make myself write in my journal lately, so the large daily spaces in my Mole captured these events.
Now I wish I'd used a large day per page diary the whole time I've been here. Of course when I arrived I had no idea my time here would be so short, and I needed a planner that could handle my busy weeks. But now that my time here is winding down, I know that the personal value of a record of those days is more important than any decreased functionality of using the day per page as a planner.
So now I'm wondering if I should just use the large daily as my planner to capture all the memories I can. I have to decide what's more important to me: perfectly-functioning planning power, or ok planning with thorough record-keeping. Right now I'm still using my Filofax Deco, and it's working well for me because I'm writing in it list after list of what to buy, what to get rid of, what to pack where, etc. The small daily spaces are fine so far. And it has the huge advantage that when I move I can archive my Scotland-specific pages so I don't have irrelevant info in my planner all year. So I'm not actually in a hurry to abandon it.
But I'm keeping an open mind about my large daily. I know if I were to use it, I would have a record of those little daily details that I wouldn't necessarily think of including in my journal (if I ever got around to writing in it). I could have my entire year contained permanently in the big bound book.
My planner journey continues!