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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ghost of Planners Past #6: My favorite

There are several reasons why this planner is my favorite. One is because it's a day per page planner, and I always like those. Another reason is because I used it all year long, which is so rare for me. And, its faux-suede cover is fuzzy to touch, and I'm a sucker for anything fuzzy.

But the real reason this planner is my favorite is because it's from the year my daughter was born. She was born early in the year, and this planner holds the record of memorable moments from her first year. That was also the year we moved to Moscow so there are lots of major life changes recorded in this book.

When I was pregnant with my daughter I was using my personal Buckingham Filofax. As much as I loved it, it had gotten totally out of control with how many pages I had in it. It was a fat, heavy brick and I was ready to streamline.

I went to my local Borders bookstore (I miss you Borders! :*(  ) and looked at the huge array of planners available.  I looked at rows and rows of weekly planners. One caught my eye: the Go Mom planner (which was a large ring binder with loads of inserts).  I thought, "I'm about to be a mom, maybe this will work for me!"  I opened it and was quickly overwhelmed by the weekly and monthly views alongside to-do and shopping lists. It was too much for me at the time. I wanted something simpler.

I found some day per page planners. I've been in love with day per page planners ever since my sister's Textagenda.  One planner in particular caught my eye. It was A6 sized, very portable. The brown faux suede cover was fuzzy and soft in my hands. It was a Time Traveler planner, in a size they unfortunately don't make anymore.

I opened it up and found loads of international information including dialing codes and conversion charts.

It had white, smooth paper and a full page for each day, even Saturdays and Sundays.

Then I turned to the back of the book and found loads of full-color maps of every continent!
To top it off, there were tons of full-color maps of cities around the world including Washington DC (where I was moving from) and Moscow (where I was moving to).

Sold. I remember thinking, "Well that was an easy decision!"

My new planner was indeed much lighter in my bag than my Filofax. In it I recorded the details of my final days at work, paperwork I needed to fill out and people I needed to contact.

Then soon after that the pages recorded the details of my daughter's birth and early days. Parents out there know it's very important to record the details of a newborn's eating, sleeping and elimination so the daily pages of this time are filled with all of those details. My planner hardly left my side. Everything was recorded in careful detail. In photos of my daughter's earliest days you can almost always see my small brown planner somewhere in the photo.

Just two months later we moved to Moscow, and my life was suddenly completely different. It's bittersweet to look back through my planner now and remember those days when everything my daughter did was new; I was keenly homesick and missing friends and family; and I was adjusting to life in a foreign country.

This planner is very rare in that I used it every day from the first of the year to the end. For some reason I've never been able to replicate that level of planner loyalty and satisfaction ever since.


  1. This makes such a good argument for using a bound planner, both because archiving works much better and because of attachment to the planner itself. With ring bound if you are attached to the cover that feeling somehow gets lost over just the pages after they are removed, at least for me. But then with a bound planner I would lose a place for my pen, and disposable paper for shopping lists, etc. Probably you can tell I am wrestling over 2012 planning for my planner!

  2. There is the point of our calendaring: The archived record, easily accessed. As a devotee of ring binders, I am very poor at archiving my pages when it's actually pretty easy to put them in little binders with a spine label. And even if one does a combination of binders and bound books during the year, they can go together in an attractive memory box. Anyway, what a year you had! And how great that you have a record of it.

  3. Great to hear about this Laurie. As you know I still have my Filofax diary pages from 1987-89, my son was born in Jan 1987 and my diary or journal if you like records a lot of the details of his first days, weeks, months etc.

    I've put these diary inserts back in to my Winchester from that era and it will be going along to the Philofaxy meet up this Saturday so others can see my set up from back then. It should be fun!


  4. Thanks for your comments everyone! I'm normally pretty good at archiving Filofax pages into plastic ring binders, labeling the spine with the year and putting them all together in a drawer. But as mstraat noted, they seem out of context when they are not in their covers. It just doesn't capture the permanence of a bound book. And in recent years (perhaps because I own so many Filofaxes now?) I've gotten really bad about moving pages from binder to binder and losing track of them. When I jot a note or number or tape a card into my bound book, I can always find it later because at least I'll remember what year I used it. Good luck to me remembering which binder I put it into most recently!! But now I'm very happy with my current system of using my planner for daily details and my personal Filofax for longer-term info and lists (that I use year after year) and very short-term items like shopping lists that I don't need to keep.

    Steve that is wonderful you will bring your Winchester with the diary pages from your son's early days. I know everyone will love to see that!!! Some day when I'm able to come to a meetup, please bring it again because I would love to see! Have a great time at the meetup!!


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