Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Getting organised - are you a paper diary person?

It's funny how it can take the first month of the year to get organised for the rest of the year. I've been checking through my diary and notes from last year to carry over the (rather too many) unfinished tasks I had hoped to achieve. Moving house takes a lot of time!

I have noticed that I need the next year's diary by about August to start getting things planned, and they are not usually available until October, so I have been making my own. My favourite book is the Leuchtturm1917 dotted format book. I've been using an A6 sized diary for years with an additional notebook but have gone for the larger A5. There are enough pages (249!) in this one one to combine my diary and notes into one book, and enough space to really plan what I will be doing.

I like some of the ideas of the Bullet Journal, where the diary/journal is drawn out over the course of the year in an otherwise blank book, but can't stand the idea of not actually having a full diary to refer to and write in directly. I also like to have each year in a book. Not surprisingly, for one who loves paper and pens, I have never switched to an electronic diary :-)

I draw mine out for the full year with each week over a double page spread, divided into 8. The first section is notes and planning for the week, the other 7 are for each day of the week. It's rare to find a diary that actually had this very practical arrangement in this size. So many have little spaces for the weekend days - which is crazy as these are often the busiest! (Note - there is one that does, and I used it for a few years - made by Kikki.K but I don't use the monthly spreads, and there are not enough extra note pages in that.) Like my palettes, I just prefer to do it myself to get it the way I want it.

In between each month I have a double page for monthly planning. Not ruled up, just space for goals, notes etc. This format gives me the full year structure, then plenty of pages of notes to organise my other lists and ideas.

What I particularly like about the Leuchtturm1917 from Germany is that the pages are numbered, there is an index section so you can easily find your lists and ideas, and the paper is fountain pen friendly. Add to that the dot format, which makes any ruling up a breeze, and the large number of pages and it's no wonder it's the most popular book for journaling. The last pages are perforated in case you need to tear them out, and there is enough space to be able to record everything you want in here - putting and end to piles of sticky notes.

In Australia, Larry Post is probably the best place to get this, as they have a huge range, with the Bullet Journal version as well as blank, ruled and various sizes. Notemaker.com  is another good option.

So what sort of diary system do you prefer?




14 comments:

  1. I tried written diaries twice, once as a girl and again around high school. Failed both times. I just don't care much for the process of writing and doing it every day was a chore.

    I started making notes in iCal when Apple starting providing it with their computers. I still do but now I use online blogs for more expanded entries.

    With the advent of the computer and the internet, plus the example of a good friend across the continent from me, almost daily journal writing has become a habit.

    We both have a Livejournal account that is friends only so we communicate that way. I will write a post and she will respond and vice versa. Mine is mostly comments on daily occurrences or agenda items. I have used it to look up things from months back so it is handy. I think being a touch typist and doing it online has made it easier for me.

    I have done some calligraphy but must slow myself down quite a bit when I write. My handwriting has always been illegible. Sometimes even I can't read my notes. So I've relied more and more on the keyboard and printing.

    I actually used to write letters in high school and still have some of the stationary I used. I love stationary. But these days have no use for it.

    I think e-mail and online diaries like blogspot, wordpress and Livejournal are the best inventions since sliced bread.

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    1. What a great way to keep in touch with a firend.

      What about planning and scheduling? That's what this diary is for - putting in the events coming up and lists of what needs doing etc. I guess you do that on your phone too?

      I have a completely separate 'journal' that I write in when I feel like it, so each of them tends to last for years!

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  2. Definitely a paper person here. I used a Moleskine for years and then had trouble finding the one I liked. After some research I decided on a homemade Midori style journal. I have used my own for two years now and LOVE it. Would not switch. I used a sturdy piece of leather for the outer cover and use interchangeable inserts. You can see it in the tutorial part of my blog if you're curious.

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    1. Yes I used the Moleskine diary for many years - I did a hack on it and added Sunday to the big space at the top of the left page so I could have a big space for Saturday at the bottom of the page - a hassle to do, though not as much as doing the whole diary myself of course!

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  3. It I found the Leuchtturm 1917 last year and use it loosely as a Bullet Journal, too. The quality is great, and the index makes it possible to find records so easily. I have the A5, dotted, in cheerful orange. The dots provide a balance of structure and flexibility.I have found myself remembering things my friends using electronic calendars forget. I need that visual layout to anchor events and tasks in my mind.

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    1. I have a cheerful orange wallet, a cheerful red iPad and phone cover and a bright red pencil case in my bag, so went with black for a change this year. The colours are lovely.
      Yes I also like to see it all in black and white. I also like to be able to quickly scan a week to see that's coming up. Paper allows that. It makes calendar sharing and all that more difficult of course, but I manage :-)

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  4. I use a prepared planner because I probably would be too perfectionist if I drew one out myself. I also have a bunch of different notebooks for different thoughts, sketches, and planning.

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    1. I go through in pencil first to plan it all out. I'd prefer to be able to just buy what I want, but have decided it's rather satisfying to set it up myself. Combining my diary and notebooks has been great, but I still have a separate journal, a separate purely travel journal and a separate sketch book (or 7).

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  5. I would really LIKE to like using paper again. But Outlook is just too convenient. No having to re-write all the annual things (birthdays, anniversaries, etc) every year. No having to wait for next year's paper calendar... I can put items for a year or two out in Outlook. I have used it ever since it became available to me at work in the mid-1990's. It inspired me to get a Palm Pilot and I've been electronic every since. Now I use an Android phone - Nexus 5x - with after market software (app) that will sync locally with Outlook on my PC. I put as little as possible in the Cloud.
    's

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    1. Good points, though I add the birthdays to my computer address book so they pop up here and there. Lots of advantages in going paperless but I still enjoy flicking through old diaries and photos albums. :-)

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  6. I'm definitely a paper diary person - I love notebooks and fountain pens, I'm very active in polish Bullet Journal community and I have a Facebook group for hand writing lovers (1300 members in just 4 months). I'm not a fan of Leuchtturm notebooks, the paper is far too thin and I hate ghosting. Currenly I'm using Nuuna (120 gsm paper vs Leuchtturm's 80) and it's much better.

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    1. Well I'd better check out your group Agata :-)
      It's always a balance - more pages or thinner paper or heavier book. I've opted for more pages and some ghosting. I use extra fine nibs and don't mind it too much in a diary. I've never heard of Nuuna - possibly not available in Australia. I'll check that out too.

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  7. I'm using Lihit Lab with refillable paper (A5) and I now print just the current week from my online calendar into a format I've devised. I'm still mucking around with the layout but to me it's not a sheet I keep longer than a week. Saves me from carrying a whole year around with me!

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    1. Now that's going minimal :-) I like to carry the whole year around with me. And to keep it. But I admire those who travel light - better for your back I am sure!

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