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?