There is something archaic and old fashioned about using a paper planner in 2015. Look around you and so many people use their Outlook email calendar as an appointment diary – it can sync with multiple different calenders and you can email appointment schedules and do all sorts of amazing things. It can also be backed up onto a cloud and even if your mobile phone is stolen you can never lose your content – you just download it off a cloud. If you have multiple appointments you set a weekly loop on your phone – you type it once and your good to go. The Modern World is marvellous isn’t it?
I was drawn into using an electronic diary – but I never really fully bonded with it. I have never really fully bonded with a paper planner either. I can’t remember the first time I had a paper planner – but they have always been filofaxes. The first size I got was A5 – which was just much too big. I quickly downsized to a Personal. I had a Vintage Jack for years and I love anything to do with flags and maps – so I adored looking at this guy everyday.
But I still wouldn’t be religious about using one format of either electronic or paper. I think for me the problem with a paper planner was the inserts. They just weren’t me. I would use a Filofax week on two pages – which would always shove the weekends into the space of a weekday…and I just didn’t like this – my weekends were usually my busiest days and I just didn’t have the space to write in them. So I would use an electronic calendar. I eventually settled on a nice Filofax style electronic calender on my planner – and I thought fantastic the look and feel of a paper planner in an electronic format – the best of both worlds. Only it wasn’t…it was hell – it would never keep to the right time zone and would duplicate my posts for the day and I would have to manually delete them – only for them to reappear again in a few hours. I would reset the right time only have my appointments shift 16 hours in the morning. I never knew when my actual appointment was suppose to be and it drove me crazy. I eventually abandoned it. I vowed to return to the simplicity of an easy to use paper planner. You know the ones where you write something and it stays exactly how you wrote it and doesn’t disappear or do something funny (although interesting side note…there are pens out there that if you get the ink too hot they disappear and people have to put their planners in the freezer to get the ink back…anyway enough with the random side note)! One thing that had to go was the inserts.
So I googled Filofax insert alternatives and I came across a website called Philofaxy. I was instantly transported into another world…did you know there is an entire community of people all over the world that cling to this old-fashion notion of using paper planners and they adore using them. NOT ONLY THAT…people decorate their planners with Washi tape (think masking type but with colours) and stamps, they add their own dividers to their planners and they do not use the boring cream-beige ones Filofax produce. There are shops on Etsy that sell dividers. THERE ARE EVEN YOUTUBE VIDEOS with tutorials on how to make pockets to store things in your filofax.
To say I was overwhelmed was complete understatement, but one thing was for sure. For all these years I have been wasting the potential of my planner. I have also been into using graphic design software to make websites or posters and I quite enjoy that creative process. I am not a drawer and I cannot for the life of me pick up a pen and doodle above the level of a three year old; but I like being creative. This I vowed would be my creative outlet.
I joined a couple of really good facebook groups: Filofax for Philofaxy Fans, Philofaxy Washi Tape Appreciation, Planner Stamping and got so much inspiration in how to channel my creative flow into a planner. I have been completely overwhelmed, and I am not quite there at fully setting up my planner yet but I have to say I am enjoying the process. Even more important is that I am finally getting organised in a way that suits me. I no longer remember to do lists or shopping lists…I write them down in my planner. I am a big film buff and I have always liked films, but I always forget recommendations for films people suggest I would like. So now when I fancy watching a film and I don’t know what to watch I have a list of recommendations. It’s fantastic. I am so much more organised already.
Screw the Modern World – I think everyone should move back to the 1980s and get paper planners (ok maybe let’s not move back to 1980…I do still love the modern world…but everyone just get a paper planner) – if you only love it as half as much as I do, you’ll be happy.