Since last week was quiet chez PamAlison, I’ve started working on my 2021 planner set-up. As you may recall, I’m going to use my A5 Filofax Original planner with the slightly narrower than A5 week to view pages from The Stamford Notebook Company (my initial thoughts on these inserts can be seen here).

When I set up a new planner/diary, my first step is to note birthdays, other special days, and, alas, an ever-increasing number of “in memoria”. This routine is always enjoyable, providing a time to think about the people I love and about their special days of the past and of the future; this year I decided to mark each celebration with a little decoration from my recent sticker haul. I’ve marked the start of each new month with a piece of plain washi tape to see if this helps to make it easier to locate, although I never find just flipping through to be any sort of hardship. I considered interleaving a sheet of A6 lined paper for each week in case I wanted somewhere to jot things down, but I’m not keen on how this looks. I’ve always been intrigued by the pouch page-finder that the American brand Franklin Covey have for their ring-binder planner system and the thought of that is bubbling away in the back of my mind.

I’m a simple soul and just having weekly diary/planner pages suits me down to the ground. I know I don’t use a monthly spread and the daily pages I’m currently using just don’t hit any kind of sweet spot for me. The one daily practice I am enjoying is writing out my horoscope at the end of my journal entry and then adding a salient point to a spot marked for “Today’s intention” on my planner page. Will I miss that when I move into the Filofax? Hopefully not, because I’m intending to write the full horoscope onto a sticky note so it’s front and centre for the day, then stick it into my journal the following morning. I have the perfect sticky notes to accomplish this, too.

That simple soul thing extends to dividers. Whilst I know that these are very useful, they somehow don’t figure large in my setup. I could pop in a divider between my diary and note pages, but I don’t need it, especially not with the natural division created by the difference in paper sizes. I’ve added one pocket just to provide space for a “secret” trinket or two (not really secret, but personal) and that’s it: a planner to please me and send shudders through the heart of anyone who likes a highly decorated and “stuffed” ring planner.

So, how are you doing with your plans for 2021? Is it just too early to be thinking of them, or are you well ahead of the game? For me, it is quite early to be setting up my new planner and my reasons for doing so are more cerebral than practical – setting it up is stopping me from second-guessing whether this is the right format to go for. All through October I’ve been in two minds and, let’s face it, one mind is more than enough to contend with. I think the planner is one of those cases where any option would work and none are significantly better than the others; I can’t make a wrong decision, so I might as well just leap straight in.

I’m going to leave you with a random thought – why do advertisements for mobile phones never keep it real? Everyone just picks up their phone and starts using it, they never go through a complex routine of picking up their phone, moving it up and down and wiggling it around until the screen suddenly comes alive, checking if this is one of the occasions when they’ll have to type in their passcode to be allowed to look at something, then toddling around for five minutes trying to locate their reading glasses so they can see the screen. Or is that just me?

4 thoughts on “Suddenly November

  1. You have described the relationship I have with my phone. A necessary evil!
    My husband uses Franklin Covey. I like the binders that store the previous years. It makes for easy reference. I always populate my new planners with birthdays and International Bourbon Day. Alla Salute!

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