I’ve had a week away from the blog to focus on the training for my new job role, and now it is time to get back on the blogging horse.

I have been certain for most of the year that a return to work, especially work outside the home, would see me wanting a more portable version of my planning/diary system and my first week of commuting has confirmed that, although it hasn’t provided much clarity about the best option. I wrote previously about my attempt to transit to an A5 bound book with the days of the week on one side and a lined page on the other. This brought home to me just how my strong preference is for a layout where everything relating to a day stays together.

My next move was a brief but intense fling with digital versions of my personal calendar and to-do list. I used this type of system successfully in the past, but this time round I soon tired of it for the simple reason that I missed my fountain pens. Time constraints already have me spending less time on my hand-written journal session each morning, and I was not happy to ditch the hand-written diary as well. Time to move on to Plan C which has involved alternating on a pretty much daily basis between my A5 and Personal Filofaxes.

I have set up the Personal Filofax using a diary insert with two days per page which provides a reasonable amount of room for the things I want to note down each day. I like the half-page for notes at the beginning of the week; it allows me to write in a quote and the mini printed month doesn’t impact too much on the space. The diary refill I’m using is an official Filofax product in their current fountain pen-friendly paper and it performs well. The level of show-through from the previous page in my photo is slightly more than I see in real life, but it’s fairly accurate. I don’t find this level of show-through disturbing, and there’s no bleed-through with the inks I’m using. This was another refill that I bought heavily discounted as there are only four months of the year left to use. I’m confident this will be enough time to decide which direction I am heading in for 2022.

As I was buying the diary insert, I decided to tart up my binder with a new set of dividers, specifically Filofax’s set of six patterned dividers from their Expressions collection. I think, of all the sets, this one had the colour palette which looked best with the fuchsia leather cover. When these decorated dividers were first launched I noticed that they were described as plastic, and I expected them to be quite flimsy. Now I have them I am impressed with how sturdy and durable they feel, and the matte finish is rather classy. Whilst I like card dividers for their eco-credentials, and have personalised them in previous set-ups by hand-writing quotes onto them, I have a feeling these plastic dividers will be a long-lasting addition to the system. As we know, if you’re going to go with plastic it’s wise to think in the long-term.

The question that I constantly avoid when I’m discussing planners and planning is whether there is any necessity to carry such a system around with me on a daily basis. I fear the answer to that is “Of course not!” Yet it isn’t about necessity, it is enough that I want to carry my planner as things currently stand. It’s early days and my routines are a long way from being set, so I think we can expect further updates as I get more established in my new habits.