Monday, 23 January 2012

Keeping things in order

Although I am not, by nature, a scatter-brained person, we all have our moments. That and I like remembering things that happened in each year or month that has passed and being sporadic at writing in my physical journal, I tend to note everything in my planner.

This is my fancy-schmancy Belle de Jour Power Planner. I call it that because it's got loads of extras that I don't even normally use but I've found that it is the only planner in the market right now that is flexible enough to fit my lifestyle, whatever state it might be in at the moment, and is still pretty enough for me to want to keep using it.

I've been using a BDJ planner since 2010 after seeing how cute it was when my best friend showed me hers in 2009. I unfortunately lost my 2010 planner--my documents bag was stolen late in the year--so I no longer have my 2010 records.

This was my 2011 planner. It invoked all the cheer and exuberance of Mardi Gras, compelling me to add some glitter or sparkle to the cover. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any appropriate stickers.

I don't have a before shot of the side of the pages but the sides are, as would normally be expected of a planner, very plain and I had to flip through the pages to find the section I wanted. Yes, there are ribbon bookmarks but there are only two so I couldn't exactly use them to mark all the sections now could I?

Enter the old index tabs I'd used to organise my index card box.

Wow, I feel so old saying that.

Yes, people, once upon a time, I actually did have a reference box that was filled to the brim with index cards of contacts, their addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and websites when available. I also divided them by category based on their target market.

Anyway, here you'll see the tabs I added to my planner. I'm a sucker for tabs. I like being able to find the sections easily.

I'm also the kind of planner user who stuffs all sorts of bits and pieces of paper between the covers and the pages of my planner. This may be the reason why my planners wear out so easily since the binding isn't really meant to take much abuse.

Originally the 2011 BDJ planner had a small pocket in the front and back to slip random small (presumably) bits of paper in. I wasn't satisfied by this and so I decided to make my own. I even added a little flap to keep things from sliding out.

My planner, by the end of the year, looked like it had been put through the wringer which tells me that I really used it to its fullest.

This is my 2012 planner:

I love France so I was absolutely delighted when I saw that this year's planner has a travel theme and right in front is the Eiffel Tower! France has always been my absolute favourite country so it cheers me up to look at the front of the planner because it reminds me of all the beautiful memories I have of France.

Okay, this time I have a before and after of the tabs.

You can't see it very well because of the flash, but each month has a coloured marker down the side. I may eventually decide to put tabs on those as well just so.

You'll notice that in the next shot, the planner has already been covered in plastic, tabbed and blinged up.

That was geeky of me to say, LOL.

I've had both electronic and paper planners before and there was actually a time when I used both simultaneously. It just really helps me get things straight when there's too much to keep track of, especially now that I'm really basically holding down about 3 different jobs.

My paper planner also helps me record things I've done in retrospect. I like tracking the things I did in the day especially when they weren't in the schedule. It helps me recall things I've done just in case it's related to something important that needs to be done or remembered.

This is the original pocket the planner came with. As before, I ripped it out and replaced it with expanding pockets like the ones I made last year. I went fancier with it this year and made the pocket in front open towards the spine and the pocket in the pack open at the top.

And there you have it! My personal best tool to keep my occasionally malfunctioning brain cells. I even have colour-coded pens to keep track of my activities and chores. It's bordering on obsessive-compulsive but my excuse is that I'm a visual person and I like seeing what I need to do at a glance. ^_~

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