From Where I Sit – A 2006 Worth Recording

One of my favourite rituals each November or December is deciding on a planner for the coming year. It may be contrary to the advice of time management gurus, but I always have more than one tool at my disposal. Nothing electronic, mind you. No Palm Pilot or Blackberry to keep this kid focused and on track.

I’m of the vintage that still prefers the tactile, spread-it-out-and-have-a-look, use a post-it or flag, paper solution to keeping track of appointments, phone numbers, and commitments. But, hey never say never. There may be a Palm Pilot in my future.

A wall calendar page with big boxes has moved from my fridge to inside a cupboard door for tracking household stuff. I still must have a pocket-sized, month-at-a-glance calendar for my purse. It’s vital at meetings or to record doctor’s appointments on the spot. I don’t quite understand the people who have to get back to you when they can check their calendar. Or those who try (unsuccessfully I might add) to keep all that stuff in their heads. I’m saving those brain cells for more important stuff, like remembering my name and to take my medication!

At home I have a leather-bound, medium-sized three-ring planner that requires refills and monthly dividers each year. The options at the stationery store are mind-boggling. Anyone watching me at Staples would have wondered if I’d ever decide on a purchase. The one that best suits my needs is the page-a-day version. The one I chose for 2006 includes space for appointments, diary, work record, action list, and expense record. Using abbreviations and sticking to the point is critical because of available space.

Adding to my arsenal of tools for 2006 is an 11 by 8 ½ Blueline soft-bound, coil book called a daily diary. This larger format with a space for appointments from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., more writing space in the ‘things to do’ section, and a space for evenings lies open and pristine just waiting for some entries. I’m not thrilled the month-at-a-glance section is at the front of the book, rather than where it fits during the year.

Picking the perfect planner is a decidedly personal exercise. Roy has an oversized hard bound, page-a-day style he’s used for years to record his ‘to do’ list, my whereabouts, when he changes the oil, when and what he’s baled, the temperature, phone calls, etc. It’s practically an archive of what we’ve done over the years.

So, why am I attached to these paper products? For me, I think it represents the clean slate, fresh start aspect of each New Year. As Tony Robbins says, “a life worth living is a life worth recording.” Jim Rohn’s journals are a significant part of his extensive library. He buys a thirty-dollar blank book to challenge himself to find more than thirty dollars worth of value to put into it.

Here’s to a wonderful 2006 worth recording, from where I sit.

* Reprinted with permission