Although I have all the technical possibilities to keep a paper-free diary for my business and private appointments, I still work best with an old-fashioned paper one.
The one I used all of 2011 was originally given to me as a Christmas present by one of the suppliers at the company were I worked until March of last year.
It came in very handy, especially when I quit the former company and was off work for seven weeks from the middle of March until my first day on the new job, on the 2nd of May 2011.
During those seven weeks, I did a lot - I travelled, I worked (playing secretary for a friend and earning a little extra money, which was very welcome!), I blogged, I saw friends, started to train for the CityRun, and more.
It would have been difficult to keep track of everything without the help of my diary.
And when I started working for the new company, I began using the diary for business, too.
My job mainly consists in keeping in touch with my customers by ringing them and, every now and then, acquire new customers from various sources, such as after I have met them for the first time at a trade show or conference. It is important to stay in touch with them after the initial contact, and I always put the customer's name down in my diary on the day I plan to ring them again.
Not only is this - for me - a much better way of planning my work than putting appointments into Outlook, where they would just keep popping up, only to be clicked away by me and eventually forgotten, but this system also gives me the satisfaction of "seeing" my work getting done, because every time I have made a call and reached the person I wanted to speak to, I cross their name out.
Something else this diary allows me to do is keeping small reminders of special events, such as tickets for an exhibition my sister invited us all to on her birthday, or the fireworks display in the summer, and so on.
For 2012, there are already quite a few entries in my diary, the cover of which is currently making my header picture (as you have undoubtedly guessed).
The ones I am most looking foward to this month are my sister's birthday on Tuesday and my dad's 70th birthday on the 31st.