Thursday, 5 January 2012

Filling My Diary

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.

The menu of the posh dinner we attended on New Year's Eve is in there now as well!

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.

How do you keep track of all the minor and major events and appointments in your day-to-day life?


  1. That diary looks great - I've never sene one like it. Where did it come from originally?

  2. From the UK, actually :-) A supplier of spare parts for printers, situated in Kent, gave it to me. The 2012 one is very similar, only a bit smaller and the calendarium is all German (which has the advantage of showing the public holidays for here, something the 2011 one did not).

  3. I admire you. I have read several things about the fact that writing by hand is more creative than using a computer - more intimate. There's a Paul Simon lyric about that which I can't remember or find. But, of course, my paper notebook always sits unused. Just as well since I can't read my handwriting anymore.

  4. Although I don't keep a diary in the way of writing up what has happened to me each day I write all my appointments and important events etc in a pocket diary and would be absolutely lost without it. I have tried keeping an electronic diary as well but have given up. I have my diaries going back for many many years and constantly find them useful for finding out when I did things. I also have my paper address books going back to when I was a small child.

  5. For work I only use an electronic calender (Outlook schedule) and the To Do list, which also allows to cross out things that are done. In my "private life" I use a small pocket calender, but at the end of every year I replace the diary and throw the old pages out.

  6. I keep a 'day-timer' type calendar and have since 1978! In these I jot appointments and important dates. But, my real interest in in my Journal. I began to seriously journal in 2000 and find great pleasure going back and reading my entries. Fun to see what you were thinking a year ago, five years ago, etc., on any given date.

  7. In use a computer diary but it's not the same. I miss the writing but using s computer one allows me to share what's going on with my partner and daughter. I'm too lazy to do both.

    I also make long lists of jobs to do but I now balance that with lists of jobs done. These help me to realise that I haven't wasted my time and even when I am not well I get some jobs done and have achieved something.

    I also use my 355 (photo a day) blog as a way of recording what goes on in my life.

  8. Mark, I sometimes can not decipher my own handwriting, either!

    GB, I use my diary for appointments in the future as well as for little notes about things I've done.
    The notes function on my mobile phone is one I use to keep things in mind such as what I intend to give someone as a birthday present, or while I am reading a book, to note a page and a key word that I intend to use in the review for my blog.

    12, throwing the old pages out means you can never go back to see what you did on a particular day in the past! But then again, nostalgia is not quite your thing anyway, is it :-)

    Jill, and I am sure you'd love writing your own blog just like you enjoy keeping a journal.

    Scriptor. of course a computer diary is good in that it makes it easier to share things with others. The photo a day blog is surely a good idea. I did something similar in 2009, not knowing when I started how decisive that year was going to be for me:

  9. I keep my appointments on a calendar next to my desk and for to-do lists I use little notebooks or random scraps of paper. I used to keep proper daybooks when in school, but I like the freedom of writing in big, loopy letters. ; }

  10. Hello Meks!

    Again thank you very much for being my beta reader. :)

    I used to keep one when I was younger. But I got bored and abandoned it altogether. Though I have to admit that it's fun reading back old diary entries that'll make you "Oh, my gosh! That happened?!?!"

  11. My last book - (the one just completed) - I wrote the first few pages by hand but the rest on computer - it was actually the first book that I have not written the first draft out by hand -

    The first noticable difference was how fast it got done - before I knew it the first draft was done - and then I didn't have to transcribe - it was all just "right there" - but the cooling off period seems to take longer - and the editing is more intense what with so many more run on sentences that just go on and on.....

  12. Denise, you are welcome!
    My diary contains usually just a word or two regarding the original appointment, but it does help to trigger off memories.

    Robert, I find writing by hand rather frustrating; it tends to be painstakingly slow as opposed to my typing, when thoughts flow from my mind directly into my fingertips and onto the keyboard without much hindrance.

  13. Don't you just love stationery? and the joy of starting a pristine, new book?

    I think I might be the only person in the world who still writes with an ink filled pen.


  14. Yes, SP, I love stationery! There was a time when my first husband and I were even thinking about opening a stationery shop.
    You are not the only person - RJ uses an ink filled pen, too :-)