The Gift of Planning

My birthday has come and gone – no new planner to speak of. I didn’t really expect one and I didn’t really ask for one, though I did see a lovely Kate Spade planner up for bid on eBay. I wanted to bid on it so badly but my husband talked (shamed) me out of it. Originally I was thinking that I might buy myself a new planner for my birthday – after all, it’s been six months since I bought one. But I’m putting myself on planner austerity for a while. It’s not something I need and we have some expenses coming up so I will have to forgo a new one (for now). Sigh.

However, I did receive a gift card to The Container Store. They used to carry a small collection of Filofax binders and inserts but have stopped within the last few years. Sadly, I don’t have a store anywhere near where I live. I can use it online but I like to be able to see and touch my possible purchases. So I will have to wait until my next trip to New York City or when I visit family in New Jersey. A post on my organizational purchases is sure to follow.

I also received two gift cards to the Coach outlet. I will buy myself a new bag for my birthday (with other people’s money). Bags are my other downfall. But that’s another story for another blog.

Because I decided not to buy myself a new planner, I have been thinking about my current set up and whether or not to change it. It’s still working for me but I can help looking at the pictures in the Flickr group, all those pretty personal size binders with the rings that are bigger than the Slimline and allow for easy turning of the pages. One can stuff them to the gills and it’s still functional and can maybe still fit a little more in to it. Yet, the whole reason I went to the Slimline in the first place is so that I wouldn’t have to carry unnecessary pages with me all of the time. I’m a complete mess when trying to decide between two options. I drive myself crazy with the possibilities and picking the best choice.

Last night I asked for advice from my Twitter-using Filo friends. One said to use both my Slimline and a personal binder, to call the dog. This is a great idea, but one that I could not do since I only have one (!) set of diary pages. I’d have to move them back and forth to see which one comes out ahead and unfortunately I don’t have that kind of patience or time. Another friend suggested that I set up my personal binder, use it for a while and see how I feel about it. Usually when I do this it only takes me just enough time to set up the new system to realize I liked the old system better and have to change it all back. I didn’t relish the idea of going through that since I had a feeling that was what would happen. But I tried it anyway. And wouldn’t you know it – I got it all set up the way I would want it and before I even had time to use it (fully finish setting it up really), I realized that I liked my old system better.

However, this little trial did shed some light on my planner dilemma. My problem isn’t so much whether or not to use the Slimline or the personal binder. The issue is that I love the style of the Guildford too much to part with it. I could very easily use the personal size Guildford if I owned it because, minus the ring size, it is set up in exactly the same way as my Slimline. I love all of the personal binders I own – each is beautiful in its own right. But the pockets inside each and every one of them do not allow for much use – the slots on the inside pocket are quite tight and lay sideways, making it very difficult to put much in them. And I use those pockets a lot. If I can’t use them because of how they are made, then it’s no good to me. Using the personal binders at home means that I don’t need or use the pockets – I still get to use those beautiful binders but the pockets are a non-issue when used at home.

Perhaps one day I will purchase the Personal Guildford, making all of my planner dreams come true (well, today’s planner dreams, until something else comes along that I can’t live without). In the meantime, I will continue to use my Slimline for only the things I need with me and keep the rest at home in whatever personal binder I happen to be using at the moment.

Like I said, this system wasn’t a planner fail. It’s really just a case of planner envy, a situation I often find myself in. Coming to this realization is half the battle, isn’t it? And one step closer to planner nirvana.


  1. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! The internal setup on the Guildford is fantastic...I agree. Somehow I also keep coming back to it as well (though in Personal size because I need more than the slimline's rings can accommodate).

    Not to be an enabler, but the Cuban and Amazona have the same internal configuration as the Guildford. And come in colors other than black...just sayin'

    (insert evil laugh here)

  2. Lol. You ARE an enabler! I have been looking at the Cuban for a long time. Still up in the air between the two. But there's lots of time to decide. I have to make sure I'd use it before purchasing a new one. I have to be able to justify it to my husband.


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