Anyway, my favorite patrons who fall into this category are as follows:
Mini Slim – There is a man who carries a planner that I’m sure is some kind of DayRunner/At-a-Glance product. It’s very similar to the Filofax Slimline Guildford—all black, leather (or imitation) of some kind, open binder. It might actually even be smaller than the Slimline. It looks something like this, only without the zipper closure. I have never seen the inserts so I don’t exactly know what brand it is, though from what I can tell it’s a spiral bound system. But I can only guess. I have looked to see if I can find something like this, but I cannot. In any event, he keeps his library card in there and pulls it out each time he wants to use an Internet station. He always has the planner with him and each time I am tempted to inquire about it.
Planner by the Chair – Every so often, I see a lady sitting in one of our comfy chairs. She has her planner open on the table next to her. Usually she is handling some kind of paperwork—I don’t know if she’s a teacher and grading papers or if it’s something else entirely. In any event, her planner is open to some sort of list. The planner itself is a ring binder the size of a Filofax Personal. It’s not a Filofax though, of that I’m fairly certain. I imagine it’s one that you might buy at a local office supply store or the pharmacy. In order to get to my office, I have to pass by this chair, and so when she is there, with her planner open, I am always on the verge of commenting. But she looks so involved in her work, I don’t dare disturb her. However, I am dying to know all about her methods of organizing.
Planner King – There is a tutor who comes in every day. His planner was the first one I noticed at work. This. Thing. Is. Huge. It appears to be a Franklin Covey, though again, that’s just a guess. It’s about the size of a Filofax A5, but it’s much thicker, with a zip cover. This is the closest product I could find to illustrate what it looks like. I have been working in the same building for just under 10 years and this thing has never changed. It’s one of those situations where one buys a binder as a life-long commitment (can you imagine?), and inserts are only bought for the start of a new year (in the case of the diary pages) or because you have run out (in the case of additional inserts such as note pages). I have seen this binder open and let me tell you that it’s packed to the gills. I don’t know in what capacity it is used, though I imagine it’s used for appointments and notes. This thing looks heavier than the biggest college textbook I have ever seen. But I love it just the same. I always sneak a peek at it when the tutor comes to the reference desk or merely walks by.
Stuff ‘Em and Jam ‘Em – I have only seen this instance once that I can remember. A patron came in with a spiral bound planner, much like this one (at least from the outside). The patron had this thing stuffed with papers of all kinds, and jammed into her bag so much so that it was curled around other items. Of course she could not find the paper she was looking for. I was horrified at such planner treatment. But I didn’t want to scare her off by saying as much.
Designer Planner – This is also a one-time viewing. A patron came in with a Coach planner, much like this one I found on eBay. She didn’t pull it out for use. She was just holding it. Did I notice it because it was a planner? Or because it was Coach? Maybe my radar went into hyper mode because it was both.
Staff Planners – Most of the staff in the building use At-a-Glance products. We get one each year for work purposes, and for the most part, that’s what everyone uses. Some people don’t use anything at all, which just amazes me. How do they know what’s coming up? How do they know where to be at any given time? I use a monthly At-a-Glance calendar for work items. But I also have my Filofax with me, so the work calendar is bare bones compared to that. All work appointments and meetings go into the Filo too. I am the only one in my department who carries a separate planner with me—a stuffed, over-organized one at that. There are a couple of other people on staff who do have personal planners, but only one or two. And only one other person who as nutty about them as I am—she has the Malden too, though it’s the Crimson one. We often compare planner notes, often getting into heated discussions what how we use them.
I am always on the look-out for planner-carrying library patrons, which makes me wonder—what is my job exactly? I don’t think planners are in my job description at all. But alas, I cannot help myself. At least all of my co-workers—and even my boss—are aware of my organizational obsessions. If there is any additional news to report on this front, I will gladly pass it along.