Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Guest Post: Sheila’s Planner Epiphany

Today we have a special guest post from my long-time friend Sheila.

Greetings Filofax world! My name is Sheila. Kanalt and I have known each other since college, where we were roommates our junior year. As a college student, I was amazed at Kanalt’s organizational skills. Try as I might, I just seemed to have commitment issues with planners. In 2009 that all changed. Why, you ask? Rings, that’s right, rings, but not the diamond type. Rings that allowed me to open and close and customize a beautiful leather binder – a personal pink classic – to my heart’s content.

It was great at first. After a couple of tries, I decided on a layout. I was using the month on two pages calendar to “see” my plans, the two-days-per page to write the details, and lined paper in the back for my to-do lists. I’m sure the lack of space for details is shocking to most of you, but you see, I had previously carried my life’s to-do lists on scraps of paper, so this was a big step up!

Carrying a planner during the week was fine, but I didn’t want to drag it around on the weekends, and so I often found myself at a store with no list to work with. The horror! Then last September, I upgraded to the iPhone. The Reminder app was great, but if you’ve used it, you know that it’s just one giant list. I like my info clean and simple, so there was something lacking, so I kept on with two systems – the planner for dates and my phone for lists.

Enter Wunderlist. You may remember Kanalt’s post on this app earlier this year. It is a truly amazing app! You can create lists of lists, and that is really just my thing. I have it broken down into several categories, and the one I use the most is Shopping. I have a list for each of my favorite stores, and as I go through the store, I check things off. Before I go again, I simply remove the checkmarks and I’m ready to go!

After a couple of months, I began to find myself consulting only this app, and never my planner. I couldn’t believe it. I decided to give the Calendar app a try as well, especially as it was so easy to sync with my Gmail account.

It all worked great, for several months. Then, I began to notice an underlying feeling of discontent that I couldn’t quite figure out. I wasn’t forgetting anything, so what could it be? In mid-August, we were treated to a book review about Someday, Someday, Maybe, a book featuring Filofax. It was Kanalt's "non-philosophical debate" on the uses of a Filofax that really got me thinking. “If I use my Filofax to be organized, does that mean eventually I will be?” Hmm, maybe, it seems to be working for me...

A few lines later, I had my moment of clarity: “Maybe by just keeping track of those mundane things, I will indeed accomplish something bigger and better, more than just the laundry.”

Eureka! That was it!! Keeping track of things. Not just a reminder to be somewhere or buy something, but keeping track of ALL of the things I have been doing. Life’s accomplishments are not just about achieving major milestones. Life really is about the little things. It is so nice to be able to take a quick glance at a calendar, and be reminded of something special. A winery tour, a birthday barbeque, lunch with a friend. My Filofax did not just help me to stay organized, it is also a great reminder of all of the wonderful things I get to do with my life.

Thank you Kanalt. You have been an inspiration from college through the present. You have taught me that it is easy to stay organized when you can have a layout that is all your own. Most importantly, you have provided me with a tool that helps me to remember and appreciate all of the wonderful things in my life. You are the best! :-)


Wow, thanks for all of that praise, Sheila!  I’m not sure I deserve it, but I’ll take it!  And thanks for being a guest blogger on WPL.

4 comments:

  1. Keeping track of things is such a simple way to get you to open and carry your planner. And if your planner is with you, and open, then you actually use it.

    It's such truth.

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    1. Very true! I always tell people that a planner is only good if you intend to use it. Having one won't necessarily make you organized, but using one certainly will!

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  2. Love this! And it's exactly the reason why I started to use my Planner as a journal/logbook as well. I have always so much going on that I don't take the time for "proper journalling". But I can note a few sentences about my day each day. And it makes me feel more peaceful. Like I'm able to keep a few moments of my life each day. And that time really doesn't fly that fast .... ;)

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    1. I do journal a few times a week. But that's more about my feelings, though of course what's going on does come in to play there. Keeping track of things I have done in my planner, however, is a quick list of what has happened. It's easier to browse than reading my journal. And actually, it's a more accurate picture of what's been going on than my journal. When I look back on past inserts, it's fun to see what things took place when.

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