A couple of weeks ago, I attended a meeting. We had a guest speaker come in to talk to the group. The first thing I noticed about this woman was the huge planner she was carrying. She carried it in the crook of her arm, not stowed away in a bag. Naturally, I got excited, hoping to see this planner in action.
Once we all sat down, I could tell that it was a Franklin Covey binder, something along the lines of their Classic size. It was black and shiny and wonderful. It looked very new, which was confirmed once she opened the binder to that day’s inserts—the Monticello two pages per day, to be exact, with the matching tabbed months interspersed throughout. (From what I could tell, she had the entire year in that binder.) There was nothing written on that day’s pages. My thought was, “Well it’s new, so I can understand that. But she doesn’t even have this meeting written in.” I wasn’t judging, mind you. It was just odd to me, to have this beautiful binder with its beautiful inserts, to open it and presumably use it, but not have the meeting written in.
But to each their own.
Once we started the meeting, she did use the inserts. She wrote down the main points of our discussion. She started on the notes page, and when that was full, she moved on to the dairy page. This is certainly not how I would use it—the dairy page is for appointments and tasks, and the notes page alone should be for, well, notes.
But again, to each their own.
(Though, let’s be fair—I tend to use things as they are intended. I’m not creative that was at all. You will not find doodles or decorations or washi tape in my planner, as much as I like seeing others’ planners done this way.)
And so it went on, until it was time to schedule our next meeting. “Cool,” I thought. “I’ll get to see her forward planning in action.” Well, I was quite surprised when she took out her smartphone (an Android for anyone keeping track, though I don’t know the specific brand) and started perusing her calendar.
I get that people use technology in conjunction with analog systems. I am one of those people. But in my experience, it’s usually used the other way around—people use paper calendars (perhaps in addition to an online calendar for sharing purposes), but use technology for lists and tracking and archiving and the like. So this was a surprise to me. And I won’t lie—I was very confused by this choice. It seemed as if she used the binder only to keep track of meeting notes and nothing else.
Of course, I could be wrong, seeing as I didn’t get to look further in her binder. (Yes, I could have asked, but I’m afraid that I would have made an ass of myself.) In one way, this use makes sense—she can turn to whatever page and see all the details of her meetings. But how would she know which date to turn to exactly? Of course, if that’s all she has in there, I imagine she’d just flip through her pages until she found what she was looking for.
Some companies/organizations will pay for calendars and/or planners for their employees. (Mine does, but they allow only smaller calendars, such as At-a-Glance products, not so much systems like FC offers.) So I can’t help but wonder if her organization paid for this beautiful system and she uses it for meeting record keeping, as opposed to actual planning. Of course, this is just another assumption on my part. Who knows?
Like I said, to each their own.
We have another meeting in a few weeks, so perhaps I can peek a little further into the situation.