Aug 14, 2013

Filofax and What's All That About

So, what comes to mind when you think about planners? "Organization"? "Reminders"? "Brain Helper"? In the format and fashion you like, a planner is usually that calendar thing where you note down the meetings, appointments, dates and stuff you can't forget. It's a useful little tool we keep around - those who do - to help us in the future to remember the plans we've made or the bills we have to pay. However, from then on each planner-keeper usually adds, takes or modifies the planner tool to fit better their needs. For instance, people who work directly with clients and client cases often note the data of the case (in shorthand and using a lot of codes that would make no sense to others) in their planners, bloggers and videostreamers, or youtube posters also note info about their posts or keep track of their posts, and people into exercise or diets also make notes on their planners to keep track of their progress. A rather typical use of planners, common among women, is using it for keeping track of the menstrual periods, which as result has promoted the marketing of "planners for women", which are not only in colors normally asociated with women - such as pink - but also include planning and tracking tools such as a period calendar, birth control pill reminders, calorie counting tables and diet track sections.

For those who walk deeper into the land of planning - and by "deeper" I mean past the phone's calendar, the wall calendar or the pocket week-per-page little agenda, or the monthly planner thin booklet you get for free with your purchase around the back-to-school season or the end of the year, and way into the complex apps and/or expensive paper planners - the calendar feature is just one of the many sides of the planning itself. From the selection of the planner - and here we are normally thinking about something that would last for... ever -  or the app to the detailed planning of all the elements that the planner must include, planning fans out and reaches pretty much every aspect of life.

This fandom of the planning has grown to quite amazing proportions, to the point where blogposts are written and videos are made depicting the ways in which people organize their planners or build them up, sharing thus ideas with others, that help them plan the tools for their planning, or simply get new ideas and inspiration for their own planners.

Now all of this is nice and cool, but there's also something that must be considered in the land of the planning, and that's how the planning itself and intention of the planner changes. Though originally one can think of the planner as something with a much simpler layout and little eye catching elements - do you remember those old planners we used to have waaaay back then in the 80's and 90's? - with mostly practical and informative elements, today's planners are taking on more leisure and eyecatching elements with colored pages, quotes, inspirational and spirit lifting bits, designs and space+tools for personalization and decoration. It's not only a matter of paper flags and post-its or colored pens and highlighters, but also a matter of stickers and washitape, aimed to make your day, your week, your month pop up from the paper and invite you time and again to check it and use it.

Though pretty, after looking at some of the pictures shared on facebook with these artistic, crafty projects, as well as the many videos about it, I started thinking if it maybe wasn't deviating from the actual purpose of the planner, specially when the decoration seems to take a central stage and the planning itself comes second. Indeed, when you spend enough time making your planner pretty, it's a delight paging through it, and this way you make sure you don't forget anything, but what happens when the decoration is so in focus that there's no space for planning, or that you wouldn't write anything down so it doesn't ruin the decoration? Of course, no such worries with electronical planning.

Then, the beauty in paper planner is that I don't need to get it, but if it works for you, then you go ahead and make it! Paper planner certainly give you the space to go as wild or as conservative as you want to. It does keep me wondering though, about what others consider planning and how they view it in general.


Sartassa said...

What comes to my mind? haha the words "I won't go through with it anyway" I have used notebooks, calendars, to do list apps, all sorts of things, but I never kept them for more than a month or two. I don't feel unorganized but sometimes I need to write things down before going to bed, otherwise I'll have trouble falling asleep... Hmm, I haven't found "my system" of keeping track of my life yet.
Lucky me, I don't have to "plan" my period, as it is the way mother nature had intended - at full moon.
Once I had different colored planners for different topics, birthdays say, or projects... but yeah. I stopped again.
About decorating planners ... aren't they supposed to be a tool for time saving not time spending? Ok, if someone is into scrapbooking I get it, but as for me, I think I would spend more time organizing my life than living it... Maybe I'm just really crap at that stuff :D

Storm Bunny said...

:-) Well, you actually plan a lot. You plan trips. So I would say that you have your own system, but it's a system that maybe doesn't adapt or need to adapt to every aspect of life. There's people who write down their daily routines, and I just don't do that. Still, I don't forget to shower, dress, eat, sleep and so.

Don't worry about it! If you need a system, the system will find you. ^_^ Say, have you tried a Chronodex? I just posted about it.

Sartassa said...

oh thank god you did, I saw your facebook post yesterday and didn't really figure out what that circular graphic was about. Then I got an idea. Now I am curious :D