Saturday, March 5, 2011

Filofax Chameleon Planner

As someone who readily embraces technology, it has been hard for me to come to terms with one simple fact about the way I work: After many years of managing my schedule either on a computer or on a handheld device, 6 years ago I switched back to a paper planner to manage my tasks and my schedule.

This is the Filofax Chameleon Personal planner that I bought a few weeks ago after hobbling along with another planner for 2011 that didn't suit my big, sloppy writing and jam-packed work schedule.

My workday is spent either in meetings or in front of a computer getting things done. It's a good thing I'm a fairly accurate touch-typist, because I do let my gaze drift away to the artwork on my wall or to whatever notes I'm working from, just to give my eyes a break every once in a while.

Otherwise, the more hours I log in front of a PC, the more eyestrain I suffer. And because I still use an iPhone with its teensy screen it gets even worse.

So, about the paper planner.

There's just something about putting pen to paper that I really like. It's easier for me to just jot down an idea for a project as it comes to me, rather than add something to Outlook's task list, hunt down a task management app, or even open the simple Notepad file I once kept on my desktop to manage my tasks.

When someone is standing in my office talking about a request, it's faster -- and more polite? -- to write it down in my planner as we talk than it is to turn away from them to tap away on a keyboard.

For the first few years after I returned to a paper planner, I used the Julie Morgenstern model by a planner company that has fallen out of favor with me (for publishing her format only up to the middle of a year, mind you... Who does that? Grr!). I write pretty large, so the format was perfect: there was a page opposite each day's schedule where I could write down my projects, tasks and priorities.

Too many page-a-day planners seem built for people who don't have that much to track, whether it be tasks or meetings.
And did I mention I don't write very small or neatly?

As for the Chameleon style Personal Filofax, it is working quite nicely, although I'm a bit disappointed with the binder cover itself. The leather cover was gorgeous out of the box, it is still rather stiff after a few weeks of use and doesn't lie flat yet. The edges of the tab closure and the binding are showing some wear, graying a bit already.

Since I'm all about texture, one of the smooth leather covers might be on the list, next.

But the two-pages-per day personal size suits me well so far. And, I'm proud to admit, although the sheer number of tasks I have to complete on any given day can sometimes give me agita, no projects have fallen through the cracks!