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!


Anonymous said...

Yay notebooks & sketch pads & planners & paper things!

Spandrel Studios said...

Stationery queens unite! That's my dream, really, to own a beautiful card and gift store full of letterpress calendars and other ephemera, as well as smooth-writing pens at a variety of price points.

Kitty said...

The nice thing about physical planners is that you can look at them years from now. They can be keepsakes in themselves, nice reminders of a busy time. Computer schedules, not so much. ;-)

I work best with my outlook calendar on the computer, myself.