Student Planners – a great foundation for future planning.

Back to School season is approaching fast and I was thinking the other day about the good old-fashioned homework diary (Student Planner) that my school provided me with.

I no longer have a copy lying around otherwise I would have added in some pictures. It had the school logo on the front, a Timetable section and a WO2P diary (with the holidays filled in) for listing your homework. I used the method of writing items on the date due and not date received. I still use that method to this day.

Each week also had a daily checklist to try to develop the habit of reading a newspaper daily and reading a book a week. As my school was trying to encourage every student to do this. It was the first time I experienced this, and in my teenage years wasn’t really interested in it. However, it was reviewed and signed off by our class teacher. I was continuously told I needed to read a better newspaper and not just the local paper. But looking back it was probably better than nothing.

Since then it is a technique I have used on and off when trying to develop habits which has had varied success over the years.

At university I used a regular Moleskine diary as a student planner – maintaining the same techniques {which you may have read about on the blog at the time if you are a long-time reader). Since my studies I have migrated to using a filofax for my work/personal life and a filofax for my blog.

However the same set up has remained: due date entries and habit development checklists with a weekly timetable at the front.

How has your diary changed since your student days? What did you learn from using your student planner?


My new Malden #filofax

My new malden has arrived … and it is beautiful.


The best thing about the mini Malden, is the smell when you first open it up. I love that. It came with both 2012 and 2013 diary inserts. Fantastic – I no longer need my “2013 important dates list” at the end of my diary. I can write them straight in.

Yes it is a little tight with half of 2012 and all of 2013 squished in, but if I don’t put all of 2013 in it will inevitably get lost in the house move next month (even though I will keep all my notebooks together).

Since I am downsizing from a personal sized Filofax, the diary will literally be my diary, agenda style. This will cover: what I am doing, what is on locally etc. my to-do lists, financials, meal planners etc, will remain in the personal.

I have decided to colour code as well:


There is unfortunately a bit of fade through with my stabilo fine liners – but I can live with that – they are so colourful.

I still need to find an appropriate page marker – suggestions anyone?

And decide whether to also double the mini Malden up as a wallet/purse? Has anyone done this successfully?

The Simple Diary

I am a big fan of snap shot journals that simply record moments in life – I mentioned a few in my y is for year post as part of the a to z challenge.

One I didn’t mention is Keel’s Simple Diary. This is because I think of it as more of a diary than a memory journal. But it does have a similar aim. Think of it as a journal for busy people who still want to keep a record of their life/make memories, but maybe don’t have the time. It is engaging and only takes a moment of your time. Their website has a great interactive view of the book, which shows it off better than any pictures would.

With an any date format, and a daily fill in the blank exercise, and some wit and wisdom.

There is also a companion android and iPhone app for those of who want to use it on the move. This is also pretty great as it allows you to add pictures, and tag people and places. A more fun, interactive diary for those who maybe aren’t as used to keeping a diary, but like sharing what they are doing on Facebook. The basic app is free and the full volume one can be purchased for 69p. Below are some screenshots, to show you a few examples from the app.




Unfortunately there is no iPad app for me (and I hate iPhone apps on the iPad, they just aren’t neat) so I’ll be sticking to the paper version – for now.

D is for… Diary #atozchallenge

If you read my personal blog you may have heard it has been all change on the job front lately. That meant: new diary. Awkward time to start a new diary (and 2012 diaries despite being in the sales aren’t that cheap). You can get diaries made to start anytime for various durations. Custom made diaries, while a nice idea and look good, not necessarily the best idea for everyone and have a price tag attached.

I use a Filofax for the planning my year element of my life – what I am doing when. My diary I use for working out what I am doing in the day, keeping key information, it is sort of like a to do list really.

For example:
I need to call xyz. In the diary I will write the number to call any reference I require and then it is there ready to go when I have time to do it or when they are open. Additionally if I do not get through or have to call back I have the information handy, if they give me more information I can write it down there and then to refer back to later.

I like having the space and freedom to write, so I have just started a new diary in an a4 sized case bound notebook. A printable calendar stuck in the front cover and I just write the dates on the pages as I go through each day. simple. This diary is concerned about the now and the retention and availability of information, not future events.

Do you have multiple diaries with multiple uses? Share in the comments.

Finally Found: Moleskine Monthly Planner

Last year I bought a monthly planner for organising my blogging. Unfortunately shortly after I got distracted and stopped blogging regularly. My new years resolution for 2012 was to get back into blogging so I had been looking high and low for a new monthly planner recently… Without much success until now.


This is my new monthly planner – soft cover and slightly bigger than last time (and more expensive at £16.99). The size is 19x25cm (bigger than a5 but not quite a4) which is slightly irritating. It is a little large to carry around, so it will end up being more of a “desk diary” which isn’t all bad, but I prefer my desk diaries to have hard covers… but I am unbelievably fussy and you can’t win them all. It is a nice notebook and the only actual disappointment is that the paper is a little thin even with biro (but this was the same as last years planner and I forgave this as it kept me organised).

Now that I have got back to it (“it” being the blogging) I hope to finish off my “blogging journal” series over the next few weeks. So until then catch up with the first part of the series if you haven’t already done so.

The Day Book 2012


My grandparents bought me this lovely day book for Christmas. The book is filled with beautiful pictures of floral arrangements (not seasonal as my mother very kindly pointed out) but beautiful nonetheless.

The book is rather on the large size (just a bit bigger than A4) so it is not exactly compact. But it has a great “desk diary” feel to it, and definitely a keepsake.


As shown in the picture below there is only a couple of lines for each date. So for me there is no function as a diary (can’t cram it all in). But it has potential as a birthday book, or one line a day memento book.


First day of the year… better make up my mind quick – suggestions welcome :)

Moleskine: Weekly View vs Page-a-Day

I decided to have another look at a post a wrote back in 2009 on my personal blog and share it here. My 2009 diary was a Moleskine, week view, cute red diary – with a blank page for my to-do list. Brilliant for keeping me organised during my student days.

The left hand side, has the dates, and I use this to record my classes – this seemed the simplest type to get as one this course I’d only have a max. of 2 separate classes a day (no need for a full day view).

The right hand side contains the to-do list for each subject and my printing list etc. This page is simply a lined page which is perfect for this. Different types of the diary have different page set ups.

I am currently using the colour-a-month planner (surprise, surprise).

But as beautiful as it is I feel that I may have made the wrong choice this year – as I simply do not need a page-a-day. For work, all my to-dos and meetings are dealt with electronically (outlook and case management system do it all for you) – and I work so much I rarely do anything that requires a full-page in my personal diary. However, I do enjoy the monthly planners at the front which the weekly view lacked as well as the slimline feel.

It may be that I am still just getting used to it and I will probably reconsider many times over as the year progresses.


Uses for Notebooks: My 2011 Food Diary

Last year I blogged about my 2011 Vogue Diary from Daycraft. Now that I have started using it I thought I would revisit it again.

The A5 size is perfect for writing out the brief recipes and planning meals, I can also tuck in recipe cards and magazine clippings that I’ve come across already this year. This means I can roughly plan out my week with what I am going to eat.


I also use it to note down the expiry date of the perishables I’ve bought. So I can make sure that I make the best use of the ingredients I’ve bought and use a recipe to use them all up before they expire.

For example if I’ve bought meat e.g. pork fillet and it is 2 meals worth I will straddle my recipes and I will know that I will use pork on Monday and Wednesday. It also encourages proper usage of the vegetable with as little wastage as possible.

Additionally, it has allowed me to note which ingredients I can get in my local corner shop and which ingredients I need to go to the supermarket for. This also helps me plan my shop more effectively as well as plan my “filler” recipes in between shopping trips (as I will learn what is available without doing a proper shop).


Countdown to 2011 #4: Chrissie Snelling Collection (Slimline Diary)


An early Christmas present in the form of an adorable slimline diary from one of my work colleagues.

IMGP3793Suited to me perfectly this slimline (perfect for your purse) diary features pictures of cats – mostly black cats. Glossy pages and vibrant photos this diary is as pretty as a picture.


IMGP3798  Being a slimline diary it is weekly view – with a small block for your scribblings. Notable dates and Year Calendar are at the front and addresses and notes are at the back.

Simple and neat – but gets the job done, fuss free.


Chromatic Days Diary 2011 Giveaway

Due to my lack of internet/laptop I am posting this later than I would have liked. But I thought I better get my skates on if anyone is to receive this before the beginning of the new year.

Any regular readers of my blog will know that my diary of choice in 2010 was Chromatic Days from Daycraft (Thanks Daycraft!) – so as an end of year treat I am giving one lucky reader the chance to own their very own Chromatic Days diary for 2011.

The diary that is up for grabs is the same as the 2010 version: read my last review here if you missed it. The only difference is the colour this one is Orange.

How to Enter:

This is going to be a simple competition – follow me on Twitter and Retweet this giveaway.

Closing time:

Saturday 10pm GMT.