Analogue or Digital? Amanda and her diary...

by Amanda Fleet

Stu posted a while back about his fifty-thousand digital calendars, at which point I almost choked on my cuppa. Analogue friends, let me reassure you that some of us still swear by paper and pen. Let me introduce to how my diary/calendars work!

I have three calendars/diaries on the go. All of them are paper. I have no digital calendars. I do note on one of Stu's gazillion digital calendars what my blog posts on here will be, so he can see what I'm wittering about, but that's the only one I have anything to do with.

This is what I use, day-to-day:

1. A wall calendar

This is shared with hubby and general things go on it - when we're on holiday; if either of us has appointments anywhere... that kind of thing. It's a month to view, with some nice scenery pictures at the top and the month beneath. It lives on the wall in the lounge (above the phone). It's mostly for hubby's use.

2. Another wall calendar

Yes. I know it sounds mad to have a second wall calendar, but this is my month to view. It has the holidays and appointments that the 'pretty' calendar has, but it also has stuff that only I need to worry about - my blog post schedule (for here, my author website, my stationery blog); which days my books are going to be launched; when special offers are running; when I need to get things back to my editor by etc. There's absolutely nothing pretty about this calendar. It's printed out on A4 paper from a blank 2020 template from, held together with a bulldog clip, and hooked on the wall next to my desk. I use it to see which blog posts I need to write, how much time I have before various deadlines, how long it is before various events (book blog tours for example).

3. An A5 diary on my desk

This is the work-horse. I use a Box Clever Press diary with a week to view in vertical columns. It also has planning sections in it at the start of the book, plus at the start of each month. In the week to view, there's space for umpteen 'to do' plus what the main goals of the week are. I don't always fill in the goals stuff, but I do use the 'to do' space. I time-box in the vertical diary. I have a shed-load of stuff coming up (um, something to do with launching my fantasy trilogy in a couple of weeks...) and to remind myself to do things on specific days, there is a plethora of Post-It notes stuck to the appropriate days. Yes, I could have written the tasks in a time-box, or in the 'to do' space, but for many of them, the notes for the task are long, but the task itself will take ten minutes, so Post-It notes are easier (for me). The diary only ever sits on my desk, so the notes won't go walkabout.

This diary lies open on my desk all the time and is both a planner, and then a record of how my week has gone.

On very busy days, I sometimes use an A6 Clairefontaine pocket notebook to list stuff. The rest of the time, that lies on my desk and acts as a scrap pad/notepad for random notes and scribbles.

So, that's me. Almost purely analogue! I have nothing pinging on my phone, or my laptop. Just some paper hanging on the wall, and some more paper on my desk.

Why paper, and not digital? I'm not really a digital person. My phone is only about as smart as my cat. I'm certainly not glued to it. I'm also a very visual person and being able to see my week laid out (and month), and being able to tick off what I've done just works for me. Each to their own, I guess.

Next time, I'll talk about what I journal in (no prizes for guessing it's something physical, not digital!).