Very much the nervous new boy at school, I wandered around the Stationery Show in April. I had taken the reins at Pocket Notebooks a scant two months previously. I came across Matthew and his weighty Life Mapper books and was delighted to find someone willing to chat.
At 635 grams, this is no pocket notebook.
The Life Mapper is turquoise and has a lovely soft-touch cover that has been engraved with a complex, yet appealing symbol. The book is unmistakably of high quality.
I love the colour-coding.
I have written in it with my Pilot Custom 823 - and the paper is ink-friendly.
Opening the Life Mapper, you quickly come to a "Personal Declaration" page. Here you define yourself, present and future, by your beliefs.
Blimey. This is not a notebook - this is a tool for self-improvement.
Now, if you think self-improvement is a waste of time, then you are not going to like this book. Thanks for coming by. Move along.
If you are a fan or indeed simply open-minded, then welcome, I'll try to give you a flavour of the Life Mapper and how it works.
After your personal declaration, there is a monthly calendar, with each month having a theme. July for example is "Willpower". After a more traditional calendar of 2018 and 2019 come a double spread on how to use your Trigg. In summary, you are invited to have a bit of a think about who you are, and who you want to be: Then, you are given some space to document those thoughts.
Each week is numbered and the first page of the week is dedicated to "Priority Planning". Here you write goals, split into areas - Self, Work, Passion and Relationships. Opposite this page is day 1; conveniently a Monday in 2018.
Here is a grid for task management, some free space and room for some appointments. The journal continues a page per day until the weekend, where Saturday and Sunday share a page with some space to review the week just passed.
After six months and twelve months, you are invited to review your annual forecast goals, and briefly document where you are.
There. That's a brief overview.
Does it work?
I don't know.
I can tell you that it is thought-provoking. Opening it for the sake of doing a review made me think about the direction that I want my life to take. Frankly, that is a bit of a surprise, as I'm usually a bit of a cynic when it comes to this type of tool.
The Life-Mapper would not work for me as a main planner. I need more space for appointments and time-blocking. However, I'm not sure that it is designed to be a main planner. This book is not for the minutae of life. It is for the 'big stuff'. The grid is designed to help you focus on the things that move you closer to achieving your goals.
I think that it will sit on my desk with my main planner and I will dedicate some time each day to it, to help maintain focus and direction.
My 'intention' (that's January's theme, by the way) is to dedicate 15 minutes at the start of the day to my main planner and the Trigg. Then, at the end of the day, I will spend 5 minutes reviewing the day and making a note in my Standard Memorandum.
I have had some success with this type of routine in the past, but it's so easy to fall out of the habit, particularly after a trip or a holiday. I will knuckle down.
The Trigg Life-Mapper is a very high quality product. The format is specific and proscriptive. It aims to help you focus and be disciplined.
I'm going to give it a go.
You can order one, for fulfilment from Trigg, here.