Thoughtful Little Things: a new diary for 2019

Thoughtful Little Things 07

A new diary and calendar for 2019

Why starting the new year and planning ahead brings me joy; read my simple living series on finding joy in the simple things in life

Last month I bought a new diary for 2019 for myself and a new family calendar too. I like to mull these things over and so took my time to carefully consider what I was looking for. Some may call me picky but I should terribly hate to have to switch diaries part-way through the year.

This year, I used a functional MiGoals diary and I thought it good: each week laid out with weekly wins and habits to pencil in; a line for gratitude, another for focus (although I didn’t always get the opportunity to fill these in…). Most importantly, my existing planner offered me three-quarters of a blank page facing my week’s daily schedule, giving me space to jot down those to-do lists.

I’ve enjoyed it, but what is a new year if not a chance to try something new? After much deliberation, I ended up choosing a Ponderlily Planner. It’s pretty (prettier than my MiGoals diary, with cursive fonts and quotes from Emily Dickinson and Maya Angelou) but it is also, most importantly, practical too and that combination is always a winning one for me. It comes with monthly road-maps to navigate the start of each month, and a reflection upon which to end it. It has been satisfying, spending an evening marking out already busy dates for next year. I look forward to filling it out.

For some consecutive years, our family calendar has been a large wall planner by Rachel from the cheerful Lollipop Studio. I have a glassless frame in which we keep it, up on the wall next to the dining table. We use it mostly to mark out school holidays and keep track of the enormous number of birthdays in our very big joint family. I have a ritual of marking it out before Christmas, then rolling it away, ready to hang back up on New Year’s Day. This year, Rachel poignantly and gracefully announced that she will be closing Lollipop Studio down after a tumultuous year and she is seeking out a simpler, more purposeful future. I wish her so well; her planners have been a part of our family life for some time.

While Rachel’s planners are still available for a while, I have felt it time for a change. Our family planner is not in the most practical of places (there’s no wall big enough to put it near my desk; despite all birthdays being marked out I have still missed a few) and while it is so very helpful to see the year in one glance it can also sometimes be rather a lot to take in too.

So I’ve scaled down to something smaller, a simple paper calendar (a page for each month) on brown paper, which I plan to tape to the wall behind my desk so I may see it whenever I sit down to work (for those interested, it’s from The Brown Paper Movement). I’ve marked birthdays with names and little stars in black pen, and circled the start and end of term dates. I don’t plan to mark it much more (we keep track of appointments on our phones and I also duplicate in my diary for certainty). It is joyously simple.

A fresh sheet for the start of each month seems like quite enough; a satisfying nod to the days we need to remember.

How will you plan next year?

I purchased my planner myself, yet Ponderlily have been so kind as to offer a 15% discount for my readers. Enter the code OURSTORYTIME at check out. The code is valid until November 21st, 2018.

Read the rest of my Thoughtful Little Things series on finding gratitude and joy in the simplest of things.