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Cecelia J. Bonwick is the pseudonym of Jane Smith

Productivity - A Lesson from my father

January 5, 2017

Are you a recorder or a planner? Have you ever designed your own personal diary? Some ideas for you …

This time of year...starting a new book with 365 pages plus... always brings back memories of my foster dad. When he put down bores, he kept a triple carbon copy diary of each day and what he completed... the number of feet dug...  drill sharpened... problems that occurred etc...  One copy went to Toowoomba Southern Cross Foundary/Toomaroo Pty. Ltd. The other copy, I presume, went to the water board and he kept a copy...


He sat down each evening and in the light of the kerosene Tilley lamp, he made his record... When he sort of retired, this daily routine went into filling his own personal diary out... At the end of the year, if I ever wanted to buy him a gift he would use, I bought him next year’s diary.

My own introduction to a diary came early when I was around 7 years old. I would arrive home from the local school and my foster day would get THE DIARY out. He would ask me what I had done that day and proceeded to write it in the diary for me... Believe me, it was short and sweet... like extracting teeth from a chook... My brain had already done and dusted today... And it was heading off into what I could do next... into tomorrow... Back then, I found it hard to understand the importance of writing down what had already occurred. But, believe me, the importance of keeping a diary was etched in my brain.


As an adult, I faithfully bought my diary for the beginning of each year.... Lots of great intentions diligently filling out each page…  for the first month or two anyway... followed by many empty pages till December 31st... Then it finally... in a non-blonde moment… came to me that I was a planner of events and not so much a recorder of events.  This made me look at diaries in a new light… my planner for the day/week/month/year... (Sometimes looking back at my memory of dates, maybe I should have stuck to a recorder/diary style : -))   Anyway, this year is no different. I have my diary ready and eager to be written in for 2017… my planner/diary.


For 2016, my daughter and I created our own pages with the date section blank. I have also done this for 2017. This allows me to insert the date when I use the page.  Each month, any unused pages are not wasted but passed onto the next month section. At the end of the year, unused pages proceed to the next year. This year, my diary, along with my planner, includes a weekly/monthly goal page, weekly/monthly page for appointments, an end of the month achievement and highlight page. Naturally, a yearly goal page is part of my diary.


Did you know that the internet contains many free print outs for different diary sections? make a plan of what you want to record, or keep… Google search> Free printable Planners 2017 (your country) … search the sites to find a workable design or mix of designs/sections you require… Print them out. Print double sided if you like. I only print on one side. This enables me to scribble unrelated notes on the clear page so I am not losing little pieces of paper. Use a two-ring folder of desired size, heavy-duty two-holed punch with a length guide and dividers or tabs to write each month on. Plastic pockets can also be hole punched and added if needed. It can be as simple or complicated as you desire… in a personalized way. If you can’t find what you want, make your custom pages using Microsoft word.



On my android, I use ‘Jorte’ along with ‘Business Calendar’ which is available for download from play store. On my PC, I have ‘AllMyNotes organizer.’  Both have a free version or you can pay for the version with all the bells and whistles.


Mostly, my old diaries no longer exist. But regardless of whether we are a planner or recorder, for the purpose of writing etc., they are handy to keep. And even if we do not use the info ourselves, someone… a descendant… down the track may find what we wrote interesting and get an idea of who you were. Even if you just have a planner and monthly highlights, they could find it interesting.


This year I am working on trying to keep more records of daily activities… But regardless, I should be able to look back on my writing journey for this year from completed plans.


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