Tackling a New Year, Old School Style


A return to old-school planning

Remember the “day planner”?

Remember the time before copying and pasting, dragging and dropping, typing and swiping?

The time when a new year meant a fresh, new calendar refill to plan out your day, your month, your very life’s existence.

Before there was an app for that. Or 3,584 apps for that.

When there was just pen and paper and you….

It sounds so faintly retro, right? And if we’ve learned anything from hipsters, retro is cool.

The Desire Map Day Planner

This is it….the Desire Map Day Planner from Danielle LaPorte.

This may explain why, in an uncontrolled fit of nostalgia, I recently bought an old-school day planner. Actually, it’s a sexy little number designed by Danielle LaPorte as part of her Desire Map product line. Ooh, la la…with it’s soft and velvety cover and 2 pages to a week, it makes me want to plan my heart out!

The Return of the Paper Calendar

After years of Outlook calendaring, Evernoting and apps galore, I now miss the simplicity and physicality of paper. Dentist appointments, tennis match schedules and long to do lists just seem more “official” and real to me when I write them down.

And frankly, there’s a seamy undercurrent to digital’s seamless and efficient integration of our personal and professional lives. Now with shared calendars, we all know each other’s business. Do I really need to know that Sally from the office is having a root canal on Monday at 3:00 at Dr. Vanderhoven’s office?  And thanks to social media integration, I now get birthday reminders for “Facebook friends” I met once twenty years ago.

There’s too much information being shared, so much of it irrelevant and frivolous, at the expense of privacy and personalization. It’s enough to leave a reserved girl like me, with notorious “control” issues, longing for the resurrection of her old faithful companion – the refillable, customizable, leather “day runner” of yore.

Paper Calendars

I think this new “paper” day planner will satisfy my craving for something that’s mine and mine only. It’s something that I can pretty up and personalize. Something that can hold a few post-its and tolerate tabs, washi tape and colored pens and highlighters. And, best of all, Sally from the office and my Facebook friends will never have to know what’s inside of it.

At least for now, this year, for my personal “stuff”, only paper will do…

Is anybody else going retro this year with a paper calendar?


  1. Yes, me for sure! It takes me way too long to enter things on the computer, and honestly, it’s really too easy to just drag things to the next day and punt everything. Writing it down with ink makes sure it happens!


  2. I desperately miss the paper planner days. Those things were so fun and so stylish! I have been tempted to get one a couple of times, but we could never keep it up with the number of schedules we are managing around here. I envy you!:)


  3. I’m scared to admit this online but I have never used outlook. I used it on the job because I had to but I secretly hated it. I love writing things down “old school”. I love the excitement every year as I pick out my calendar for the year. I love being able to look back once the year is over at everything without having to scroll on forever. Some things are just better the old way.


  4. Totally agree!! I had this realization with grocery lists. I had an awesome app that I “loved” for making lists and checking off little wants/needs or projects. But then I just missed the physical action of checking things off!! So I’m back to paper and am much more organized now 🙂


  5. I ALWAYS have a paper planner, and I thought I was the last person on earth! There’s something about sitting down in the new year and writing out birthdays and upcoming trips that is so satisfying. And while I tend not to hang onto many things, I keep my planners of years gone by. Looking through them is such a great way to remember life’s big & little moments. Visiting from SITS Sharefest!


  6. corliem says

    Yes yes yes!!! I cannot deal with electronic planning, every year I diligently buy myself a planner and I lug it around with me. Nothing beats a hand written list and a lovely large layout month planner 🙂


  7. Yes, actually! I still use outlook and sync with my iphone for all work related stuff but I’m going to use a paper calendar for all creative pursuits/blogging goals etc. I very much agree– it just seems more “real” on paper. Now I just need to find a sexy planner 😉


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