On becoming a Diarist…


Are you a diarist? Or a keeper of a journal, or a note book? Do you record important events and ideas, perhaps doodles and sketches, designs?

Aside from a work diary of appointments, I can’t tell you how much I envy and admire anyone who can keep a coherent record of events or projects for more than two days at a time…


Graphics Fairy

I have spent a lifetime as a keeper of everything in my head but, recently I’ve been thinking it would be very handy to have a written record of various things. To some extent, my blog serves this purpose but I often find myself wondering (or disputing with Mr RH) about unblogged things like exactly when I planted seeds/harvested cabbages last year and considering whole sequences of events to decide when someone must have visited or when we bought something. And even on my blog I tend to make great proclamations of crafting goals and inspirations and then either forget about them or struggle to find them again.

So I concluded that there was nothing else for it. I would just have to become a diarist. And, after much searching I chose an 18 month 2017/18 Moleskine Alice in Wonderland Diary, which I bought from Wordery.

It was a bit pricy but I am hoping that will be an incentive to actually use it. It is unusual enough not to be just another fallen-by-the-wayside-notebook. And, with the days on the left hand spread and a blank page on the right for overspill, it seems to me a good size and layout to contain useful information without either running out of space or having wasted space. It also has some stickers. I’m not persuaded that the actual stickers add anything to it but they do slide into a backpocket, which might come in useful for something one day.


Graphics Fairy

Whilst waiting for the diary to arrive, I discovered Bullet Journaling. I watched the video and scanned through the ‘learn more’ sections and I thought ‘this is exactly what I need – a genius, easy to use system to keep properly organised with everything in one place’. It does not require a diary. In fact an ordinary notebook would work better. But I thought, ‘I’ll be able to adapt the general system easily enough’.

Then the diary arrived and I looked back at all the bullet journalling info and I thought, ‘OMG this is so complicated! I can’t even remember all those symbols and instructions from one minute to the next! I’ll never even be able to work out where to begin :(‘

So I began with a pen (a lamy safari), which I only mention because I wanted to give a recommendation to Andy’s Pens for their amazing service. I ordered a pen nib on Friday (3 August 2017) at 13.58 and I was more than surprised to receive an email at 14.01 saying it had been shipped. Three minutes from order to dispatch! Then it arrived the next day :)

And I decided just to start with a couple of the bullet journalling features, putting events under the days and ‘Tasks’ (a sort of weekly ‘to do’ list on the right). And I have to say that so far I am finding some satisfaction in ticking off the tasks and even feeling motivated to do more onerous tasks by the thought of ticking them off. I really should get out more! Then after a week, it seemed to be getting quite full and, at last, I got the point of having an Index so I made one in a section meant for ‘Timetables’. Perhaps as I go on I will incorporate more features and become super-organised…

But even now it is giving me a new perspective on time management. I never seem to stop but then I so often wonder where the time goes. Now I can look at ‘Weeding’ in my Index and I see ‘page 19’ and on page 19 -‘Weeded main veg area – 8+ hours’ and instead of feeling I have again failed to whip up a huge itinerary for my etsy shop, I think, ‘no wonder I don’t get much sewing done these days!’ I was, however, happy to tick that off as a weekly task and I did get the weeds before they seeded so, hopefully, that will make for more sewing time in the future. Perhaps I will even schedule some!

Do you have any tips for a good planning system?

Janine @ Rainbow Rare

I’m linking this post with New To Me 2017 at Celtic Thistle Stitches

12 thoughts on “On becoming a Diarist…

  1. Archie The Wonder Dog

    This all sounds very impressive! I’ve long been a fan of a calendar on the kitchen wall and have recently added a weekly planning sheet to the team, to remind me about things like posting cards, etc., as well as helping me to spread commitments out over the week. I don’t think I could cope with a bullet journal or diary, for a start, I’m not busy enough to warrant one!! Love your Alice diary, though…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sandra :)

    I use written lists and notes, post-it notes all over the house, an online calendar and online note/file keeping system – I can’t rely on my memory for a lot of things. I can remember every license plate number that my husband has had on our vehicles since we got married (I don’t even drive!). I can remember my kids and immediate family birthdays, but one level past that – the nieces and nephews, the great nieces/nephews, my friends – my memory is sketchy on that.
    I can’t even remember important information like when I had this surgery, or what the doctor said to do when that prescription is finished. Oh my it’s a royal PITA getting older! I feel better with written AND computer lists (but then, of course, there’s the extra work of maintaining two sets of books). I worry about losing written notes (it’s just not convenient to keep them in the safe), but I also worry about websites glitching or going down (i.e. a cloud drive), or my computer dying or being stolen. It’s definitely easier to FIND things (i.e. by keyword) on a computer file, but I’m old school and still like a written note for ease of use. I definitely haven’t gotten it all figured out – that’s for sure!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. peggycooperquilts

    Interesting blog post. I lived and breathed by my ‘book’ when I worked. When I retired I said, no more tight schedules. I will do what I want, when I want. BUT now if I don’t write stuff down I am lost so out comes my notebook again. I remember my aunt always kept track of everything in her book: when someone would call or visit, when she planted and harvested her vegetables, everything. I loved that about her and I always called her to ask her to look up something in her book for me. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts

    Oh how I wish I had kept a dairy all my life. Instead, I’ve kept no dairy ever. I added notes to my calendar while caring for my mom who had Alzheimers, but that was more so I could remember all the things–I was keeping track of work, three teens, a husband and aging parents. It’s a wonder I didn’t lose someone. After mom and dad died, I kept the calendars for a year or so, but eventually they were tossed out. The information felt cold and clinical, much like to do lists that marked off days, weeks, years. Definitely not dairy-like.

    There’s my blog. Also, I write poetry and keep an idea journal in a small notebook. Your Alice diary would be perfect for that, I’d think. It’s really interesting, which may keep you going until it becomes a habit of writing daily.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. SomedaySewing

    I love this! I have to say I am terrible at keeping any kind of journal with consistency. When we go on vacations I write an email to myself of what we did each day before I go to bed, so the days don’t run together. But I haven’t figured out what to do with that, how to keep it in a meaningful way. I’m glad this is giving you a new perspective, that is such a nice result to have!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carol

    I have another blog friend that discovered bullet journaling and is using it very effectively. I cannot write a journal no matter how many times I would try. Can’t even jot journal notes on a calendar. What a boring life I have! I give up. But I MUST keep a planner/calendar. So many appointments and commitments to keep track of. I bless the week with no entries, lol.

    xx, Carol


  7. Sigrid Swinnen

    No, I’m not good at keeping a diary, though I find it big fun to write in a beautiful diary. I always feel like buying all those pretty note books I see in the store, but it ends up like you say.
    You’ve chosen an amazing diary! I’d spend much time by just looking at the pictures :-)
    I try to plan on my calendar in the kitchen, but I tend to postpone many tasks…
    Maybe I should try a sort of bullet journal.
    Anyhow, good luck on it!
    Have a nice day, Sigrid


  8. Kim Sharman

    So it is a diarist that you are now. It sounds all terribly sophisticated and posh. =) I would be too if I perchance had a fun Alice in Wonderland Moleskin diary. Alas, though I always have the best of intentions and acquire pretty journals, notebooks etc, it never seems to last. I seem to store fact after fact in the storage folders of my brainpan, though with my advancing years, I suppose I should record the details in the written word, as my muddly mind is not the well oiled machine it once was. I do like the sound of recording what one does in the garden each day; what grows, what doesn’t from season to season. I think, lovely Janine, you have inspired me to pick up my feathered quill, dab it in some ink and record my days. =)


  9. Benta Hickley

    My to do list at work is written daily in an A4 diary – and highlighted as it’s done (green) delegated (orange) queried (yellow) someone else’s responsibility (purple) or a referred problem (pink) – it makes me very happy to see the whole page coloured in at the end if the day. At home … hundreds of scraps of paper are used instead!!!!!


  10. Mandy Fell

    I would love to be one of those creatives that does the diary with pictures & notes & snippets of this or that. But nah, isn’t going to happen. I love notebooks though & have quite a collection! They are all too pretty to use of course! Good work on yours. Sounds like you are starting off well. Keep it up. You know we are all jealous of your Alice diary!


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