How Do You Plan?

Halfway through this year, I switched to a paper planner. I used to be a paper planner girl all the way, but switched to my phone a few years ago (this may have been partially fueled by the mini bag trend). This year though, I made the switch back. I kept missing certain appointments because I only realized I had them on the calendar when alerted five minutes beforehand, and was missing the satisfaction of writing on paper as well. As soon as I went back, to a Moleskine pocket, I was very happy, though I had to admit it drove me a bit crazy to not be able to fill out a planner all the way, from the beginning of the year. The neurotic in me was highly considering going back and filling in past events just for the sake of it, but I deemed that too crazy (though I do like writing check lists just to check item off right away).


Anyway, since 2017 is just around the corner, I went on a planner/agenda hunt. And I finally found the perfect one! It’s this Smythson Panama Pocket Diary, and this is as close to perfect for my needs as I could imagine.

Super slim? Check. I love the look of large desk calendars but have realized that for me they’re a waste of space – I never use them or bring them along in my bag, which is when I really need them. I’ve always preferred smaller, thin planners that can fit into any bag. This Smythson diary is one of the sleekest pocket diaries I’ve come across, but with enough space where I don’t feel cramped. The perfect size.


Perfect layout? Yes! I like having a week spread out across two pages, it’s just an easier format for me to manage. The Moleskine I was using had the week crammed into one page and blank lines for notes on the other, but I rarely made notes in my calendar. I have a separate journal for my notes. Also I love the little tear off corners!

Beautiful design? Of course…it’s Smythson. I love the grosgrain silk pocket, the font, the featherweight paper, everything. OK, maybe I don’t need some of the information printed, like when grouse hunting season begins, but I get its part of the brand’s heritage.


Do you use a paper or electronic planner? Both? What’s your diary/agenda of choice?

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  • Phil
    November 21, 2016 at 9:14 am

    I love writing too! And I actually prefer having a planner – an actual planner to jot things down. I’ve been eyeing a smythson planner for years and I think you just convinced me to get one. So long, moleskine. For journaling though, I recently discovered a really cute one from Globetrotter! 🙂

    Nice pen by the way. Montblanc?

  • Jill
    November 21, 2016 at 10:52 am

    I am big into calendars/planners and I have owned the Manhattan Diary every year for nearly 15 years now. Per Annum is the company that makes them. They are available in a range of colors which is nice, and the edges are gilt so they feel a little glam too. If you want one in leather, they do that as well, but the colors are limited. I love that they include subway/bus maps, as well as NJ Transit and Metro-North and LIRR info, plus street maps of Manhattan. Per Annum also makes them for LA, Chicago and Boston. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  • Caroline
    November 21, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Im pretty sure you would love the Midori Travelers Notebook (regular size). I swear by mine. I love how you can customize it to your liking and it ages beautifully. The leather is amazing! I use the weekly insert with the side notes. I’ll be using it for the years to come. Have a look into it and let me know what you think 😉

  • Oonagh
    November 21, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    I use the Smythson Bijou Organiser. It has a pencil and addresses and notes pages as well as the diary section. I just replace the diary section each year. It’s small enough to carry around and all your info is in one place. It’s perfect for me.

  • D
    November 21, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    I also love to write in a planner, rather than do it on my phone, and then line them up on a bookcase after I finish out a year’s planner.
    – D

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life
    November 21, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Both! Electronic for sharing appointments and family commitments, travel and hosting plans. Paper for personal me-only notes and for money related notes and dates.

  • bisbee
    November 22, 2016 at 5:33 am

    I use my phone…only my phone. I used to use a planner – I am a note and list writer – but now I do that on the phone. I do use a planner for work to keep track of meetings, notes, etc.. As far as missing appointments kept on the phone, I set up reminders for the day before, or an hour or two hours before, or both!

    • bisbee
      November 22, 2016 at 5:35 am

      Forgot to say – I like having the same calendar on my phone and iPad…and I keep track of my husband’s appointments too – the items we both need to know about go on the shared Family calendar. My personal appointments are on my calendar only!

  • Dee
    November 22, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Kat, been a long time follower of your blog… love the contents. my personal favorite is the Peter Pauper Press engagement calendar ( small and comes in 18 months calendar)