As I explained in How a Messy Creative Learned to Love Advanced Planning, my journey towards a more organised life began with a diary.
|This year’s diary
To be exact, it began with the Mslexia Writer’s Diary, which I have been buying and using for eight years now. Here’s why it fits my needs so perfectly and why I keep coming back to it year after year.
1. It’s got the basics down.
Week to view on the right, space for notes on the left. There’s enough room for me to record appointments and plans for every day, and if I need to I can expand on the opposite page. It also has pages for 2017 and 2018 at a glance, a menstrual calendar, and the traditional weights and measures section, which is surprisingly useful! I also love that it’s spiral bound, meaning that it’s easy to open and keep open, and there’s an elastic band to hold it closed.
|Week one always looks so tidy!
2. It’s a writer’s diary.
Each year there is a different theme (this year it’s ‘The Human Mind’) and there are several pages at the start of the diary exploring this theme in-depth. There are also monthly passages from books and exercises on the theme, and each week, quotes from authors alternate with book recommendations. At the back of the diary there are 28 blank pages for notes, and I have been known to scribble over the contact section as well.
Other useful features for writers include a manuscript layout guide, a submissions diary, a key to editing marks, a resources list, and ‘The Writing Year’, which has details of upcoming competitions and festivals. I’m really excited about the ‘Plan Your Pitch’ section in this year’s diary, it’s not especially relevant to my creative writing practice but the list of anniversaries and notable dates will come in handy for planning my blogging!
|Last year’s diary – surprisingly unbattered considering how long it spent squished in my satchel!
A testament to how well-designed these are.
3. The ‘Books Lent and Borrowed’ section
I love that this is a feature – so much so I decided it deserved its own tribute. This is extremely useful for keeping track of books I’ve lent family and friends, and making sure I don’t forget what I’ve borrowed! It’s a brilliant bookish bonus.
|Waiting to be filled with titles and names!
Do you use a paper diary? Do you stick to the same one every year or do you change it up each time? Let me know in the comments or tweet me!