Most likely, it goes without saying that for all my life I have used a calendar and an address book. Let's just say I have always had some strange enjoyment of writing things down. Mind you, not important things like school work, but things in general. I have always loved to write.
Back to calendars and address books...
I recall in high school, my Granma had purchased for me a lovely hardback address book cover with a spiral bound address book inside. I have kept this cover (although now empty) for all these years.
|address book cover from granma|
The other thing I always had starting in high school was one of those little monthly planners you could get at Hallmark stores (do they still exist?) or bookstores. In this, I always wrote little cryptic notes in the tiniest writing. Additionally, I kept a journal going way back (standard issue, black-and-white-speckled-cover composition book).
|little Hallmark-card-store-type monthly planner|
One day, I began working in a retail shop and on my lunch hours I loved to browse at other nearby retail shops. During one of these ventures, I found a very fine Liz Claiborne cover with a spiral-bound address book inserted on one side and a calendar on the other. Starting with the next year, I continued to fill the calendar side with those little Hallmark-type calendars. I believe this setup would be considered my very first organizer.
Later on, enter the business world - administrative position. I had this really cool job which I loved and one of my responsibilities was.... wait for it.... office supply orders. Bliss. Anyway. This responsibility came with a really cool thing called a Catalog (do they still exist?) and I was happily perusing the calendar and hyper-organized-type stuff one day and there it was. A leather, ring-bound planner. A few choices in sizes and what have you but the one that stole my heart at Hello was what we all know as a personal size leather planner.
|my first ring-bound planner...|
Here is the funny bit. It was a real gem. Incredibly high-quality black leather in the thickness that we know today as the compact. Why is this so surprising? Because it was a DayRunner binder. I vaguely recall some odd cross-breeding experiment where perhaps they owned another company, or another company owned them, but what I ended up with was a beautiful and most perfect planner. Of course, I still have it today, but sadly, it doesn't work anymore. It is "broken." The ring mech finally chewed through the leather and the leather gave way, but there is just no way I can toss-bin this thing away. All that said, this organizer was truly where it all began.
|it was a DayRunner!|
I had never even heard of a Filofax at this time. This DayRunner was like $50 (back then!!) and I saved and saved for it and when I had enough I finally ordered it. It came with those DayRunner grey and maroon lined pages that they always had (do they still exist?) and I began squeezing every morsel of life in there. Other people who saw my organizer really liked my Awesome Index pages. These were sheets inserted in my A-Z tabs, with cool subjects such as Auto (license plate number, insurance company contact info and policy number, tire size, contact info and account number for auto loan); Medical (insurance company contact info and account number, doctors, etc.) and Utilities (all the contact info and account numbers for each). OK, OK, you get the point.
It was for personal life only - I had the kind of job where I didn't need to make lists or keep a meeting schedule.
Even though this lovely little binder was easy to take most everywhere I needed (because it was that delightful "personal compact" size), I didn't bring my organizer with me when going out socially because it wasn't necessary. I think maybe this was in part because because mobile phones weren’t attached to our hands. I wasn't on call for a job. I didn't need my simple calendar or recipes. It wasn't my wallet. This organizer was more of a Container of Information, rather than a place where I would scribble random notes. So, a tiny notepad in my purse or a napkin would work for that purpose! It was OK to step away from the planner.
Many years later, I encountered the Filofax. My boss had one, it was a black A5 size and it was lovely - completely captivating - and now because the Internet was the new Catalog, I got online and fortunately found a sale. I ordered a beautiful green Epping Filofax in personal size. This was 1998. To this day, I regret ever letting it go, but I know in my heart someone loves it today.
Thank you for reading. :)