Address books are a lot like diaries

Much as seeing a glimpse of someone else using a planner or organizer, a sighting of an address book also sparks a moment of spaz for me. Old-fashioned and lovely, they seem so understated yet each has its own memories and tales to tell.

The older and messier the pages, the more enchanting they are. The markings through for new addresses when people moved and the updates of other changes are so interesting and endearing.

In days past, some address books stayed at home, with the writing desk (including if that was the kitchen table), or phone table, and the home telephone. Some were card file boxes and caddies, or rotary-flip-style Rolodex.

The nowadays term of “contacts” - rather than family, friends, people, names, numbers, addresses - conjures up more of a business connotation to me.

Mostly now all of those “contacts” are being carried around with us everywhere in smartphones, or stored on Facebook, LinkedIn, Outlook or email accounts on the web – always accessible, even though the number of times many of these contacts are contacted is disproportionate relative to the amount of time they're with you.

I liked how personal addresses were in your personal address book, and work contacts were in your work rolodex, the client database or other computer software – at the office. It's displeasing to me when, on my own time, I must scroll past work-related contacts on electronics, or even to have to click the filter option to take these business people out of view. I've read that our minds process 50,000+ fleeting thoughts per day, and just glancing at a work name on my weekend can send me down a mentally exhausting rabbit trail of eeeeek did I remember to send that email-package-presentation-quote-report-thing-I-promised-to-send-last-Thursday...

I keep a few consolidated address pages in my Filofax - family is grouped together and friends are grouped together.  This friends list isn't every acquaintance but rather my closest friends who are practically family. I like looking at the handwritten entries on these pages when I'm addressing their birthday card envelopes or whatnot. Entries on these pages aren't alphabetical, just all together, one after another, and this eliminates the need for many pages and A-Z tabs.

And now for some fun! Clickies!!!

I hope you enjoyed these, and thank you for reading! :)


  1. I love the old style address books, Heather, particularly the ones written in ink, so that you have to cross out rather than rub out. It's like reading a history book, the older they are, and they bring back, usually, pleasant memories of friends or relatives. You just don't get that with a smartphone. I'm retired now but I still like to keep personal separate from trades people, rather than work contacts. One list is happy and personal, and one practical.

    The blog gets better, Heather. Keep it up.

  2. Hi, Steve! Loved hearing about your lists. Yes, the pen entries are definitely the best. I still have old Filofax address pages from days past and it's a happy trip down memory lane to see them now and again. Thank you so much for reading and for your comment! :)