Long before I wrote my first short story or novel, there was "My Book."
About 15 years ago I started using a day planner regularly. Known to one and all as "My Book," I keep my calendar, addresses (snail and e-mail), and important facts (size of vacuum cleaner bags, type of printer cartridges, etc) in there.
I like the Day Runner brand – Week-In-View – style with replaceable pages and a 7-ringed, leather zipped cover. It has to have a zipped cover so I can keep all the loose notes and folded bits of paper I add to the front or back of the book. For about a year I carried a copy of my Echelon contract around with me in "My Book." Not sure I really needed daily access to it, but I did need to reference it a couple of times when I was travelling and my worn, much folded copy came in handy.
As much as I love computers and my Blackberry, one would think I would have made the leap from my pen and paper day planner to an electronic life monitor some time ago. I tried. Really I did. My father loves his Palm and gave me a basic model for Christmas some years back. I entered dates into the Palm but couldn't give up my day planner. Where would I put all those bits of paper that people hand me? Where would I keep the copies of my hotel reservations, my coupons, meeting notes, and all those business cards that I need immediate access to?
"My Book" goes with me everywhere. If I forget and leave it in the car, I usually have to run out in the middle of the night and get it – there will be something in it that I need in order to finish a project, write a response to an email, or schedule a meeting. I have about two years worth of information in it at any one time. If I'm ever a person of interest in a crime and a detective wants to know what I was doing on any particular date, I'm ready! I can not only tell him where I was but what size air filters I was buying and whether or not that was "trash" day at my house. And yes, I do live in fear of someone stealing "My Book." My only consolation is that it's rather large and wouldn't fit in someone's pocket or purse.
Speaking of being ready, I need to order my 2010 inserts this month. I already have appointments and events to enter for next year.
How about you? How do you keep track of your life?