Making this year’s diary: do what you can with what you have

Even though I do lots of my planning online, including a share online appointments diary with Malcolm, I always love to have and use a paper diary for the year.  I use it for making lists (to do lists, lists for the week, lists for the month), and latterly for tracking progress on my goals (including last year’s 100 day challenge).

Over the past few years I’ve bought and used several diaries that have given me a disproportionate amount of pleasure.  There was the 18 month beauty bought cheaply in Barnes and Noble in Brooklyn.  There was the (very expensive!) Leitchturm one bought on a whim in Bethnal Green.  Last year there was a ring bound one from Paperchase that I completely loved for it’s layout.  For 2019 I really wanted to just get another the same, but was thwarted because they don’t seem to have one.  I could find the same layout in other versions, but nothing that pleased me as much as that one did.

All of which was to the good, because it forced me to look at alternatives.  As it happened there turned out to be a very good alternative, made clear by my recent Clearing of the Desk of Doom.  It reminded me that I have a rather beautiful orange notebook, received by youngest son several years ago when he was working on a production.  He had no use for it and gave it to me.  He knew I would love that pop of colour.  It sat under heaps on the desk ever since.

No more.  The heaps are gone, and the orange notebook has been retrieved.  I went all the way through marking the pages as I wanted them.  I retrieved a pen holder from the Leichturm diary of old, and stuck it into the back of the orange notebook.  It’s now good to go.  My list-making for this year has begun.

♥ ♥ ♥  Do what you can with what you have  ♥♥♥


About deborah @ the magic jug

Now I've passed 60 I'm still doing all sorts of things I haven't done before, as well as carrying on with the things I already love. I live a happy life with my long term love Malcolm. In my blog I explore local and low tech ideas, food, growing, making, reading, thinking, walking, and lots of other words ending in 'ing'.
This entry was posted in 100 day challenge, 2019 goals, Do what you can with what you have, Frugal, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Making this year’s diary: do what you can with what you have

  1. Marian says:

    I love this, Deborah 🙂 . I’m partial to a lovely journal too, but I also find great value in the ability to make do (although your phrase—”do what you can with what you have”—is a much more positive way to say the same thing). I’ve been taking courses towards a certificate and have made use of my children’s partially used school scribblers for taking course notes. In some cases I’ve ripped out the pages they’ve used (for math or whatever other subject they had used the notebook for), and in some cases I’ve left the pages in and have felt a lovely bit of connection to my kids (which maybe sounds just a bit silly but there it is!). I’m about to start my eighth course and have yet to buy a notebook, which feels like a small win 🙂 .

    Unrelated: You mentioned a while back that you were having trouble leaving comments on blogs. I don’t know if you’ve worked out what the problem was, but in case you haven’t, perhaps you could check if it’s akismet causing the problem. I just did a bit of research on it for Rita, and came across this advice: Go to, select “please tell us more,” then “I think akismet is catching my comments by mistake,” and fill out their online help form. The person who advised this said akismet helped her within 24 hours and it cleared up her issue.


    • Oh that’s a really helpful suggestion (Akismet) Marian, I wasn’t aware of that. I’ll definitely give it a go.
      On the notebooks thing, I really admire that you’re able to do that. I confess to being quite fussy about things that are broken / part used, though I have no problem at all using things that are new-to-me. So, much of the crockery I use to eat from is second hand, but once it gets a chip, I hate to use it. So – any part-used notebooks get used by me if I can tear out the used bit cleanly, but torn up and used as scrap paper if not. But not wasted, so that’s good I guess.
      I like the idea of the connection to your children, not silly at all. And in a similar way, the Danish pattern crockery I like to use gives me a feeling of connection to my very close friend (not-sister) who lives in Denmark.


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