Vin­tage habit is back with a vengeance

New jour­nal-keep­ers putting old diaries to shame as or­ga­ni­za­tion be­comes an ob­ses­sion

Calgary Herald - - NEWS - HE­LEN CHAN­DLER-WILDE

If you’ve been toy­ing with thoughts of be­com­ing a well-or­ga­nized you this year, the in­ter­net has ideas. And they don’t in­volve item­iz­ing to-do lists on web­sites you can never re­mem­ber the pass­words for but, con­versely, go­ing ana­logue: ex­treme pa­per diaries are in, en­cour­ag­ing hours of writ­ing down tasks and thoughts on pa­per, later to be dec­o­rated with gel pens.

So far, so teenage di­ary. But with 4.9 mil­lion posts tagged #plan­ner­ad­dict on In­sta­gram, and thousands of peo­ple at­tend­ing mee­tups to share their di­ary-based en­thu­si­asm across the world ev­ery year, the move­ment is back with a (sparkly) vengeance.

There are dif­fer­ences, of course, from those of old: the mod­ern plan­ner is less a Filo­fax bulging with scrib­bled notes than an il­lu­mi­nated man­u­script where you keep a note of ap­point­ments, as well as track­ing how much wa­ter you drink and how you slept. The most cov­eted diaries on the mar­ket can cost hun­dreds of dol­lars. Add to that hav­ing to buy all the var­i­ous stick­ers and spe­cial pens ev­ery month, and get­ting or­ga­nized can be a costly habit.

Gemma Silk has been us­ing a sys­tem of two pa­per diaries for a cou­ple of years — one is for her home life, and the other to man­age her health. She sees each “spread” (two fac­ing pages to you and me) as a cre­ative out­let, and spends even­ings dec­o­rat­ing them with cal­lig­ra­phy, stick­ers and other doo­dles.

“The sense of be­ing dis­or­ga­nized felt aw­ful,” the 28-year-old says of her first foray into ex­treme di­ariz­ing, which be­gan when she be­came ill with fi­bromyal­gia. “So I went on­line and watched Youtube videos and bought my first plan­ner.”

She quickly got sucked in and even started a busi­ness, Gemma Rose Crafts, where she makes and sells di­ary charms for other ob­ses­sives. For Christ­mas she asked her hus­band for a Hobonichi, a Ja­panese min­i­mal­ist brand whose diaries can cost hun­dreds of dol­lars.

Emily Nor­ris is a par­ent­ing vlog­ger.

“As soon as I had three chil­dren I re­al­ized that if I don’t write some­thing down, I for­get it,” she says. “I also try to eat two veg­e­tar­ian meals a week, so I track that, or how of­ten my son plays foot­ball.” Af­ter get­ting re­quests from fans about how she kept her­self or­ga­nized she started sell­ing a di­ary through her web­site last year, which sold about 3,000 copies. She re­leased an­other one for 2020, and says sales are go­ing well.

For the hard­core di­ary-keeper is the Bul­let Jour­nal method, where a plain note­book is painstak­ingly crafted into a place that stores ev­ery­thing: den­tist ap­point­ments along with your deep­est feel­ings. It takes hours of prepa­ra­tion: ev­ery page needs to be num­bered, then an in­dex page drawn up, be­fore each day of the year is marked out with a ruler and pen.

From there, ap­point­ments, todo lists and notes are each jot­ted down with a va­ri­ety of sym­bols that are them­selves or­ga­nized into a key.

It is as time-con­sum­ing as it sounds, but beloved by those who want full cre­ative con­trol. Some­what sur­pris­ingly, there a lot of them: In­sta­gram has some 3.7 mil­lion posts tagged #Bujo.

Ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing notes on your thoughts and emo­tions, must be kept in brief bul­let points. On their web­site, they sug­gest short­en­ing “I was feel­ing pretty good even though I was a lit­tle late” to “Felt more re­laxed when I ar­rived.”

This ap­proach can ap­par­ently help to de­clut­ter your brain as well as your life, and is de­scribed by many as a way to “Marie Kondo your mind.”

The Sun­day Tele­graph

GETTY IMAGES/IS­TOCK­PHOTO

Diaries are back in a big way, and de­voted users are spend­ing hours writ­ing down their tasks and how they’re feel­ing.

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