One Book… All Year?!

by Jason Alterskye

June 2017

Hello fellow Planners!

I contacted Carie in late May to ask her if I could include this article in her June edition as I know you will all be gearing up for the annual fun fest that is “One Book July.”

As per my undoubtedly controversial header, I am a staunch believer in “less is more” in most aspects of my life – except when it comes to money, then more is definitely more!

I’m a fairly recent convert to the planning community but I did purchase my first Filofax back in the early 1990’s, so I have used planners on and off for the better part of 25 years in my personal and business capacity.

I realise that by now I’ve probably lost 80% of you reading this as the majority of planners and readers of this e-magazine are predominately women and a large part of the appeal of Journaling and Planning for you is the aesthetic aspect – whereas I am very much a right brain individual, seeing everything in black and white.

I have been following many vloggers for the past few years and am always amused by how the (in)famous 1BJ (One book July) is like a roller coaster – much excitement building up from April through to apprehension by late May and then mild panic by the 30 June …….“Can I actually commit to using ONE book for a WHOLE month??!!” “Are you kidding me??!!”

Sadly I see that a fair few people then feel disappointed with themselves by mid-July as they have either had to give it up or will force themselves to suffer and see out the month and then tear off back to the warm embrace of their X number of other Planner and Journals.

I also notice a trend towards flexibly – allowing yourselves to have more than one book – surely this is defeating the object though? HOWEVER I will caveat that by saying I feel it’s fair to allow yourself one book for business and one for personal use – that way the corporate you and the personal you can each stay true to yourselves and not feel a failure!

Y’all keeping up at the back?

So to get to the point of my article – better late than never – I am blessed being (a) a male and (b) an accountant so I have no real personality and am able to happily look at a book with ivory paper and one or two ink colours and NO decoration and feel contented.

I have tended to bounce between 1 and up to 3 books in the past, having one for personal use, one for business and one because well the leather cover /colour /general all-round design of the thing made it a “have to have”, so I understand the compunction to have /use more than one book at a time.

However like most things in life, discipline and moderation are key.

Those of you who watch sports will notice that the NFL/ NBA/ NHL coach or Nascar engineer clutch to one book that’s stuffed full of important notes, but just ONE book, not two, not 500.

There must be a reason for that surely? J

I personally have used a single book with great success for both my personal and business life for the past two years now and have found by having trimmed down to that one very important but single book, I have become far more focussed and organised in my personal and business life.

Those of you whose skin is crawling at the sheer gall of my article – this will be the final straw – this book that I rate so highly, is no fancy leather bound tome with bespoke inserts but a cheap, run of the mill, ordinarily diary, yes a 2017 diary!

It does have a lovely teal cover and nice thick ivory coloured paper – but other than the usual dated pages it has the following which are non-negotiable for me when purchasing the annual diary –

Three calendars: last, current and next year,

A notes section,

A telephone diary cus sometimes your phone is flat!

Most important of all – a pouch for storing important papers

Now in order to leave you on a cliff-hanger I will end this essay now – in the next edition I will explain how I use this magical diary,

Keep dreaming Planner people!


Jason Alterskye is a tax accountant working for one of the Big 4 accounting firms who is an avid reader of Planner related material in that constant, never ending quest to become ever more efficient and organised. He lives and works in the United Kingdom after having spent the first part of his life in South Africa.

His twitter handle is @jasonalterskye and he currently has 44 followers – probably his mother and 43 of her friends. You can also find Jason on LinkedIn.

6 thoughts on “One Book… All Year?!

  • June 17, 2017 at 9:28 PM
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    Hi Jason. Great article – love your writing. Very impresses that you are a TAX accountant – a special sort, indeed. I am female and definitely not an accountant but I also use 1 traveler’s notebook for my personal stuff and a Leuchtturm for work (mostly a glorified to do list). So, I totally get 1 book. Now, I do own a variety of sizes of TNs, but struggle sometimes to find a use for them. But, well, I just love the darn things. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts and your humor and know that you’re not alone!

    Reply
  • June 17, 2017 at 9:30 PM
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    Hi Jason. Great article – love your writing. Very impressed that you are a TAX accountant – a special sort, indeed. I am female and definitely not an accountant but I also use 1 traveler’s notebook for my personal stuff and a Leuchtturm for work (mostly a glorified to do list). So, I totally get 1 book. Now, I do own a variety of sizes of TNs, but struggle sometimes to find a use for them. But, well, I just love the darn things. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts and your humor and know that you’re not alone!

    Reply
    • June 19, 2017 at 4:34 AM
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      Hey Beth, thanks for the kind words, nice to feel appreciated 🙂

      When i read “Leuchtturn” i immediately thought “Lectern (noun)” and had a visual image of you walking around with a wooden pulpit styled prop strapped to back! However i googled the word (other search engines are available) and Lo! i found the Leuchtturn you refer to (the naming of which does sound like a horrific mashup of a Germanic Leprecheum).

      I recognized this book you refer to, its very good, i did seriously consider buying one for 2017, i think from memory the only reason that i didn’t was that it had multiple days to a page? I have to have a day to a page which i appreciate for some people esp women makes it probably a little too bulky esp in A5 size but for me, who has big, untidy writing i need more space. Those TN’s are good, i bought one and i can see the appeal but for me it just didn’t work… Anyway have a great week!

      Reply
    • June 19, 2017 at 4:34 AM
      Permalink

      Hey Beth, thanks for the kind words, nice to feel appreciated 🙂

      When i read “Leuchtturn” i immediately thought “Lectern (noun)” and had a visual image of you walking around with a wooden pulpit styled prop strapped to back! However i googled the word (other search engines are available) and Lo! i found the Leuchtturn you refer to (the naming of which does sound like a horrific mashup of a Germanic Leprechaun).

      I recognized this book you refer to, its very good, i did seriously consider buying one for 2017, i think from memory the only reason that i didn’t was that it had multiple days to a page? I have to have a day to a page which i appreciate for some people esp women makes it probably a little too bulky esp in A5 size but for me, who has big, untidy writing i need more space. Those TN’s are good, i bought one and i can see the appeal but for me it just didn’t work… Anyway have a great week!

      Reply
  • June 20, 2017 at 11:50 AM
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    Hey Jason!
    I’m in a kind of similar mindset. I work tech support, but I do enjoy “pretty planning” occasionally, just to make it a little bit more visually appealing than my strange handwriting. I currently use 2 books, but only 1 planner. I’m using a TN for both planning and journaling (personal for planning, narrow for journaling). My dilemma for this year’s 1BJ is the go big or go home aspect. I’ve been itching at the thought of combining my journal and planner into 1 book- B6slim. My fear though, is that I will absolutely adore only carrying one book, and will never delve back into my other sizes. So I currently have lists of pros and cons of switching, or staying the same. I’ve only ever used one book for planning, since I started my planning journey, though several covers and binders have made their way into my life- it’s always the same set up. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Reply
    • June 21, 2017 at 5:54 AM
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      Ok Cailyn, you can rest easy, The Doctor is in the house …….

      So you work in tech – i presume like 99% of your techie buddies you have a rucksack/ backpack to carry your laptop, power packs and a myriad other random bits of hardware, “just in case”? Am i right or am i right? 😉 Now i want you to throw away that “pros and cons” list – this isn’t an “adult decision” like which car or house to buy or changing jobs, this is one of those rare times in your life where you can make a purely emotive decision – go with your heart not your head. If you have the space -remember the rucksack – then you can carry that larger Planner/ TN around and YOU can combine the Journal and Planner into one folder…… In my short time reading posts here and elsewhere the common thread/ theme is “the tail wagging the dog” Too many people want to try this and want to try that – why don’t they just get on with it and DO IT! Your planner works for you not the other way around. If you have read the story behind the Filofax’s “raison d’être” you will see that the idea was to keep everything in one place, once you start splitting it all out into various books that’s when you ironically become less efficient and more likely to forget something as you’re working for the planner as opposed to the planner working for you! Now i’m going to get myself a glass of water cus believe it or not the south of England today is almost as hot as one of your balmy Floridian days. You have a nice day now…ps you’re welcome to keep beautifying your planner, that’s not my thing but hey, i’m not Stalin….. 🙂

      Reply

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