Planning Ahead for Success: Where Have All the Daily Diaries Gone?

One of the leitmotivs of this blog is productivity and organisational best practice, and our Creative Director & CSO has a particular thing for paper: in an era when most companies’ relationship with this material goes little further than exhibiting hundreds of sticky coloured notes on a wall, we at Mediolana feel that the value of the physical act of writing risks being lost in our eternally new, electronic and screen-defined consciousness.

Therefore, we take the procurement of personal organisers and diaries really seriously. But exhaustive recent research on this topic has left us contemplating a genuine puzzle: the global proclivity towards the production of weekly (or even monthly) organisational tools, as opposed to those with individual days as their main unit of focus. Indeed, for every daily planner being offered by manufacturers, there are seemingly one hundred or more which cover an entire seven days in just two pages.

On closer inspection, even some daily planners turn out to be nothing of the sort. Otherwise brilliant and award-winning organisational products treat weekends as time periods in which nothing much happens – and which need not be allotted the space accorded to a ‘working day’. Even many of those personal organisers which do actually stick to the not-particularly-radical format of one page per day seem to get overwhelmed by the concept and omit basic features (such as time delineations) which one would think it impossible to overlook.

So what exactly is going on the the world of diary production? Is the assumption that planning an entire twenty-four hour period is passé or implausible justified? Are people struggling to get anything much done to the extent that a short space for each day should be the norm? Or has everything just become an app?

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