Daytimers have been a force of good in my life and I want to convince you to go out and get one for yourself, because a well-tended daytimer has a transformative power that I haven’t been able to find in any software.

Single-day desk calendars that you rip off each day feel like a reminder of wasted time, whereas a daytimer gets thicker with a life lived, and it serves as a trip down memory lane when you feel like reliving that year again.

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I try to my make to-do lists and short and simple as possible, but there is something to be said for operating purely out of lists. Enter: the Bullet Journal. It eschews traditional monthly and weekly calendar layouts and it could be the organization system you never knew you needed.

To-do list, diary, planner – my daytimer has become all three and more. A practice that I learned from Passion Planner was setting out a section for writing ‘Good Things That Happened’ which transforms your planner into a sort of good-memory diary. It sounds cheesy to ‘practice gratitude’ but I have found it to be a really positive habit-forming exercise.

Most importantly though, my daytimer isn’t just about keeping track of my life, it’s about having hope for the future. Kind of like that optimistic buzz you feel at New Years, but I try to foster it all year round. Setting goals and then making a battle-plan to make them happen is more effective than wishing for something, and seeing a goal coming from a long ways off forces me to make milestones. Maybe it’s to pay down your debt, go hiking more, or finally accomplish that creative magnum opus you’ve been putting off. ‘Write a book’ becomes a much more attainable goal when you break into down into 200 words a day that you block out time for.

If you’re looking to get started check out Passion Planner’s tips page which you could apply to any daytimer or notebook. I recommend using nice pens, stickers, colourful post-its, washi tape, and sketches to transform your daytimer of choice into something personalized that you enjoy looking at.

If you keep it up, you’ll find it not only makes you a more efficient, less-forgetful person but also you’ll have a record of everything fun/impressive/memorable that you accomplished for that entire year.