Keeping Track of 2016

This is a conversation I have with myself every January while browsing the paper goods section of a store. (See here, 2012.) Maybe I should start a planner for 2016. That one would be perfect. Maybe I’ll keep it up this year. It’d be a good time capsule. I love looking at my planners. Such memories. Though, for the past few years, I can’t manage to maintain a planner.

Yup, every year. I haven’t kept a true planner since graduate school. It makes more sense for school because of all the assignments and exams and scheduling. I haven’t kept a hand-written diary in a few years. Everything is digital now. I have my outlook calendar for work and my google and apple calendars. Everything is linked to my phone. However, I miss the satisfaction of crossing off items on my to-do list, jotting down a to-do list, and flipping through pages to see what this year has brought. I’ve yet to find a satisfying app for a to-do list.


The iPhone calendar.

I didn’t realize the impermanent nature of digital calendars until I switched jobs last April. My work calendar of the previous 5 years was gone because I no longer had that email address. Meetings, days in the field, all of it vanished. It seems minor, but I like remembering what I did on a certain day in a particular year. It’s how my brain pieces together memories. Suddenly, a digital calendar seemed helpful, but not a reliable record of my life.

Naturally, I flipped through calendars and planners in all of the stationery sections of all of the stores as 2015 came to a close. I can’t help it. And then I found one that I adored. A weekly/monthly planner for 2016 with an aesthetic that spoke to me. I know planner addicts know what I mean.


This planner spoke to me.

What will I do with this planner? Good question. So far, I’m using it to jot down plans with friends, appointments, events, and to make a note about each day – such as “cooked dinner at home,” “xc skiing with friends,” “slept in,” “long run with the girls,” “trip to IKEA” or something mundane that I just want to record so I can remember how the days pass. That’s as important to my soul as the bigger events.


Good aesthetic, pink ribbon, perfect amount of space.

While we’re talking digital v. paper, running jumps into the conversation. I run with a Garmin, which records all of my runs and routes and distances, etc. It uploads nicely into the Garmin website and an iphone app, too. I love it. But, this year, I fell in love with the Believe journal designed by pro-runners for runners. Most runners love to obsess about training and mileage. I am one of them. There is something gratifying about writing down my workouts and goals and keeping track, tallying up results, and flipping through a beautiful book about running.


Running journal, I’ve been waiting for you.



Example of the running journal. 2016 goal: injury free and enjoy it!

Thus, this year, my goal is to use my planner and my running journal for the entire year. Maybe it’s a bit of duplication from my digital life, but it’s completely enjoyable.

How are you keeping track of 2016? How do you feel about long term digital life?

8 thoughts on “Keeping Track of 2016

  1. vamama46 says:

    I don’t have digital anything. A desktop computer and pens and calendars to make notes on, for daily activities; and I am lucky to do the jotting 🙂

  2. Lauren G says:

    I am a paper planner devotee – Moleskine weekly this year. Pencil only, too. I love to actually write stuff – appointments, plans, deadlines, to-do lists, etc. I utilize a post-it app on my phone for immediate appointments as a handy reminder, but that’s the only digital scheduling I use. Even the Outlook calendar at work is kind of an afterthought for me, since most things on there are not put there by me (even if I do have to go them). Welcome back to the paper planner club!

    • Kaitlin says:

      Interesting! So you don’t find that you have to use outlook at work? Or you only think about it at work? I have my work connected to my phone, so my work calendar is always there, which is quite useful.

      Paper planners — hopefully a habit I can keep up. I’m an avid journaler (though now digitally, not paper anymore) but something tangible (and not super private) will be nice to keep around if I can keep it up.

  3. Ron says:

    Levinger! I had too many things slip through the “not compatible” from one laptop to another and phone to phone that electronic is great if it works, but paper feels good and if I drop it in the toilet I don’t lose any data.
    I realized that I can look back to 1988 and my first Dayplanner and “remember” what I did when…hmm, now that I say it?

    • Kaitlin says:

      Ha, hopefully you don’t often have to worry about dropping a planner in the toilet! I also look at a calendar and remember what I did. Or it triggers some sort of memory. Good stuff.

  4. Susie says:

    It is definitely nice to flip back through the years and remember things when you have paper versions! I was all digital last year (iCal + Outlook) but I’m back to paper this year (actually a combo–Outlook at work and a combination of work and personal things to keep track of on paper). I like having both and some how, the paper feels so much more permanent.

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