How do you do diary?

My love of a diary goes waaaay back. When I started highschool and we were given our own diary I was quite beside myself with it all. The week, laid out, 7 to a page, ready for my best pen and highlighter action. There was a method to the way I wrote my birthdays in it, social occasions, school assignments, and even down to secret symbols for when I got my period. At uni I moved onto a bigger diary, but the same process. I’m a visual person, I need to see and flick through pages, and of course have a look back through the year at what I have done.

Calendars are the same – I need to see one on the wall with birthdays and occasions on it. Tell me a better job at the start of the year then filling out a diary with birthdays in a fresh, new pen. Go on. Try! When I worked I was the same with my diary action, but when I left work, somehow things all turned to shit. I tried to use my calendar on my phone and put alerts and alarms on EVERYTHING. This was problematic because I just didn’t look at it each day to see what I had on. Or the alert would go off and I would miss it. This was not for me. I tried lists, and calendars but they were never with me when I was on the go. Also not working for me.

Currently I am working a 3 point system. It’s a little haphazard and definitely has loopholes, but it’s getting better. I’m missing less.

1. A Daily planner/to do list (purchased from Kikki K)


My friend KP got me onto these. I don’t fill one out every day, but if I am feeling overwhelmed this is a good place to start. Write it down. Get it in order. I split it out from what has to be done today/this week and then create another list down the bottom that is stuff that has to be done, but not right now. I have been known to write something down I have done just so I can cross that bastard off. Makes you feel like you have done SOMETHING. Try it!

2. Wall white board decal calendar (purchased from Simple Shapes)


This has been a great wall calendar for us that we have used for the past 3 years. Just wipe off each month and start again. I would get a bigger one if I could, because the space can be quite small, but I do like to see a month in one shot – especially when it comes to weekends and visitors coming etc.

3. 7 day to a page diary (purchased from local newsagent)


I recently decided that the phone was not enough. I needed to SEE a diary, just like I have known and loved all through the years. And in doing so I have turned into my mother. This is what she has used her ENTIRE mothering career, and it works! I can see the week on a page, I can flick it in and Rob can 100% count on it to be true of what we are doing. I have even started to colour code and bring back a little of the year 8 Beth that still loves a good highlighter.


So tell me, how do YOU do diary?
Are you a visual wall calendar or family planner type person?
Or is electronic the ONLY way to go?


  1. I’m a calendar girl – the family planner type. And I carry a notebook around for scribbling things down that I can then transfer onto the planner when get home. I don’t use a mobile phone at all – dislike them with a passion! x

    • Gail Virgona says

      Hi A little bit country – can I clarify – you don’t use a mobile phone at all at all? Or at all as a diary. I am in awe. Wish I could be the same but my life is ruled by my phone. Never leave home without it. Sad but necessary in my line of work. Gail

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says


  2. I’m an electronic diary gal, and at present use my work calendar for everything….however that is going to have to change and I’m thinking of embracing the old school paper diary again.

    I agree there is NOTHING better than filling that new sucker out at the beginning of the year. Such sweet satisfaction, until of course you make a spelling mistake! x

  3. Definitely a calender girl – have it above my desk. My friends and family are amazed how I remember birthdays, anniversaries etc. Quite simple really – just update a new beautiful calendar every year. A friend has just given me a “Perpetual Everlasting Calendar” for birthdays etc.Haven’t filled it yet as wondering how I am going to put ages – maybe a date of birth? As I live away it is lovely to call (or email) for specials days and catch up. I don’t use a mobile phone either.

  4. Gail Virgona says

    Oh I am SUCH a diary girl. Electronic not the same. I have had the same leather bound diary for 10 years and I buy the refills from Officeworks every year. Highway robbery what they charge for a refill but that’s another post. Yes yes yes had the high school diary with symbols and systems. Red drop for my period so not very secretive looking back. Now I am a diary and fridge calendar girl. Use phone for reminders but not really for diary stuff. I miss too much that way. I like to see it all laid out in front of my. Diary is for my benefit and fridge calendar is so the whole family can see it. We also have an entire wall painted in magnetic blackboard paint so I write notes and reminders on that as well. Every few weeks I call a ‘diary sync’ in the house and my house and I sit down to go through diaries for the next few weeks. Starting to sound a tad OCD at this point. Better stop. But yes, I love myself a diary.

  5. Yeah, yep…love a diary in all its papery goodness. Could be all those years involved in the print industry and the smell of ink?

    Whatever, they work and I am so glad you have ‘found’ yourself again lady xXx KP

  6. Bree Di Mattina says

    I do love a diary but I am slowly converting to electronic. You see cause it bings at you when you need to do something.

  7. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I don’t do a diary but i am a list person i write shopping lists and put due dates of things on the calender and if i really need to do something i use sticky notes as well.

  8. Judi McCowen says

    I don’t have mobile coverage where I live so no electronic for me. Same as you Beth, I have a 7 day to a page diary and I find it the best way to keep organised. Plus I can easily flick back to find phonecalls and appointments.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Yes! And you can whack your bills in the relevant week when they are due so you can plan/not miss them!

  9. Im feeling like a comment slurry of late on your blog. Hope you dont mind..ha ha…You would think I would have a diary being a teacher and all. Each year with my new teaching planner in tow I would pledge I would use it better in that particular year. I always filled out a good months worth being all organised and eager at the start and then always came back to writing lists, lists and more lists. My last 3 teaching planners are mostly empty except for the roll and HW ticks in the back. I did have a calendar up until last month. Hugh liked the animal pics on it and it has been pulled apart. I think half of it is in the books basket. That worked well! So now I use my I phone for the odd hair or docs app and if and when I remember to put stuff in, which I should do more as I have forgotten a few things of late. Lucky I dont do much!! Totally agree with the pen thing. It totally makes you want to write stuff down and be organised.

  10. I tried electronic and just didn’t like it so went back to my 7 days to a page diary. I also have a wall calendar so the rest of the family can see what is going on.

  11. Alicia Shrimpton says

    Oh the power of the pen! I love to write and see it written – of course perfectly written so I can read it! I tried phone calander…still trying but it just doesn’t do it for me. This year I seem to have become side tracked and so my need to buy a diary for 2014 hit a few days ago so i am all prepared and ready. I cant stand not knowing what I am missing and whats not getting done.

  12. pixelhazard says

    How strange is this…I just drafted a post with almost identical starting sentence but mines about my top diary pics for 2014. I need at least a week to view planner and a month to view wall calender so we can share all our family plans.

    X Pixelhazard Little Bright Green |

  13. Vange Asuncion Langford says

    Switched to electronic when I discovered the “repeat” function in outlook so I never had to put birthdays in again! But I too got my first diary in school and I loved how grownup and organized it seemed. My Work and personal e diaries sync so everything is upto date and I can “invite” hubby to an appointment if he needs to be there too like kids’ doc appointments. But I’m now on mat leave & I find a desk diary works for me so I can see everything without turning on the computer but same info is reenetered into my phone so iPad & hubby’s work diary is upto date too! I’ve just been writing weekly and monthly “to dos” on the desk diary (monthly from kikki k too) so I know what are the jobs that need doing otherwise I feel like I’m wandering aimlessly.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      It’s funny isn’t it how when we are away from an office environment we need to go back to paper…and that’s like what you said – easier than having to turn on the computer.

  14. Oh, now you are talking my language! I LURVE a diary, but not on my phone for heavens sake! I like a 7 to a double page, with a monthly to do page. I’d love a weekly to do page as well but I cannot find one (yet) that accommodates this. I sometimes highlight (in yellow only, although I did used to have different colour highlighters for different things) and there is nothing wrong with a Ta-Da list as well as a To-Do list! I’ve got to have a calendar on the wall, and thankfully the school provides one with all of the important school dates on it, so this works well.

  15. Sew Brunswick says

    I have a two stage diary system. A KK 7 day planner in front on both my work and home computers AND my phone calendar which links my work and personal email accounts. My husband and I communicate via Outlook. We book each other in! I need reminders and alerts. The planner in front of the computers is for notes, shopping lists and to-do lists. Works a treat!

  16. Em Rathbone says

    I’ve gone old school and bought a Filofax, she’s amazing and having my life planned out on paper makes me feel so much calmer and happier (also she’s a sexy little beast in fluoro orange!!)

  17. I can’t do diaries/planners on paper (but i love looking at them…have to stop myself from buying…especially Kikki K)…but I can only do to-do lists on paper…go figure! 🙂

  18. MotherDownUnder says

    I love my computer and phone for everything except my diary…I need a real calendar. Kikki K is my go to…for 2014 I am thinking I need to upgrade from a week per page to a day per page…I am too busy!

  19. Anita Holmes says

    I adore diaries and calendars. Every year I get new ones, buy new textas and stickers and start breaking her in. *sigh* Happiness ;0)

  20. I’m a digital diary person. I love the calendars on my iPhone and iPad and being able to link them with iCloud. I set most of my alerts for 7am so I can get my head around the day. And, I’m about to buy an iMac so I’ll be totally in sync! Being able to set birthdays to repeat for ever is fabulous!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      That’s a good idea…they all come in at the same time on your phone. I might try that one, thanks Elizabeth!

  21. I love the IDEA of a physical diary and it served me well at school. But once study was behind me I tended to rely on memory (scary, but true) and that worked well till I had children. Sleep deprivation left me with a memory like a sieve, so I started to rely on my phone calendar. I set two alerts per item – one the day before and one a couple of hours before. So far, I haven’t missed anything accidentally 😉

  22. Every year I tell myself I am going to do the diary thing. I buy lovely looking ones… never happens. …. my phone seems to be the thing that works

  23. Sarah-Jane Sheridan says

    Every year I purchase a Womens Health diary. It’s left open on my bench on home days and popped it into my bag when heading out the door. The calendar is on the inside of the pantry cupboard with almost the same things added to it as the diary.
    I also use a notepad to write down the day’s ‘to do list’
    I can’t do digital, like you I need it all in front of me.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      I have a calendar on my pantry door too – a Donna Hay one that is purely for looking at the delicious food.

  24. I LOVE a diary – a real one with pages. (And I love how we ALL love stationery here!) I tried a wall calendar last year because my husband bemoaned about not knowing what we were all up to, but after seeing he looked at it ZERO times (it was beautifully colour-coded Kikki K Family Planner), I gave it a miss and went back to my take-anywhere-can’t-live-without-my-diary dary. I use a Milestone Press “The Master Plan”, and will never EVER go back. A place for meal planning, birthdays/anniversaries, notes, to do list, and special place for each member of the family. Discovered by my dear friend who bought me one three years ago. Really, you would LOVE it! Great post. Funny how a post like this is so popular? Just goes to show it’s all about the little things! x

  25. I always make lists when I am feeling overwhelmed and yes, I have been know to write things down once I have done them, just so I can cross them off. That’s how crazy I can get…lol.

  26. Can NOT do electronic. For all the reasons you listed.

    Also, I totally write shit down on the list AFTER I’ve done it. Sometimes you just need to cross a thing off. Just one thing.

  27. Leila Minter says

    Try the Avon wall calendars, great for husbands. Each month has 5 columns, one for each member of the family and one for bills maybe? Great for managing everyone’s social lives and not over committing one’s self. And no, I don’t sell Avon, Mum buys me one every year for Xmas 🙂


  1. […] might remember that a while ago I wrote a post on how I do my diary and to-do list around these parts. Well I mostly stick to that, but I have […]

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