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  • Why I use a mid year diary

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    I've been using a mid year diary for many years, and these Rifle Paper Co planners sell well every year so I know that many others do too. I don't use one to plan my social life (I have a small handbag diary), and am definitely not a major long-term goal setter, but I've found it really useful to use one for my business. Here's a couple of reasons why I've found the mid year diary habit a useful tool for Papermash.

    academic year planner

    {Above: Rifle Paper Co lively floral planner.}

    It's easy to understand why people follow the academic year pattern simply because it's something they've been used to since school, and even more so if they work in an educational environment. However, I've had lots of finance jobs (I'm an accountant) and have been used to working in large corporate environments with financial years which end in September. I always associate September / October with new starts and initiatives - the perfect time for back to school stationery! When I'm already planning a budget based on the fiscal year 2017/2018, it's easy to associate myself with 2018 when we're still in 2017. Occasionally I've even signed a cheque with the wrong year!

    Rifle Paper Co 2018 planner

    {Above: Rifle Paper Co floral foil planner.}

    I like to use a Rifle Paper Co mid year diary to plan my social and press content.  I'm not a brilliant advance planner for anything else (my Myers Briggs profile can attest to that! - borderline INT but extremely P, in case you're interested!) so I find it works well to have a diary which easily forces me to think a little further ahead and think outside the calendar year. It's easy in the rush from July onwards to concentrate all my efforts on Christmas,a predictably busy time of the year, and then find come December that I've made no effort whatsoever to secure any press for January to March. I can't always pull it off at the last minute as many magazines work at least 3 months ahead. I find that a diary which runs from August onwards prompts me to think about these key periods just at the period I could be completely consumed with planning for Christmas, even though January can be one of my busiest months of the year!

    mid year diary

    {Above: Rifle Paper Co herb garden planner.}

    These Rifle Paper Co 2017 2018 planners also help me to follow up Christmas contacts in the following year.  I can make notes in the latter half of 2017 as to when journalists usually style their Christmas shoots and shopping pages (there's a wide variety depending on the magazine) and as the diary is for 17 months (from August 2017 - December 2018) I can add a note in the same month in 2018 to remind me to contact key people at the right time so it's neither too early or too late. It does take a little juggling as I start a new diary each August (I don't massively see the benefit of a 17 month diary apart from the reason above) but I just concentrate on copying those key contacts over. As I have had these diaries since May I can still plan way in advance and there isn't too much overlap.

    Of course you don't need a paper diary to plan ahead further than the end of the year but it works for me.

    If you have a specific reason for using a mid-year or academic year diary, and it's not because of schoolday habits, I'd love to know why! And if you are a person who has a five year plan (a totally foreign concept to me) I'd love to know if that has helped you push your dreams forward?

    All the 2017 2018 diaries above are available here. I have some other notepads and planners I use to manage my business on a weekly basis (some digital tools too), which I'll share another time! I'll have to plan that into my diary ;)

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    Why should I buy a Rifle Paper Co planner?

    1. The quality is excellent. One of the reasons I stock a wide range of Rifle Paper Co products is that their quality is consistently good. In the 7 or so years I've been stocking their products, I've had to return at most 1 or 2 items. With an online shop, quality is particularly important as you can't see the item in real life. With Rifle Paper Co I don't have any concerns - I can stock something without seeing a sample and know the paper quality, for example, will be good.

    2. You're a planner addict and you'll appreciate and cherish it! Some friends were looking at my website recently and they couldn't believe how expensive a planner is. These people are not my target customer! Our planners are comparable or not much more expensive than other designer brands such as Kate Spade if you work out the price-per-use (one of my favourite excuses in life!)

    3. You're a stationery lover and you appreciate the finer details! Here's some of our favourites:

    - All of the planners have a spiral binding (the smaller ones have an outside covered binding) so they lie flat.

    - They have a little pocket in the back with a ruler feature, handy for storing receipts.

    - Each week has an inspirational quote. This is my absolutely favourite feature. Here's a sample of a few you'll find inside:

    "Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul." - Henry Ward Beecher

    "Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely." - Auguste Rodin

    "A book gives knowledge, but it is life that gives understanding." - Hebrew proverb.

    Why shouldn't I buy a Rifle Paper Co planner?

    1. You're fussy about UK bank holidays. Rifle Paper Co is a US brand, so it lists US bank holidays only. I think we only have a few bank holidays that are UK-specific so I'm able to keep track but you might want to write these in.

    2. You want to fit it in your handbag. For organising my own social life, I use a slim handbag diary. These planners are a little chunky -  the spine on the standard planners is approx. 30cm. I don't want to carry it around all day.

    3. You won't use a 17-month planner. I've explained above how I use a 17-month diary for my business but I have to admit I don't totally see the point of it for everyone - you might be better waiting for the Rifle 12-month diary which follows a normal calendar year.

  • Five years and some things I’ve learned

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    This month I celebrated my 5 year anniversary at Papermash, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the last five years. 

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