Why I use a mid year diary

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

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

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

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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