International paper people: an interview with Laurie Huff

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Laurie BudapestWe’re an international company, which is why we’re particularly pleased to have fans and readers from around the world, too. Today, we kick off a new feature to highlight a few of those people, starting with Laurie Huff of Plannerisms, an American who’s lived in a bunch of different places in Asia and Europe.

Introduce yourself! Where are you from and where do you live now?

Hi! Thanks for inviting me to participate in this interview! My name is Laurie and I write about planners of all kinds on I grew up in Indiana (Go Hoosiers!) and have lived in various places in the US including Washington DC, Virginia, Colorado, Alaska and Hawaii and in several different countries: Nepal, Russia, Albania, Indonesia, and Scotland which is where I’m currently living.

What’s cool about where you live?

Of all the places I’ve lived, Scotland is easily my favorite. My family and I came here for nearly 10 years on vacations and holidays before we moved here. Scotland is an outdoor paradise: there are mountains, rivers, forests and seasides and it’s all easily accessible. It never gets hot and never gets very cold either, so as long as you’re prepared for some rain (and maybe midges) it’s comfortable to be outside year round. If you like outdoor sports you can climb, kayak, mountain bike, camp and see loads of wildlife. My favorite thing to do is to walk through the cool forests and watch the birds and deer.

The food here is excellent: meat, dairy, and local produce are all delicious. There are castles everywhere, and amazing history. There’s tons to see and do here!

And, I’ve found people here to be very friendly and happy to chat. I’ve felt very welcome here.

What got you hooked on planners?

Oh boy, good question! There are a couple of specific planners that got me started on my lifelong planner obsession. When I was working in Hawaii, a friend of mine introduced me to the exciting world of ring-bound planners. I got a Cambridge 6-ring personal size binder and loved it. You can read all about that obsession’s origin in my post about it here.

My love of planners reached a whole new level when I discovered my sister’s Quo Vadis Textagenda planner. I had to have one! I was immediately addicted to the super-smooth paper and daily format. You can read all about that here and see my current Textagenda collection here.

For many years I went back and forth between ring-binder systems and bound planners. A few years ago I started my blog in an effort to sort out my planner needs and hopefully to help others do the same. It’s been a wonderful journey!

Is there anything specific about your local planner culture? (Are the Scots generally organized folk?)

Scots seem to be pretty laid-back, which is nice, and they love paper planners! I see a lot of Filofaxes, and I have noticed that many people combine them with using a bound planner for planning and the Filofax for notes and reference. Some people use their phones, but I’m happy to see that paper planners still have a lot of users here.

What do you like to do when you’re not planning?

When I’m not planning, or reading or writing about planners, I get outside as much as possible. I love being able to walk out my door and be in nature. My family and I love to go for walks in the forests and along the river near where we live. I also enjoy driving my kids to their multitude of activities, watching movies with my family, reading about science (my degrees are in biology and paleontology), and traveling.

You’ve lived in so many different countries — what’s the weirdest thing that ever happened to you?

This one took some serious thought! I’ve been in so many weird and surreal situations. One very memorable moment was riding a yak in Tibet when it decided to try to gore the yak in front of us! One of those “How did I get in this situation?” moments. (By the way, yaks are much smaller than I expected them to be!)

But the weirdness prize goes to this experience: Hurtling down a mountainside in Nepal in an over-crowded public bus, the driver going as fast as possible around hairpin turns with thousand foot unbarricaded drop-offs, Hindi music blaring from the speakers at deafening volume, chickens in baskets clucking above my head, the goat standing in the aisle next to me with nowhere to put his head except in my lap, with motion-sick fellow travellers puking on my unfortunate husband’s feet next to me. Definitely a bizarre experience!

What’s your current planner set-up?

Anyone who has read my blog knows I love to try different planner set-ups. Even when something is working well for me, I can’t resist trying something new!

For the past couple of years I’ve been using a weekly planner along with a day per page planner with lots of success. This gives me the ability to plan ahead easily (in the weekly) and record lots of details each day (in the daily).
This year my weekly planner is my Plannerisms planner, which I designed as My Ideal Planner. It has space for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual goals, monthly planning calendars, and a weekly layout with space for lists and notes. You can see more information about it here. ( )

I switch around my day per page planners a lot in an effort to find the perfect balance between a large page size for lots of writing space and a book that’s small enough to carry with me everywhere. For most of this year I’ve been using a large (6 by 8 ¼ inches) day per page planner, which is great for planning and journaling each day, but I don’t always want to carry it with me everywhere due to its size and weight. I think in August I will switch back to a Textagenda for planning and recording each day in a more portable book, and use my large Quo Vadis Habana notebook for journaling.

The 2014 Plannerisms planners are currently in production, but that doesn’t stop me from seeking out new planner formats to try! I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and planner uses.

Thanks again for this opportunity to chat about my favorite things: my family, Scotland and planners!

10 thoughts on “International paper people: an interview with Laurie Huff

  1. I have appreciate Laurie’s precise and detailed reviews, expertise, suggestions for improvements and enthusiasm over the years. Her blog is the gold standard for all things planners and organizers.

  2. I’ve been reading Plannerisms for several years so I enjoyed this interview – thank you to quovadisblog! And thank you, Laurie, for introducing me to so many new planners! (Although my budget may have suffered a bit.) I’m looking forward to the 2014 Plannerisms planner, which I will use with my Quo Vadis Notor. That’s nearly Planner Nirvana!

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