I keep my planners forever. I know not everyone does; some people like the “out with the old, in with the new” policy and see their old planners as clutter to get rid of. But I like to keep mine for reference (sometimes I need to look up a past date or event) and as a record.
I journal daily, but that’s a different type of record. My planners show what I actually did. They don’t show my thoughts or my feelings, only my actions. And sometimes, my actions are more revealing than my written thoughts.
My planners show what was important to me at the time. They show how I spent my time, where I went and who I met. They also show what I didn’t do: crossed-out events, tasks unchecked.
I still have my Septanote from when I worked in a university chemistry lab and my Textagenda from graduate school. My most important planners, like the one I used the year my daughter was born, stay in a fireproof box.
Over the years my collection of planners has become my written history. It is factual and objective. There’s no angst, no wondering, no what-ifs. The record is stripped back to the facts of what actually happened. Sometimes when I look back on my actions in previous years, it’s easier to remember and think about them without having to look past the emotional content of my journal entries.
Do you keep past year’s planners?