By on March 29, 2011


Except for the year 2007, I kept all my planners for the last 5 years. The 2007 planner is missing in the above photo because I only kept scraps of it. Now I find it hard to put context to each random scribble that’s why I decided to keep every page of my future planners intact even if there are uneventful weeks or embarrassing memories.

I think that collecting planners is a vanishing hobby in the face of recent technological advances. Most people would probably have their things-to-do in their desktops, PDAs and phones by now. I however, still chose to write my goals by hand, which is a surprising preference for a paperless advocate like myself. I also happen to have a bad history of losing mobile phones so it may take me awhile before I would be put my schedule in a smart gadget anytime soon.

While there are still those who embrace challenges as the day unfolds. Yes, I also welcome uncertainty because there there are things that are beyond my control such as the weather, traffic jams and my appetite. But most of the time, I would rather write my vaguest plans at the back of an invoice rather than put everything to chance and good fortune.

I also gave up saving stickers for coffeeshop planners where everyone else was catching up on the trend. Since 2009, I bought the generic ones from National Bookstore, which was also cheaper than your usual coffee latte. So you could just imagine my surprise when at the start of 2011, I got 3 more planners from my friends: Our COUNTRY is in my planner by Team Pinoy, My Awesome Lifebook by Anton Diaz and the remaining one is from an electronics supplier.

2011 planners

Many thanks indeed to LM and Adelle for the Our Country is in my planner, the NCR Labs-Cebu team for the My Awesome Lifebook and Athena for the AVNET planner.

The concepts behind the first two are noteworthy by the way. The Team Pinoy planner advocates patriotism and empowered citizenship while Anton Diaz’s planner pushes local tourism and adventure. Initiatives like these would definitely raise the local planner business up a notch. It is not a matter of stickers and patronage but also of concepts and differentiation that would continually redefine the game.

But the bottomline that I would like to underscore is just goal setting. It doesn’t matter if it is written on a traditional medium or take an electronic form or only exist in your most trusted set of neurons in your head, as long as the discipline is there. This exercise would help you define why you wake up every morning and how each of those mornings would bring you closer to your goals.


The last sentence is brilliantly captured in a question posed by an instant coffee commercial: “Para Kanino Ka Bumabangon (For Whom Would You Wake Up)?” Aside from encouraging us to drink their brand every morning, I think that it also begs us to reexamine our our weekly work deliverables, monthly payables and annual travel bucketlists and see how these would become part of even something bigger than ourselves. If seen in that light, then all our plans for 2011 would no longer be just for our own satisfaction, survival and enrichment.

I do know for Whom would I wake up every morning. It is not anymore for the alarm clock, the scent of breakfast or out of habit. I also recognize that I can fill up my planner from cover to cover, but apart from God’s will, everything would be in vain. It was never in my hands in the first place. But I do hope that at the very least, 2011 would bring in so much surprise, promise, and meaning to me and all my blog readers as well.

How about you, what planner are you currently using?

  1. Reply


    March 30, 2011

    You're not alone in this quest, Bren. lol! I started having a journal since Grade 4 (as a project). I got hooked into it so I continued till now (though I did miss a couple of years in between). It is fun to read what I did that same day last year,2000, etc. I also got a couple of Starbucks planner but I opted to also stop using. Before one page per day, now I think 2 or 3 days in a page. I find it restricting me to write since I scribble a lot. lol. Like you, I got the NBS journal with a-page-a-day-type. ^_^ apir! naa pa diay ko kauban ani. lol

  2. Reply


    March 30, 2011

    Hi Bee, welcome to Baktin Corporation!

    Grabe ha. You started as early as Grade 4 pa! 🙂 I started journaling during my college years na.

    But I am relieved and glad to know that I am in good company. Keep on writing!

  3. Reply


    March 31, 2011

    no choice 'cause it was a project. lol! Yeah we'll keep on writing. Oh! by the way, have you tried using Moleskin? They use acid free paper to better preserve your journal. I tried using once but I find it expensive. lol

  4. Reply


    March 31, 2011

    Yes. They do cost a fortune. But thank you for the idea Bee. I'll try and start saving for one as my next journal.

    Did you have a 'slumbook phase' when you were still in gradeschool? hehehe.

  5. Reply


    April 1, 2011

    Try Moleskine, Bren. I love writing in their paper. ^_^

    Had the "slumbook/autograph phase" when I was in high school. What is love? Who is your crush? Most unforgettable moment, etc. Haha! If I want a trip down memory lane, aside from my journals, I read my slumbooks. The entries are hilarious but very innocent and pure.

  6. Reply


    April 1, 2011

    I especially like how some would write in the dedication portion: "I do hope you won't change" or something to that effect. Haha!

    But I miss those times. No one 'writes' anymore on paper these days.

    Nyaks, makapalit pa lang ko ug Moleskine ani ba. Grabe ka Bee manintal. 🙂

  7. Reply


    April 2, 2011

    Temptress diay ang show? lol!

    btw. I just like to write so it will be worth it considering Moleskine is a bit expensive. haha!

    I have another Moleskine just for my Travel Journal. That's the reason why I don't blog that much about travels.

    Disclaimer: I am not paid to promote Moleskine hapz. whahah!


Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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