12 April 2009


Happy Easter!

You may have noticed the lack of a Free-for-All Friday this past week. I've decided to make them only every other week, to cut down on the number of posts.

In other news, I've been mourning DayRunner lately. It was my 2nd organizer, after my first Filofax, and, even though I run a Filofax blog, DayRunner still has a special place in my heart.

I especially miss the Memo-ry page. A DayRunner is more structured than a Filofax but less pre-programmed than Franklin Covey, and the Memo-ry page is the fulcrum on which the system rests. An idea that's brilliant in its simplicity. It's a to-do list, idea list, and tickler all in one. You just write things down as they come to you, with or without assigning a priority or due date.

One of the ingenious ideas is the box at left, where you can number the memos. Then you can simply use that number to refer to the memo in other parts of the organizer, without having to rewrite the entire item. Something else I love: the tab for the Memo-ry section is at the top, not the right, so you can flip to it instantly.

The DayRunner pages use light gray to delineate lines, rather than harsh black and white, which makes it easy to overwrite boundaries you're not using.

Here's a history of DayRunner: http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Day-Runner-Inc-Company-History.html

Click the picture for a Flickr tour of a vintage DayRunner (8.5 x 11 size) that I found recently on Overstock.com.


  1. Thanks for sharing these photos - what a find! I have been experimenting with DIY forms for my Circa, and these DayRunner pages you show really appeal to me, from the Memo-ries (love it!) to the daily page, contacts, projects, and objectives pages. I went to Overstock, but did not see this exact organizer, so maybe you got the only one....

  2. Whew!! I was worried for a while there--thought DayRunner had gone out of business. But I found their website still up and the office supply store still has their products.

    I really like their Pro Series products. But could never work the Memo-Ry pages into my life, tho they do seem to be a good idea.

  3. Thanks, Claudia, I wish Overstock had more. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a stash of a couple hundred of these somewhere?

    If I use this organizer, I'll eventually need to replace pages. DIY forms would work. I'm also wondering if I can't just scan these pages, and use the resulting PDF to print from.

    I think it would have to be a laser printer, which I don't have, since inkjet ink has a tendency to smudge if it gets wet.

    GG - DayRunner (the brand is now owned by Mead), has much fewer products available. Basically just calendars and note paper. I really miss not only Memo-ry, but the Projects, Meeting, Contacts, and Receipt Envelope. They also used to have fold-out year calendars, as does Filofax.

  4. Come to think of it, Inky, that's true. Tho since I've started making up some of my own forms, I hadn't noticed. But this year one of the calendars I tried was their Nature weekly. I liked the concept but the way they executed it wasn't so great -- Sunday start on one view, Monday on another, some of the type was too small to read, and some too faint. But it was fine for my daughter, so I punched it for her Filo and she's using it at work.

    You've got me thinking about the Memo-ry pages -- maybe I'll start using something like that. But for it to be worthwhile, you would have to be consistent about using it to capture everything, wouldn't you? That doesn't come naturally to me, so I hesitate to start with it.

    I think it would be great, by the way, to make people feel comfortable about using this website to comment on any paper-based planning system, or problems with planning, etc. The DIYPlanner site has its focus, and the David Allen site is about GTD, so seems to me that there should be a place to discuss other issues, or at least to widen the focus a bit.

    Anyway, it's good to see you back. This is one of the websites I visit every day in hopes of seeing some activity, so thanks for keeping it going.

  5. I had the identical attack of nostalgia last year. My first planner was from Time Systems (I don't think it's the same company as the one that operates under that name today). They had a tab for every day of the month, which was easy to use but really heavy and cumbersome. I went to Day Runner next, and I really liked the Memo-ry concept but I hated the bright colored tabs and the quality of the binders. Anyway, I used Franklin for a decade+ after that, but my tasks are not day-specific so it was never a great fit. I bought a Day Runner Pro on eBay last year, and I remembered how much I liked the format. Anyway, I was thinking that maybe I could use Filo To Do pages to perform the Memo-ry function, but I wouldn't have that top tab. Maybe 2 page finders would work - one for to do/memo-ry and one for today ?