How To Back Up Your Paper Planner



Filofax Planner.

Please return.


No, I didn’t lose my planner but I’ve often wondered what would happen if I did.  I’m not worried about what the finder will do with the information as much as what I will do without it.  I have a LOT of information in my planner that I need and it’s information that would be difficult and time consuming to reconstruct.

I hadn’t really thought about backing it up until I watched Kent of Oz’s video.  I’ve been thinking about it ever since and it’s time to stop thinking and get it done! So here’s the plan:

1.       Decide what to back up.  Obviously not everything in my planner needs to be backed up.  Some of the information isn’t that important or can be retrieved easily.  Here’s what I decided to back-up:

  • A to Z tabs (this is probably the most important section of my planner);
  • Future Planning Sheet (things I need to do in 2014 or beyond)
  • Financial information (I keep all my current financial information for business and personal in my planner).
  • Completed monthly calendars and current month calendar.

A-Z Tabs

2.       Decide how to back it up.  There are several ways to do it.

  • Kent of Oz backs up his planner by taking photos of the pages with his iPhone.  Quick and easy.
  • Digital camera.  I take pictures all the time for the blog so this would be an easy option.
  • Scan the pages and save them in a file on your computer named “Planner Back-Up”.
  • Photocopy the pages and keep them in a file.  They don’t need to be organized – just saved.  Hopefully you’ll never need them.

My plan is to scan the pages.  The scanned pages will be easier to read and print if I ever actually need them.  But for today, I took pictures with my digital camera.  I was taking pictures of the planner anyway so it was easy and convenient.  And now the first back-up is done.

And that’s an important point.  Make it as easy as possible.  Scanning sounds like a great idea, but if it’s too much trouble, I won’t do it.  Maybe photos won’t be as practical if I actually need the back-up, but they’ll be better than nothing.

3.       Back it up.  Get it done.  Do it now.

4.       Decide how often to back-up the pages.  Here are some options:

  • Every time I add or change information;
  • At the end of each month;
  • Quarterly;
  • Annually.

I’m planning to back-up around the 1st of each month when I do my monthly checks and other back-ups and only back-up the pages with changes.

Monthly Checks

5.       Put the back-up on the calendar so I won’t forget.

Done.  Now I can breathe easier knowing that if my planner is lost, the information isn’t!

Do you back-up your planner?  How do you do it?  If you don’t, should you?

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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14 thoughts on “How To Back Up Your Paper Planner

  1. What a great idea. I did see Kent of Oz’s video and I thought it was a good idea, but I like your plan of taking it a bit further with scanning/copying for easy reference in the future if needed.
    Did you get a new Filofax? It is beautiful!

  2. Hi, Patty! You have the best information on your site! Backing up my planner is why I use software and the archive binders. It is how I manage to do my tax stuff at the end of the year. My day-to-day pages do not need to be back up, but the items in the A to Z tabs need to be backed up periodically. the software does that for me. The “bonus” feature is the ability to refine what is printed by assignee, subject, or person, catagory, or organization. Every possible address and phone number is in my software, but I do not need a complete copy of that databse in my planner. My address pages are tagged “Dianne” and I print I add blank address book forms to the planners for new entries. Looking up the first appointment with a particular doctor is easy because of the “diary” function attached to the address book function. So I select “Medical Providers”, then Assignee, and everything is listed for every name appearing in those two groups — no duplication and the history is there when I print out “notes” or “Journal” catagories. There are now over 500 entries in the address book, but I only have one “master index” of those and it is in the Household Management Binder system. I even have a “Yellow Pages” section for services and stores that I use locally. The software has a beature so that it does a backup when the program is shut down before the computer is turned off, but I can perform a backup at any time. I am still managing a small trucking operation for a neighbor, so I have to be quite organized about that. Since I am used to that, it take little time and almost no effort. I like being busy enough to feel useful, but not so busy that there is no fun in my life. I am training the truck owner to do most of what I do because it would be convenient for him to be able to look things up rather tahn try to contact me.

  3. Never ever thought about back up for a paper planner . Now that is one of the best ideas I have come across in quite awhile . Will try several ways til I find what works best for me .

  4. Getting into the planner habit helped on the job and at home. Using a planner saves time when I need to look something up. Before the software, I simply kept my old planner pages in archive notebooks with jacket labels of the years they covered. An easy product to use for scanning for backup that I used is “Neat Receipts”. It is easy to use and I can store it in a drawer of my desk when it isn’t in use.

    1. Tell me more about Neat Receipts. I’ve seen that advertised and wondered how it worked. I’ve been trying to make the switch from paper to electronic but scanning on my printer is SUCH a pain!

      1. Neat Receipts, at least the version I’m familiar with, which may have improved by now, does alright with the scanning, but it takes a bit to get it to recognize handwriting and categorize things right. My grandmother used it for scanning receipts for years, which is a good thing, because you could never find a particular piece of paper in that house if your life depended on it. My dad’s used the database file it built up to deal with things for settling Grandma’s estate that wouldn’t have been possible with just the disorganized paper files. I think it’d be worth it for you to check out.

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