One of D-BROS’s mainstay products, the accordion-type Creator’s Diary, is a commercial version of the diaries that our designers and producers actually used during the production process of past projects. Naturally, all DRAFT company employees use the Creator’s Diary, but their ways of using the diary differ. For this D-BROS MAGAZINE post, we asked how company employees use their diaries, how they organize their schedules, and their ingenious ways of improving their efficiency.
For the first part of this series, we present a round-table discussion among four members of the D-BROS sales team.
These are the four members:
Fujitani (PR and in charge of the online store; Creator’s Diary user for 5 years)
Lee (in charge of sales; Creator’s Diary user for 3 years)
Watanabe (in charge of sales; Creator’s Diary user for 3 months)
Fujimura (in charge of products’ production process; Creator’s Diary user for 10 years)
What do you write in the lower half portion of the diary for projects?
Fujitani: Today I’d like to ask you about how you manage your schedules using your Creator’s Diary. How do you use your diaries?
Lee : I have a lot of work-related sales jobs and events so I mainly use the lower half of the diary for projects. When I have a lot of events, the lower half is filled with lines, and sometimes I can’t figure out which is which (laughs). I manage my daily schedule using Google Calendar though.
Fujitani: Oh, so you manage your schedule using both the diary and Google?
Lee : That’s right. I always bring my diary to meetings because I use it for writing notes. All my notes are organized in one place – in this case, in my diary, so this is one thing that I can’t do with Google Calendar. I hardly use the upper half of my diary though.
Fujitani: So you manage your schedule by having your plans for the day in Google, and your long-term plans in the diary.
Lee : That’s right. I can tell at a glance how many events I have by counting the number of lines, so they’re easy to arrange.
Fujitani: I see. I work in both our online store and in PR, so the lower half of my diary is divided according to my duties. I write most of my work-related plans in my diary. First, I set a finish line, then starting at the finish line, I clearly write what I have do task by task backwards. I also write the plans I have for D-BROS MAGAZINE posts in my diary. Even during meetings, I open my diary, point at a date and ask if I can set the deadline at that date, right then and there.
Lee : So you don’t write your personal, non-work plans in your diary?
Fujitani: No, I don’t write my private stuff. Do you?
Lee : I do. But I write them in Korean so that others can’t read them (laughs).
Fujitani: Oh that’s interesting!
Fujimura: Why? Because you need to show your diary to others sometimes?
Lee : Yes, that’s right. When I’m outside and I need to open it, I don’t want others to know.
Fujitani: That’s true. I also show my diary to others sometimes, so I don’t write my personal plans.
Fujimura: I don’t really mind though.
Fujitani: How about you Watanabe-san? You’ve only started using the diary recently, right?
Watanabe: I joined the company in September, so I’ve just started using it. As of now, I only use the upper half of the diary. I use the lower half mainly for notes.
Fujitani: What kind of diary did you have before?
Watanabe: I used to arrange my whole schedule on a computer.
Fujitani: I see. How do you find the diary? What does using it feel like?
Watanabe: I haven’t had a lot of long-term projects up to this point, so I haven’t really used the lower half for projects. But recently, my projects have increased, so I think I’ll be using the lower half from now on. The back part for notes is really great too, I was surprised.
Fujitani: Do you use that part?
Watanabe: I use it a lot. I take a lot of notes so it’s very useful.
A Diary Where It’s Easy to Go Back and See Old Schedules
Fujimura: Ever since I’ve started using Google Calendar, I’ve hardly used the upper half of my diary.
Fujitani: Yes, I can see how that can happen.
Lee : Fujimura-san, you always write in your diary using a pencil, right?
Fujimura: Yes. My schedule often changes, so I always write in pencil. Mostly I write when I need to order and submit things. When I’m creating a calendar, there are many things to do so I draw up a schedule based on the type of work that I need to do. The diary’s really easy to use in this sense.
Fujitani: There are several products that need to be worked on simultaneously, so having lots of rows is really helpful.
Fujimura: Also, you can go back to look at old schedules so it’s very convenient. I think it’s great that you can open the diary, spread it out and quickly see things like when your last meeting was.
Fujitani: That’s true, it’s easy to go back. You can see what your schedule was like during a certain period, and know how your proceeded along with that schedule. What you wrote remains as a sort of record, so it’s easy to look back.
Fujimura: Yes, I often look back. In that sense, I also often use the back part. Rather than meeting (notes), I write the important things that Mr. Miyata says (laughs). It’s better to have it constantly open to see things. I also write notes and often look back at these.
Are you the type who writes notes down in full? Or are you the type who just summarizes and writes only the main points?
Fujitani: When you write notes at the back, don’t you lose track of where you wrote them because there are many pages?
Fujimura: Oh, that’s true.
Fujitani: That’s why I don’t use the back part often – I write my notes in the rows in the lower half of the diary, the one with the dates. I don’t write a lot, and I find it easy to look for certain things I’ve written before.
Watanabe: I think I have the same reason for writing things in the lower half. When I only write the main points, I write them below the dates.
Fujitani: Incidentally, do you also use a separate notebook?
Lee : I do have a separate notebook, but for me, the diary is something that I bring to meetings. I bring a separate notebook for my own stuff.
Fujimura: I do too. I bring a separate one.
Watanabe: I only have this one (the diary). I write everything here.
Fujimura: So it’s quite important.
Watanabe: Yes it is. I always bring it home, and I make it a point that I have it so I can use it anytime.
Fujitani: I also write everything in my diary. So depending on how people take down notes, there are people who only use the diary, and there are those who have a separate notebook.
Digital and “Analog” Paper-Based Diaries/Planners: Using Both for Different Purposes
Fujitani: The sales team has started using Google Calendar to share schedules. Have you discovered anything with organizing your schedule digitally and organizing it using your diary? By the way, I’m the analog type so I’m still not used to organizing my schedule on Google. I always forget to update my schedule there. But I need to share it with everyone so I only update it when I remember that I need to do it. Conversely, if I write my plans in Google first, I forget to write them down in my diary.
Fujimura: I can relate.
Fujitani: I find it difficult using both together – how about everyone else? I know that there are a lot of people these days who organize their schedules using computers, but do you think that there are good points about using a computer and a diary at the same time but for different purposes?
Watanabe: I think the way Lee-san does it is good – using Google Calendar for day-to-day plans and the diary for long-term schedules.
Lee : But just like Fujitani-san, I think I use my diary when I set up a project, like plans for events. If I make more plans than what I already have, I won’t be able to finish my work. If I put these things in Google, they will be updated in everyone else’s schedules, so it’s going to be confusing. That’s why I write things in my diary when I’m setting something up, and that’s where I erase things too.
Fujitani: It’s like you’re also organizing your thoughts when you write them down, right?
Lee : Yes. I write in my diary to organize my thoughts, then when things have been decided upon, I input that concisely in my Google Calendar.
Fujimura: Oh, I think I do the same thing. I write temporary plans and notes during company meetings in the diary, and things that have been decided on and major meetings I put in Google. But you can erase stuff in the computer too.
Fujitani: But inputting every single thing is laborious.
Fujimura: That’s true.
Lee : I often use the back part for writing down notes. The ones that I think that need to be put in my schedule, I write in the schedule columns in the front part. Being able to do both in one book (diary) is very convenient.
Getting Creative with the Diary to Make it Easy to Use
Fujitani: Do you have your own rules when you’re organizing your schedule?
Lee : I write my personal stuff in blue.
Fujimura: I just draw boxes around important things. And on Mondays, I write a to-do list in the lower part of the diary.
Fujitani: Oh, that’s a good idea.
Fujimura: And I also really like the topics part of the diary. If I write the most important thing like what I need to do on a particular day, I can see it right away, and it’s easy to decipher. Things like sending materials off to the printer and photoshoots. I try to write the most important things in that part.
Fujitani: I write paid holidays and days off in that part.
Fujimura: I also write everyone’s plans there. Like who’s out on a business trip, who has a day off.
Fujitani: Yes, there are times when it’s important to know what other team members’ plans are, so if you write them down, they’re easy to figure out.
Watanabe: I’ve seen Fujimura-san write things in pencil, so now I think I’ll write in pencil too.
Lee : You can also use an erasable pen. Oh, and when I look back at the diary I used two years ago, I can see the pocket that I made and appended to the diary. From 2016 onwards, the Creator’s Diary now has a pocket so I realized that what I asked for was properly included in the new diary.
Fujimura: The pocket is indeed easy to use.
Lee : Our Creator’s Diary is indeed evolving, little by little.
The Creator’s Diary evolves every year, with a minor change in the 2017 version.
Watanabe: The information printed at the back of the diary is a kindness to the user too. I read it sometimes.
Fujimura: I use that information quite a lot.
Fujitani: Information like paper sizes, postage costs.
Lee : And in the 2017 version, hours are included in the Thursday vertical column. This is a very good addition. The 2017 version is probably the closest to a perfect Creator’s Diary.
Fujitani: I wonder if we can still make additional minor changes in the future…
We also Recommend the Diary to People other than Creators
Lee : I’m not a creator, but surprisingly, there are sales jobs that take several days too, like business trips and events.
Fujitani: That’s right. Even though it’s not something super long-term, if you can see one job from a bird’s-eye view, it’s easy to organize your thoughts.
Lee : Yes, I also think that that function of the diary is indeed easy to use.
Fujitani: I also feel that being able to see each separate thing that you need to in chronological order also increases efficiency.
Lee : There aren’t many jobs that are finished in a day.
Fujimura: That’s true.
Fujitani: That’s precisely why I think this diary is also for those working in other jobs such as accounting and human resources. It’s for those whose jobs span a month – I’d like to recommend this diary the most to a magazine editor.
Fujimura: That’s right, being able to see things horizontally is this diary’s strongest point. In Google Calendar, we can only see schedules by the week, but in the diary, we can immediately see our schedules months ahead, so it’s the easiest one to use.
Lee : Oh, that’s true.
Fujitani: I feel like a digital planner is a tool for checking other people’s schedules, but setting up your own schedule is easier to do in the diary.
Fujimura: Listening to everyone else, I now think that I have to use mine more properly (laughs). I think I’ve been a little sloppy recently.
Fujitani: It’s interesting that people have different ways of organizing their schedules, and different ways of using their diaries. I think that later on, I’d like to ask producers and designers how they use theirs too.
Watanabe: Oh, that’s a good idea. I’m intrigued.
Fujimura: I’m looking forward to that.
Fujitani: Thank you everyone!
▼You can purchase a 2017 DIARY at the D-BROS WEB STORE.
▼Archived designer blog posts by Kazuya Iwanaga
Creator’s Diary 2017: From Start to Finish (Finished Product)
Creator’s Diary 2017: From Start to Finish (The Fore Edge)
Creator’s Diary 2017: From Start to Finish (Useful Information)
Creator’s Diary: From Start to Finish (Completed Version)
CREATOR’S DIARY: From Start to Finish (Main Body)