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The Accidental Diarist – A History of the Daily Planner in America - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Accidental Diarist: A History of the Daily Planner in America

Molly A. McCarthy


In this era of tweets and blogs, it is easy to assume that the self-obsessive recording of daily minutiae is a recent phenomenon. But Americans have been navel-gazing since nearly the beginning of the republic. The daily planner—variously called the daily diary, commercial diary, and portable account book—first emerged in colonial times as a means of telling time, tracking finances, locating the nearest inn, and even planning for the coming winter. They were carried by everyone from George Washington to the soldiers who fought in the Civil War. And by the twentieth century, this document had b ... More

Keywords: tweets, blogs, navel-gazing, daily planner, daily diary, commercial diary, portable account book, telling time, tracking finances, George Washington

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780226033211
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226033495.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Molly A. McCarthy, author