From the mixed up files of Dr. FG Beltrami

Posted February 28, 2012 by
in Cabinet of Curiosities, Pens, Paper & People | 13 comments »

Karen recently forwarded me a copy of an old promotional brochure with some more information about Dr. FG Beltrami, the founder of Quo Vadis and inventor of the Agenda planner with its one-week-on-two-pages layout.

Up till now, the only other thing I knew about Dr. Beltrami is that he practiced medicine in France and created his first planner by stamping a grid onto the pages of a notebook. Thanks to the brochure, I learned he was in charge of a dental school and hospital — no wonder he was interested in time management!

His outlook was also surprisingly modern:

Too much to do, and too little time to do it. It seems like that is what work, and modern life in general, is all about. That is why we have to fight back, and regain a sense of control.

As a doctor, I have a pragmatic outlook on people. We are all just simply… people. We all tend to do what is easy rather than what is more difficult.

I believe in taking simple steps to accomplish what is truly important.

Not so far from today’s world, is it?

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  1. Laurie

    02/28/2012   21:21PM  

    Wow, very interesting! I like his approach to simplifying the complicated and taking control of our lives.

  2. Jan Timmons

    02/29/2012   15:08PM  

    When was this? Could you add a date to that photo, please?

    • Leah Hoffmann

      02/29/2012   15:41PM  

      Ohh… I’ll have to ask Karen. It came to me with a batch of vintage ads that look like they’re from the sixties or early seventies. At any rate, I’ll keep you posted!

  3. Karen Doherty

    02/29/2012   16:05PM  

    The photo was undated, but I would guess since he was born in 1917 that he was taken in the late 1970s or 1980s. Dr. Beltrami still lives not far from the Quo Vadis plant in Carquefou, France (near Nantes) and keeps up with what is going on with the company.

    • Jan Timmons

      03/03/2012   21:25PM  

      Thanks, Karen, for satisfying my curiosity (nosiness?).

  4. Eileen

    02/29/2012   16:06PM  

    I am really impressed that in between his job as a doctor and head of a dental school AND a hospital, he somehow found the time to start Quo Vadis! And I love his philosophy of taking simple steps to accomplish the important things in life. He clearly lived what he preached.

    I’m married to a doctor, and it takes all of my husband’s time and energy to practice medicine. I’m just not sure how the modern day Dr. Ozs do all that they do!

  5. Bhaskar Sinha

    03/01/2012   00:06AM  

    It would be lovely if you can post on this blog a full scan of this vintage Quo Vadis promotional brochure.

    • Leah Hoffmann

      03/01/2012   18:04PM  

      It’s a copy of a copy, Bhaskar, and not particularly pretty! I’d be happy to scan it in, however — stay tuned.

    • Leah Hoffmann

      03/02/2012   14:28PM  

      Ok, I’ve got it scanned in! You can check it out at the bottom of today’s post. Enjoy…

      • Bhaskar Sinha

        03/03/2012   00:10AM  

        Many thanks, Leah. I liked the contents and enjoyed the vintage feel.


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