Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What day is it and what am I supposed to be doing?

January is a time for making resolutions and setting goals. The Playfriends got together for lunch on Sunday and we talked about what we're working on and what our goals are.

I won't go into details, but at one point Problem Child pulled out a desk calendar/day planner that was the envy of Angel. PC had purchased it at Staples, which was a few doors down from our lunch destination, but alas, they had no more of them.

I hope Angel was able to find a desk calendar/day planner to her liking because it's a very important tool. Or at least it is to me.

I've used everything from a dollar store desk calendar to a very expensive Franklin planner and everything in between.

Without a calendar and a place to write things down, I'd never be on time for a single appointment. The memory just isn't what it used to be, not to mention I have a lot going on in my life. I have appointments and deadlines and luncheons and meetings. Then there are birthdays and anniversaries and holidays.

The Bylines calendar shown above is what I used last year. It's laid out by the week and in the front it has a goal-setting section for the year and then a page for each month where you can fill in your goals for that month and then check them off. It also has a tasks list for the month. It lists literary holidays (did you know January is National Get Organized Month?), all the Nobel prize winners for literature and the Pulitzer prize winners for fiction and poetry. There's a contributors' section (more about that later), some pages for notes, a list of books for writers and two pages of sources on the web.

They buy short essays from writers and feature a different writer each week. I wanted to submit to them and I needed to see exactly what sort of essays they'd bought, so that's why I bought it -- as a research tool. Consequently I sent in two pieces and one was selected. I'm in the 2008 Bylines calendar. There was a delay with the printer and I don't have it yet; it's due in sometime this week. I just hope I wasn't the featured author for last week. I know it sounds egotistical, but I want to be in a week yet to come so people all over can see my face and read my words and think "Oh wow! I'd like to have my picture in this calendar." My current "To Do" list contains "Submit for 2009 Bylines."

Are you a desk calendar person? Is there any particular one you use or just whatever strikes your fancy and/or meets your budget? Any tips for keeping it up to date? I started with the goals pages last year and made it through February. :-( I'm good about taking the old calendar and moving birthdays and anniversaries to the new one. And I always mark down doctor's appointments and haircuts. But it's the darned goals stuff that gets me every time.

One lucky commenter will receive a... no, not a desk calendar, but a journal for writing down your New Year's resolutions, to-do lists and your deepest secrets and desires.

Speaking of goals, our good friend Barbara Vey of Publishers Weekly hit her weight loss goal yesterday and is blogging about it today. Please pop over and congratulate her. She didn't just lose a couple of pounds; she lost a LOT and has been an inspiration to many people.

Good news department: Peggy Webb who is a member of our RWA chapter has been nominated for two career achievement awards by the reviewers at Romantic Times magazine. Congratulations to Peggy!

Good news department part deux: #2 son has been accepted into graduate school at Western Carolina University, which is where he did his undergraduate work and also is mine and the DH's alma mater. His graduate studies will be in Physical Education with the goal of becoming a college track coach. Three cheers for my baby boy!


jennifer said...

I find that i'm too am bad at filling in the goal section in my planner, but i think about them when I open my planner. My theory is its the thought that counts.

Barbara Vey said...

No goal calendar for me...just a food journal.

Thanks for mentioning my blog. I just finished writing it and it was very emotional for me. Also one of your very own wp members is in the blog.

Congrats on your son in grad school. Mine just applied, thank goodness.

Maven LJ said...

Cool, Marilyn! :-)

I have to have a calendar -- a small one I keep on my desk for quick reference and a larger one with more notes. No goals, though. Just where to be when. I also use a google calendar I share with my dil, so we can check on each others schedules as well as sports for the kids and vacations. That's convenient, but it won't do for every day.

And yeah Barbara! What a fabulous accomplishment. :-)


Problem Child said...

Ok, so I'm beyond anal. I have my calender that I write things down in, my calender in my computer (which downloads to my PDA, which comes with me).

And yet, I still manage to forget things...sigh

Smarty Pants said...

I gave up my Franklin planner for my digital outlook calendar several years ago. I had a blackberry from work and I could keep track of everything with it. I've since turned in my blackberry, though, and its a lot harder to keep up. I'm considering a paper planner. I too have PC dayplanner envy.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Calendar? Dayplanner? What are those? You mean I'm supposed to write things down and then actually refer back to them and get them done? I'm lucky if I use the Yahoo calendar feature to remind myself of stuff (like judging deadlines). As for appointments, I put those in my phone. But I don't have many appointments. *sigh* Such a recluse.....

Instigator said...

I learned long ago that day planners and calendars are useless for me. I buy them and then never use them. Oh I have wonderful intentions when I'm in staples (admiring PC's purchase) but I know myself. I'll get home and it'll sit in the staples bag until DH decides to move it to a closet somewhere. Somehow though I manage to get to all my appointments. Shrugs. I have no idea how :-)

Congrats to Barbara on reaching your goal! And to PM's son on grad school!


Angel said...

Well, I decided I didn't want to wait and see if Staples would get any more of the PC dayplanner. Considering the staff when I was in there, I don't even know if they'd be able to find it if it did come in.

So I ended up at Walmart and bought an Amy Knapp's family organizer. Not as cool as PC's, but it is working fine. I have to keep things written down or I never remember them. I'm a calendar-a-holic. :)

I have the calendar Smarty Pants gave us for Christmas (looks pretty on the wall, but I don't want to write on it). I have one in the other room that my daughter made at school, just for general family use and birthdays. Then I have a printed calendar where I keep track of all the writing/work-related things I accomplish each day. And my day planner.

Talk about anal...


Kathy said...

Calendars! I have one in my purse, one by the back door, two in the study, one in the car... I was out shopping for my gold mine calendar, goal/writing planner, all afternoon yesterday. Didn't find it. (Call out the pirate brethren... ARGH!!!)

I used this calendar last year for my goals and following my writing, which I kept up with really well until Nationals. It's the REAL SIMPLE FLEXIBLE PLANNING CALENDAR WITH LABELS and can be found at I know this because I had to order it online last night. Again pirates join me, ARGH!!!) Why you ask am I calling out the hord? Because it won't get here until mid-Feb. ARGH!! Let's riot!

Sadly, I'll just have to use something else until then. And no, the other wall calendars I found wouldn't do. I use the color coded labels to keep up with each book I'm writing on. It's a system that works for me and logs my progress.

To my chagrin, while I was at various appointments yesterday, I found out the Elizabeth Lowell book (western RECKLESS LOVE) was not new at all. I should have seen it right off but when I started reading I thought, I've read this before. Um-hum. I had, a quick check in the front revealed it was first published in 1990. Now I feel stupid for announcing on this blog the other day that EL had written another historical. But...this does fall into Angel's category of rereading, doesn't it? :-)

Congrats, Barbara!! Job well done! You're an inspiration to all of us. Raising joyful Pirate ARGHS!

Wonderful news about #2, PM!! I know you're very proud of him. Rallying the hord in a salute, ARGH!

Maureen said...

Congratulations to your son and to you for being in the calender. I do need to write things down and try to do that in the school calender that I get since it also has all the days off. I find that more and more I need lists and reminders, the older I get.

CrystalGB said...

Congratulations to your son.
My calendars are my life lines. I have one at work and one at home. Keeps me organized and helps me remember important dates.

robynl said...

Calendars and journals are great tools to keep on sane(me, that is). I have a calendar hanging on the metal cupboard by my desk(chats, etc.); I have a calendar on my desk(haven't replaced for this year yet); I have a calendar by the phone downstairs(Dr.'s appt., etc.)
My journal holds my bigger plans such as things to do outside and inside(paint, plant, send bday presents, call so and so, etc.

Jen said...

I have a calendar in my computer and one on my refrigerator. It's already a pain to notate things in two places. If I carried one with me then I'd have to notate it in three places. Too much.

Congrats on the grad school acceptance and woohoo to Barbara!

Problem Child said...

Jen, that's why you get the PDA and have your computer download to it.

Elen Grey said...

I've used different calendars/planners for different years. Lately, I've gravitated toward a diary with the date on each lined page. That's it. No reminders, no notes, no appt. slots. lol

This year it's a Moleskine 5X8, hardbound. I use it for tracking me and my writing. I track the rest of the family on a computer calendar. I simply record what I'm accomplishing each day. Since I don't like looking at a blank page (much like writing), it works!

I love a shiny, new, blank diary/planner. :-)

anne said...

I have always used calendars and journals. I have one by my desk and another one in the kitchen. They are a necessity in order to keep track of appointments, classes etc. Since my weight gain this fall and winter I have one designated only for diet issues.

ruth said...

Being a teacher I must have a daytimer or calendar in my office at school and at home as well as in my briefcase. I would be at a loss without this important tool which reminds me about the important dates and significant happenings. I love them all and think they are so handy.

ellie said...

I enjoy browsing through the new calendars and journals each year. They look so clean and inviting. It is difficult to make a decision with the choices available. I use one everyday for tests, and a variety of uses. But when I travel I love a completely new one to keep my trip and impressions forever.

petite said...

Congrats on your son and his accomplishments.
I have always been entranced with journals, just love the look and feel of them and during school they were a real help at keeping me organized and aware of all the assignments. Now I use a calendar which is great.

jenna said...

Being a social worker I must be completely organized. Each yeaar I get a new calendar/journal and use it daily. I have a personal one just for my own appointments and outings which is smaller and lighter weight. Could not manage without my trusty little journal by my side.

Lis said...

I have a weekly engagement calendar I couldn't live without :o)