Tag Archives: thank you

In 2012, for the first time since I started carrying a pink Filofax in high school, I didn’t buy a desktop calendar or planner. Going paperless, reducing desktop clutter, streamlining everything via computer to iPhone seemed like a good idea. Productivity is enhanced by less clutter, right? Um, no. Paperless isn’t working. I have been waiting, longing, for a return to paper in 2013. So, when Whitney English first mentioned that her new planner, The Day Designer, had gone to press, I was beyond thrilled. The end of the year couldn’t come soon enough.

Whitney and I crossed paths because of our mutual love of all things paper – she as a designer and stationer, and me as calligrapher and writer. I’ve found great ideas for productivity through her blog series Finding Purpose. When I heard about The Day Designer, I told her that couldn’t wait to order one for next year. She then very graciously asked if I’d like one. Now. In my year of living paperless. If she only knew.

For the last few years, I’d been using a Russell +Hazel mini binder, filing their calendar pages with my own mix of post its and to-do lists and project plans printed from my computer on R+H refill paper. I don’t have a 9-to-5 schedule. I need a planner that gives me more room to  juggle various projects. That has more room for the workend-weekend than just a little box at the end of the week. A freelancer’s agenda. This. A planner designed by necessity by someone else who couldn’t find what she needed on the market. And did I mention the cream and black stripes? And the daily quotes?

I’d already contemplated whether to pre-order the blank Day Designer or the 2013 one, but her offer brought out the Veruca Salt in me. I didn’t want wait until 2013. I wanted to put it to use now. This yearlong paperless experiment? I was cutting it short. Or was I?

Ironically, The Day Designer arrived now, just before Rosh Hashanah. A new calendar for a New Year. Just not one that fits the Gregorian calendar. I started using it today, after spending some time checking out all its nooks and crannies.

Beyond the monthly and daily calendars, the tiered to-do lists, and other things that make my Type A-creative heart happy, the book includes charts and lists to help define longterm goals. Saturday and Sunday share a page, but it is a large one, with room for the to-do’s and tasks I often need to accomplish. No more little Sat/Sun box mocking me when weekends become workends.

I’ve been reading and writing and talking a lot about time management and technology. The more I read, the more I find myself needing to get back to pen and paper. The cognitive changes taking place the more our lives are spent staring at screens are having a real impact on my creativity. And not all in a good ways. I return to my well worn copy of Twyla Tharpe’s The Creative Habit. Seeking reminders of the importance in ritual. (That’s a whole post in itself.)

Lately, I’ve been discouraged and maybe even a little nervous. Focus had never been an issue. My memory and attention to detail had always been good. But changes have crept up one me. To stay focused, to pay close attention, is requiring more energy. Reading Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows has been both reassuring and alarming. Our brains are changing because of all the screens – from desktop to laptop to the palm of our hand. Some of these changes, some of what the screens bring, I love. But not all of it.

I want to use technology more selectively, and I plan to keep writing about what I am learning, what I’m reading and what I am experiencing firsthand. And by writing, I mean both with keyboard and Le Pen.

So I return to books. To paper. To The Day Designer.

Thank you, Whitney, for this very timely gift. (No pun intended.)

UPDATE: Whitney is doing a giveaway on her blog, not one but THREE Day Designers. Head on over to her site now to enter (through 9/26). Go on. Now. What are you waiting for?

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

With the Republican National Convention, social media officially made its débutante debut into Campaign Season 2012. Tonight, the Democrats take the stage. I hate that politics and religion are a polite conversation no-no. Mostly because of the “polite conversation” part. Unlike the Loch Ness monster, I know this exists online. I’ve seen it. Really smart, informative discussion that we need to have. That we are fortunate enough to be able to have.

I’ve written about my concerns over reproductive rights here, on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve tweeted and posted my belief in social programs, affordable health care, marriage equality and written that I’d want my husband to share my politics, but I can surely have friends with different views.

I support the platform of the DNC (if you’re curious about party platforms, here is a NYT piece from today). If that is reason to unfollow me on Twitter, Facebook or stop reading my blog, so be it. But before you close the tab, I wonder:

If I share my beliefs and concerns based on facts, share without telling others that they are personally wrong for not agreeing, what exactly is impolite in that conversation?

I ask in earnest because I see tweets left and right (no pun intended) about people unfollowing based on expressions of their political beliefs. I look at those tweets – from Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Independents – and in most cases, they’re expressions of beliefs based on facts from political platforms.

I absolutely understand discomfort when someone tweets or blogs or posts political opinion that’s personally insulting or promotes propaganda. Let’s discuss the difference. Because there is one. A HUGE one. It’s the one that makes it very easy for me to agree to disagree with those who don’t share my beliefs vs. being left uneasy by those who make it a direct assault.

I wish we could all take a social media pledge, of sorts. One that says that be it campaign season or any season, we use our voices online responsibly. Because honestly, I think that it’s all the same at the core. As bloggers we regularly talk about what’s important in our world, even if what we define as “important in our world” shrinks and expands depending on the day. Let’s allow for a bit of differing opinion. That’s the beauty of this country, isn’t it?

In some parts of the world, writing about political beliefs, tweeting and posting, could put me in jail. Just shy of a century ago, my opinions on any of this held no weight because I wouldn’t have been able to vote. We take so much for granted as Americans when it comes to our political voices. Maybe too much?

If you’ve read this far, thank you. We’re more than our political affiliations. We’re adults, fully capable of respecting one another regardless of who we vote for or what gods we pray to, if we pray at all. (I urge everyone to stay informed through the campaign season- sites like FactCheck.org and PolitiFact.com are good stuff.)