A couple years ago I attended a blog event; I had to meet fellow bloggers at a boutique and take a party bus to the venue. Typical Alison, I am either early or late so I was early. Super early. Early enough to leisurely window shop all the boutiques up and down the street. I went into a stationery store and flipped through wedding invites and thank you cards and then saw a display of agenda books. These weren’t trying to be Moleskine, they weren’t trying to be a Franklin Covey from 1997, they were well made and of the coolest fabrics. Leopard, glitter, snakeskin… the momAgenda.
Sometimes products have the worst names (I’m looking at you NYDJ), but make the best product. Even though I am a mom, I don’t want anything advertised just for moms. I’m not trying to schedule soccer practice and Girl Scouts, I just want something that will fit in my purse, let me see a month at a glance, and some room for addresses and birthdays to keep me organized. Good thing momAgenda that your products are better than your name! My momAgenda of choice is the myAgenda Mini (which only says myAgenda on it, nothing mom-related on the cover!).
The myAgenda Mini isn’t small, it’s a little less thick and a little bigger than a paperback novel, but I find I can even slip it into my Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C along with a small cosmetics pouch and overloaded wallet. But the features make it so much better than one of those cheapy engagement calendars you can pick up at Hallmark or the grocery store.
- Month at a Glance. This is why I prefer paper to electronic. I like to see my entire month, so I don’t overbook every weekend or realize that I’m scheduling something the Sunday before a crazy week at work. I carried an engagement calendar for this very reason, but the day boxes were so small I couldn’t clearly write work, blog, and personal events as well as birthdays and anniversaries. The myAgenda Mini is big enough that I can easily write all the events, appointments, birthdays, and BUY GRANDMA A BIRTHDAY CARD messages I need.
- Week at a Glance. I’ll be honest, when I first bought this planner, I found this section pointless. And now it’s my favorite portion because I use it FOR BLOGGING! The month at a glance is for work and personal and if there’s any blog events I am attending in person, but the week at a glance is for the blogging business. I write down which posts are scheduled to go live, which brands I am promoting so I can keep track, when I have phone calls, when I received product, when giveaways and sponsored posts are to go live, when to send out invoices or reminder emails, when I should get paid from different projects, when ads are set to expire. It’s utterly brilliant and works far better than any electronic method I previously had.
- Years at a Glance. Yes, I would like to see what day of the week May 12, 2013 was, and what day of the week it will be in 2015 and it’s nice to have the calendar right there for quick reference.
- Sturdy. While it's flexible, it's a hard cover with a quality binding. They still look nice at the end of the year!
- Two Bookmarks. One ribbon for the month, one for the week. Brilliant!
- Addresses. I know, in this day and age such things are EVERYWHERE but I’m old school and I like having my Christmas card list on me at all times. I also like that if I go to a hair salon and the stylist says she’s from Vermont I can whip out my myAgenda Mini and let her know where Karl’s cousin lives in that state; I can quickly look up the names of my second cousin’s kids or quickly GPS a friend’s addy. Oh, and this portion is removable so you can transfer it to next year’s book.
- Holidays. I know you can find this online, but it always seems I need to know what day is Father’s Day when I am in a car or at a relative’s house or at a restaurant and it’s far easier to whip this baby out. It also is great for planning my blog editorial calendar.
- Accessories. Self-sticking pockets? I love pockets in my skirts and I adore them in my planners. They fill up with business cards and menus, receipts and photos. I keep them in there, as a bit of a scrapbook from the year. They have other accessories available, but the one I “need” is the pockets!
- Listmania. Built-in areas for lists of wines, books, movies, parties, fashion, and more. It makes this paper planner more like a journal, and something interesting to look back at 10 years from now.
- August One Year to December the Next. I know this is a “mom” feature to keep track of a normal year and school year, but it's really helpful for those who are in school themselves, those who have jobs that have a calendar that doesn't start in January, and it's nice to have a 17 months there for you to review instead of the standard 12. I start filling up next year's planner before this one is through, which makes the leap into January less painful.
- Pretty. After many years of fake leather and ugly plastic, it’s nice to have something trendy, elegant, fashionable, or fun in my purse. Last year I had a gray snakeskin cover which wasn’t too crazy to pull out at a work meeting, but felt stylish. This year I really wanted their leopard cover but bought too late; instead I have a soft shimmery gold fabric that is probably a better choice as it’s subtle, tasteful, yet still fun and fashionable. They have solids, prints, textures, and pretty much a cover that fits any personal style.
The momAgenda products can be bought at stationery stores, at their site, and other retailers like Organize.com and The Container Store. Most recently I bought mine from momAgenda directly because I put it off until the end of December and couldn't find any I liked in local stores. Check online for discount codes for momAgenda if you shop there directly, I found one on RetailMeNot, and once I ordered I now get regular emails from them about sales and discount codes. And of course if you do buy from somewhere like Organize.com or The Container Store, first go to Ebates for discount codes and cash back!
I may be old fashioned, but I still love paper. I love to journal in actual notebooks, I love writing lists and thank you notes and leave post-it reminders in place of texts. And yes, I love paper calendars. I have a shelf in my office where old planners and agenda books are stacked against one another and it makes me happy to look at them, snapshots of that year and who I was at that time. And the MyAgenda Mini fulfills this need and fits my current life. Yeah, this totally ended up sounding like an infomercial; wasn’t planning on it, but it’s just that perfect of a product for me!
What do you use to keep yourself organized? If you are a blogger or have a similar business, what do you use to keep it tidy and properly scheduled?