The Evolution Of My Organized Life Through Desk Calendars

I love desk calendars and organizers and I believe a choice of one can be very insightful to where we are in our lives. My first one was the Sierra Club Engagement Calendar week-at-a-glance. ($13.95)
I was young and green.
Every week was an inspiring, beautiful picture.
There were some off years that weren’t note worthy.
I was in the ad business and proving myself.
A Day Timer here, a Filofax there.

Very professional. Very official. Very boring.

Soon thereafter I found The Far Side by Gary Larson.
I had babies. New pets. A new house.
And all the craziness that came along with it.
I needed a good laugh.
For years, talking animals with warped senses of humor and rocket scientists running from the lab when they heard the ice cream truck’s jingle made me giggle every week. It was a given on Christmas day when I opened this present ‘from the boys’ I would sit and read all 52 comics and laugh out loud for 20 minutes. It became a coffee table book for a day with everyone taking their turn between the dinner and pecan pie. It was my holiday ritual and I miss it since Gary retired. His humor appealed to my inner nerd.

Recently, while going through a box on a top shelf, I found I had kept a stack of them. They were practically diaries chronicling everything from pre-natal visits to middle school concerts and Little League games. Gary and I had a long term relationship over the best years of my life. I’m keeping him around.
A couple years ago I was at the apex of “high parenting” and I fell in love with the Truly Mom organizer ($150) and thought I needed it to keep me on top of things while serving a second term as President of the high school’s music boosters. It is a bright Barbie pink patent leather beauty that serves as a portable desk.

Its tri-fold covers practically makes it as big as a thousand page novel and if you unfold it at a meeting you better be sitting at a long conference table. It is territorial. One side holds variations of 3 pads: post-it notes, a long list pad, and a tally pad, as I call it.

The other side holds sheets reminding you of who to drop off, what’s for dinner, calls to make, emails to send, gifts to purchase, and which kid is going where at what time. On the inside middle is the calendar with stickers and there is also a pocket with an address book when you flip the back cover closed. Included is a cute heart-shaped paper clip and pen.

I thought I would need a large organizer knowing I could have used something like this during my first term since our group was very active and fast paced but I also had a freshman and senior in high school back then. At my repeat performance one chick had already flown the coop staring in his own real life Far Side adventure studying to be one of those rocket scientists and I found out I didn’t need the desk on wheels after all. By the second go around of anything you know what to expect, what to do and you are organizationally prepared. But it is gorgeous ~ all pink and green inside and out! They now make a smaller version called Truly Tiny but not in patent and not a tri-fold. However, my big, bad girl is an organizer’s dream and if I had the busy lifestyle of younger children again we’d rekindled our relationship in an instant. Knowing I was soon heading into high parenting retirement, for 2009’s calendar I decided to make Kate my new BFF over Barbie.

I downsized and befriended Kate Spade’s desk calendar. ($20)

Here is the one for 2010.

It’s a more workable size and can fit into your bag. I loved the tight flexible plastic spiral binding. It worked perfectly for the thickness of the cover and pages.
It is a gem.

Kate still had too much to offer me as I gradually headed towards empty nestdom. I loved the graphics, the size and feel but I didn’t need the focus on an hour by hour accounting of my time in addition to the monthly pages. And a draw back for me about Kate’s planner is that I had to hunt to find the current week which is a cumbersome task come the summer and fall. All the pages were flush with one another. I could have dog eared as I went along, but I don’t partake in that nasty little habit.
Then, there’s something about Mary Lilly.

Seeing all the pretty Lilly paper products online I decided to order the Lilly Large Agenda ($24.50) with the monkeys hanging from the chandeliers. I hate monkeys. Hate them. They rank up there with clowns and spiders but I find myself vehemently attracted to this pattern and find them really cute like little cocktail monkeys. I am suddenly carefree enough to be hanging off the chandeliers too? Hopefully in 2010 I will be. The cover shot does not do justice to all the treasures it holds. Once you turn the hard cover you are greeted with an explosion of color and whimsy! And colored tabs!

No more hunting for the current month or week with tabs in place! I’ll have no time to hunt. I’ll be swinging from the chandeliers. I need quick access to my soiree dates. Die cut monthly header pages! Stickers of monkeys holding martini glasses! What is there not to love and adore? I cannot wait to start penciling in dates. Nerdy? Perhaps. But with such organizational perfectionism in pink and green it’s easy to get carried away. *sigh*

I also have to give kudos to The Preppy Princess from whence it came. My items arrived gift wrapped in pink and green tissue tied in pink and green raffia.

It was like having my own personal party at 2 AM when I opened the box. It was such a nice surprise and only added to my excitement. I found this personal touch to be very nice so I called them up the next day to tell them. I spoke with Kevin who was one of the nicest customer service persons to answer a phone that I have encountered in a very long time. The RL store at SCP would be lucky to have him even for a day. You can tell they really put their hearts into their service and presentation. He told me if they know the order is a gift they will wrap it in Lilly paper! Just let them know. Can you say “Christmas Presents?” After all, pink is a variation of red and Lilly green is just a lighter shade of evergreen. I say, “It’s a wrap!”

What do you use to keep organized?

“Calendar Girl” ~ Neil Sedaka
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Comments

  1. OK, so this is like a fabulously written post. Oh. It isn’t LIKE one. It is one. I am trying to be artsy and use a free-form Moleskine but enh.

  2. I loove Lilly’s planners for 2010. I just wanted to let you know that I got my samples from SkinWest, and they are just the most amazing company ever – there are so many samples and they even catered to my skin needs (ie, no more pimples, gotta love adult acne). Thank you again so much for doing the “everyone’s a winner” samples thing!

  3. LPC ~ Thank you! Artsy is good. It’s always fun to try something on to see how it fits our lives. 🙂

    Little Pink Magnolia ~ I am so happy to hear you are pleased with what you received from SkinWest. Marianne who put your goodies together is incredible! 🙂

    Note: If anyone that partook in the give-away would like samples, you can still request some. 🙂

  4. Love your new Lilly calendar. I basically love calendars but use the compact ‘simplicity’ by Franklin Covey. Probably a little overkill for me but I do like it. This will be my fourth year using it.

  5. uh oh, i think i might need a lilly planner too!

  6. Great post! I use to love the Far Side, always made me laugh. I hope you don’t mind, but I am getting two of the same Lilly calendars. One for me, and one for my daughter, who is a teacher. They are really cute!
    It’s funny, is that top calendar (Sierra) one of those flat slim ones that you keep in your purse? Well, that is the kind I usually have!
    Anyway, did you get my e-mail about the samples? I too love them. It really is a great company! Thanks again so much!
    Have a nice Monday 🙂
    XOXO

  7. It is definitely time to buy new calendars… I was going to have ones made with my art work… but I could decide which ones to use.. and now I fear it is too late… le sigh… next year I will get more organized!

  8. I”m so glad I’m not the only person who finds a planner to be like a part of them. I wouldn’t know what to do without mine and I also keep my old ones, as a “diary” of sorts. I keep hearing that I need to update to some sort of technological computerized planner but I just can’t seem to let go of the good old, leather bound planner I have now. Nor do I want to!

  9. Not surprised that the folks at preppy princess are extra good!
    My calendars and dayplanners are my life source, I am truly lost without them, can you say adult add?

  10. I keep my husband’s work calendar in a notebook and write everything on that…since we all revolve around his schedule I decided years ago there was no point in using anything else! I do have to keep lots of notes, recipes I write down, phone numbers I get on the run etc so I write them in my notebook. When one book is filled I cut out the important notes and tape them into the new one!

    I so love the Lilly book tho – it is my fave pattern :O) I feel like it sums up my life most days…monkeys swinging from chandeliers lol!

  11. I have this same calendar for 2010! However, I had a great planner for the last 3 years and it will be hard to get used to a new one. Lilly is Lilly & I will love it!