I began using a day planner twenty years ago. At that time my days were very hectic. I had two school-aged children; I was working and going to school; and I had a busy social life. I knew I couldn't keep everything straight, so I selected a planner brand , and I have been using the same one all the years. It is like my right arm. I always have it with me. For this Thursday Thirteen, I thought I would list the uses I have found for the planner.
- My work schedule. Not only do I list appointments, I also list tasks I completed, phone calls made or received, and decisions made. By studying that planner, I can tell you just about anything regarding my work. (1999: August 25 I served on a search committee)
- Personal appointments. Doctor appointments, dentists, meetings with teachers, curch meetings, etc. Yep--I have them documented. (1998: May 1, son had dental appt.)
- Children's school assignments. One child was a self starter, and I never had to ask about homework or tests, etc. The other was a procrastinator, so I wrote down when the tests were, what grades he made, really anything about school, so I wouldn't be surprised. I didn't like surprises. (1992: Sept. 24, son's interim report card, B in English)
- Church. I documented our attendance and involvement---meetings, chairmanships, practices, programs, children's activities, etc. (1994: August 26, church supper club)
- Volunteer work. Hubby and I were always chairing this organization or PTO or civic club, so those meetings were always on the calendar. (1989: April 25, chaired Symphony Gala)
- My doctoral program. I went back to school with a husband, eighth grader, and fifth grader at home (yes, it was a family decision), so I marked the weekends I had to be away for class, important assignments, and important dates like dissertation research and defense. (1991: April 27, to library for dissertation research)
- Holiday events. For years, when the children were small, we had all manner of extended family to join us for Christmas, so I always scheduled the arrival of each family member and noted the names of those who joined us. (1994: Christmas Day--left on family vacation to San Francisco)
- Dinner parties. I listed guests and menus. (2005: January 10--Solomon Dinner Party, 11 guests, shrimp shooters, rosemary cornbread with figs and cream cheese, etc, Beaujolais Nouveau)
- Big parties. We do that, too. I list the events, the number of people who attended, the menu, etc. (2005: Oct. 23, Biketoberfest (biker party) at our farm, 49 attended, hot dogs and trimmings)
- Reminders. I wrote reminders to myself to make appointments, to follow up on projects, etc. (1994: April 20, call Thompson's Floor Covering)
- Weather. I document extreme weather--storms, hot, wet, cold. (1995: Oct. 5, 6 college closed for Hurricane Opal)
- Deaths. I list the deaths of friends or family members. (2005: April 10, my favorite uncle died)
- Trips and Guests. (1999: August 11, leave for Vail)
These planners serve as my memory, my reminders, my journal, my diary, my log. I just don't see how a PDA will work for me. How do you use a day planner?
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