On not writing it down…


For the first time in as many years as I can remember, I did not ask our office manager to order a Daytimer refill for me.  No, I didn’t switch to the Franklin Planner.Instead, I’m tracking all of my appointments and tasks on Google Calendar. That way, no matter where I log in, home, work, phone, I can access the calendar.

I’ve not panicked yet.

But I do find it challenging to remember to enter everything.

For most of my life I’ve been all about writing it down.  I make appointments. I take notes.  I doodle.  I dream.

All with a pen, and these days within the confines of a Moleskin notebook.

But no more writing down appointments.  As soon as possible after I get the information, I open my Google calendar and record it there.

Again, so far I’ve not panicked.

Of course, I suppose when North Korea hacks my Google account, they’ll know my rehearsal schedule.

Basically the three items I use to keep up with my schedule in terms of appointments and writing assignment are:

  • Google Calendar
  • Evernote
  • My Moleskin Notebook

My wife used to say about her father that if he had duct tape and a glue gun, he could build a house.  That was pretty close to the truth and we’ve got some furniture items to prove it.

My Google Calendar, Evernote and Moleskin Notebook are my duct tape and glue gun.

I’m not building a house.  But I could write you a great story about one.

Or, if you’re casting A Doll’s House, I could play Dr. Rank.  Just sayin’…

Calendar systems are highly personalized things.  You have to find what will work for you.

For years, as noted above, I thought it was a written calendar.  Until I realized last year that I just wasn’t using it.

I no longer use the pretty calendars sent to me or given to me by my dentist’s office.  Last year’s is permanently stuck on March because it’s behind the printer and I just don’t want to move things to change it out.One drawback to the Google calendar is that it buzzes on my phone every morning and serves as a reminder of my slackardness on the days I don’t make it to the YMCA.

Still most of the time I like the reminders.  Except for the occasional time when I’ll look down and have an “Oh crap, I’m supposed to be a meeting 60 miles from here.  In ten minutes.”

True story.

Evernote is great for taking notes, saving links and writing down story ideas.  Although I do know that when I use it to take notes from the Sunday sermon, it looks like I’m sending text messages.

And, what’s not to love about a Moleskin notebook?  I’m partial to the ones with the grid lines.  They’re sometimes harder to find.

My system of organization is certainly not fail safe.  See the “oh crap” moment noted above.  But most days it works for me.

I’d be interested in hearing what tools you use as well as apps you think I might be missing.

Leave your ideas in the comments below.

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1 comment

    • Vanessa Fletcher on January 13, 2015 at 10:50 am

    I haven’t found a good system yet – so I drive myself crazy using many systems. I use Google Calendar so Michael and I can share our schedules with each other. But, I have the big calendar right beside my computer with written appointments – I need to be able to see it at a glance – I’m often asked for appointment times over the phone. Then, I seem to need a portable written calendar – although I’m trying to wean myself off of that one in favor of the Google calendar on my phone. But, I need to maintain a work calendar in its Citrix system. So, a good portion of my time is devoted to keeping 3-4 calendars updated. Not good – but I don’t see an easy alternative! I’d appreciate any ideas you guys may have!

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