I never thought this would happen after my first PDA 13 years ago, but I’m about to reintroduce a paper agenda into my life.
My computer is a huge part of my life. Despite not having a desk job, and only having about an hour of real (ie, paid) work every day, I spend several hours on my computer, and rely on the calendar feature to keep things straight. But here are the other things I have going on:
A weekly menu hanging in my kitchen which lists dinners, lunch ideas I don’t want to forget, and a shopping list.
Lists for upcoming trips to Costco, Home Depot and Buffalo (for a little cross-border stocking up).
Sticky notes on the door to help me remember specific things like: Walk Jill’s kids home, or Max needs a bandanna in Monday for Pioneer Day at school.
A list of things I don’t want to forget, like: order lap desks for Christmas, buy the new Oliver Jeffers book, or buy outdoor table cover.
I love the idea of having all of these things in one place, and that place being my iPhone. But in reality, I don’t want to be that tied to my phone. I already spend enough time on email, and get a big amount of it for my little job. Ergo, I refuse to check it on my phone, because then I would only be doing that all day. (“Do you at least text?” asked a new friend of mine. “Because if not, I don’t know if we can be friends!” I assured her I did.)
A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a friend’s kitchen on a playdate. She’s quite tidy, and one corner of her counter featured the phone, a pencil cup, and an open agenda. “Look at your lovely little corner!” I exclaimed. “It’s so quaint…and simple!” (We’re good enough friends that I can say that.) “Oh my gosh,” she gushed. “Have I never shown you this?” And she swooped over and placed the agenda in front of me. It was made for moms, and has a spot for each kid, dinner, and notes. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
Today I decided I was going for it. I picked the spot where it will live and tidied it up. I put all of my working lists in a pile to transfer over. And then I did my research. There seem to be three main options on the market:
The Peter Pauper Press Mom’s Weekly Agenda has days of the week running vertically. This one is the most reasonably priced option, and has a more delineated space for agenda entries (which makes going over the lines a bit painful). It also allocates the same amount of space for you as each of your kids, so if you’re all equally busy, then this one would work for you.
The Day Planner from momAgenda has days of the week running horizontally. This and the next option have the most space for your own entries, so if you want this mostly for yourself, but also to keep track of just a few key things for your kids, then one of these two would work better. It also has inspirational statements in the top right corner, which could be a good or a bad thing, depending on your level of cynicism.
The Filofax Family Organiser, which is probably the best one for moms who want to take theirs with them. It’s the most expensive option, with a the book sold separately, and the pages sold as refills at a price point not far off from the above. But as it’s a Filofax, so the overall presentation is the nicest.
As for me, I’m buying the one in stock down the street, I’m that impatient. The time has come and I’m excited. Let the old times roll!
Sarah Western Balzer grew up in Tampa, FL and worked in the music industry in New York, Washington, DC and London before she got married, started a lifestyle relocation business in London, and had a baby. Now she lives in Toronto and is a mostly full-time mom, but still oversees the Lifestyle section of London-based financial news website, Here Is The City . She and her husband, who is German, have two sons, a Brit and a Canadian.