Friday, October 09, 2009

a giveaway and some goals

part 1: you can plan on it

earlier this week, i signed up to host an interview dinner in january (cara, yes, it's your day!) and found myself without a place to note it! clearly, this means that 2010 planner season is upon us. i think i've already decided on my system for next year, but the wonderful karen from exaclair sent some samples my way . . . which means it's time for another ghost world paper giveaway!

after all, even i would not attempt to commit notebook treason by using multiple 2010 planners at once. (i guess). (probably).

the planner up for grabs in this giveaway is the rhodia weekly notebook, in the 4 x 6 size and orange (yay!) color. i'd love to test it out, but i'm sure that none of you want to win an already-been-written-on notebook -- that would just be sad. so i will do my best to review it without trying it out!

the notebook is made by quo vadis, but is in the iconic rhodia style, complete with bright orange cover, grid paper, and fairly minimalist design.

here it is without its paper sleeve. the cover has an embossed rhodia logo and is made of flexible coated cardboard that has a leatherlike feel.

specs from the quo vadis website:
Week on left, Rhodia's famous grid for notes on right
12 months, January to December
7am to 8pm schedule
Extra white, super smooth paper
Crisp two color print - grey and orange
64g, acid-free and pH neutral paper
Tear-off corner opens to week in progress
Sewn binding
Attached address book
Elastic closure
glamour-shot image from

my slightly-less-professional version:

here is my overall take on this planner:
eye-catching orange color! easy to find in your bag, and mood-enhancing overall (at least for me).
blank page on right format -- and a list or table-friendly GRID. oh, i love graph paper.
small and compact
elastic band to keep everything closed up neatly
the paper is indeed very white and smooth. i suspect it would be nice to write on, but i will not taint the prize by finding out for sure!

don't love
☑ the cover material. it looks nice now, but doesn't feel uber-sturdy. i am worried about how it might look 12 months from now. then again, i am really hard on things, so my standards in this area are high!
☑ the weight of the paper. it is a bit too see-through and thin for my (picky) taste. the larger version (6 x 9) has heavier (90g) paper, as opposed to this one which is 64g, and i think i might like that better.

overall, it is a lovely little book that would be great for anyone looking for a compact 2010 planner with ample space to write lists and other notes (love for grid paper a plus!). to enter to win this planner,

✰ leave a comment at the end of this post telling me what kind of planning system you currently use now

✰ if you have a website/blog, link to this post on your site.

both of the above are required for entry! the winner will be drawn in the (early) AM on wednesday, october 14.

part 2: personal manifesto!
i felt the need for some detox upon returning home from vacation, but . . . it didn't happen. instead, i just remained in vacation mode, with respect to productivity, sleep/eating habits, and overall attitude. the result? i feel . . . less than 100%!

i now feel that i am fully ready to relinquish the lazy vacation life in exchange for feeling energized and on-top-of-things again! this means committing myself back to:

healthy eating. the past 10 days have been less than nutritionally ideal -- so many desserts and snacky-type items, and less Real Food. i'm ready to turn this back around now. it is amazing how much this impacts my energy and overall sense of well-being.

working on my morning routine! i've gone back to old "AHHGHGHGH I'M LATE MUST RUSH!#$*@#" AM habits. i don't think i've even had time to dry my hair once this week.

reading. for work, just 20-30 minutes/day . . . i know i can do this!

overall attitude. i think i've gotten an early case of senioritis. sometimes it really is hard to get motivated on 'easier' rotations -- laziness inertia, perhaps? there is actually a lot of learning to be had on my current rotation, and i will try to embrace it.

sleep. there needs to be more of it. 6.5 hours = not even close to enough.

mindfulness. yes, the M-word rears its ugly head once again. i will work on focusing on one day, one hour, one task at a time -- lately i've been so bogged down by future projects and 'what ifs?'. it's time to be present.



  1. Yay! I'm so excited to get to see you after all these years! :)

  2. Jenny9:25 AM

    Love the manifesto - I'll be rooting for you!

    I also want to enter the giveaway! I don't have a blog/ website, so can't do part II. But my current organizational system involves a pocket moleskin weekly planner, which I like, but it's running out at the end of the year AND a bit too small (3x5) for me to fit all the random thoughts/ plans/ to-dos I add throughout the day... the blank graph paper on the right in rhodia would be perfect for this purpose. And I just adore the orange color. Fingers are crossed for a win on the 14th. :)

  3. I don't have a blog either...but, my current organization system is a weekly planner, plus moleskins for groups/projects that require lots of to-do lists.

    Not going to lie - its not the most efficient system. The Rhodia would be nice because the entire page dedicated just to notes (I could start color-coding my projects instead of countless moleskins!)

  4. Jennifer12:30 PM

    I'd love to win :) My organizational system involves only the one and only That pretty much seems to be the only thing of real significance right now! And I also print off these cute calendar pages online with month-appropriate scenes on them and post them on the fridge for events that relate to both my husband and I. We use those to merge our amions into one :)


  5. Right now I'm "planning" on scraps of paper and memory. For the first time in my life, I'm not using a planner or calendar at work. Clearly I need your help!

    I'll link back to you in my next post.

  6. Enter me in the contest, too. I've got a link on my blog.

    My organizational system is based around the system described in Getting Things Done by David Allen. I use Google Docs to keep a running list of next actions, projects, and someday/maybe items and Google Calendar for things that have to happen on specific days. I also carry a pocket calendar for appointments I make away from the computer (no internet on phone :( ) and a pocket notebook for ideas that come to me away from the computer. I love the idea of being able to combine my calendar and notebook into one.

  7. I would love to win this planner--but I don't have blog/website--boooo! I currently use a weekly planner but it is a bit small for my tastes--it doesn't go hour by hour---just one small block for the day. IT's okay but I'd like more for my organization!

  8. weekly planners are awesome esp for busy college student like myself!

  9. Anonymous4:42 PM

    great giveaway! currently i use a standard mead weekly/monthly planner but the only bummer is that it doesn't have a place to make lots of notes and being so busy i need that!

    i linked to you too :)

  10. Ahhhh...I had my mentor meeting yesterday and reading was one of my "goals." Guess I have to do it now. :-)

    I currently use a small, simple calendar for my planning...and quite often forget it when I need it. I guess I should be more organized, though I DID have it with me today when I needed to schedule another dental appt. :-)

  11. I have a Franklin Planner...and I write some things in there but only look at it a couple times a week. I mostly just write things on paper, fold them up, and bring them with me wherever I go. It's super old school but it's my own 'organized' system that seems to have stuck!! I wish I had a planner that I really liked !!

  12. atilla9:28 PM

    My current system is to wake up at 5am and look at my printed schedule and do whatever it says to do

  13. Tiffany12:22 AM

    Oh no, I don't have a blog! But my current organizational system is alllll over the place since I like to write lists and fill in calendars and such. So I have lots of lists on random pieces of paper, my Google Calendar all filled out, my physical calendar on my wall all filled out, and my Google Tasks is full of oodles of things I have to do. Definitely not the most efficient system, and a cute little planner would be perfect for me to carry around.

  14. I don't have a blog. :( But I've been using Google calendar for my planning. I like it a lot, but I REALLY miss a paper planner!! Also, orange is the color of my alma mater! :)

  15. Natasha6:10 PM

    Right now I just use my calendar on my MacBook and my Outlook calendar on my work computer; it would be nice to have a physical calendar to keep in my purse!

  16. (I don't have a blog either!)

    I used an adorable little agenda featuring Rene Magritte's artwork for half the year as both a dayplanner and running log. After getting injured at the beginning of this summer, I abandoned it because I found it too depressing to look at my previous mileage while I was out. A bit embarrassing to admit.

    Now I try to stay organized by jotting things down on my work schedule calendar and using post-it notes.

  17. i use an old fashioned planner!! even though im no longer a student, i love the august-august ones!!

    i don't have a blog - maybe someday!

  18. I don't have a blog, but right now I make little to-do lists on post-its or I use my blackberry's calendar. I prefer paper though!

  19. Currently working on a dayrunner weekly calendar. Definitely looking to upgrade for 2010!

  20. My planning currently consists of scribbling down my work days on a piece of paper, losing it three times, finally finding one in my pocket before my scrubs go into the washing machine, and then writing them down on my day planner that I don't necessarily consult all that often.

    I need help. Haha.

    Just linked to this on my last blog post!

  21. Jessie2:17 PM

    My organization system could use some HELP!

    I currently rely on some large post-it type notes with "to do" lists for each of my days. However, in 2010 this will need to be upgraded! I am in the process of switching from a PhD program (genetics) to a masters in teaching program (I found myself loving the teaching aspect of the program MUCH more than the bench science). It's a pretty crazy transition, and I could use a great planner to help! (Also, LOVE the color... my first cell phone had an ORANGE face-plate)

  22. I posted something about it on my blog!
    My current system involves a moleskine cahier that tends to be terribly organized. This would be great!!

  23. I currently use a Moleskine softcover large weekly planner. I love how the Rhodia planner is formatted the same way as my current system (week on the left, blank page on the right), but my desk planner is too big to carry around, thus I end up with a bunch of scraps of paper that I then have to transpose into the big desk planner when I get home. With the Rhodia planner, I'd be able to carry around in my bag and make additions on the fly.

    Our blog is:

    Love your site, and thanks for the cool contest!

  24. I love being organized - I bought a planner and it is sitting in my bag...unused. I am finding it hard to get into a system. I will take any help I can get!

    My blog is:

  25. Ooh, love Rhodia! I'm using a Quo Vadis Trinote right now. I so need planners in my life to keep organized.

    My blog post is at:

  26. Emily7:06 PM

    This giveaway finally gives me an excuse to comment on your blog!
    I had some sort of organizational system while at Williams (after you) that I can't even remember, but must have worked well because I was mocked for my uber-organization. However, since med school and now surgery residency, I have no system. Basically, (as someone else mentioned) relying on amion and my memory.
    Could really use something to coordinate call/deadlines for research/social life/reminders/to-do lists.

  27. Stephanie7:14 AM

    It scares me that 2010 is coming so soon, but I'd love to have such a cute planner to help me get ready!

  28. I don't have a blog and I don't currently have an organizational system, but I probably need one to keep up with my husband's intern schedule!

  29. I use a notebook to make lists in and then my fiancé and I share a Google calendar. It works pretty well, but organization can always be improved!
    I don't have a blog.

  30. My current planning system includes post-it notes galore, reminders in my cell phone, and random facts on the calendar. I am a teacher and grad student, who will graduate in May and become a principal. Perhaps I need help planning!

  31. Meredith []12:30 PM

    I've been using Google calendar to try to coordinate my residency interview schedule* + other life committments. But I find writing on paper SO satisfying. Pick me pick me!!!

    *I have a Duke interview, but nothing from UNC yet...perhaps they are waiting for the Nov 1 Dean's letter.

  32. i could use to monitor my diabetes medications plus my veggies diet. will love to have it. thnx

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