What do you want in a planner?

Mon 9 Mar 2009 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

In August we’re going to publish something different: the first in what we’re hoping will be an annual series of . . . desk calendars(!) with A Working Writer’s Daily Planner 2010: Your Year in Writing. (You can preorder it using that Paypal link or here.) We figured there was a gap for something like this, so why not go for it.

A Working Writer's Daily Planner 2010: Your Year in Writing CoverThe calendar will be published in August so we’re almost finished putting it together and we’ve been having great fun adding all the things we would like to be in a calendar.

And then we thought: there’s a whole big internet of people who might, just might, have some opinions on this, too, so here we go: what are you looking for in a planner/calendar/diary? What is the killer app (as it were, this is a book, there may be an online component of it later, we’re not sure) that would make this irresistible to you—or for someone else as a gift? Is it phases of the moon? Birthdays of interesting people? Converter tables between liters and pints, inches and centimeters, parsecs and kilograms?* Market information? Blank space?

Some of these will be in the calendar, some won’t. We’re looking for your help to make this better and we’re looking forward to your suggestions. So, please, send in what you’d like in it and feel free to repost this on anywhere else.

* That’s a tough one. May need a physicist or two to help us there.


No Responses to “What do you want in a planner?”

  1. James on March 9th, 2009 3:49 pm

    I love it. Just steal learn from the format of those August to August calendars from Mixed Role and I’ll be happy enough to buy at least a couple. Throw in some cool art and some weird factoids a la Schott’s Miscellany and I’ll buy more.

  2. Ben on March 9th, 2009 8:26 pm

    off the top of my head:

    Secret pockets
    doodle space
    tear-out ear plugs
    paper airplane instructions
    instructions for how to avoid repetitive stress injury
    instructions for how to fold a paper hat
    a space to write daily word counts
    a pre-recorded voice folded inside ala hallmark cards that tells you how awesome you are and what a great writer you are and how you don’t even suck at all
    author’s birthdays with interesting anecdotes about how at one time they sucked, too, before they didn’t
    a peculiar cocktail recipe
    Herman Melville’s favorite dish
    half a dozen writing prompts
    a tin-foil hat (folded into the secret pocket)
    a map of a town that doesn’t exist, but could, if you wished to write about it
    a handkerchief
    a page containing blank faces with space to write their names and a few qualities underneath

    Then have the calendars all blessed by ___________ and cursed by ______

    can’t wait.

  3. lcrw on March 9th, 2009 8:43 pm

    James: we’ve got a bunch of cool art and we should manage some weird miscellany, some of may even be true.

    Ben: some of these we’ve got. For the others: you’re hired. Now, go find out what Melville’s favorite lunch was.

  4. Greer Gilman on March 9th, 2009 10:47 pm

    A different sort of chocolate behind each door

    Plot twists

    Tea ceremonies

    Invocations of the muses

    Hyperspace links

    Oh, and phases of the moon would be nice as well

  5. Dave Schwartz on March 10th, 2009 11:20 am

    I like Ben’s idea of affirmations. Perhaps excerpts of terrible reviews great authors received?

    Also I would like to know if I will need a special adapter plug to connect this planner to my computer. I have all these unused cables just in case I should need them again and I am hoping you can help me with that.

  6. lcrw on March 10th, 2009 3:25 pm

    Greer, we can’t reveal the plot twists yet, sorry.

    Dave: I think it’s the scuzzy cable that you need….

  7. Kristin on March 11th, 2009 11:22 pm

    Yes to the conversion table idea but how about something targeted to the young fantasy/science fiction/mystery writer in all of us? How far can a horse travel in a day? Carrying two riders when one is an elf and one is human? What is the minimum amount of oxygen content/gravity/sunlight able to sustain human life? How do you allow for time dilation? A ratio for ambient temperature to body temperature for establishing time of death.

  8. lcrw on March 12th, 2009 5:25 pm

    Kristin: I love that conversion table idea! Any chance you want to prepare it???

  9. Daniel on March 12th, 2009 7:42 pm

    Horoscopes written by famous/talented writers

    Temporary tattoos

    Short stories hidden in secret places throughout the book

    Suggestions for character names along with meanings and histories

  10. Daniel on March 13th, 2009 2:57 pm

    Also, Susan Patron has a great, brief essay in the new “Horn Book” magazine. She talks about procrastination and writer’s block, and says she wouldn’t have been able to finish writing her latest novel if it weren’t for the encouraging e-mails she got from her editor, Ginee Seo. (Ginee also tried, unsuccessfully, to convince Susan’s husband to cook all the meals until the novel was finished. She even sent recipes.) So I think you should get Ginee Seo to write encouraging messages in the planner. she could also include recipes.

  11. Kristin on March 13th, 2009 3:02 pm

    I will do my best to put together a table. Any suggestions for things in fiction needing conversion will be very welcome!

  12. lcrw on March 18th, 2009 2:14 pm

    Daniel: we’ll offer Ms. Seo a job and see what happens. Sounds like someone we could work with.

    Kristin: more along the lines you started? How about how many old ladies visiting your town does it take to produce a murder? An adverb removal tool to convert your text into noir? Hmm, how about posting this instead, yep, off to do that now.

Leave a Reply