For all of the online tools we use to do our jobs — Airtable, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Slack, you name it — it never ceases to amaze me how dependent women in journalism are on paper products. With 2019 just around the corner, here are eight recommendations for physical planners to make the most of your new year.
Blue Sky Planner
For daily tasks, I write in a Blue Sky planner. It's the size of a standard notebook, easy to leave open due to its wire binding and has enough daily space for lots of notes. On the days that looking at my planner feels overwhelming, I jot top tasks on a sticky note pad that can stand up on its side. It sits at eye level under my computer to keep me focused throughout the day. When I complete the tasks I simply stick the note onto the date in the planner so I have record of it.
— Brandi Broxson, senior editor at Real Simple magazine
Poketo Daily Weekly Monthly Planner
I love it because it gives you the flexibility to take notes on the side of the weekly pages in addition to any appointments you have, and there's plenty of room to track due dates for bills or projects or applications. It’s saved me at countless workshops and conferences, too, when I don't have a notebook because it has extra note-taking pages in the back. Plus, the paper quality is great and the planner pretty much fits in any backpack or purse I carry it in.
— Raquel Zaldivar, visual journalist at the Chicago Tribune
I personally love the Mossery’s paper planners. They come in a great variety of covers (all SO beautiful and unique) and are fully customizable on their website in terms of paper type (lined, graph, blank) and format (yearly, monthly or weekly planner). Plus, you can personalize the cover with any text (mine has my name on it and it feels so special)!
— Adrienne Shih, social media and engagement editor at Foreign Policy magazine
Ink + Volt Planner
I've tried out quite a few paper planners, but my favorite is the Ink + Volt planner. It's really helpful for organizing and tracking goals on a weekly and monthly basis to get the most out of my time, and reminds me to think about bigger picture goals, beyond just my daily to-do list. Using it has also helped me get into the habit of doing a weekly review, where I look back at the past week and set goals for what I want to accomplish in the coming week. I carry it with me everywhere in my purse — I can't live without it now.
—Nisha Chittal, engagement editor at Vox.com
Rifle Paper Co. 17-Month Planner
I love Rifle Paper Co.'s hardcover spiral desk planners, and have gifted them to other lady journalists over the years. It lays flat on my desk so I can see my week at a glance, and it's an easy flip (thanks to tabs!) to monthly views and longer-term planning/important dates/notes sections. Each day in the weekly view has space for 14 tasks/lines, with checkboxes that let me have that endorphin rush as I accomplish things. An elastic snap keeps it closed for when I cart it to meetings. I like to stand out with a loud floral pattern, but there are multiple beautiful designs each year. The newest version comes with planning stickers, which I'm very excited about.
— Rachel Piper, digital news editor at The Salt Lake Tribune
Staples Small Academic Planner
I swear by my Staples brand weekly planner — I've been buying the same one every year since high school. I like that it's bare bones and not too prescriptive — it doesn't force me into writing weekly goals or dividing up my day in 1-hour increments. Rather, it just has several lines per day, leaving enough space for scribbling, and lets me view the entire week at once. It's big enough that I can stuff things in it and not have to shrink my messy handwriting down, but small enough to stick in almost every bag I own. I truly don't know how I'd function without it.
—Ellie Krupnick, managing editor at Eater
Savor Life Daily Action Planner
This planner forces me to be honest about my priorities. I use the "Pull Weeds" and "Plant Seeds" sections to differentiate between the tasks that need to get done and the ones that will help me grow.
—Suzie Liu, associate producer at ABC News Radio
Leuchtturm Weekly Planner and Notebook
I love the Leuchtturm1917 weekly planner and notebook. Each week is laid out on one page with a blank notebook page next to it, so you can get your weekly overview and to-do list at a glance. This brand has some of the best quality notebooks on the market. It's comparable to Moleskine, but the notebooks are a little bigger and the paper is thicker. I've used a few different Leuchtturms over the years, including their notebook with dotted-page when I used to bullet journal. But the weekly planner & notebook brings together everything I need in a planner.
— Tania Karas, foreign correspondent
Things Worth Reading
Book recommendation: “Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman” by Lindy West.
Lexi Belculfine’s bullet journal tips.
Career advice for women is a form of gaslighting: “The truth is that women face biases that are far too profound and complex to expect any individual to resolve them on their own.”
Ever felt jealous of a friend’s career accomplishment?
Bright Carbon’s resources for putting together better presentations.
This essay from Katie Hawkins-Gaar: “But feeling happiness for others — not immediately turning someone else’s success into my personal failure — is still something I battle with.”
Slide Carnival’s library of free PowerPoint and Google Slides templates.
Do Your Homework
We live in insane times with a constant news cycle affecting everyone’s emotions. It’s a time to be good to one another and remind our staffs about any employee assistance benefits. But it’s also a time to look out for one another when it comes to what we’re saying online. It is impossible not to feel something — rage, hopelessness, sadness, excitement, validation — but we cannot allow our personal beliefs to muddy the validity of our journalistic work. If you see a friend posting something that could be construed as biased, it’s OK to send a kind private message about it. It could be as simple as suggesting clearly labeling when sharing opinion pieces. As journalists, we represent not only everyone in our media organization, but also the industry as a whole, and we should hold each other accountable for pursuing the highest ethical standards.
Focus on the Work
When Masuma Ahuja dreams up an idea, she goes big. At the beginning of the summer, she pitched a project to the Washington Post to explore what life looks like for teenage girls around the world. Girlhood around the World is now a 10-week pop-up series in the Post’s The Lily newsletter that asked teenage girls in 10 different countries to share their diary entries.
“I cover gender around the world, and I’ve found that so much of what we read about girls and girlhood around the world are a mix of headlines about victimization, sexualization and the exceptional girls fighting back,” Ahuja said. “I’m so excited and proud to be creating journalism that helps readers understand what it means to be a girl in today’s world and that helps people get a glimpse into what life is like for ordinary girls living in different countries and circumstances.”
P.S. Usually in this section, we are laser focused on one aspect of reporting, but this week we can't help but mention this similar story from the New York Times that dives into what life looks like for girls turning 18 in 2018.