Elevate Difference

A Woman's Agenda 2011: Celebrating Movers and Shakers

Whenever I walk into an office supply store, my heart bursts into song. Traipsing rapturously down the aisles of Staples or Office Depot, it's all I can do not to spin like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. Five subject notebooks and highlighter markers, White-Out and staples and hanging file folders, colorful Post-its of differing size: these are a few of my favorite things.

As someone with a fetishistic love of organization, I appreciate a good annual planner. While I generally keep my schedule and to do lists updated using a variety of paperless tools—such as Outlook's calendar feature and Google Docs—there are benefits to having a hard copy version of my schedule: at a glance, I can see everything on my plate without needing to pull out my laptop. It also allows me to step out of the weeds of my day-to-day commitments and reflect about my workload and my year. Finally, because I'm shortly going to be spending the next two years volunteering abroad, I want to have a tangible, coherent vision of what's happening in my life next, during months of transition where I will feel lost and out of control for long stretches of time—and possibly with minimal technology available.

A lot to ask of a planner, I know. Still, A Woman's Agenda 2011 seems a good fit for my needs. Solidly spiral bound and measuring roughly five inches by eight inches, the calendar is hefty enough to accommodate the details of my schedule I need while still being small enough to fit in a purse or messenger bag—and feel manageable. Each month has two blank pages for notes; each week has space for an hour-by-hour breakdown of your schedule. Unfortunately, the weekends get short shrift, with fewer lines allotted for tasks on Saturday and Sunday.

This oversight is compensated for, to an extent, by the inspiration that dots the pages of this calendar: every month has a feminist luminary. Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and American politician Shirley Chisholm both receive two-page profiles, as do several Canadian women like women's hockey team captain Cassie Campbell-Pascall. Every week also has an inspiring quote, presumably by the woman profiled at the start of the month (those these are unattributed, so this is an assumption). Finally, there is a list of feminist websites to visit for further inspiration and community.

While A Woman's Agenda 2011 is flawed, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Snag one for the on-the-go feminists in your life, as they start to reflect on what they'll accomplish in the coming year.

Written by: Catherine Nicotera, November 15th 2010

Really helpful review, I'm always on the lookout for inspirational calendars and diaries since they give you a daily lift plus reminder to live to your maximum. I've just bought one for myself and another as a Christmas Gift, thanks!