Real Simple goofed! write-on wipe-off calendar a mistake

talley_sue_nycMarch 27, 2007

In the current issue (I think it's the current one--I don't have it here), Real Simple does a makeover of a family's command center.

They replace the paper calendar with a snazzy-looking write-on, wipe-off calendar.

What a bunch of morons!

So now, once a month, she has this annoying chore--she has to erase the calendar, and write all the new numbers for it. Plus, she has to fill in all the upcoming dates and obligations, PLUS look on some OTHER calendar to remember which ones are the holidays, etc.

Speaking of those upcoming dates and obligations--Where is this poor woman supposed to write down the info for NEXT month? For October?

When someone calls her to ask them to do something, where will she look to remind herself that this is the HOLIDAY weekend, and they'd hoped to go out of town on that weekend?

I don't know about your life, but me, I'm still in March. And yet on Sunday, I got the list of duties at church, and my DD has acolyte duties on the 8th of APRIL. How in the world would I remember that with a write-on, wipe-off calendar? I can't write it on the calendar, remember--I'm still in March.

I'd have to have a special file folder (ERROR: creating the neeed for yet another 'home' for 'stuff) for this sort of upcoming thing.

And the chart doesn't tell me that the 8th is Easter--which is something I would want to know before we got to the 8th--so I'd need to keep another calendar in that folder so I'd have somewhere to look (ERROR--creating a need for a duplicate)

I'd so crabby about this--I'm sort of amused at myself how mad I am. What a bunch of idiots!

Write-on, wipe-off calendars have a purpose--for rapidly changing schedules in a workplace, perhaps--or maybe for the daily chores, since kids might decide to swap duties to accommodate one another.

They are a lousy place to keep a true master calendar.

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Yeah, there are better magazines out there for families. Ones with better editors. ;o)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 9:31AM
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LOL, Stephanie, and thanks!

The thing is, I can actually see some of the magazines I work with making this stupid mistake, bcs they'd focus so darn much on how it LOOKED and not on how it workd.

Oh, Stephanie, the big cheese came into my office yesterday--I'm WAY WAY WAY around and around and around the corner, so no one accidentally walks past my office. I think she was surveying the turf as a reevaluation of how we're using our space. Anyway, my office is a pit--I have a pile of boxes to file, and issues from the printer, that I haven't dealt w/ bcs, well, I just haven't needed to. YIKES!

I sort of said, sheepishly, "I've let it go a bit," and she looked at me sharply and said, "Yes!"

Clean-up time! (not that she'll ever be back to look at it again...)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 9:51AM
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I'm already booking stuff on our calendar for August. I blocked out Scout camp dates months ago and now am looking to see if some other activities work with previously scheduled times. I couldn't function with the wipe-off calendar. I think several of us also said, in a previous thread, that we used our old calendars as reference when we needed to know a specific date we went to the dr., etc.

I haven't found Real Simple to be a useful magazine. It's simpler for me to just keep my money.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 12:54PM
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There was a time when I might have settled for looks over function. But these days I'll take function over looks and be estatic if I get good looks and function. I wouldn't thing that Real Simples demographics are any dummies. Your right they goofed big time.
I stopped looking at their magazine when their simple recipe involving 6 ingredients had me going to EVERY grocery chain in the area. I never did find that special ingredient. Go so mad --how simple was this?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 1:06PM
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I rejected Real Simple when I saw that their 'real simple' wardrobe elements were hundreds of dollars each piece.

I'm with Quiltglo. It is 'real simpler' not to read it.

(Great concept. Bad execution.)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 7:27PM
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I still don't like all those pastel fonts in ANY Magazine. I just don't bother to read them even at the stands unless something cathes my eye.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 11:12PM
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Real Simple = Real Photogenic. It's all about the photography. Not at ALL about the Real World.

Talley Sue, you should print your post and send it to the editors of Real Simple.

Real Simpleminded, the lot of 'em.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 6:54AM
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"Real Simpleminded". LOL! What a great title for a new magazine!!LOL!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 8:06AM
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LOL. I usually can be found in Kitchens or Cooking, but I'm buried under ever growing piles of paper (post renovation), so I'm sticking my nose in here.

I just had to laugh at this. I totally agree with you Talley Sue. I've never figured out why organizers think that white board calendars are so great for a family. That and the fancy magnetic calendar in the Pottery Barn catalog. Like I don't have enough work. I enjoyed Real Simple when it first came out, but I stopped my subscription years ago.

Now I have a little rant: I keep my calendar on my mac and sync it with my Treo. It's the only way I can keep on top of everything. But an organizer I know in town said that I really need to have a family calendar that the kids can see, so I'm not "the keeper of the calendar." She said it would get the kids in the habit of checking for themselves.

She's right, in theory, but I just don't know how to pull it off. My 16-year-old is constantly attached to his computer, so I tried to do calendar sharing. Can't get the kid to look at it. I even tried leaving messages on the calendar like--"5 bucks if you see this today."

If I could find a way to turn his calendar into a video game, I'd be golden! Ok, I feel better now. ;-)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 8:23AM
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Can you print out that calendar from your Mac once a week or something? If the programmers were smart, there'd be a way to print out a big traditional-monthly-calendar style.

You might actually find that printout useful yourself, during family conversations about logistics, etc.

i know that because I go look at the calendar to check what we're doing this weekend, or whether we have youth group one weekend, my kids will too.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 9:38AM
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Lena M

I agree, any calendar that requires the writing of dates is a waste of time.

I also enjoy reading the notes written on those magazine/Pottery Barn memo boards:

*lobster boil with Margeaux and Winchester, bring Champagne

*flight to Paris!

Never the kind of dates my family would note:

*bail bond for Uncle Harry

*Mom's Colonoscopy: KEEP BATHROOM FREE


    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 11:40AM
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sharon, I think the organizer has a point about being the keep of the calendar. We do use a large family calendar on the side of the fridge. If it's not on the calendar, it doesn't happen. My dh has actually been the hardest to train to use the family calendar. He has his own office system, but feels like if something is routine and happens on the same day/time every week we should remember. I have told him I don't have room in my brain to remember to work around his schedule. Get it on the calendar.

We have been using this system for four years now. The payoff has really been with the kids. They all routinely get their stuff on the calendar and check to see what else is happening. It's very infrequent that we end up double booked and it's usually the husband's fault.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 1:37PM
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getting the kids to use the family calendar isn't only about easing the burden on you, the master calendar holder; it's also about TEACHING them how to be a grownup. it's an important educational step.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 2:23PM
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Yep, I agree. But paper calendars just don't work for me. Printing off a calendar doesn't work, because things change too much and I'll forget to print a new one.

I found a calendar-sharing app for the mac calendar, I just need to get the kids trained to use it. It will update my calendar if they add to theirs and visa versa... It's just getting them trained that's been difficult (some attention issues at hand...).

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 3:23PM
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That was the funniest thing ever!!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 8:28AM
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My calendar from february is still hanging on the fridge. Hey, March has the same day/dates as february. guess i'll have to change it for april.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 9:10AM
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Lena, I usually lurk, but I just had to comment -- I literally spit coffee on my keyboard I laughed so hard at your post! Thanks for my laugh of the day :)

I swear by my More Time Mom's calendar. Sixteen months and BIG daily boxes to write in. We'd all come to a screeching halt without it.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 9:33AM
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and see, the editors at Real Simple lost a great opportunity to highlight a really great product for their readers, because they didn't more carefully investigate the paper calendar idea!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 10:31AM
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I've seen write-on calendar boards that are made in sections for weeks or months--you just move them around instead of constantly re-writing. However, I agree that they would only work to let everyone in the family know about the short term.

We have 3 in our family, and DH & I keep our schedules on our own computers. I do have the closest thing to a "family" calendar, and I color code events by category. For example, I use categories for School, DS, DH, Travel, Vendors, and Personal-mine only. Info or to-do items that I plan to erase are in black type; if I convert them to an appt. they get color coded. I send "invites" from my contact manager to update DH's calendar & he does the same for me. Every so often the family gets together specifically to share dates. DS is in the 7th grade & keeps a school calendar in his binder, plus he has just recently started carrying a pocket daytimer for his scout & other out of school events & things to do.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 10:03AM
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Lena -- You're a scream! That's the funniest thing I've read all week.

Women's magazine editors are generally out of touch with the rest of us. They live in New York or Chicago or Atlanta, and they publish what they think we want to dream about. Many years ago I worked in New York magazine publishing. Editors give the most attention to whoever makes their job easier by providing the most interesting news release, the best photographs, perks, freebies, biggest advertisements, or best restaurant lunches.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 9:54PM
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Glad I read this, we were looking for a wipe-off calendar. I think we will stick to the current method, which starts with the 12-month paper calendar that the school gives us. We just add everything else (Dr appt, soccer, etc.) and each month tear out a page, tape it to the fridge, and write in any new items. Now that is 'Real Simple'.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 11:34PM
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My mom loved the "bad calendar"--the band sold a school calendar every year as a fund-raiser, marked w/ all the school events--ball games for all seasons, vacations, concerts. They had big squares, bold numbers (my biggest complaint about the DayRunner calendar I have now: the numbers are thing and gray, not black).

I just hang my calendar where we can all see it, and save myself the step of tearing a page off.

One thing abut magazine editors is that their lives, esp. if they're in NYC, are VERY different. We live in smaller spaces, traveling is very different, stores are much weirder, crummier, smaller. And, the biggie--especially for that story's sake--I'm betting that the stylist on that particular story doesn't have kids.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 10:13AM
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Lena M

...their lives, esp. if they're in NYC, are VERY different...

Hmm, that explains why the one magazine I could tolerate (until I overdosed on Thomas Kincaid and Franklin Mint ads, and they added a fashion feature with $500 skirts) was Better Homes & Gardens -- published in Des Moines, IA.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 1:09PM
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Actually I use a wipe off calendar and it works well for me. Appts, etc are kept in my electronic gadget PDA? and before I was given this thing I had a paper calendar book that I carried in my purse. The wipe on/off calendar is so the family knows what's going on on any given day. My calendar board actually has 7 lines and I simply roll the months. As one week finishs I wipe and put the next week from the bottom in it's place - does that make sense? I had those plastic rubber things - like the decorations for windows, with the calendar month names that I would stick at the beginning of the month. If my DH or DDs/DS has something going on they add it to the board and then I add it to my PDA. That way I know what's going on with everyone. But it's an added visual each morning on what's going on for the day. I've been doing this since forever. I use a small one now but when the kids were little it was quite large - so the kids had space to write. A paper calendar never had enough room. But we also listed chores etc on the calendar. Oh and everything was color coded, each one of us was a different color.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 2:40PM
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