Archive for August, 2008

Forests and turkeys and snakes, oh my!

Posted August 11, 2008 by
in Where to Go? | Add your comment »


It was a perfect day in New York this Saturday, not too hot, not too humid—utterly uncharacteristic of the typical August swelter. Some friends and I went out to Sterling Forest State Park, near the NY/NJ border in Tuxedo, for an easy day-long hike. First we climbed up to the old fire tower and snapped pictures of the view. Then we picnicked at a lookout spot a little further along the trail.

Later on, we crossed paths with an enormous rattlesnake—a timber rattler, endangered in this area—slithering calmly across the path and paying us no mind. It must have been at least 4-5 feet long, but we couldn’t manage to take any good pictures since the surrounding brush was so dense. I’ve never seen such a large snake outside of a zoo.

We also saw a flock of wild turkeys closer to the mountains’ base. They, too, were unalarmed by our presence, clucking happily along a couple yards away.

All in all, it was quite the adventure for a bunch of city dwellers! More photos after the jump… Continue reading »

| More

How creative is your cover?

Posted August 8, 2008 by
in Pens, Paper & People | 5 comments »


Many of our datebook covers come in a broad range of colors and designs, but so far, our Habana notebooks are only available in black, red, and orange. A blog reader recently suggested that we add more colors to this lineup, so I thought I’d put the question out there: would you like to see more colorful notebook options? Which colors interest you?

We’re already planning a blue cover for our 2010 Habana planners, and we can certainly look into using it for our notebooks, too. The RLH notebook collection also offers some more interesting and colorful covers. And we’ve been talking about teaming up with a laser engraving service to offer cool cover art like this and this, though that’s still in the early stages.

Decopatch, of course, is another option we offer for craft-minded cover enthusiasts…

| More

Vacation Time

Posted August 6, 2008 by
in Planning Tips | 1 comment »

Every summer articles appear in newspapers and magazines extolling the benefits of taking a complete, utter and total vacation from work for an extended period of time.

This advice may have been feasible 15 or 20 years ago before laptops, iPhones, blackberries, telecommuting, few support staff  and fierce global competition, but it isn’t practical now. How do you take a vacation from the computer in your living room? Because of the internet, customers and consumers expect timely, if not instant, answers.

On a practical level, if you don’t check your devices for one or two weeks, there will probably be 5,000 emails waiting for you, and voice mail and cell phone messages checking on your unanswered emails. The exhaustion of dealing with this avalanche of demands will wipe out the benefits of your vacation by the end of the first day back to work. It will be as if you never left.

Here’s my solution: check your email and voice mail once a day and respond to everyone very briefly. Keep things moving, but resist the temptation to start any new projects. Instead, keep a list of your ideas for when you get back to work full-time.

I find I’m less stressed (which is the point of my vacation) if I keep in touch lightly and don’t have to return to a mound of messes and demands.

How do you spend your summer vacation?  hammock-bubbles.jpg

| More

What’s going on around here?

Posted August 5, 2008 by
in Cabinet of Curiosities | Add your comment »


If you like to keep track of the news in your neighborhood, your job just got a lot easier: Radar, a new website from, automatically feeds you links to the latest stuff that’s going on near your address. According to the site’s blog:

Radar, as the name would suggest, organizes the news in dynamic, concentric circles around you. First it looks for news immediately around you, within 1000 feet. Then it searches for stories in your neighborhood. Then, in your city. And if you’re out in the middle of the desert somewhere, where there are no neighborhoods or cities, it will just keep on going until it finds something, then will ping it back to you. Just like the real thing.

What’s going on around you?

| More

Habana central

Posted August 4, 2008 by
in Where to Go? | Add your comment »

Another update for those who are curious about the Habana… both Swisher Pens and The Daily Planner now carry them online.

Other retailers who’ve ordered them, in no particular order: Art Brown, America’s Office Supply, Dunkerley’s, Morgan Hill Bookstore, Bucknell University Bookstore, University COOP, Salt & Paper, Rubinstein’s, Plimpton’s, Oblation Papers & Press, Newtown Bookshop, Malaprops, Maine Coast Bookshop, and Jason’s Office Products.

| More

10 Skills You Need to Succeed At Anything

Posted August 4, 2008 by
in Editorial, Planning Tips | Add your comment »

I found the “10 Skills” in the “Living” section of The Huffington Post.

I think Self Management, which is ranked #3, should be #1. “If success depends on effective action, effective action depends on the ability to focus your attention where it is needed most, when it is needed most. Strong organizational skills, effective productivity habits, and a strong sense of discipline are needed to keep yourself on track.”

“10 Skills You Need to Succeed At Anything” was penned by Dustin M. Wax, a contributing editor and project manager at dustin.jpg

Wax is also the creator of The Writer’s Technology Companion, a site devoted to the tools of the writing trade. When he’s not writing, he teaches anthopology and women’s studies in Las Vegas, NV. His book, Anthropology at the Dawn of the Cold War: The Influence of Foundations, McCarthyism and the CIA was just published by Pluto Books.

| More