I got my transcript ordered and mailed, got access to my old college account so I could check things like my GPA and date of graduation on the unofficial transcript, estimated my 2010 income, and got my online application submitted December 28th. (I finished paying off my undergraduate student loan on the 15th, so that fell into place quite nicely.)
I then entered the anxiety-ridden doldrums of WAITING for a response. The informational email I got reminded me to check my email frequently for a status update, and then qualified
"frequently" as "as often as once a week, but not as often as every 5 minutes". How did they KNOW??