January has got me thinking about calendars. OK – that’s a lie. I’m pretty much always thinking about calendars. But I figured that January might have YOU thinking about calendars.
It’s is a remarkable tool really — when kept up to date, your calendar tells you what’s happening today and what you’ve got coming up a week, a month, a year from now. When kept in a central location, it let’s your family know where you’re going to be and when. It tells you about your responsibilities, but it also tells you the fun stuff that you have to look forward to (to reward you for living up to those responsibilities).
As a person who plans ahead, you can imagine the love I have for the calendar in general. For many years that love manifested itself in the form of a Filofax (though quite a few models made their way into my heart and into my bag). About a year ago, I went digital — and I never looked back. Here’s why:
- I can color code without the markers. Back in my corporate days, I used to print out a clean calendar each month using Word’s Calendar Wizard feature. Then I took my markers, assigned a color to each project I was working on, and filled in the due dates. It was pretty to look at and made it visually clear which projects should be prioritized on a specific day. Happily, the folks over at Apple knew a few crazies like me, and let me set up my iCal to have multiple calendars, each assigned a different color.
- It’s easier than ever to remember an occasion. In my paper days, I always had to set aside some time to copy over all of the birthdays & anniversaries into the fresh pages of the new year’s calendar. Now that I’ve gone digital I can set these events up to repeat every year. If it’s a date that’s really important, I can set an alarm (I like to set it a few days in advance — it’s a good reminder to drop the card in the mail). And I have NO excuse not to remember my newly married friends’ anniversaries….I simply go to the entry with the details about their wedding, take out the location details, and edit it to repeat every year.
- Someone out there has already done a lot of the work for me. Want to know what date Memorial Day will fall on in 2012? How about game days for your favorite sports team? There’s a subscription calendar for that! Whether you use iCal or Outlook, you can subscribe to an internet calendar that will bring that information directly to the digital calendar you use everyday. Apple users can find calendars for download here. Outlooks users click here for more information.
Whether you do it digitally or on paper, keeping a calendar is key. Need help? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Follow me on Twitter for a daily organizing tip! http://www.twitter.com/chaostheorynyc