I still feel a little confused about what day of the week it is. And no wonder. Is any time of year crazier than December, especially when Christmas falls on a Sunday? No one’s quite sure whether the don’t-come-to-work holiday, as opposed to the real holiday, should fall on the Friday before or the Monday afterward. Maybe both. Or neither, if you work retail. Ditto for New Year’s Day.
It’s enough to make your head spin.
Good thing I have the perfect tool to keep me straight in 2012—a pristine, unwrinkled, not-yet-coffee-stained, blotter-style desk calendar. It almost
covers the top of my desk and promises a year filled, I hope, with both purpose
I like the calendar because I can see the entire month all at once. And I like that every day has its own three-inch-by-three-inch lined square, which is plenty of room for jotting down appointments and projects. Undated squares leave space for lists not assigned to a specific date. A shrunk-down calendar of the whole year marches across the bottom of the page.
How can I help but be organized and efficient with such a calendar staring up at me every time I walk into my office?
It’s already inspired me to do some much-needed office clean-up. I went
through piles of paper and put each one where it belongs, which in most cases
meant the trash can. I threw away pencils whose erasers had gone hard and sharpened those that are still good. Disposed of dried-up ink pens and rusty paper clips and broken rubber bands. Put a fresh roll of scotch tape in the dispenser, new staples in the stapler and a tidy stack of computer paper in the printer.
I even toyed with the idea of dusting.
And I’ve flipped my 2011-2012 purse calendar to the new year and begun reconciling it with the one on my desk. I suspect I’m one of the last of the breed who carries such an item. But I like purse calendars. They weigh almost nothing and don’t take up much space and they always have a pretty picture—galloping horses or fluffy kittens or snow-capped mountains–on the cover. And sometimes an inspirational saying. The one I’m using now is decorated with delicate purple flowers and says “We are blessed by the simple joys of life.”
What’s not to like about a calendar like that?
I’ve never fallen into the trap of using a leather-bound Day Runner or At-A-Glance planning notebook. You know the ones. They cost a gazillion dollars and are as big and heavy as a Stephen King novel. So big, in fact, that most of the people who own them seldom take them anywhere, which means they either have to jot down notes on the back of a gum wrapper or try to keep them in their heads. Which, if you ask me, kind of defeats the purpose.
But no matter the style or size of a pencil-and-paper calendar, anyone who uses one is pretty much considered a dinosaur in this digital age. You might as well tell time by looking at a sundial. Boil water in a kettle on top of the stove. Hitch your mule to the buckboard to go to town.
Apparently the only hip way to keep a calendar nowadays is on a cell phone.
I’m told that there is a series of tiny buttons on most phones that you press to access the calendar. You can then enter and store appointments. You can
instruct the phone to save notes from year-to-year, in the case of important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. You can even set it to chime at a predetermined time as a reminder of what you need to do.
I’ve made it fifty-seven years without needing or wanting such a calendar.
But that may be about to change, all because of something I bought just a few days ago. In next week’s column, I’ll tell you all about it.
(January 8, 2012.)