You’ve got big plans for this year. This is going to be your best year yet, and you need to stay organized. Have you considered which calendar will work for you and not against you this coming year? You have options, you know.
Before assessing your choices, take into account three thoughts. First, how do you remember appointments best? Needing to physically write them down with a pen (or pencil for those whose plans tend to change) may automatically rule out calendars that require typing that may be less memorable to you. Second, keep in mind who can see your calendar. You may not want your boss to know about certain doctors’ appointments or that upcoming interview with a competing company, or you may not want the pressure of your significant other asking about your upcoming employee evaluation. It is best to keep work and personal items in one place in order to maintain work-life balance. Having separate calendars for each can lead to over scheduling or worse, missing an important deadline. Lastly, it’s a calendar that lives online, on your computer, on your phone, on your desk or on your wall; it is not carved in stone. This year, accept the challenge to change your calendar system if it’s not working for you. Why waste time logging events in something you don’t use? A calendar is meant to work for you remember.
All calendars come in hourly, daily, weekly and the year-at-a-glance version. Decide which you prefer before comparing calendars to make your choice simpler.
The traditional paper calendar is quite useful in today’s high-tech world. Having a desk calendar, wall calendar or pocket planner helps keep events top of mind. If you see it every day, the chances remembering commitments you’ve made are much greater. Pocket planners are a convenient, portable and private.
Dry erase board calendars come in various sizes and styles with decorative options if you desire. These are an easy way to maintain a wall calendar if your schedule is ever changing. If you decide this is the calendar type for you and you use it in a home with small kids, it’s imperative that you keep it above their reach.
Computer software calendars offer many advantages. They are customizable by typeface choice, decoration, icons and even personal photos. You can even change the settings next December if you decide. This software can convert time zones around the world. Having an alarm go off on your computer screen is also a nice perk. The contacts that exist on your computer can be linked to your calendar, so your sister-in-law’s phone number is handy on her birthday. Computer software calendars are also printable if you like the computer-paper hybrid option.
Many online calendars exist for free and are similar to the computer software calendars. Like the computer software calendars, you input the information and it is stored. Also, they are printable. Online calendars can send e-mail alerts about upcoming events. These are by far the most easily shared calendars (via e-mail) if you need a work group or your family to know your schedule. Settings exist to have other people add to your online calendar which is helpful for wedding plans, company meetings, school group projects and so on. Online calendars can also sync with your smart phone.
Calendars typically come standard on your phone for free. The smarter your phone, the more advanced your calendar. Smart phones give you the option to set alarms from minutes to days ahead of any given event. Naturally, this type of calendar syncs with your phone’s contacts. Most smart phone calendars can be easily linked to your computer for a seamless work-to-personal life transition. The smart phone calendar has become the new pocket planner.
Remember to choose a calendar that helps you rather than adds another “to-do” to your ever-growing list. It doesn’t have to be high-tech nor flashy to be effective. The following month decide if you need to change some aspect of your calendar system or if you need an entirely new one. Oh and schedule those New Year’s resolutions immediately!