Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Calendars 102

This is a re-post from last year; I admit it. But hey, I'm feeling sick, lousy, and uninspired, and I already said what I wanted to say, so what's wrong with putting it out there again for those of you who missed it?

Have you bought your 2010 calendar yet? If not, stop reading this blog post. Go buy a wall calendar, a purse calendar, a desk calendar, a family fridge calendar, refills for your Day Timer, whatever you use. Right now! Yes, really! Then come straight back. Now are you ready?

First, make sure you have your current calendar beside the new one. Then, go through and add in all the birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, and holidays. Use a pen for all these dates. Next, find all those scraps of paper stuffed under the couch cushions and scribbled on the edges of the old calendar that have the events scheduled for this coming year. Write all these events in your new calendar. Use a pencil for these events. That way if there are last minute changes, you won’t have a scribbled out mess on your calendar. Be sure to update all your calendars (including the family one on the fridge) every time you make a change.

The next most important tip is to use your calendar FAITHFULLY! Never commit to an appointment without consulting your calendar. Train your children (and hubby!) to do the same thing. Don’t forget to write down each and every new event right away, otherwise you’re likely to forget about it.

Here comes the fun part! Let me tell you about my favorite products. My absolute favorite calendar organizational item is my Palm Centro (it goes EVERYWHERE with me and syncs with my computer calendar, too). I realize not everyone wants one of those (or could have one), but it’s what I use. My next favorite tool is a monthly, magnetic, dry-erase calendar by Boone (bought at Wal-Mart). Each week is a separate magnet, so we can always see ahead for an entire month ahead of where we are. All family appointments, classes, and other events go onto that calendar. Each family member has his or her own color marker to designate personal events. Each child also has her own small student calendar, and I am training them to put long-term homework assignments as well as schedules into these. (True confession: I wrote this post a year ago & we're still working on this goal!) We also have a few wall calendars by our desks, mostly for long-term reference.

If you aren’t visiting with family or friends, New Year’s Day is a great time to make the official transfer from the old calendar to the new calendar. See, I’ve given you a whole extra day to go buy your calendars!

Q4U: What's your best calendar organizing tip? What's your favorite type of calendar? (Oops, that's 2 questions.)