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YOUR PAPER CALENDAR - use it to see the big picture

It weighs 108 pounds and costs a mere $10 million. It’s the world’s most expensive Advent calendar made for a wealthy Swiss family. The family travel throughout the year and wanted a special gift for each month leading up to Christmas. The final gift selection included everything from luxury designer watches to expensive artwork and luggage bags.

If this is not entirely to your taste or pocket, Porsche, the car people, have you covered! Their million-dollar Advent calendar includes a customisable kitchen, a speedboat, and 22 other goodies. Their creation offers everything from gold sunglasses to a tobacco pipe. “We think it will make for a very precious Christmas,” says a Porsche rep.

Compared to these exotic extravagancies, the notorious Pirelli calendar looks a snip at just under £70. However, you can watch the elaborate sales pitch for free at:

We tend to take time for granted. It just exists – we seldom question why or how. Your birthday may be in the summer, the week always starts on Sunday, and for some reason, February is super short and sometimes has an extra day. That’s just the way of the world.

Yet this has not always been the case. Ancient civilisations, like the Babylonians, Egyptians, and Romans, have played a significant role in telling time and the modern calendars we use today.

For example, the first calendar used by early Egyptians was a lunar one based on the rising and falling of the river Nile. This was inaccurate because it was wrong for up to 80 days. Imagine turning up to a meeting with the Pharaoh and having to explain why you’re nearly three months late!

Presumably, the Pharaohs got fed up with excuses such as “Sorry, I’m Iate, but It’s the Nile’s fault.” Instead, they introduced a solar calendar based on the star Sirius. The two calendars were used simultaneously, but they soon drifted apart, forcing the Egyptians to add an extra month to the lunar calendar once every three years.

The Malayans weren’t satisfied with just two calendars and resorted to three all at once. This led to the Malayan conclusion that the universe is destroyed and rebuilt every 2.88 million days. Be sure to make a note in your Outlook.

Besides these exotic gewgaws, the pedestrian MS Outlook Calendar lacks a degree of charisma. Yet many of us rely on it for scheduled meetings, special events, reminders, etc. It sits brooding on your smartphone, tablet or PC phone until summoned to tell us about new arrangements, appointments, tasks, folders, and shortcuts.

Not everyone, though, has been seduced by Microsoft into ditching their paper calendars. A study found that doing so has a definite downside. For example, 52% of those with paper calendars had followed through in attending the added events, compared with only 33% using digital calendars.

People with paper calendars report the strongest sense of seeing the big picture. A paper version lets them see all planned events together and helps users think more broadly about their activity. That way, they identify environmental problems and prioritise and organise their tasks more effectively.

Calendar management is an art form—and almost a job—in itself. It requires constant care and maintenance. Otherwise, you can end up swamped with menial tasks and lack time to focus on the more critical projects and events.

So, if you haven’t already voted for Outlook, consider whether ditching your simple paper calendar is a smart move.

12 tips for managing your calendar like a pro:

How To Effectively Organize Your Calendar, Indeed, 2022:


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