Do you have your 2020 calendar yet? The options are beautiful, and many are pricey. But best of all, they're "blank," free of clutter, a year's worth of strike-throughs and cryptic notes in the margins.
"Next year will be different," is the thought. But if the only thing that changes is the date on the front of the calendar, next year's calendar will shortly be just as messy as this year’s edition.
If you use a paper calendar, the advent of the "Roaring ’20s" is the perfect time to go digital. Here are 11 reasons why:
1. Save money. Google Calendar is free and powerful enough to handle all your needs. In fact, if you have a Google account, you already have a Google Calendar whether you use it or not.
2. Enter repeating events once. Think of how many events happen every week or every month at the same time. With a digital calendar, enter the event once and decide when it repeats. If something changes, making one change updates all future occurrences.
3. No mess. Plans change. Need to reschedule a date? With a digital calendar, drag the event to the new date. No more strike-throughs.
4. All the details. With a digital calendar, a large block holds all the information about the event. View the agenda for the meeting, who will be in attendance, questions to ask and even attachments for needed documents. Add the location, and when it's time to leave, Google Maps is ready to give you turn-by-turn directions.
5. View in a variety of ways. Some people like to see the "big picture" and opt for a month-at-a-glance calendar. Others want to see one day at a time. With a digital calendar, we can have our cake and eat it, too. One tap or keystroke toggles between the month, the week and the day.
6. Share it. Say goodbye to synchronizing calendars with your spouse or co-workers. With just a few mouse clicks, selected people can edit (and if you wish) make changes. Each calendar shows up in its own color. Toggle them on or off to make viewing easier. Imagine being able to see the events for the entire family in one place. Each person's calendar in its own color.
7. It's always with you. If you've got your phone, you have your calendar. No more having to get back to someone after you check your calendar.
8. Get reminders. How convenient would it be to get an audible reminder 10 minutes before that meeting? When days get busy, the digital calendar never forgets where your attention needs to be.
9. Easier to schedule with others. Various services can connect to your digital calendar. Other people are able to schedule with you. Say goodbye to telephone tag and "email battleship." Instead, the appointment automatically goes on your calendar. You get an email confirmation (See bit.ly/frankbuck133). Booking a flight or hotel? When the email confirmation lands in your inbox, Google puts the pertinent information on your Google Calendar for you. It even links back to the original email. Organization just got easier.
10. Add with your voice. "OK Google, add 'Hair Appointment' to my calendar December 19th at 2 p.m." You don't even have to touch the phone. With a Google Home, Alexa or other smart speaker, you can sit on the couch and talk to the speaker across the room.
11. Your calendar "goes that far." How many times do you hear someone says they can't book a future date because "...my calendar doesn't go that far.” Go digital and schedule as far in the future as you like. Earn the added benefit of being able to search events into the future or back in the past.
I went to a digital calendar in 2001. Many readers have done the same. If your calendar is still on paper, why not start a new decade with a new approach?
Frank Buck is the author of “Get Organized!: Time Management for School Leaders.” "Global Gurus Top 30" named him #1 in the Time Management category for 2019. Dr. Buck speaks throughout the United States and internationally about organization and time management. You can reach him through his website: FrankBuck.org. Follow him on Twitter @DrFrankBuck.