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Not so ordinary calendars for not so ordinary lives

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The 100 year Life Calendar "Little Boxes"

A calender for peope who love life so much, they want to seize every single day it offers.


This is Kalenderkind’s Life Calendar “Little Boxes”. It is the result of a quest that lasted 20 years, in order to answer one question: what is the perfect calendar. For some reason, with all calendars currently in existence, I always had the sense as if I don’t really understand my days.  I felt the need to need to see my days, months and years on one paper, in order to understand their shape and size and possibilities. This calendar is my currently final answer to the question of the perfect calendar. It came out big (119×84 cm or 47″x33”) and some have said, it is intimidatingly truthful. And it has to be, because it shows every single day of a person’s life.

I don’t think it is for everybody, because many people prefer to drift through life, letting days slip by, trying to avoid being confronted with the ultimate fact that our days are limited.  And then there are some people who, through tragedy and bad life events have learned to love life so much, they want to grasp each and every single day. They want to make good use of the limited amount they have. I think I slowly morphed from the one to the other through the course of my life. And now as I get older, I realise more and more that time is, in fact limited. Something that seemed like an abstract concept is now getting very personal and very real.

The research

In my research the perfect calendar, I couldn’t help but eventually change the question. It is not “what is a good calendar”, but more “what makes a good life”. A calendar is only as good as the life planing, the “goog life” that it enables. For some this could mean earn a lot of money, for other’s mastering a craft. Here are a few findings on how successful people organise their life:

Jerry Seinfeld and John Grishham

use a productivity chart As Jerry Seinfeld explains:

“The way to be a better comic is to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes is to write every day. Get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step is to get a red magic marker. For each day that you do your writing, you get to put a red X over that day. After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get to a few weeks. Your only job is to not break the chain”

To incorporate this idea into my calendar, I placed every day into a box that can be checked or crossed off each day.

Laura Vanderkam

author of a new mini e-book, “What the Most Successful People Do at Work.” says:

“People lament that they’d love to have strategic-thinking time, but they’re just too busy!” She suggests planning over different time frames. For instance, at the end of the year, you could plan your goals for the year, and then, in weekly planning sessions, make sure you are steadily working toward those goals.”

To incorporate this method into “my perfect calendar”, left spaces between each year row. I left these spaces without description or suggestions on what to enter. This space can hold any type of goal from trying to quit smoking in three months, to wanting to retire to a tropical island din twenty years. Without scrolling, pages reloads or calendar refills, it’s all visible on one sheet of paper

Sara Blakelynis

an American billionaire businesswoman and founder of Spanx, an American intimate apparel company. In 2012, Blakely was named in Time magazine’s “Time 100” annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She advises:

“You’ve got to visualise where you’re headed and be very clear about it. Take a polaroid picture of where you’re going to be in a few years.”

I think the visual aspect for calendars is huge. Even one year calendars are so tiny, compared to the amount of time it takes to really master a goal or get somewhere. It’s usually longer than a year, but who transfers it all to a new wall calendar each year. How else can you see your entire life planning if not on a single sheet, showing every single day you have with its real date. Simply by having the calendar on a wall to see every day motivastes like crazy.

I have a love-hate relationship to calendars. I must have bought hundreds over the past twenty years. And I think I probably never used or stopped using about 95% of them. Here is what I hate about any kind of current calendar:

  • They don’t track my work and progress over the minimum 2-3 years it takes to develop an important project. So I made a calendar that shows more than just a year or a handful. It shows all years I have.
  • They don’t keep me motivated every day because I don’t see the end goal. This calendar shows me exactly where I want to be in five or twenty-five years , how much time I have left and where I am right now.
  • They don’t keep me on track while jobs, cities, relationships change. This calendar finally lets me mark those up and downs without loosing sight of the big picture of where these changes should take me.
  • They always start new after a month or a year. This might be an advantage for having a clean slate with bad habits, but not for reaching my long term goals. This calendar shows my life as an ongoing stream, not a sequence of disconnected phases.
  • They usually end up forgotten and collect dust in a bookshelf somewhere. Since this calendar stays on my feature wall, it is always in sight. It is also dust free.
  • They usually contain lots of instructions, have boxes to fill out and tasks to do, which take the wind out of every longterm planning. This Calendar is barebones simple. It only shows me what’s necessary to get motivated every day by my own goals you have added. Nothing more.

In the past I sometime shad things like job changes I wasn’t sure about. Or a move into a different city seemed to hold some kind of promise. And I always wondered what the right move was. Usually we take chances because we are curious if maybe this time we get lucky and things will turn out the way we want. But then they usually don’t. Now instead of gambling, what I do is that I stand in front of this calendar and look the new option and then at my long term goals on the calendar. It becomes very clear if the two go into the same direction or not. And if not, nowadays I then listen to myself more than what others tell me how my life should be.

If you are interested in getting the calendarn for yourself, click on the Etsy link below.

Life Calendar “Little Boxes”
Buy on Etsy

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