In 2007 we decided we wanted to see the entire year at a glance—at the granularity of every hour. Wanted to be able to look up at the wall occasionally and see the year visibly slip away: motivation…

We’ve been making our radial and linear calendars almost every year since. When we printed them on paper & distributed them they were better: good paper and good printing can’t be beat. (As well as the fact that odd sizes are good: print the radial on letter-sized paper and you’ll have something virtually worthless; print the linear as we originally sized it—just slightly larger than letter or A4, and when you organize a stack of paper by tapping it on the desk the calendars stick out just a bit—useful if they’re the overview/index of that stack.) Won’t be printing them this complicated year.

Here are the PDFs for 2021. Feel free to share. (Contact me if you want to print lots.)

Once More Around the Sun

From A calendar I sometimes print. A primary purpose was to be able to see time move on a whole-life scale. (I’d look at it, then look again after working for a couple of hours.) It’s usually hard to think of hours and years in the same mental context. Another primary purpose was to be a record. I’m hoping some of the few thousand people who had the 2007 one still have it—looking at their marks on it might evoke memories that would be completely lost otherwise; a way to retain more of life.

You may have a couple printed for personal use and a few as gifts, but please have the print shop respect the size in the PDF (24 × 25.5 inches), or print it four feet wide if you share your time with several people—and print on paper inexpensive enough that you aren’t inhibited from actually writing on it! Imagine Dr. Buxton’s honored but bemused frustration if he saw his “coordinate paper” invention (today’s graph paper) hung on walls unmarked, because people liked its simplicity.

Here’s a detail of a lovely, pinned-and-flagged, meaning-rich actual usage from K. Staelin, whom resisted giving me a photo of the whole thing because it was too revealing! (Thanks, K—exactly what I was going for. Though it may have been painful to fold & keep for future reference with all those pins…)

The Linear Calendar

OMAtS (as some fondly call it) was created for situating, planning, and later remembering hours within the context of a year. Its more straight-laced older sibling (except for a tippling New Year’s Eve) was meant to help juggle much larger blocks.

I’ve just reworked to sit comfortably on a letter-sized page. It was originally printed on paper just a little larger than standard, so when you neatened a pile of paper on your desk, or filed it in a hanging folder (yes, we still did that in 2006) it would stick out a little to let you find it easily, on the assumption it was used as an index for the rest of the pile. Print it! Mark on it!

Here’s an even more linear one for Ben and others preferring to avoid a tipsy December 31st.

I used it to arrange multiple conferences/trips evenly throughout the year when conferences were held in person. This is what my 2006 looked like.

Maybe itll serve some other macro-planning use in lockdown; please let me know if its particularly useful for something you need. I’d love to tweak it if I can make it more useful in some compatible way.