I returned to my old high school recently. It is always interesting to go back to places where you spent many foundational years. It’s similar to returning to your childhood home. There are parts of you that still claim ownership of this place, and at the same time, you feel the disconnect. You are acutely aware that you are an outsider looking in. As I walked through the campus many things had changed; trees were taller, things were slightly more shabby, but many things were still the same. Couples still met at semi-private corners to kiss before their next class. The student body was still boisterous and yet equally downtrodden, a juxtaposition that only seems possible in youth. But the thing that brought all of the memories back was the sound of the bell. That slight dinging, like an elevator door opening announcement that had been significantly amplified. All of the stress of needing to rush to class or the elation of being released from the hell of math … all of those emotions came back with a small jingle. I used to think that after I graduated high school, I never would be ruled by a series of bells and whistles that would dictate where I spent my time again. As you can probably tell, I graduated before cell phones became an extension of our hands. But as the digital age has continued at not only a steady rate but an exponentially quickened pace, our lives have continued to be held in sway by the small dings, bells, and reminders that keep us connected to our digital calendars. Meetings in a half hour, a call with corporate at 3, a little wiggle room between your 2 o’clock and your 2:30. All with a pleasant chime to remind you not only when things start, but when you need to leave so you can be on time.
So maybe the most surprising news that I discovered recently was from the New York Times as they reported that paper calendar sales had been growing over the last few years. They theorize that people prefer a paper planner that allows them to customize with colors, accessories, and codes for certain events and activities. But what stuck out to me the most was that promotional calendars had shown an increase in sale numbers since 2012. “Melissa Ralston, marketing director for BIC Graphic, said in an email that companies have found paper calendars to be an effective advertising vehicle with a mass market appeal… studies have found that 82 percent of recipients enjoy getting a calendar as a complimentary gift and 70 percent plan to do business with the company that provided the calendar.” If you want to participate in these numbers and maybe help your customers get away from the bells and whistles that continue to direct their time, think about getting a promotional calendar. Documedia can print anything you can dream up.