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Too many dates gets confusing

And so it begins. Today is the second day of the new year and it’s time for me to get my calendars in order. Yes, there’s supposed to be an “s” after calendar, because one just never seems to be enough.

Between official city meetings, communitywide events and social functions there’s so much to keep track of. In between, there are meetings and interviews with people for future articles for the paper. Plus, there’s work and vacation schedules for me, fellow staff members and my family, personal activities and meetings, birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions that must be marked.

It usually takes a couple of days to notate all the key dates in a planner that rarely gets out of my sight. Then, those days must be coordinated and synced with meetings and appointments that are put on the calendars of electronic devices such as my telephone, computer and tablet.

Sometimes, when making an appointment, it’s easier to put the time and date on my phone. I just need to be careful that it doesn’t conflict with a previously scheduled event — though that has been known to happen every once in a while.

Once the paper and electronic calendars have been synced, I have to check with the calendars of family and co-workers to make sure their important dates, appointments and activities are properly noticed.

There’s also several silly celebrations and observances that find their way to the pages of my calendars each year — events such as Pie Day, National Hug a Newsperson Day and International Talk Like a Pirate Day. (Just in case you’re wondering those will be observed March 14, April 4 and Sept. 19.)

If all this sounds confusing, rest assured that it can be.

However, over the years, I have developed a system that helps: color coding. I have an assortment of colored pens, each one dedicated to a specific person or type of activity. For example, must-not-miss events are always written in red ink. Events tied to finances are written in green. Birthdays and anniversaries are written in purple ink and fun and festive social engagements are noted in pink ink.

Of course, there are always those events that can be subject to change, and that’s where a pencil comes in handy.

Last year, I also “borrowed” an idea from a friend: sticky notes. I have stickies in assorted sizes and designs that can easily be moved from date to date. This is especially helpful when scheduling tentative activities.

Because all of this scheduling can become extremely tedious, I add a bit of fun to the craziness by using stickers. It may seem a bit like reverting to my childhood, but they make me smile when I could otherwise become overwhelmed with all the tasks that need to be accomplished each day.

I have hundreds of themed stickers for holidays, appointments, chores, outings and just because. I have a box full and am always open to the possibility of buying more. To be honest, my husband thinks I’m a bit obsessed with stickers, and maybe he’s right. But there’s really no harm in it.

As long as I show up where I need to be, when I need to be, there’s no reason for me not to be reminded about my appointment in red, green or purple and to be smiling because there was a sticker of a frog that told me where I needed to go.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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