I first read this blog post by Craig Mod a few years ago - but I was instantly mesmerized. I revisited the post recently, and it’s just as inspiring as the first time I read it.

I decided to try drawing the calendar again, hoping the meditative act will help me out - to calm and focus the mind. I had done this before when I first read the blog post, but fell out of the habit after a few months.

Drawing it out was a fun exercise, figuring out all the measurements. Trying to be precise, but not too precise. Every imperfection gives it’s own bit of personality. Wabi sabi.

Further stealing inspiration from Craig, I added additional boxes to each day, to track habits (or, things I would like to become habits).

The top center box tracks exercise. The bar for this isn’t super high. It doesn’t have to be a huge workout or anything, even a long walk will do. Especially in times of lockdown, physical activity is so important, and so easy to skip. Exercise puts me in such a better head space, yet I’m so quick to ignore it. This calendar can help keep tabs on that.

The bottom right box tracks…well it’s loosely defined for now, basically if I spend a significant time reading or writing, this box gets checked. I’ve been really inspired to write lately (thanks for that too, Craig) and want to keep that rolling. So what counts as a “significant” amount of time? Right now, about 30 minutes. Not super long, but something I can reasonably do on a regular basis, and something that can increase as the habit grows.

I think what I like so much about Craig’s post, and most of what he writes, is about the relationship between you, the tools, and the process.

Sure, you could just use an app on your phone to do this. But it’s not as personal. There’s no connection, tapping buttons on a screen doesn’t compare to making marks on paper. And then there’s the possibility the app could shutter it’s doors at any moment, and then it’s gone forever. What happens to your data then? Who knows. Good luck.

You could also get a pre-made planner/calendar. But that lacks personality and customizability. This process of drawing the calendar, it’s intentional, time consuming. You have to stop and think about it, take the time to see the month laid out before you. It creates a tighter bond between you and time.

Maybe this is all a waste of time, but I don’t think so. At the end of it all, you have an artifact, physical, personal, unique. Is that worth anything? Worth the time spent? I guess that’s up to you, but to me it is.