My New Favorite Calendar … Or Is That a Catalog?

When I started planning my writing for 2017, I knew I could count on a print calendar I got in the mail to help me visualize.

When I started planning my writing for 2017, I knew I could count on a print calendar I got in the mail to help me visualize my work. The only question I had to answer was: which one?

Let me explain.

I like the app on my phone, but there’s something about physically filling out a calendar with to-do items that really works for me.

Between what I get from various charities, and the extras that spill onto my desk from Who’s Mailing What!, I had a lot of calendars to choose from. As in dozens of them.

I stacked them on the few surfaces I didn’t already have covered with baskets of mail, or catalogs. And most of them eventually wound up in our company’s lunch room, in the hopes they’d find a good home.

Many of them do exactly what they should do. Whether it’s promoting an insurance agency, or a non-profit, they keep your brand top of mind as they become part of your customer’s daily routine.

They use great images and present content that may be relevant to your customers’ lives.

cornellornithologyThe calendar from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology shows a wide variety of birds and includes tips each month on how to get closer to them and be a part of conservation efforts. June, for example, is about observing specific birds in city environments.

A lot of the nonprofit ones are like that, talking about their mission, and the role played by their donors in achieving great things.

But my favorite calendar is also a catalog. And I’ve never seen anything like it.

upg-calendar_01It’s from the Unemployed Philosophers Guild, a New York-based retailer of humorous “smart” t-shirts, mugs, soaps, and candles.

And, oh yeah, magnetic finger puppets of famous figures like Charles Darwin, Schrodinger’s Cat, and Davy Crockett!

upg-calendar_02A lot of these things are showcased on the opening spread.

Then the months of the calendar start flying by. Each month has a big special theme for the top leaf. For example, the famous and some not-so-famous muses from Greek mythology. Or  “Recently Discovered” constellations. It’s quirky and fun!

The merchandise shows up on various days, like famous birthdays, mixed in with offbeat historical dates.

Another monthly tactic that reminds you to order: a “BIG DEAL” response code exclusively for catalog/calendar shoppers.

I’ve already thought of people I know who will get a kick out of some of these items.

The lessons here?

With 12 months to keep your brand in front of your customers or donors, be sure to provide regular calls to action.

Make special offers.

And give them content, even in very small does, that they can’t easily get anywhere else.