New Year's Day

Calendars Mark Time, Are Sign of Times

At Logos Bookstore near Southern Methodist University, the demand for annual calendars is still there, but it's not nearly as strong as it used to be.

2017 calendars take up less than three feet of space on a shelf, waiting for people to sweep them up before the new year.

"This is the time of year to sell calendars," said owner Rick Lewis. "There's just not that demand anymore."

Twenty years ago, Lewis says his calendar selection would have covered an entire wall. He says the 2008 economic collapse and the surge of smart phones cut into his traditional calendar sales.

"I still find comfort with the written word," said Dori Abrigg, a traditional paper calendar user. "Yes, I find there's comfort in that paper. I'll still reconcile my checkbooks!"

A consumer research company says calendar sales are up as much as 10 percent, but it's not showing up in Lewis' store. Those sales may be going the way of books.

"Oh, I'm sure some of it's online," Lewis said," That's a competitor for anything we have in the store here."

At a coffee shop in Deep Ellum, J. Damany Daniel had a computer and tablet sprawled out on the table and a phone in his hand.

"It's a little overwhelming to look at my calendar," Daniel said, looking at a series of color-coded dots on his computer screen. "I tell people that if it doesn't exist in email, or if it's not in my digital calendar, then it doesn't exist."

Daniel said he stopped using traditional calendars about 10 years ago.

"Like, if I have to pick up my son from school, I put it in my calendar that I have to pick him up at 3 o'clock," Daniel said, laughing. "Otherwise he might still be there at 6 o'clock!"

Abrigg said she came up during a time when everyone came to meetings with a calendar in hand. She said her habit of preferring to write things in a calendar was likely generational.

"I used to think that it was older people," Daniel said, about those who use paper calendars. "But then I have an assistant who is 24 or 25, and every time we have a meeting and I give her a deadline, she pulls out a physical calendar and writes it in her physical calendar. And I say to her, 'You know, we run a tech company. Put this on your phone!'"

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